This is the place I rant about life's heartaches when I feel I can't say it anywhere else. My voice is buried beneath shadows, but I feel someday what I have to say might mean something to someone...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For my friends at RA...

OK, so this blog is a little... centered, I guess you can say. I was once an intern for Teen Mania Ministries, and during my time there... well, let's just say there was some abuse that has both tainted and corrected my view on the world and Christianity. I recently became a member of the forums for, a place where people can share their own stories on the road to healing. Long story short, the board of directors came up with a response here.
The following was my own response to that, originally posted on twitter (Yeah, I don't do well at all with the 140-character limit thing!):

(directed in part to the founder of the ministry, Ron Luce and to the director of the Honor Academy- the internship of the ministry, Dave Hasz)...

Let's assume you guys did fix it all for the interns of today... That doesn't negate the need to repair the past... *sigh* I really love you more than you'll ever know, but the whole thing can't just blow over. There is too much to this.

It's so difficult to feel caught in the middle when it come to the whole Honor Academy thing. One minute, I'm honored to be an Honor Academy alumnus, the next... I can't help but ask "why?" Am I the only one unsure of my "side"??

Anyone who REALLY knows me, knows I was one of Teen Mania's abused alumni who fell through the cracks. Very few know my story though because of how I've walked through this journey...
Lately... there's been questioning, pain. Don't blame R.A. though, it was the "responses" which evoked a whole new level of pain I long thought buried. The rest of me took it in stride and learned from the hardness- once I got past my I-don't-care-about-anything-anymore phase. My pain took me to foolish choices, but I acknowledged I made those choices on my own. In the end, God used them to strengthen me. Still I'm not 100%, and my desire is to reach out to the hurting. It pains me that I do not see the church loving as Christ commanded.

I'd like to take a moment to say here what I once commented on
One of things which meant the most in my recovery was when a fellow alumnus, after hearing my story said "they told us we were now and forever representatives of this ministry, right? Well, then I hereby, on behalf of the entire ministry, apologize for what you experienced.”
My desire would be to offer that same hand. I may someday lose my standing with the Honor Academy Alumni Association, yet they cannot change the fact that I graduated. As such, I'll always represent Teen Mania- be that good or bad in their eyes. I'd like to think I do some good by saying: As a representative of Teen Mania, I apologize for whatever hurts you may have experienced, and if there is anything I can do, I take the vow I made to all those who ever placed the honor ring on their finger seriously. My servitude is eternally yours.

(After reading Hayford's letter)

I've come to the realization lately that there is more than one kind of "evil" we should avoid evoking the image of. "Avoid the appearance of evil" does not mean pretend everything is OK. That is an evil all its own...
Hello... the favorites always get good treatment so the testimony of his family's involvement is moot. I've heard enough stories from both sides to assess this prior to, prior to "damage" people want to do. With me, for instance, I've been silent for 9 years. Doesn't keep me from seeing and hearing and praying.
I repeat, these "responses" are doing more harm than supposedly is!
I want to know who is really reaching out to whom. RA seems to say they've been looking for help & TMM swears the help offered is being rejected.
I think seriously if you'd stop being like the rest of stereotypical Christianity, stop whining about your appearances, and let your quiet testimony speak for itself as it should if you are really in the right, it would say a lot more! Christ felt no need to defend Himself at His trials. So yeah, He got crucified, but new life came from that. Saying nothing is wrong is a little "methinks thou dost protest too much," drawing more attention to what has transpired!
I find it weird how my whole life swims in circles of familiarity. I think one reason TMM's responses bugs me so much is that it reminds me of the government's last letter to me concerning the rape I endured and reported last year. My case was dropped for "lack of evidence. ”The government went so far as to say they determined (without trial!) that I had not been a victim. They called me a liar. They may as well have raped me all over again. All I wanted at that moment was counseling. If justice could not come, would someone just help me get the help I needed to get past that? No, instead more pain arises. You shoot the wounded rather than administer healing...

Does it matter who is at fault? Christians should be willing to help ANY wounded! THAT is our calling! Let's assume the stories are all fabricated. There was obviously a hurt somewhere. Instead of saying "it wasn't me!" try "lemme help,” preferably in a real and tangible way.

Not trying to stir up trouble. TMM is responsible for leading me back to Christ & keeping me from suicide at 13. I also helped a youth group to Acquire the Fire less than 3 months ago! I only have your best interests at heart. However, actions of leadership prompted me to begin cutting while at the Honor Academy. I was told that I was worthless. I never blamed TMM because it was a person, not a ministry that hurt me. But speaking against your own AS a ministry... Well, you might as well be saying you take responsibility for their actions. Thankfully, an alumnus already took responsibility for the hurt on your behalf and apologized to me for you 8 years ago...

I know they're not listening. TMM didn't listen 9 years ago when confronted by my parents, why would they hear my pleas on twitter? Can't help but hope & pray though that my premonitions about them aren't true. There is still a chance for change, in ALL of us... Until death...

(And finally, a small PS for the other link on that page, which I barely read): "...some young people do not have maturity or self discipline to finish such a rigorous leadership program." Arg! My thoughts on this are simple: It's far too accusatory! Yes, because those are the ONLY reasons for which we cannot ENDURE. Blech, blech. Blah!

1 comment:

  1. I hear lots of maturity in this post. Hurting people deserve to be cared for, especially by those who call themselves representatives of Christ.

    I am SO sorry to hear about your rape and subsequent injustice. That literally makes me sick. Hugs to you.