Hell Breaking Loose

I really didn’t mean to let the entire week go by without posting again but I was so captivated by our last conversation I couldn’t bear to over-ride it.

I have to admit, my first thoughts were to take the post down and create a private forum for our Tuesday night ladies to express away.

However, I realized that as tough as it might be for some of us “Holier” (def: morally and spiritually excellent) types, THIS is what these beautiful, intelligent, God loving ladies want to say. They want to be REAL. For better or for worse.

They want to start a REVOLUTION!

Our group is made up of 20 women from the ages of 20-42. (‘cept for me 🙂 The majority are early 30’s.

They are:


Single Women


Stay at Home Mom’s

Pastors Wives

Ministry Leaders

Working Business Women (One Doctor)

Bible Study Teachers

Last night’s group revealed something I can absolutely not completely capture for this mornings blog post.

God is doing something no less than amazing as I watch and listen to them share the cry of their hearts. It is a BATTLE CRY.

This is what we have so far, from my perspective. I am CERTAIN, you will hear from them 🙂

First of all, they are very unhappy with status quo “Church” and have a bit of rebellion going on. That in itself is stressing them out. They do not WANT to be rebellious. According to Thom and Jess Rainer’s the Millennials, this generation wants to honor their parents and their elders. The fact that they are experiencing this inner conflict is very difficult for them to process. BTW-I was thrilled to find some very TIMELY advice on Thom Rainer’s website this morning!!

The Rainer’s suggest the Millennials as generally those born between 1980 and 2000. I have to say however, that have 2 sons born in the 70’s and a daughter born in 1988, all who were all over that book. This group of ladies swim in the same pool.

They feel like they have been playing “Christian Games” for such long time, some of them since birth/childhood, that they are not really sure WHAT they believe about Christianity. Not about GOD, about Christianity.

They live in a world filled with cultural messages that are in direct conflict with Biblical messages (no surprise there) and to be honest, often feel much more acceptance in THAT world!!

Psychologist Lev Vygotsky said “A mind cannot be independent of culture”.

As we “live and move and have our being” in God, we are “living and moving and having our being” in the world God created and constantly bombarded with opportunities to join THAT tribe. This temptation becomes more and more extreme as the “Tribe that Man Built” seems less and less attractive.

These young women feel that the “Church” is failing them either by being so shallow as to not really equip them for the battle through deep understanding of God’s Word, or so “Christian” as to be so focused on what things LOOK LIKE on the outside and not being willing to touch the hard stuff (like what was on last weeks blog) and equip them for real life.

As a rule, they do not “feel safe” in church to express what they think or what they need. That message is like a bull horn in the room.

One woman, when I casually assured her she was in a “SAFE PLACE” in our group, sweetly challenged my words saying she had thought other places to be “SAFE”; things she believed; people she looked up to; only to find they were not “SAFE” at all. How could she KNOW she was “safe” to share who she really is?

So…. a group that was organized for some “Chick Chat” about current cultural messages verses God’s message, has jumped into the deep end and left us all reaching for the floats.

Here is the pondering was stirred in my heart by my daring young sisters after last nights gathering…

Does my life look the same IN church, around my Christian brothers and sisters, than it does when I am AWAY from them? If God were to answer that question for me, what would HE say??

Are there things I do, say, feel, desire and fear that I feel I could NEVER TELL my Christian friends and family because I know they would never approve? My leadership role might be weakened?  They think I am stronger, holier, wiser, spiritually mature, all together?

Chime in ladies!!

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  1. I was born in 1964 but I am shouting YES to this:
    “These young women feel that the “Church” is failing them either by being so shallow as to not really equip them for the battle through deep understanding of God’s Word, or so “Christian” as to be so focused on what things LOOK LIKE on the outside and not being willing to touch the hard stuff (like what was on last weeks blog) and equip them for real life.”

    As I speak and minister, I am finding more of us older folks that are saying the same thing. Especially those of us who understand that the time is short and the stakes are high. I try soooo hard to be real and transparent as I speak to groups. I want them to not see a shallow, fake woman, but rather a woman who has slogged around in the pit one time too many and now wants to stay out and help others to stay out with everything she has within her.

    I LOVE this post, Pat. Love it!!

  2. This is a GREAT post Pat! And I feel much the same way. I try very hard to remain “REAL and Transparent” because I have been in places that I thought were SAFE and were not. I never want to do that to anyone. I want them to know my stuff, my story, and know that I have fallen and will fall but Jesus will always be right beside me. I am not perfect, Nor will I ever be and I don’t want the pressure to be. I am so loving what you are doing and the truth being revealed by it.

  3. Overwhelmed with what God is doing and I just cannot fully wrap my mind around it yet. It did keep me up half the night 🙂 . My mind keeps going back to the movie A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise and Jack Nicklaus are going back and forth there in the courtroom and Jack Nicklaus finallly shouts out ” You can’t handle the TRUTH “. Weird I know. I know sometimes my flesh has a hard time processing the truth but thankful that God already knows the truth and we can be free in that . I will be back .

  4. I drove away (well, rode away with another group member who brought me) just reeling from all that was said last night, and am still trying to decompress and process it all, put it into little categories like I like to do so I can mull it over even more. The first thing I thought was, and even said it to my designated driver 😉 “Am I real?” I don’t know if I even am, but I love that you made that the topic. That seems like a very logical starting point right now.

    I totally resonated with all the ladies who said how insecure they felt and I felt like my sort of “surface” answer of what last week’s topic made me think of felt so shallow after hearing the hearts of all the other ladies. It wasn’t an untrue statement, but I LONG to be in deep fellowship with other sisters and I think I missed an opportunity somehow. I have been in many groups over the years and a lot of them “go there” but I am now asking God – do I go there? I am such a cheerleader for women who are sharing like that, but do I really have the courage to dig deep and first of all, find what’s down there, and secondly, let it out for all – or at least all 20 of you – to see?

    I can tell by my comment so far that I am not nearly as organized in my thinking as I thought I was, so I will think some more on this, talk to God about it some more, and definitely come back. You gave us a lot to think about on this subject, and I really want to give a more coherent answer.

  5. Thank you ladies. As usual, you add much to what I am already thinking. With this group, that is a whole bunch 🙂

    Leah, I agree that as LEADERS and speakers, we are held to a higher standard of truth, transparency and vulnerability than anyone. I have many women tell me after I speak how much it matters to them for me to share the things God has helped me to overcome and the mistakes I have made and still make. FREEDOM is contagious!!

    Jenn, you are a precious example of a young woman who is seeking a REAL life walk with God. You openness and sharing is a blessing to be part of and watch unfold. I adore you!

    Lola–I LOVE< LOVE>LOVE that line! I wonder, can we? Can we handle the truth and still love one another? Can we handle the truth and still feel safe? I am thrilled to be on this journey with you!

    Ann- You are precious and so open to hear from God, teachable and humble. You bring so much to this group. I have a feeling that we are ALL about to go to new levels of “deep fellowship”. Don’t worry about “organizing” your thinking. Just FLOAT!

    Love you ladies!!

  6. The definition of the word ‘pioneer’ is this:
    to open up an area or prepare a way; to initiate: to take the lead; to participate in the development of something new.

    As I woke up this morning, this was the word that came to mind. God is doing a new thing. And as uncomfortable and raw as our meeting last night was, He has chosen us for this journey. It’s a journey into what it means to BE the reality of the truth and love of Jesus Christ in every facet of our lives to each other, to our families, and to the world around us.

  7. Tami,
    I can not imagine a better word for this new territory we are stepping into than PIONEER.
    I, for one, am certainly experiencing the anticipation that goes along with a new adventure the level of sky diving or snow skiing from a BLACK DIAMOND :). However, I am also feeling the deep passion of desire for more of God. More freedom. More clarity. More FRUIT. More Kingdom ground.
    MORE, for the next generation–my children and grand-children.
    My heart is racing a bit with the unknowns of this group, but I am ready to see what God will do with all of these hungry hearts.

  8. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This is exactly what I have been thinking about. I mean, how many of us are really “real” in church? How many of us can HONESTLY say that we feel “safe” in the one place that we should feel the safest? I have found that when I even start to be real with my “christian” friends, they run away. They cant handle the hard stuff. Even people in “leadership” just dont want to have to face it. If my “church family” really knew me…..I wonder how many of them would still be around? I do feel like I have to “put on the me” they want me to be in order to be around them. And that is sad….

    So how do we get past this? How do we get others ( and ourselves), to really accept the “good, the bad and the ugly” side of us?

  9. It’s interesting to me how God brought me to this group. For so long these were the things I was feeling. I’ve traveled and come from such a “God high” to hitting the ground here in the “real world.” Church has taken on a new twist in my life. It’s your everyday, it’s your passion, it’s loving people and bringing unity. I feel drawn to this group. When I was driving home Tuesday night God said to me “It’s not about leaving the “church” (4 walls building) it’s about BEING the church. Finding your part and speaking up.” He told me that all of us women have something so unique, that if we took this stand in the church, if we SPOKE UP, all hell WOULD break loose. Freedom would spread and the enemy would be rendered empty handed. The jail cells we keep ourselves in would be opened (kind of like in jail when they press that one button and all the cells simultaneously open) I think there’s a reason there’s 24 elders with Our Almighty God in Revelation, and a reason there’s 24 thrones surrounding his breathtaking throne. He wants to share His power, He EMPOWERS us. We must speak for those who don’t know they have a voice. You ladies rock my world! Thanks for my recharge, I needed it!!! (sorry so long)

  10. Well, well, Miss (for now) Callie,
    Aren’t you just a smart thing!! You nailed some truth right on the head of the enemy. He wants to devalue the Church, the Bride. He wants us to grumble and complain or WORSE–SHUT DOWN and run away! He wants us to look more and more like the world and less and less like a BRIDE!
    Too bad for him….we have one another to hang onto and link arms with.
    We are doing just that.
    Big, Big, hug!!

  11. Callie,well that is exactly what has been traveling thru most of my thoughts. BONDAGE !!!! The enemy would love nothing more than to keep us in isolation in our daily thoughts, struggles, trials and feelings. When we don’t share our “crap” then he can just keep us all locked up. He continues to fill our minds with lies as we continue to put on the “all is well” face. God gave us freedom through his son Jesus Christ but as with any gift if we don’t accept it and walk in it then we never recieve its full worth. I have realized these past few years that there is so much more to my walk than “church”. God wants to know me and love me in such a personal and deep way if I will allow him to. But the key here is ME ! I have to allow him to, I have been taught that God is a gentleman and will never force himself upon someone. So as these past years have brought marital hell, financial mistakes, miscarriages, gut wrenching emotional turmoil and many more things. The soft rug has been pulled out from me per se. All of this madness has brought me to my knees in a way that I never was before. I deeply feel that God wants to strip us all down layer by layer and rebuild something truly beautiful. Okay, I am not going back and reading this, i am just going to hit SUBMIT 😉

  12. Pat,
    Obviously, I am not a member of your group, though I am wishing so much that I were! However, I did wander over here the other week after seeing someone share the link on Facebook & I commented on your question about “dressing for our men”. I just turned 30 at the start of this year. I grew up in a Christian church. I’ve made a lot of bad choices. And God has redeemed me from those choices and blessed me with a wonderful life.
    While nursing my new baby, I was longing for something to entertain my mind and went to my favorites, with the intent of heading someplace else… and then I saw the link that I had saved to your page here. I felt like it jumped out at me, and I was so excited to have something of real VALUE to view.
    I do find this post very touching. All the way here in Ohio, it still rings loud and true and, I know, that some of my closest girlfriends would also agree. I think what was catching my attention the most tonight were the comments about “revelation” and the word “bondage” which literally jumped off of the page at me. Just last week, I started Beth Moore’s study on Revelations at my church. I did not attend last night due to being ill earlier this week, but I saw my friend’s Facebook status this morning, and it said, “Let’s get some fresh revelation!” Also, something that Beth spoke of in the first session that was SO significant to us, “WE are holding our chains. Our chains are NOT holding us.” And also the statement, “Bondage… WE keep that thing with us at ALL times. We stay fixated on it. PUT IT DOWN!”
    I enjoy reading the things that I find here. This post is extremely touching. I only skimmed the comments after the first few, but I hope to come back and finish reading them in full later. I love what you are doing here!

  13. My same, forementioned friend and I have spent many hours discussing our pasts… all the wrong choices, all the sexual immoralities, that took us the long way around before we finally found ourselves back in God’s arms, where we both had started. Often, when we are together, we discuss our younger sisters and the horribly frustrating and terrifying paths they have chosen. Yesterday was just one such day, and she and I were both feeling a similar frustration. We both have pasts that are far from pleasant. The only good we can pull from them is the thought that God has given us great testimonies from the batterings we’ve endured. Yet, our experiences have found that… no one wants to hear them?! What was it all for then? Was it just for ourselves? Was the testimony just for our own lives? We both have mentioned that we’ve felt there was something special for us. Perhaps, a calling on our lives. I really thought my testimony would play into this calling, and I believe, she did too. I always thought I could reach those young and vulnerable girls, at the age where I first began making those big mistakes, and that I would have just the right words to influence and save them from my experiences and the hard lessons learned. She mentioned that she’d always wanted to work with the CPC, but then added, “…but everybody and their brother works for the CPC.” (I just thought this was interesting, Pat, as I read through Your Story tonight, prior to coming back to write this comment.) Actually, I think this comment may be heading in a whole different direction here…
    Oh! I guess I originally felt like it connected to the concept of “being real & transparent” like you all were discussing. I guess what I was wanting to say was that my friend and I are both very open people. We are willing to say who we are and where we’ve been, what we’ve come through… and see where we are?!! But WHO do we tell? WHO will listen to what we have to say. It is so hard and painful for us to watch our younger sisters destroying their lives so blindly… to understand so much about where they are headed and what physical and/or emotional scars most assuredly await them. And WHO are we? We may as well be their parents… our words falling on deaf ears. Are our testimonies meant for anyone?

  14. I’ve been chewing on our most recent Tuesday night topic. I mentioned that evening that I was disillusioned by Christianity.

    Since the first day I decided to say those words committing myself as a Christ follower and not just someone who strives to be a good human, I have been receiving words of advice and action from those who have walked ahead of me:
    “Break up with your boyfriend, he’s not a Christian”
    “stop wearing clothes like that”
    “don’t hang out with those friends anymore, they’ll drag you down”
    “don’t listen to that kind of music”
    “don’t read those kinds of books”
    “Christians don’t go there, they go here”
    …on and on and on – and if you do these things you’ll start looking like Jesus; you’ll be salt to the world; you’ll be set apart. Decades later, I’m exhausted.

    I want to be mad at all those people who meant well, but how can I? I played a part in it too. I chose to follow their words. I don’t want to be resentful, I don’t want to be suspicious of Christians. I want to trust God that even my unhealthy focus on the outward behavior was part of His plan for me. Did he want me to feel the futility of doing things in my own power so that I could truly feel the peace of His strength? I’m afraid to let go in fear of being judged and possibly hurting other’s feelings when I finally feel free to act outside of Christian expectations – and trust God (in His perfect timing) to transform my human nature to his loving ways.

    His yoke is easy, his burden is light. Right now, being a Christian is tiresome to me. I want it to be enough that I know God loves me before I started “acting like a Christian”. I want to fear Him and not fear Man’s expectations. I was disillusioned when I realized looking like a Christian doesn’t equal loving God.

  15. Sweet Mary,
    Imagine me pulling you into a big bear hug and swinging you around-heavy backpack and all!
    You are so precious in my life and have been for, oh so how many years. While you’re spinning in my hug, imagine me crying tears of repentance ’cause that’s what I am doing right now. Just because I see a one child of God who has been injured by another. Its like a mama who is heartbroken because her children are treating one another badly.
    Let me just ask your forgiveness Mary, if there was ever a time when I stupidly thought or said any of those ridiculous things (not that I THINK I did you understand :), or dropped any kind of “measure up” rocks into your spiritual backpack, but just in CASE iI did and if I didn’t, hear me speaking on behalf of all those other Christ loving brothers and sisters who may have. Please forgive us Mary, those who have gone before you, ahead of you, or around your young life, who may have implied that ANYTHING besides a passionate, desperate, yearning for
    MORE of God-
    MORE of His heart-
    MORE of His love-
    MORE of His plan-
    matters more than a spit in the wind.
    Lets’ try this thing again.
    Now feel me putting your feet gently back on the ground and helping you DUMP that backpack out!!

  16. Pat,

    thanks for your hug, your words and being part of the back pack dumping. I know I’ve been guilty of pointing younger ones in a direction other than more of God (remember one of our girls who temporarily stopped having sex with her husband when she first got saved – what did I say to make her think that? gulp…) Thank you for your love – love covers much. <3

  17. Pat – Hi again!

    I was thinking about your response during my lunch and I am humbled. I wasn’t expecting you to take on my bitterness and resentment. I’m not afraid to admit these feelings anymore but I sadly recognize that these feelings come from a brokeness in me and of no fault to those who I once felt offended by. Because the truth is I hate that I even had these feelings toward people who I know meant well and were telling me what they thought was best for me. Their advice was once satisfying to me because changing my outside put my spiritual progress in my own hands and I loved that feeling of control. The bottom line is I’m disappointed in myself for following blindly and never questioning (probably because of the illusion that I was still in control). The changes weren’t motivated by my love for God but my pride in the strides I was making – “look how much better I am than the girl you knew before”.

    Thank you for your loving words.

  18. Dear Pat,
    I waited to post because Tuesday was a bit too real for me seeing so many in pain and in such anger. It brought out a lot of buried emotion in me as well– and I was down for a few days. I was in my bible from 7:45 AM-2:45 PM Thursday reading what God has to say about judgement and condemnation and conviction; love and fear and divisiveness; and laws and bondage and freedom. Then I wrestled with my fleshly emotions of wanted to lash out at those that are critical of our choices we make as Christians:
    is it ok to wear thong underwear, have an occasional glass of wine, listen to secular music, or read Harry Potter and still be a saved, God loving, God-fearing, kingdom seeking, Jesus loving Christian?
    I am sick of being made to feel like I’m not a ‘good enough’ Christian (or even worse, being made to feel like someone thinks I need MORE saving) because I do these things. No wonder many of us are so insecure. It seems like we keep getting picked apart by our own brothers and sisters. I’m about to start telling people “It’s none of your business”–it’s God’s and my business. I know there is a lot more to be said, shared, and explored in our Tuesday conversations–we are just getting started–and I’m a little nervous about it. But a sweet friend said to me the other night that we are to help carry each other’s burdens. Clearly, as revealed Tuesday, many of us are weighted down by burdens–we feel attacked or mocked by others in the church…or we are trying to be so perfect in other people’s eyes so we can “look” like a Christian. Why? I think we are afraid of being judged by PEOPLE. God can handle our flaws. He knows our hearts. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our struggles. And he did give us areas of strength to be used for His purposes in our serving of others…but other PEOPLE… they can be brutal. I made a very conscious decision Thursday morning as I prayed and read my bible that I am throwing off the shackles of bondage to another human and his or her perceptions of me and my choices. No more will I use the term ‘Insecure’ to describe myself. All of us who are saved demonstrate the Holy Spirit alive in us through our fruits, acts of service, verbal declaration of His gift to us of salvation, and sharing the gospel with others…but by golly we do something another Christian sees as ‘unChristian’ and a bitter root begins to grow in the space Jesus is supposed to fill and it knocks us back 10 steps. I think that is where a lot of us are right now…

  19. Kim, so much wisdom in your delayed response – wow.

    So I’ve had 2 John in my head since Pat e-mailed it to us. What a perfect letter for everything that we’ve been revealing in our Tuesday nights and this blog. John refers to false teachers in this letter and I realized that those who taught me were not false teachers. They weren’t deliberately spreading words about Christ that weren’t true. Their lives were characterized by a desire to be obedient to God!

    In 2 Timothy 4:16 it is said to watch MY life and doctrine closely. That is God’s safe guard for me. He won’t let me get too far. He has been faithful to reveal falsehoods I have chosen to believe and replace it with Truth. Unfortunately, sometimes I talk too much and am too eager to share ideas that haven’t reached maturity.

    I can’t wait for tonight.

  20. I have pages full of things I could write here right now, questions, thoughts, ideas, more questions… With every new comment that is added, more questions come to mind, but I keep going back to Romans 14, which you (Pat) so appropriately shared with us the first night – but in reading and re-reading it, I still have more questions. I don’t want to believe that the heart of the Lord is to lead us into confusion, but into freedom, and equally as important, peace. I know it’s the world, the enemy, and my own flesh that drives me to question, to judge, even to decide that I know the answers – whether I do or not. I continue to pray that through this group, I will extend to myself some of that freedom that God has so graciously given me already. So excited to listen and learn more tonight.

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