For over five months, I have been in personal contact with one of the moms involved in the recent Sovereign Grace lawsuit. I am going to call her SGMMom here. Going over my e-mails I was reminded that she had sent me an e-mail right about the time the media exposed my lawsuit. Here is the first e-mail she sent me:
There have been many more e-mails and also phone calls since then. At the beginning of our relationship, I was not aware of her family's impending lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries, et al.
What struck me about SGMMom is that she was able to offer support to me despite the grief she had experienced in her own family.
The aftermath of the abuse has been going on for years for her. In many abusive church environments, problems are confined to the church - never shared with outsiders. Outsiders are considered secular and worldly and against God. Members are told that outsiders do not handle sin issues the way churches do and outside involvement is seen as inferior to a church's way of handling issues. Personal issues are kept under wraps and most likely she and her family were very alone for those first years until the survivor blogs came along. They may have heard stories here and there, but when the SGM survivor blogs came along, it became apparent that their story was not unique. They were not imagining things. They were not alone. What they had experienced was validated by other stories.
SGMmom and the other moms and families do not have a public blog like I did during my lawsuit. They can read comments on news articles, but there is not any one place for them to receive support directed to them, especially since their identities are concealed. I spoke with SGMMom and asked if she would be willing to give updates that I could post here - sharing what is going on emotionally, spiritually as they are going through this journey with their court case. Her attorney gave the okay and that is what we will be doing here on my blog.
I will use this blog to share with you how you can specifically pray for these families. The comments will be open for you to offer words of encouragement, comfort, scripture, etc. I would love to see the comments filled with encouraging words from readers who are praying for these precious families.
So, below is the first communication from SGMMom expressly for the purpose of sharing here to my blog readers:
SGMMom shares her feelings here:
And here is a quote from SGMMom (mom of one of the plaintiff's in the SGM lawsuit):
“For over twenty-five years, pastors in Sovereign Grace Ministries, when faced with sex abuse cases, chose a pattern of cover-up and obstruction of justice, repeatedly treating molestation as if it was only a sin or moral failing and not treating it as a crime. This pastoral negligence has compounded the trauma of the sex abuse victims and their loved ones.”
“When is the reputation of a church ever more important than the safety and well-being of children?"
"By filing this Class Action lawsuit, we are standing up for all of the victims of sex abuse cover-up within SGM. There are other victims not yet mentioned in the legal draft and for a variety of reasons have not come forward yet--we are taking a stand for them as well."
I've noticed something about spiritual abusive survivors over the last several months. Some of them are the most caring, genuine, loving, grace-filled people I have ever met. I was fortunate to have media exposure and with that exposure came lots of support. It was wonderful. I am hoping that we can extend that same kind of support to SGMMom and the other families in the comment section.