Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We Had a Dream



that is our question. do we build Hannah's Haven or not?

I believed with all my heart that I heard from God. I believed that He would take the very sword used against me and use it against my enemies. I believed that He would take all the suffering and broken-ness from my childhood and use them as strengths.

I believed that I was called to create Hannah's Haven.

Hannah's Haven was a dream of mine to take in special needs foster kids and give them a "forever family".

We bought a fixer upper of a home because it had 3 acres of land that was surrounded by forest and 6 bedrooms.

We bought it because we BELIEVED God himself called us to do so.

We bought it 7 years ago.................

We planned to plant organic gardens, raise small animals and lovingly embrace our arms around hurting children.

Hannah's Haven is a story of ours that is still unfolding. I want to share it with you all and welcome your opinions.

Did I hear from God?
Did the prophets that prophesied over me tell the truth?
Am I simply being attacked because the enemy knows my calling and wants to snuff it out?
Am I simply not patient enough?
Am I simply CRAZY?

Here is the list of what happened since we bought this home, each has it's own story which I will continue to share:

1)Our son Caleb's head stopped growing. He was about 1 years old. We entered a world of MRIs, Catscans, genetic testing and a place of absolute fear for his life and future.

2)My husband developed an infection in his leg that placed him in a hospital. It wouldn't respond to ANY treatment for over a month. They were watching the infection climb his thigh, worried that if it got into an organ; it would be fatal.

3)We experienced a horrific miscarriage.

4)The local power company decided that our land was their land- and without imminent domain began a plan to build on it.

5)We hired our pastor who was a cabinet maker by trade to redo our kitchen. Apparently that meant he could read from a "home depot how to" book...took our money, left the job unfinished and relocated to California because God told him to.

6)We hired a christian electrician who did what he was paid to; kinda.

7)A very close friend's betrayal nearly destroyed our family.

8)An attempt to leave our church of 9 years caused us to enter a cyclone of spiritual abuse that has left us wounded. Do you know the commercial, "I have fallen and can't get up" ?

9)Every time we dug an area of our land to plant organically, we dug out trash!

10)Every time we repair one room, it starts a domino effect of another room falling apart.

So now I bravely introduce to the world, my family and friends the innermost feelings of our struggles with Hannah's Haven....

hoping that in my monologues I find the strength to stand up and fight for my dream or the wisdom to walk away knowing that I did the best that I could and it's time to find a new dream!


Barb said...

You may not get many comments on this post. One is challenged to say, "I'm so sorry," and be satisfied with it at that. This is where I find the internet severly lacking. Sitting with someone, bringing them dinner, a hug, a compasionate glance...those at least feel more 'real' than words. But as words are all I have, I'm not afraid of your story and look forward to hearing it. You are not crazy. You are loved by Father. I, at least am listening.

Meg said...

"Did I hear from God?
Did the prophets that prophesied over me tell the truth?
Am I simply being attacked because the enemy knows my calling and wants to snuff it out?
Am I simply not patient enough?
Am I simply CRAZY"

Nobody knows the answers to these questions except your good selves. As to Hannah's Dream, I remember you sharing this on the forum, and I know how deeply you have held on to it.

My family are in a similar place to you. We dreamed of escaping the spiritual abuse and going to another city to start again. Since we moved, we have had a long train of bad things happen. Did we get it wrong? Are we missing something? We still have no idea. Some days, we can't even find God.

Christians would have you believe that bad stuff happens because God is punishing you, or you are 'going through a season of God' or other such cliches. Personally, I believe that sh** happens, whether you have a dream or not.

Should you build Hannah's Haven? Building anything always turns up major problems, I am married to a builder so I know how often this happens. Things NEVER go as planned, even for the poor sad multi-millionaires who spend huge amounts renovating their inner-city mansions. So money has nothing to do with it.

Fixer-uppers ALWAYS give you more pain than you would have thought possible, even the good ones.

Infections, miscarriages (we have been through both), medical problems with children (I have one child who is autistic - the cult said it was all my fault because I didn't love him enough), utility companies who think they own you, dodgy christian builders (know about them - been sucked in too many times, we now prefer to hire non-christian sub-contractors with proven work records), discovering crap where you weren't expecting it, betrayal by close friends and spiritual abuse, these things happened because they did, not because Hannah's Haven is a bad idea. You could be right in the middle of Hannah's Haven and those things still happened.

I am convinced life is getting harder for authentic believers. The older we get the more difficult we find things, and all our illusions are being destroyed. We are already behind the eight-ball because of our experience of spiritual abuse, so we are much more sensitised to pain than others would be. So when It hits the fan, we tend to think we have done something to cause it, or that God is trying to speak to us.

But....its not linked in the way that abuse survivors often think it is. You may be experiencing building problems because you didn't have enough experience buying property. It happens. You went through all that other stuff because life is like that, and it feels like its all connected to your dream because of your horrific history of spiritual abuse and your tendency to blame yourself every time something bad happens.

We weather the storms, we learn to make sensible decisions based on facts, not false beliefs, and we assess each situation individually.

You are NOT impatient - seven years of hell proves that. You are steadfast, determined and have greater perseverence than most people. THAT makes you a christian soldier, it DOESN'T make you irrational, impatient, wrong, out of God's will or stupid.

If you have a dream pursue it. IF it doesn't happen, its not because you failed. Dreams are not diminished because they didn't materialise.

I reckon we owe it to ourselves to find the place of joy, happiness, comfort and help. That means different things to different people, and for our kids its familiarity, memories, old friends....not, new horizons, escape, nice scenery, like it is for us. We have to reassess what we are doing for our family, and maybe shelve our dream of living in this city in favour of going back to the old one where the kids were born.

We don't know, we are in the same conundrum as you.

If you decide to pull the pin on this, and you come to the conclusion that once again the prophets were wrong, you are not bad or wrong, and you didn't waste your time or lose anything. You are living your life to the best of your ability. Your dream is legitimate, worthwhile, and the result of a heart of love for the brokenhearted. These are gifts.

This probably isn't what you want to hear, but as I said in the beginning, you are the only one who knows what to do here. You will make the best decision possible, because its your life.

Perhaps this is a case of the substance of the dream being steadfast, but the form of the dream changing according to circumstances.

Katherine Gunn said...

I understand the fear of being "out of the will of God," of having "missed it" somewhere along he line. I walked away from my church home 14 months ago. They were heavy in prophecy and promises, etc.

It has been a struggle this past year sorting truth from manipulation. I don't claim to have gotten it all figured out yet. The only thing I have to go with is my own relationship with my Father. He has reminded me that I know His voice. Those dreams that are deep in us - that don't go away - that speak to us inside on a very personal level; I believe those are the ones from God.

I like something a friend said the other day. "God knows how to get my attention if I get off course. He has proven that to me in the past. So I go in the direction I have unless He corrects it."

He is not an abusive Father. He doesn't correct us with punishments that come, one piled on another. His kindness brings us to repentance (Romans 2:4) when we need to repent, not His anger or His displeasure - not fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

He is not a tyrant, He is a loving father. Meg is right. The world is messed up and because of that, s*** happens - not because we are bad - not because we deserve it. That is not even the point.

So, did you hear from God? Again, I think Meg is right. Only you know the answer to that question. But I would ask, did the idea for Hannah's Dream come from inside you (your own heart - your 'gut') or outside you (so-called men of God - prophets)?

I pray God grant you Wisdom and the ability to see clearly - to know the Truth and be free.

Sherry at the Zoo said...

There is a wonderful little pamphlet written by Annette Caps titled "Quantum Faith". It's an interesting easy to read look at how Quantum Physics relate to the Bible. It may help you understand some of what is happening around you.

Once we lived in a house where everything went wrong. EVERYTHING. We moved as soon as possible. Even taking a financial hit to do so. I have no regrets.

Another book to read...Unbroken Curses. I forget the author, but it's pretty eye-opening as well. Good luck with this decision.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

This was a very heart felt post that you posted. Just a few thoughts- regarding Christian Contractors, Christian Dentists, Christian Doctors, etc. If they advertise "Christian" don't use them. I am a Christian. But I don't use the title as a way to make money. I don't use the title at all. A Christian shouldn't have to tell me that they are a Christian- I should be able to see that by their life. I once went to a "Christian" dentist that my mother-in-law recommended. I began to get worried when I saw in his office pamplets for joining a society of "Christian Businessman." This dentist wanted $1,400 to pull a tooth. When I got to a regular dentist the price was more like $100 to pull a tooth. I'm not knocking Christians- quite the contrary- I can't help but think of Jesus upsetting the moneychangers tables at the temple and telling them: "You have turned my Father's house into a den of thieves." Anyway, that is my 2 cents. :) My wife and I are also Foster parents. We have 3 lovely girls- siblings- that we are in the process of adopting.

Katherine Gunn said...


Yeah. I am finding that if someone feels the need to advertise they are a Christian "fill in the blank,' it probably means they are practicing an age old manipulator's trick called distraction. If they distract you from looking at what they actual do - how they operate - by calling themselves Christian, then they can keep doing what they do - employ underhanded or shoddy business practices - and say, "But I'm a Christian and Christians stick together, right?." BLEAH!

The saddest part is that people who are not Christians generally view us as a unit and when they see such hypocrisy, they apply it across the board. Then, when they accuse Christians of being hypocrites, how can you argue? They are right. I agree that the best thing is not to say it but to live it. Actions - lifestyles - attitudes - speak far louder than words and labels.

Tera Rose said...

I am overwhelmed by eveyone taking the time to reply to my posting here. Thankyou.

Thankyou for not being afraid of my story. Listening to me is perhaps the greatest gift that I can be given.

meg- I have printed out your response so that I can "chew on it". There is a lot of in what you say and I want it to settle into my brain.

fyi- we did have a foster son last year. that in itself is a long story. He left us but calls from time to time. this month we are up for recertification for our license to foster, we plan to go through the process...but we are asking ourselves, "is this what we really want to do?"

I hope that you find the answer to your dilema as well.

It is true- your description about God. I still believe that. I don't know how, but I do.

The problem with me is that I don't know how much of what I believed I was hearing from God was really from God. I think that when one walks away from a spiritually abusive church group, your brain is a bit confused. It is easier for me to scratch all of it and begin with a clean slate- I can go back to the knowlede of God from my childhood- where my experience was simple, pure and safe. That is where I begin my journey in trying to separate the truth from who/what God is versus what I have been lied to about.

I am convinced that God never changes- but I need to understand who I am in His eyes- and not through broken glasses nor rose colored ones either.

No, he is NOT an abusive father- but when one has been abused, one is more easily persuaded by dysfunctional leadership that God is lurking from every corner to abuse you.

Sherry- thanks for the books, I will look into them. Thanks also for continuing to peek in, read, listen and post. Your encouragement is recieved here....

Daniel- unfortunately at this point if someone tells us they are a christian; my husband and I quietly at home, sigh in sadness. Even when simply meeting new friends. We still have a wait and see attitude- but our first reaction is something akin to "Oh crap, what does that mean? Are they lunaticchristians....or do they really love Jesus......do we run like heck?"

We were taught, and truly believed that you "poured your resources into God's kingdom".

So, if we had a need and money-- say two people came to do the job; it would be better to support a "believing" family.

The story about the pastor however, is one that needs to be told.

It is a little more than "hiring" a christian. We believed that he was walking side by side with us in our vision......

I love to meet other foster parents- I was also a foster child and I LIVE for being hands on in the child welfare industry. Thanks for taking in 3 kids and making them your forever family. Sometimes we get more than we give if you know what I mean.

Again, thanks everyone for listening.....vitual tea pot is on......and I look forward to reading your blogs and writing more. This can be addicting. :)

Anonymous said...

Where do I go to get information about starting a "Hannah's Haven" in our area?