Tag Archives: Master’s Commission

Age 20- Springfield

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I left for the Springfield Master’s Commission with a friend who also decided to go at the beginning of October. I won’t get into all of the details about the program because they are pretty mundane. I did however, call about mid-way through the year wanting to move home. I think I was starting to wake up the sham that this program was. We were constantly preached at to not compromise with the world and ‘be ye separate” and all of that bs. I was frustrated with the program because I was just free labor for the directors. I didn’t get any leadership “training.” These people really didn’t know what they were doing nor was their integrity really up to par. They set the program up with another gal that was in her 3rd or 4th year and was on staff in Phoenix. Between the cussing, gossiping and dating students that weren’t allowed to date, I just about lost it on them. I felt that it was very hypocritical to expect their students to be damn near perfect but yet they could just do whatever they wanted. The girl on staff that was dating the first year denied dating him but it was very obvious. They are now married and have been for a while. These people also gossip and trashed many of the church members which I thought was really shitty because the church was housing their stupid program. They were all fakes. I couldn’t stand it. Anyhow, I have a major problem with confrontation. I realize now that it’s because of the abuse from my mother. I had called home and told my parents to come get me because I couldn’t stand being there anymore. Instead of complying with my request, my mother went behind my back and called the directors and asked what the heck was going on. They had no idea anything was going on because I never confronted them about it. They called me into a meeting and asked me what was going on. I couldn’t really say what I needed to say so I let them talk me into staying. They promised that they would make an effort to be more Christ-like and we all carried on.

Throughout the rest of the year, my  mother and I had a few fights via the phone. I still wasn’t getting the funding that I needed and I desperately needed a car. I just kept getting the same run-around from her that she didn’t have it. I didn’t know what was going on back at home but both my parents were working so I felt that their money issues were just a complete lack of irresponsibility and I was getting the brunt of it.  She was constantly berating be over the phone and complaining about money problems. I was really fed up. The end of the year came and my parents came up for my graduation. I was going to stay the summer to help with youth camp and retreat and possibly come back for a 3rd year. My real plan was not only camp, but I needed to find a way to stay and not move back. I knew I wasn’t going back to Master’s Commission for a 3rd year. They never even approached me about it. I worked diligently trying to find a place and a job. The family that I lived with gave me until August. I thought I had a temporary place with a friend who lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with a friend. The rent was already cheap and then we would split it three ways. They backed out because they thought they were “enabling” me. WTF. They didn’t understand what I was trying to get away from, though and I think they were scared of the fact that I didn’t own anything. Another friend lent me her pickup over the summer while she was out of the country so I could get a job and on my feet. The month of June I spent helping with youth camp and applying for jobs. June came to a close and my roommate decided that she wasn’t going to move back to her home in Tennessee. She had a roommate for her little house but that fell through so she asked if I was interested. I had just got a job at a furniture store but hadn’t made a paycheck just yet but she was ok with that. So, I had a place, a job, but no car. Dana was going to be beck in a few weeks so I had to figure something out. It was going to work out, I really believed it and if it didn’t, there was always public transportation or I could get a bike. No big deal.

Since things were coming together so well, I felt that it was time to tell my mother that I wasn’t moving home. You would have thought that I murdered her cat or ended up in jail. She flipped out. I don’t know that I had seen her go that crazy in a long while and I was really glad that I was 5 hours away from her. Oh, I told her on her answering machine because she didn’t pick up the phone. She had already been so hateful to me that I just didn’t want to talk to her on the phone. She called the house and talked to the family I lived with and my roommate on two different phone calls. I’m sorry, she didn’t talk to them like a mature adult… she screamed and threatened. She told my roommate, “you tell her that I’m coming up there to move her shit home for her!! She is coming back whether she likes it or not!!” Kelly was pretty awesome with that phone call. “You do realize that she is a legal adult and you can’t do that. We could have you arrested,” she told her. So my mother never came up. She also called the church and chewed out the pastor and the Master’s Commission director. She was out to blame anyone and everyone. She finally got a hold of me. This was before cell phones and I had been busy working. I had picked up two jobs by then so I wasn’t home much. I informed her that I had two jobs and a place to stay. All that I needed was a car and some furniture and I was going to be fine. She assured me that I wouldn’t and couldn’t make it on my own and that I needed her. She didn’t say this nicely at all. In the midst of her freak out she revealed 3 of the reasons why she wanted me home: 1) she was losing a dependent on her taxes which meant less money in tax returns 2) she wanted me to go to college with her even thought I informed her the year before that I wasn’t interested in computer science anymore. 3) The church… what were the church people going to think? According to her, they sent me to this program so I would come home and be the youth pastor. I was never informed of this plan so I called bullshit. The couple that we lived with saw what I was trying to get away from and in no time offered to dip into savings and help me get a car. He bought be a 1982 Volvo 5-speed for $500. I would pay him back $100/month for five months. It was the greatest thing any one has ever done for me. I am forever grateful to them for that. Kelly and I moved into our little house at the beginning of August and I was on my way to being an independent adult.

Back in my hometown, my mother was just out of control. I still spoke to a couple of friends every now and then. I found out that she told people at the church that I had gotten mixed up in drugs and sex and had totally backsliden. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was working two jobs and was a youth leader when I wasn’t working.  Luckily, nobody believed her. She still complains how people at the church turned their backs on her. Here was reason number 2.

The In Between Summer

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The summer after Master’s Commission was insane. We were at each others throats. It wasn’t entirely her fault. I was so brainwashed that I pretty much couldn’t live with anyone that wasn’t under the “spell” of this discipleship program. In Master’s we were taught to be so separated from the “world” in order to be more full of the holy spirit. This was such a load of horseshit. The only thing that did was make me a worse bitch than my mother. I was difficult to be around. I know in part that I really didn’t want to be back at home. I was restless. I needed to get a job but I had such an attitude about taking a “worldly” job. I really wanted to get a job at a church. However, it couldn’t be a Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, etc, etc. Those denominations were all cults and rejected the activity of the holy spirit. I was seriously full of it. Shit that is. I was full of shit. At least I admit it! I was hard on my to get a regular job. I felt like I was compromising myself and selling out. I had been called to greater things- not activating Sear’s credit cards at a call center.

I now know that I was suffering from depression as well. I couldn’t tell you if it was chemical or situational. I don’t know but it was definitely depression. I just wanted to hide and cry all the time. I felt like I was being held back. I needed to jump into ministry and get to work. I just couldn’t get anything done that I wanted to because of the lack of money and a car. I was at the mercy of my mother. She stopped demanding my paychecks, so that was good. I was able to start saving up a little but I was never taught very good money management skills so it seemed like my money dissolved pretty quickly.

Not too long after coming back from Arizona, we went to a women’s retreat. I thought it would be great. I was so will and open to the holy spirit and I really wanted the Lord to speak to me. I just needed direction. My mother was very irritated with me. We were constantly bickering. Much of it had to do with her unforgiving spirit. She held so many grudges and was just a toxic person. She just couldn’t give anything to the Lord. She spoke deeply of her faith and read her bible and devotional every morning but she definitely didn’t pray hard enough. This was my worldview from Master’s Commission. Basically, if you didn’t pray like a raving maniac then you didn’t love Jesus. So now you can see why I was just plain rude to other people around me. My relationship with God was very calculated. This is just my personality though. I’m not a very spontaneous person. Dave and Scotty just didn’t give a shit about being as fervent and full of shit the holy spirit as I was. I pestered everyone constantly. They all felt comfortable where they were in their Christian walk and didn’t need someone else, other than the pastor, telling them what to do. I really can’t blame them now. At this retreat, the main speaker had us all line up at the front so she could pray over us and speak a word into my life. I was hoping that my word would be some direction on what I would do next and where I would go. Nope. Instead I was told to stop pretending to be like other people and just be myself. That just wasn’t what I needed to hear. I felt that I had worked really hard all year “being myself.” I left the room and curled up in a big chair in the foyer and cried. I wanted to kill myself. I felt like I couldn’t live. There were things that I wanted to do with my life but I felt like I was in shackles. At this point I really didn’t want to go to school for computers because I thought that I was being called to ministry. Christian colleges were expensive so there was no way that I was going to go. Besides, my mother was only going to fill out my financial aid if I went to school for computers – with her. Yes, she wanted us to go to school together. Funny thing about this woman… she has always tried to play me out to be her best friend. I never wanted that. Now that I was an adult, she thought that she had a shopping buddy and someone to bitch about her marriage to. What the actual fuck. Yes, bitch about the guy that molested me. She wanted a “girlfriend,” and wanted me to fill that position. I didn’t want that. This was another thing that made things very tense between us.

Another issue that was screaming at me in my face was dating. I was 19 almost 20. I honestly never had a boyfriend other than that pathetic two month stint with the guy that my mother hooked me up with and the tryst I had with a guy that was engaged. The only social outlet that I had was at church. Work wasn’t one since it was a call center. There was absolutely no socializing there. There were a few young men at my church but I wasn’t really interested in any of them. There was a couple of brothers that went there before I left and I had a huge crush on one of them but he started dating Melanie’s sister and didn’t attend our fellowship anymore. My mother was fucking hell bent on hooking me up. I swear to everything under the sun, she was almost pimping me out. It was so uncomfortable, awkward and fucking rude. One guy was actually very good looking. He had just graduated from Texas A&M and was a gymnast. Is biceps were amazing, he had sandy blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and a nice smile. He also dressed well. He was also gay. My mother didn’t get this. Dave picked up on it right away and then I learned that other people in the church new. He was undergoing gay-to-straight therapy. Dave said that his father asked for prayer at a men’s breakfast because he had a son that was gay. We knew who it was because one son was engaged, the other had a girlfriend and the other was just flaming obvious. I feel sorry for him now. The other guy was like an 80 year old man in a 25 year old’s body. He was nice and courteous. He also wore his jeans above his navel with his polo shirt tucked in very tightly. I’m not all for judging a book by it’s cover but it was very obvious that this guy was a hard core mama’s boy. He still lived at home, never went to college and was working a job making minimum wage. I needed more than that in a man and I just couldn’t stand the way that he dressed. I didn’t know enough about relationships but I did know that you should be attracted to many aspects of a potential lover because you will not change them. Changing people wasn’t my M.O. I wanted someone that was “made” for me and none of these guys were it. Ok, so what did my mother do that was so horrible? After Dave got through to her about guy A being gay, she stopped with him. She didn’t stop with navel jeans guy. She kept striking up conversations with him after church and then would interrupt me by yelling across the sanctuary to come over to her. I’d get there and then she would just sit there and stare at us. I’d say hi to him but we had absolutely nothing in common worth talking about. After about 15 seconds of her bullshit I told him that I’d see him later and got out of that situation. She did this a few times. Then there was the church luau. Everybody got to get a picture taken. I just wanted one with my brother. That wasn’t good enough. She got navel jeans guy to come over and take a picture with me. I’m still embarrassed by her and it’s been 14 years. I finally had to tell her to stop. She got offended and her feelings were hurt and of course she had to tell me all about it. I basically told her that I would NEVER date a guy that she picked. I didn’t care if it was Brad Pitt. It wasn’t going to happen. That was something personal to me and I deserved the right to choose a mate for myself. “Fine then…” was her reaction. Besides, I had my head so far up Jesus’ ass that I couldn’t even think of dating.

I thought all the abuse from Dave was behind me, especially since I had to forgive him and move one. One day my mother and I were heading down the hallway to her room. My room was the first bedroom and theirs was the last. As we passed my room, Dave was hunched over my laundry basket with a pair of my underwear in his hand. My mother and I both blurted out, “What are you doing?!?!”

“Nothing. I was just looking for something.” And then he left my room. My mother asked him one more time and he wouldn’t answer. I think it was pretty obvious what he was doing. One more opportunity for her to see how much of a pervert he was. One more opportunity that she passed up to do the right thing.

September came around and I was starting to consider moving out. The problem was that I had nothing to fill a house with other than what was in my room and even though I was working, I barely had anything to show for. The other problem was that I really wanted to move far away. I knew that if I got a place near my parents, that would just be the end of anything I ever wanted in my life. She would officially control everything because it would be mostly her effort in getting me set up in an apartment and what-not. One evening we got a phone call. They spoke to my mother while I wasn’t there and she took a phone number. When I got home she gave it to me and told me it was some people from Master’s Commission. I was confused because I thought they didn’t want anything to do with me. Turned out to be a couple that did the program and graduated the year before I went. They were starting their own Master’s Commission in Springfield, MO. They were interested if I wanted to come out and do my second year with them and help them start up. Yes, yes I was. “Get me out of here, I’ll do anything,” I thought to myself.

Age 19- Out of there

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There were some things that my mother did that I appreciated. She put on nice birthday parties for me. She would give our guests the royal treatment so people would think that she was not so bad. She conspired with a few of my friends to throw a birthday and going away party for me. It wasn’t elaborate or anything but we had a great time. After Labor Day, I was off. We made a road trip out of it and my brother came along. We had never been more west than where we lived near OKC so seeing mountains and desert was really cool. The thing about my mother to not forget is that anytime she does something nice for someone, she holds it over their heads for an eternity. It was very obvious that she loved me. I had no doubt about that. The unfortunate thing, though, is that if I stepped out of line with her at all she would remind me of all that she had done for me. Like making this trip. We didn’t raise enough money to pay for my entire tuition but it was enough to pay for half which was fine. I could always send out letters for more donations later. The church also agreed to fund me $150 every month to help with groceries and personal expenses. I told the pastor NOT to give the money directly to my mother, but rather deposit directly into my account. Dave had taken her off of my account because she kept taking the money and set it up so the church could make deposits. The pastor didn’t quite understand why I made such a request. Turned out, I rarely ever got the money. I’d get maybe $50 here and $20 there but it certainly wasn’t $150/ month. We were housed in an apartment that was not walking distance to the church. All of our schooling and work was at church.  I could bring snacks but normally I couldn’t afford snacks on $50/month for the 4 of us. Now, the other 3 roommates did have their own money so they would pitch in but usually whatever they bought was specifically theirs and not to be touched. I was able to swing buying enough for breakfast and dinner and a ton of Ramen. I pretty much survived off of grapefruit (it grows a plenty in Phoenix) and Ramen. I missed lunch many times. I ended up having blood sugar issues and by the time I left the program I had lost a bunch of weight and my hair was falling out. I realize now that this group is a cult. They prey on young, naive and gullible teenagers without much direction. What we did for the most part was free labor for the church. The church was a mega church. It was huge with big water fountains in the front and a massive sanctuary. I was so brainwashed by them though, that I really believed that what I was doing was bringing me closer to God and I was becoming disciplined in my Christian walk. The truth was that I was being abused, neglected and taken advantage of.

I sent out almost 200 letters to raise funds for the second half of the program. I sent them to everyone that I knew. I was desperate. There was no way I wanted to go back home. I also liked it there. I didn’t realize that I was brainwashed until much later. I really liked what I did and I worked hard. I really wanted to be accepted back for the leadership training. I had heard so many stories of God coming through for people who didn’t have the money. Things like random donors and such. I was praying hard and hoping for the best. Out of 200 letters I raised $100. I needed $3500. Yeah. It sucked. They ended up letting me stay anyway. I guess the main guy felt that I wasn’t finished and needed to be there. I was also beginning to open up about my abuse. Once again I was given the whole forgiveness spiel. The monkey was still on my back. “Give it to the Lord,” they’d say so I did. At least I thought I did. There was the whole notion that “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle,” and “it isn’t that he didn’t stop it but that he allowed it to make you a stronger person!” Well, I certainly wasn’t a strong person. I was a scared, scarred, and broken little girl. I just wanted someone to rescue me. When I was little, I would have dreams of being kidnapped because being kidnapped might have been better than what I had. As a teenager, I contemplated suicide because I thought I would never get away from the madness that was my family.

This ministry program was really whack, though. I was having sexual issues stemming from my abuse and instead of lending me some support and help I was subjected to torturous preaching. These people would preach about not masturbating and controlling your thoughts. That’s not so easy for someone who was force-fed pornography for 10 years. This stuff was ingrained in my brain. It felt like I had a reel or porn going through my mind 24/7. It was always like that. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to not think of sex for 5 minutes but I couldn’t. Whenever I would try to talk to someone about it, I was just told to pray about it. Well folks, prayer didn’t work. Those thoughts never went away and I was tortured with them day and night. Now I’m being told that Jesus isn’t in my heart because I am “unclean” and might not be really saved. This was depressing. I knew it was pointless talking to anyone about it because nobody cared to listen. I wasn’t lucky enough to get into the “cool kids club” so nobody in leadership even gave a crap about me. I was hoping to get some healing while I was there but that didn’t happen. The end of the year came and I did not get accepted back. I collapsed in tears. This meant that I had to move back home. I really wanted to stay in Arizona. I loved it there. The only thing that was said to me was “You just aren’t a leader.”

I made friends there that I thought would last a lifetime. I really wanted to spend some time with them the night of graduation since I was leaving the next day. My mother got upset because she had driven all the way there and wanted to spend time with me. I didn’t get to say goodbye to really anyone. Not a big deal now. Nobody ever returned my phone calls or emails. Some friends.

Age 18

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This was it! I was a legal adult and it was my senior year of high school. I had been considering college but hadn’t really made any moves yet. I was still so busy with work and now I had church in between. I also joined a Christian club at school that met up once a month. My group of friends totally changed. I went from having friends that sat around gloating over Gwen Stefani to a group that went to underground Christian punk concerts. I was a busy girl. I did have an idea of what I wanted to do. I was pretty good on computers so I figured that it would be a good move for me to go to community college and work toward a degree in information technology. I didn’t consider applying to larger colleges because my ACT score was ridiculously low. I made a 17. I knew it was because I didn’t study for it and a lot of the stuff on it that I learned in school I really just flew through to get the work done and didn’t really learn it. The test was also the same day as prom so my mind was in a million different directions. There was an ACT prep class available but it had to be paid for which was a no for me. I still had no idea where my money was. I knew money was tight for my parents. My mother has always denied ever taking a penny from me and swears that anything she took she paid back. That just isn’t true. I barely ever did anything. Any time I went to the mall, she might have given me $20. That was enough to buy lunch and a clearance rack shirt. I also was going without lunch way too often. 11th and 12th grade were in a different building that 9th and 10th. This meant that there was no cafeteria and no buses. This was because most juniors and seniors ate off campus for lunch and had cars. My mother didn’t have a problem with me eating off campus but the problem was that she only gave me $10 a week. I lived on the other side of town. It was about an 8 mile drive from the school to my house so I couldn’t go home. $2/ day just wasn’t enough. I was always put on a guilt trip anytime I inquired about the money. I know (I think) she was doing the best she could. If the money wasn’t there then it just wasn’t there. Friends spotted me money but I know that they grew weary of doing that.

At church, the youth pastor that was there when we first started going had taken a job somewhere else and moved on so the church had to hire someone new. They decided on a Mexican guy that was full of “holy ghost fire” from California. This guy was all about the inner city and teens. He still is. I still know him and I believe that he has a good heart. After he was officially hired, he had brought in a ministry group from Phoenix, AZ called Master’s Commission. First of all, from an Oklahoma perspective, these people were really cool. They were from all over the country. They basically came in and did what is called “human videos.” It’s where they take a song and act out scenes. They were really good and the scenes were touching and moving. They also preached. They were fervent and passionate. They also wanted to recruit! Master’s Commission was (is) a 9 month discipleship program. They typically only recruit people between the ages of 18 and 25. While in the program, you aren’t allowed to date, contact with family and friends is very limited, there is a lot of work, and it costed $5000. This covered room and board and $50/week of groceries for 4 people. I was enthralled by these people and the idea of getting the hell out of Oklahoma sounded great! Part of the program also involves traveling and doing ministry at churches and schools. This group brought in a crowd that overflowed the sanctuary. They were rock stars. It was all people were talking about for weeks. I had never thought of ministry but the deeper I got with my faith it was definitely something to consider. Unlike college, there wasn’t scholarships so I was going to have to raise money. The funny thing is, my mother 150% supported me going. There was no way she was going to foot any of the bill though. The idea was starting to really grow on me. They touted this program as a substitute for college. They even had courses that you could take for credit, but that cost extra of course. This ball was beginning to roll.