An Open Letter to the former members of Truth Triumphant Ministries

I can not keep having the same conversation with you all and perhaps if I just write a letter, I can copy and paste each time one of you finds out that I am now an other. Yes, I am now an other.

I am no longer a Christian. I am not an conservative evangelical fundamentalist yet non-denominational Christian.

And yes, just stating that will make you pray without ceasing for my troubled soul.

Do as you please. Just stop contacting me. Stop “witnessing” to me. Stop sending bible scriptures to me. I OWN A BIBLE. But I bet you’ve never even heard of the kybalion. Please, most of you haven’t even heard of anything beyond what “HE” taught us.

HE..not being god but being the pastor.

Yes, I know you all knew me when was 10 and quoting the bible like I wrote it. And you wanted your kids to grow up like me because I was a youth leader in the nursery, the youth leader for the ushers, the co captain of the praise dance ministry, the captain of the step team, the editor in chief of the youth newsletter, a member of the drama ministry, an alto in the youth choir. Yes, I was asked to speak for youth services.  You remember sweet Sheena, who was obedient and quiet and well mannered. You remember little Sheena who, instead of talking to her friends during the pastor’s sermon, would write detailed notes of the sermon and then write reports on them later. I still have my notes and journals full of every Sunday and Wednesday service.

I know you remember that. And what you see now, shocks you and scares you and makes you uncomfortable and makes you want to evangelize and makes you want to run and hide and makes you want to judge me because I don’t serve the same god as you.

Listen. One. That sweet Sheena you remember was a facade. My ex step father who was a deacon in that  church, who you probably still are friends with, was sexually abusing me for the ENTIRE time that you knew me in that church. I hope for your sake he never sexually abused any of your children too.

Two. And the pastor, he knew. But he told me I’d go to hell, if I went to the police. So I keep being sweet Sheena. I was sweet Sheena because i was scared I’d go straight to hell. Any person in leadership who knows a child is being abused and even has the abuser admit it, is obligated to report that to the authorities. Your beloved leader did not do that. Thus he enabled it to happen for years later.

Three. I’m not a heathen. Perhaps a heathen to your religious cause. But according to my spiritual beliefs, I am one with God. Let’s just agree to disagree.

Four. I don’t believe all Christians are psychos. I believe the ones who continue to pester me when I ask them to stop are. I believe the ones who continue to spout an outdated bible at me while behind closed doors they do everything antithetical to those very words are. I believe the ones who are SO offended by me and yet continue to friend me on facebook, read my blog and send me emails are. IF I BOTHER YOU, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE. I mean, if God really spoke to you and told you to reach out to me, tell God to speak to me. I don’t do the middle man shit. God needs to tell us both that you have become his messenger. And if you really just need to pray for me, fine. But leave me out of the equation. Do I email you with judgemental tendencies, spiritual inaccuracies, annoying quotes, and blurred memories of a shared past? No. So don’t do it to me. The day, God tells me to become a Christian again, I’ll be sure to seek you out so you can say the sinner’s prayer with me.

Five. Unlike your limited beliefs where you believe anyone who isn’t a christian is ANTI or needs to be witnessed to, to change to your beliefs…I don’t believe that in reverse. I’m not anti christian. If you knew me at all, you’d know that MOST of my friends are CHRISTIANS. And not liberals ones at that. Shot, I believe too many of them are a bit too conservative, but what ever floats their boat.

Six. Stop taking everything so personal. GOD DAMN!

Seven. As many of us are apt to do because of twitter, facebook, myspace, blogs and everything else, we have all started friending each other again. Before you email me another FREAKING scripture, email me a, “hello. how are you? what have you been up to lately?” Get to know me before you tell me how i should be living. I am not the 10 year old you once knew. I am a woman now and things have changed.

Eight. Listen, except for a small handful of you, I don’t trust most of you. Some of you are still friends with Daniel. I think that is sick and perverted. If you saw what he did at night to his child, perhaps you wouldn’t be so quick to steal my mother’s pictures of the kids off facebook and email them to him. You know who you are. Sick bastards!

Nine. If this in no way applies to you, then it doesn’t apply to you. See point six about not taking things personally.

Ten. I believe in God. I just don’t believe in him like that twisted pastor taught us to believe. That pastor taught me that God wanted my step father to keep abusing me because he was a deacon. That pastor taught me that God would send me to hell for holding my step father responsible for abusing me. That pastor, that God and that church is some bullshit! So I believe in God. Just not like you do.

Eleven. Keep in mind. I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I’m not hurt. I’m no longer a victim. I have released Daniel. In your terms it would mean, I have forgiven him. I might have a day or two where memories of him piss me off. Or I might get stuck for a few minutes because one of you crazy people triggered a bad memory by bringing his name up. But I’m not a victim. Again, I’m different now. I live a wonderful life surrounded by amazing people and each day I get to live my life fully! Live your life fully and leave me the hell alone.

Twelve. Father abused me so I’m not a christian IS NOT THE EQUATION. But if you are interested in my spiritual journey, let’s have tea and talk. I’d love to hear about yours too.

Thirteen. Some of you feel enlightened now that you are free from the spell of that cult like place. Great for you. But now that the spirit has moved you to a higher place, don’t use that as a time to write letters and emails sending it out to the rest of us who were banned years ago. You have no idea what place we are in now. Some people are probably still hurt. Some people are probably still in therapy. Some people are probably still mad as hell. Some people probably don’t give a flying fuck. Some people don’t want to hear a word from you. Some people would rather you skip the long letter of bs and again just email and say, “hi. how are you? what have you been up to?” that is what I would like.

If you are interested in having a conversation with me. Don’t start with the bible. I’ll hang up the phone, block your emails and think that perhaps you should go fuck yourself. But if you start with a hello, I just might think the world of you.

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Showing 18 comments
  • OneSurvivor
    Reply

    Wow! You certainly tell it like it is. Great idea to just write it out instead of having to repeat it all the time.

    • SLY
      Reply

      Lol. I had too. Just two days ago I got another email from a former member telling me I needed to stop being bitter and forgive and move on and blah blah blah. I just copied and pasted for him! After he got a better clue and off his high horse, he sent another email that began with, “Hi. How are you? What are you up to?” Lol

  • OneSurvivor
    Reply

    That is great!!!

  • CJ
    Reply

    LOL! Go Sheena! (note to self…don’t be like the others :-)

    • SLY
      Reply

      I don’t know how to be like anyone but myself! Its funny though how often I have to send this letter to the crazy people!

  • Julie
    Reply

    Wao!!!! you survive all that? how? what was the source of your power? how can you move on? I know to many question! YOu know I have a few more…. but I beleve you rather talk of your succes in other way. anyway keep it up!

    • Sheena LaShay
      Reply

      @Julie, wow. Those are some loaded questions. What was the source of my power? I was. I survived because I did not want to die and crumble. My inner knowing, my intuition, that still quiet voice inside me guided me through all of that. How can I move on? Well, I made the decision to heal and I sought out all sorts of ways to go about healing! But really though, I’d need to write a whole blog post to answer you! What are some of your other questions?

  • Priscilla
    Reply

    Sheena, How the hell r u? I was looking for “Truth Triumphant” for bible lessons from a revelation seminar when I came across ur letter. I was so happy to see u are a survivor. Welcome to the club. I would like to talk with u. Not about what we went through or how we made it but about what we r doing now. Our likes and our age and so on. OH Btw I hope I wasn’t about to get info from the church u came from. Thank you for posting ur letter. I hope I hear from u. Take care, Priscilla

    • Sheena LaShay
      Reply

      @Priscilla, I’m sorry for the delay in my response! Yikes. I’d love to talk to you. My email address is Sheena at SheenaLashay dot com. And you can call me at 347.470.5745!

  • Sara
    Reply

    Hi, Ms. Sheena,
    stumbled upon your open letter to former members of Truth Triumphant Ministries by some fluke of computerland. I am moved to commend you on your journey into the courage to break away from a cult.

    I am 75 years old so we are not contemporaries, but I will say this: “You Go, Girl!” You sound like a wonderful young woman.I would be proud to know you.

    I too broke away from Organized Religion many years ago (In my 20s) but I have not lost sight of nor my belief in God. You say it perfectly: “I believe in God. I just don’t believe in him like that twisted pastor taught us to believe.”

    I know God has Blessed you. I wish you all the good wishes your existance can hold.

  • Larry Stapleton
    Reply

    Hi Sheena. I can relate to your story only in this way. I grew up an atheist by default and chose to stay that way when I came of age because the “god” that was pictured to me by the surrounding culture was not what I knew God would be like if He were really there. I finally got fed up with living life with no hope of a future beyond this life and decided to find out if God were really there. I found Him, or rather He found me. Also, I discovered that 99% of so-called Bible believers do not interpret the Bible properly. The “god” most Christians believe in is the “god of this world” not the God of the Bible. God and I have now been on a journey for 39 years and I now know that just like it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of man, not many true believers.

  • David Lee
    Reply

    Hello Sheena:

    I was never a member there but I used to visit. I wondered what happened to the church. I am so disturbed and disappointed by what you experienced. Not fair for a child to experience that by anyone and most certainly someone who professes a relationship with Christ. I am sorry but glad that you are no longer living under that bondage physically and mentally. Kudos to you! I wish you all the best. I would love to have a conversation with you. Again, I was not a member but I frequented TTM quite a bit. Let me know if you’re up to talking.

    Sincerely,

    David

  • Ms. C.
    Reply

    I think there are a lot of ministries with the same name. Where is Truth Triumphant Ministries located? Who is the Pastor if I may politely ask please?

    • SheenaLaShay
      Reply

      This church was located in Chicago and the Pastor was Gary Brown.

  • Rose Massey
    Reply

    Hi Sheena,
    I don’t know you personally, and obviously you don’t know me either.
    I stumbled across this page and I felt it.
    I am so sorry for what you went through. I literally felt what you wrote.
    What those people did to you was completely wrong. They are not real Christians, definitely not true followers of the Word, and that’s a fact. I was working for a church recently as a Bible worker (someone who gives studies on different Bible subjects) and I saw some real corruptions. (Very different from your situation) anyways, it sounds like you are even stronger and your eyes have been opened wider, and I’m glad to hear that. I just felt impressed to stop here on your blog and tell you that God loves you very much. You are important. You are relevant. The things you have witnessed, God is writing down and He will judge it all. The devil successfully used wicked men to attempt to bring you down but you stood up! Good for you! I hope you’re having a wonderful day friend. Blessings to you!
    With much love,
    Rose

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