My Story…

This page and the articles archived under it will specifically deal with control in the church.  They will tell the story of my time under something similar to “Shepherding Movement” and how it affected my life, marriage, friendships and view of God.  It is a story of control, broken dreams, devastation and a Redeeming God.

You can read the sequel to this page in which I talk about the road to healing here.

If you have any questions regarding this topic please feel free to email me at:

jana (dot) bishop @ gmail.com

Thank you!!

Jana

34 thoughts on “My Story…

  1. Jana: I read your story some time back and just check the blogs occasionally. I’m familar with the church and leadership you were under. It seems to be a turnstile as people continue to go in and then get flung out. Many have said you need to write a book and I concur that you have a true gift with written words. I’d just like to say that you don’t have to write a book, you already have. Just publish it. Blessings, Mike

  2. I grieve for the above post…I so desperately pray that God will reveal what is truly going on to him/her. That the blinders will be removed, that discernment will be given, that a hedge of protection will be placed around him/her and the family.

  3. Jana thank you so much for sharing your story. I don’t really know you or your husband but I went to MCA right after y’all left for Louisiana and I know OF you =) I’m so sorry for what you went through and am so so so glad to see that you guys found healing and are still loving Jesus. As I read this I was just reminded of how important our freedom in Christ is…”it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free…” not to fulfill another man’s purpose, but the purpose God had in mind for us as He knit us together in our mother’s womb AND to enjoy the abundant life Christ died to give us. It is also a reminder to me, as a leader in the church, of the responsibility I have to lead the right way – not lording over, but loving and serving. Thank you thank you THANK you. You are a breath of fresh air and honesty. I will now be so aware of the subtlety of manipulation and control – should it ever emerge in me or others. Seriously – God continue to bless you and your family with love, joy, peace and every spiritual blessing we have access to because of Jesus.

    Rachel

  4. Jana,

    Thank you so much for your candidness and for willing to be open and share your story. I believe you are not the only one that has experienced this and because of your braveness has helped others, such as myself, to be free from any feelings of guilt or wrong doing.

    When I was in the youth group I experienced a lot of belittling, grief, and even one time physical abuse. I lived under a constant cloud of fear that I was going to do something wrong and get yelled at.

    Now I know I wasn’t alone, and the problem was never me.

    Thank you!

  5. We need to talk! How I miss your infectious laughter mixed with a pan of hot brownies and blue bell ice cream. Please let me hear from you….we need a good, long girl night like the days of old. Your words and expressions of pain and healing blow me away. I have sat with my daughters and read every word fighting back tears for the pain that you have suffered. How proud I am of you for growing through your pain and then allowing yourself to further your healing as you in turn minister to others. I love you now more than ever!

  6. Jana,

    I know we haven’t talked in billion years but my sis told me about your blog and I pretty much sat down and read the entire thing. WOW!

    Seriously…you have GOT to write a book. For starters, your story needs to be told. Moreover, you are a word-smith in every sense and I believe that God can use you to bring healing to a lot of folks!

  7. Hey Jana,
    What’s up! Man, it has been a long time. Tell Barry I said hi! I hope you guys are doing well. You are in Cali now, right? Elysia had mentioned your blog a couple times so when I saw your post on facebook this afternoon I figured I would take a look. I have only read your latest post, and a few other snippets, but very interesting stuff. I had no idea all of that was going on. It is interesting because I often wonder what my life would look like had I stayed in Masters longer then my 2 year stint. I guess I made the right decision 🙂

    It is very sad. Power most assuredly corrupts and this is exceptionally true in the church. A hobby of mine is studying church history. And honestly it is quite depressing. Sometimes I am even ashamed to identify myself with the Christian movement at all. For awhile I even considered myself an atheist, but luckily I came to realize that the church does not equal God. I think about my negative opinions of the church, and I have not had nearly the experiences you have had. You guys have some incredible faith.

    I just wish that more people (church leaders) worried about the basics before moving on to all the other “rules” they feel are so important. Once I master loving God with all my heart and truly loving my neighbor as myself, maybe then I will worry about all the other crap.

    Hopefully the folks in LA will realize that they need to fix themselves before trying to fix everyone else.

    And remember the most important question, and really the only one that matters…..”so, what do you think about cloning?” hahaha

    Anyways….I look forward to reading the rest of your blog!

    And, I wish you and Barry good luck in your future endeavors!!

    Rick

  8. Rest assure, this is for everone who has read this blog and who will in the future…including me as a REMINDER!

    I have read several blog entries on this site and the Ross’ site. I cant read anymore for the simple profound facts: I know all of you very well and I will not let the enemy use your blogs entries to pollute my mind any further with bitterness that I want to carry about each of you (even if its just for a split second)! I love you all dearly and pray for you to heal completely. Also for the profound fact that I love the church and pastors that you have spoken against. My family and thousands of others are thankful for the spiritual family and vision we are a part of. I dont speak on their behalf in this entry, Jesus already does that. I speak on behalf of Jesus reminding us all of the Cross!

    Here’s the REMINDER: Forgiven!

    True forgiveness is non-negotiable. Forgiveness does not depend on fairness, feelings, right or wrong issues – God simply says forgive as I have forgiven you.

    Thank God when He forgives us of our wrong, abusive, mistreated, sinful ways toward Him; that He does care to blog about them to the world for them learn about them through their past.

    Forgiveness sets the stage for freedom and healing. It releases both parties and it bears fruit of reconciliation.

    Forgiveness is the setting of one’s will, making the decision that release is granted to the offending person or situation (sometimes its an oraganization or a body of people more than just an individual). When we forgive, we choose to set them free. We dont hold any resentment, bitterness or retaliation ( in the name a bloggin ) – we even let go of the feeling!

    Thought provoking question: Is forgiving others truly asking you to do more than Jesus has done for you?

    No one needs to know my name – just the name Forgiven! This is His Story

    1. The thougt provoking question still resounds: Is forgiving others truly asking you to do more than Jesus has done for you?

      I understand the Bible. It was written as infallible – absolute truth and accurate.

      However mans word (story, testimony, blogs) are fallible – deceiving, not accurate and twisted truth.

      1. I have removed all replies to Forgiven from my blog, simply because I know and love this person and I do not want them to be under any criticism for being so brave to comment. Thanks all! 🙂

      2. Bottom line, If you see something happening the feel very strongly is wrong or hurtful, would you simply let it continue? If you saw a person beating their child, would you simply sit back and watch it happen and then say its ok, because God will forgive them? I certainly hope not. Thats how strongly I and I know a lot of others feel about this situation. Another question, if i do not believe what you believe, and decide to speak about it, does that mean that what I think and feel is not valid? Does it mean because I think differently than you I am deceiving or twisting the truth? Am I supposed to keep quiet because you dont feel the same as I do? We are all forgiven. It is an excellent point you make. But we are all also expected to answer for the choices we make in our lives, both good and bad. You said yourself that man’s word is fallible. The same applies then to the men that you believe too. The bible, which you said yourself is infallible says for each of us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. To me that means a very personal and close relationship with God. Whats right for me is not neccessarily right for you, we must simply trust what we feel God is calling us to do and believe that his plan will be fulfilled in us.

    2. I have removed all replies to Forgiven from my blog, simply because I know and love this person and I do not want them to be under any criticism for being so brave to comment. Thanks all! 🙂

  9. I am so stunned after reading all of this I don’t know what to say! It is unbelievable!!

    Praying that God is mending and healing your hearts and that you are lifted and grown here. Thanking God for being a part of your new ministry! I love you both!

  10. I just sat down and read all your My Story blogs that you have up. I think I may have missed an appointment, but this was more important. 🙂 You are a truly gifted writer. I’m at a loss for words at the moment, but thank you from the deepest part of my being for sharing all that you have.

  11. Jana, I have sat on my couch for the last hour and a half reading all of your blogs on this page. It wasn’t until I got to Perfectly Ironic, that I realized that you weren’t finished telling the story! Not to rush you or anything, but I am on the edge of my seat. You are an amazing writer and you obviously have wisdom and experience beyond your years. I am certain, after reading so many supportive and empathetic comments, that you are not only healing your own soul through this writing venture, but also the hearts and souls of so many others who were in the exact situation or a similar one. Thank you for having the guts to share this story of Man’s Manipulation vs God’s Good Grace.

    1. Thank you Amanda! It has certainly been a journey, but I am so thankful to be able to share and help others through it. Love you guys so much and I definitely appreciate the encouragement!

  12. Babe…you’re writtings truly grip me in great ways that I didn’t expect. I’m so proud of you and grateful to be with you; then,now, and forever. Keep up the “good works”!
    Love and Love again. B

  13. Ok Jana, really, you have GOT TO write a book. Every installment of your blog leaves me wanting to read more. You have a real gift for writing and it’s a complete shame that more people are not getting to benefit from it. Seriously girl, you have got to get going on a book. : ) Be blessed!

    Kristi

    1. I agree with Kristi’s comment below, about you writing a book. I was thinking the same thing the other day when I was reading your posts! Thanks for being open, honest, and willing to share your heart. Love you tons!

      1. Kristi and Patsy you are both so kind to even say that…thank you! I don’t know that I could ever do a book…I’m a bloggin’ kinda gal. 🙂

        I love and appreciate each and every one of the comments you have left for me…thank you for taking the time to make my day.

  14. Jana,

    I have been reading your story – my heart is sickened and broken by the abuse you and Barry have endured. I can’t believe people can do this in the name of Christ.

    I know we have never had a chance to meet, but by reading your blog I can tell that you and I could be lifetime friends. And whether you or Barry know it or not, he will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts. We know his love for God and his desire to serve Him, and to hear that those qualities were exploited is almost more than I can bear.

    Reading this also explains so much – why it was always so hard for Rob to get ahold of Barry, why your trips were always so short, etc. We had no idea what you were living through.

    Well anyway, I can’t wait to read the next installment(s) that chronicle how you got to where you are today. I will be praying that our gracious and compassionate Heavenly Father will complete the healing that He has begun in your hearts and lives.

    Love to you both,

    Kristi

  15. Jana,

    is it jana.bishop or as written above? I got a pw awhile back but it didn’t let me in. I want to read! Thanks friend.

    Heather

  16. Anthony is a fan of your blog;) He was like, wow…she is very good at descriptive narrative! We love you, praying for you…Glad to call you friend!

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