Noel’s Story

Tucked away in the “comments” section of the Share Your Story Here, Part II post, a reader going by the handle of “Noel” told us her story yesterday.  What she wrote is so gripping, so incredible, and filled with so many details that give it the ring of truth, that I decided it needed to have its own post.

I would like to go on the record and say that while I personally find nothing in Noel’s story to disbelieve, it is nonetheless the testimony of one individual.  If there is any detail in this story that needs to be corrected, I welcome anyone to either post a comment below, or email me with those additional details.  Likewise, if anyone from Sovereign Grace Ministries would like to speak up and explain why SGM pastors would appear to have conducted themselves in the way Noel describes, I would dearly love to hear that explanation.

Noel’s Story

To the survivors,

I have a story to share. I’m afraid it’s rather long and so I plan to post it in smaller bites. I know that you are not likely to judge but as I think about our story I judge myself. I still struggle with how completely sold out I was to this group. I made many bad decisions that hurt our family and I accept that. I hope you all can understand. To SGM…yes it’s me and I’m talking.

We were reluctant care group leaders. My husband had been a group leader before we were married and continued to lead caregroups for 10 years. About the time our story begins I had come to realized what a toll cgl had taken on me. I was spiritually dry and depressed. I would vacuum and cry because I knew would couldn’t get out of leadership. They would confront us on the sin of ….pride, discontentment, laziness, selfishness…pick one, whatever. My husband didn’t know, he wouldn’t be allowed to leave leadership so it would just upset him.

One morning I was awakened by a phonecall from my pastor. My husband had left for work and I had been sleeping in. He sounded so strange as he asked me to find a sitter for our four children and come to the building for a meeting. He had already spoken to my husband and we’d all meet there. When we arrived all the pastors and two of the wives were there waiting for us. We were stunned, I was scared. I couldn’t figure out what I had done that was such a serious sin that all of them would be there to confront me. Several of the pastors were still on the phone with lawyers. When they came to the waiting area they realized/remembered that I was 7 months pregnant and I had driven myself 20 miles to the church. They told us to go home and they’s meet us at our house.

When all arrived, three pastors one pastors wife myself and my husband, they began their “meeting” by saying. “You are going to have an opportunity to forgive today.” After some flowery words they brought in one of my closest friends who lived up the street. She was separated from her husband at the time. Our pastors wife looked like she was physically holding her up. My friend looked nauseaus and she was physically shaking. She sat across from my husband and I and told us that her oldest son (15) had been “inappropriate” with my 3yo daughter. She assured us that my daughter was asleep and completely unaware. We of course asked for the details. She said that one evening, he was babysitting for us as he often did while we went to Homegroup Leaders and Wives meetings at the Pastors house (I hated those). That night our daughter had wet the bed and he was going to change it when he felt tempted and had “fingered” her. I apologize for being so direct. He said that she was completely asleep and didn’t wake up the entire time.

We were confused. She was wearing pull-ups. Even if she had wet, the bed would not be wet. How did she know the bed was wet if she was asleep? How could he change the sheets and her pullup without her waking up? What was wrong with this story? We asked and we were somewhat blown off.

(EDITED BY KRIS TO ADD:  Noel made the following comment on 1/1/09, which I think gives a bit more background to the story.  Here is what Noel wrote:

Someone somewhere asked why the boy confessed. I believe with all my heart that he thought we were about to piece it together. Remember how close I was to this mom. We talked like friends do. When I was worried about my daughter I stopped by her house and asked her what she thought.

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