Updated on September 13, 2021
Doug Tales 31: Paula’s Story
A number of people who Doug Mendenhall met in his life have been able to listen to him, but for many reasons, did not take any further steps with the knowledge he shared. Doug treated them with kindness and patience without any cherished outcomes, as he knew their learning and growth did not revolve around him and his life. Doug writes about one such woman, who had gone through many traumas in her life. He hopes she would find the healing she sought someday, and reflects on what he learned by meeting her in Possibilities (2002), on pages 31-34:
I’ve experienced that as we begin to praise or give gratitude to Him, with pure intent, His Holy Spirit will fill our beings with a peace that passes understanding. To continually praise Him, I believe, means a steady decreasing of self (understanding our “nothingness” in God’s way) and an increase of Christ’s presence within us until we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I believe this is the joy experienced and expressed by my friends and is available to everyone. But I’ve found that it can’t be experienced until we affirm His hand in our lives and give thanks for the experiences of life. Again through all of this, I’ve experienced that as Christ’s presence increases in us, we truly become “like Him.”
A friend called me several months later to relate this experience:
“I had gone to court last week to try and win full custody of my children from my ex-husband. Doug I lost, but it was OK. I had His peace.
“As I left the courtroom and walked out into the hallway, I saw my ex-husband standing there. I felt the Spirit tell me to go up to him and extend my hand and apologize for everything I had done to wrong him. I did it. He immediately started in with a verbal barrage of how awful I was. I just stood there and took it. It didn’t hurt. It just ‘bounced’ off. I just turned and walked away, full of love and peace.”
I believe as she stood there in the majesty of Christ’s peace and love that the fiery darts of Satan could not harm her. What could have been a hateful verbal battle turned into an incredible experience for her of Christ’s love. She had experienced what Paul said: “It is no longer you, but Christ who lives in you.”
Sometimes the anger and hate has lasted so long and is so imbued within our soul, we can’t seem to get ourselves on our knees. Perhaps, that is what has happened with a wonderful woman I met several months ago.
I received an e-mail asking me to meet a woman, I will call her Paula. She was visiting from out of state and had read the book, My Peace I Give Unto You. She said she wanted to meet and “ask some questions.” Paula was a diminutive woman. We chatted about the book and family. Then she said, “I feel I should tell you about my story.”
She then told me of being abused; Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) since the day she was born. The main perpetrators were her parents and the cult they belonged to. She told of awful things done to her and how she rarely felt loved or cared for by her mother, who was not there “physically or emotionally.” Her mother did not hug her or hold her or tell her she was loved. The times she remembered “love” or “care” turned out to be the times they were preparing her for an upcoming ritual or to confuse her as part of her “programming.” She experienced dissociate identity disorder (multiple personalities) and for a long time didn’t remember the abuse.
When she was an adult, before she began to “remember,” her mother would call her and say a “trigger” word. After hearing the word she would find herself headed back East to where her mother lived. She would then receive more programming and abuse. Her mother would have her bring her children. She found out later that her children have all the “signs” of being ritualistically abused by her parents.
The things she shared seemed surreal to me. I had no frame of reference to comprehend what she was talking about. I had studied stories detailing cases of ritual abuse and satanic abuse but had never been face to face with a victim who was pleading for help. She was in counseling which was helping, but it was a long process. She confirmed what Chad from Idaho had shared about his SRA, that it comes off in layers, like “peeling an onion.” “You get one layer healed and another one pops up.”
So I explained to Paula what Chad had done. I explained how he said it “was like chipping concrete out of (his) mouth” to get the words of gratitude out, but when he finally did, he was released from all the hatred, anger, and bitterness he had harbored for all these years. How liberating it was for him to be free of the negative emotions.
Paula told me she didn’t see how she could ever be grateful for the people who had done this to her. “Don’t express gratitude now for the people,” I said. “Express gratitude for the experiences you have gone through.” These were hard words. She flinched visibly as I said them. “How can I be grateful for the experiences?” she responded.
I told her I had asked the Lord the same question about the men who had destroyed me financially. It was a paradox to me at the time too. Then I realized that I would not have even the beginnings of a broken heart, like I did, if I had not been destroyed financially. The hatred for them seemed to make my heart and lung disease take off. If they had not done it, I would not have found Christ when I did, and for that I could be extremely grateful. So that was the initial gratitude I expressed to God about these men. I was grateful to God for them and what they had done, because if they had not done it, I may never have found the Lord. It was because of them that I found Him. For this I was grateful. After expressing gratitude and praising God for the experience, the pain, hatred, and bitterness all went away, and in its place was the most profound peace I had ever felt.
Paula still felt that she could not do it. She told me that she felt she was here on earth to put a stop to this abuse in her family. She knows that it is “generational.” She was starting to teach seminars about how to heal from this, wanting to help other victims. “But you aren’t totally healed, are you?” I asked. “No, not totally,” she answered. The thought then struck me that she would be a powerful healer and teacher if she did have the experience of receiving His peace. I told her so. “What if you tried the ‘experiment’ and got on your knees, thanked Him and had the hatred go away, replaced by His peace? Wouldn’t that make what you are trying to accomplish even more powerful?” I asked.
If I were to present these ideas to a group of victims of SRA, would they believe me? Perhaps some might. If Paula were to present it with her testimony of her pain leaving and being replaced by God’s peace, would they be more likely to believe her? I believe so.
I have talked to Paula several more times in person, through e-mail, and on the phone. Because her personalities are not yet integrated, many of them are fearful of trusting and letting go and keep her afraid to get on her knees and try it. She is an incredible person, though, and as I see her struggling to find that gratitude that eludes her at this time, I pray for God’s greatest blessings and His peace in her life.