Pray for Requests - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Pray for Requests

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Prayer Title

Prayer for Peace

My name is Kelly Jeanne (pronounced 'Gene'). I am 60 years old and have been a Christian for 35 years. I suffer from a mental disorder from abuse I endured growing up at home. Because of the amount of trauma that I suffered it has severely changed my personality. As a result people can see that there is something 'different' about me. I'm writing this letter to you and other stations in California because I am have spent my whole life being shunned, being an outsider, being a square peg, being a misfit and never fitting in anywhere in society. I have sadly discovered that the Christian church is no different from secular society in this regard. When you are different people just don't like you and I've been fighting this all my life. Things finally came to a head about a month ago. My purpose in writing this letter is to spread awareness that there needs to be a change in how people like 'us' are treated. I'm desperately looking for some kind of platform and my prayer is that you would see fit to read this letter on the air. Somebody I wrote to said he would not because he doesn't know me. I told him that even though what I wrote dealt with many personal experiences in my life it could also parallel many lives of people in similar my situation. I want to speak for everyone in my shoes and let people know that we are just like anybody else. That God loves us, that salvation is for us as much as it is for the so called 'perfect' people in the church. I would also like to follow up with a phone call to you. Please feel free to call me as well. If you do read this on the air please don't mention my name. I want this letter to sound like it could be coming from anybody. If my name is mentioned it would lose that flavor. I feel that the Lord is calling me to be an advocate for all the square pegs and misfits in society. I'm tired of seeing others like myself being treated like inferior second class citizens. When you do read the letter don't read this introduction. I'm a very dogged and determined person and I don't give up easily. After all, I didn't write this letter for nothing. The below is what is to be read. Thank you so much and may God bless you. In April of this year (2017) I had my gallbladder removed and for some reason my recovery time was longer than usual. The whole time I was sick no one bothered to call me and see how I was doing or if I needed anything. No, wait, I did receive one phone call from a guy. He called to ask if I would be able to come to church to sign a card for someone in the congregation who was leaving. Not once did he ask how I was doing or if I needed anything. I was so sick during this time I barely had the strength to get up to go to the bathroom or drag myself to the kitchen to get something to eat. I lost 25 pounds during my recovery period. I wonder how much less my recovery time would have been if I had known that someone - anyone - cared? This is basically how it's been for me my whole life. I have never known that you care for me. I'm one of societies rejects because I suffer from a mental disability. I have been a Christian for over 35 years and it's the same thing in every church I have ever been a member of or attended. I'll be 60 years next year and you have never accepted me as a part of the church. In fact, you are usually ashamed of people like me. You are very uncomfortable around people like me. It must be my fault that I am the way that I am and I get what I deserve. I was born into an extremely dysfunctional family where I was sexually and physically abused. Is this my fault? As a result of the abuse I have suffered severe psychological trauma which has affected how I operate in the world and marks me as 'different'. You see that difference and decide that I am someone that should be avoided. Like Cain, who was marked by God (justifiably so) I have been marked NOT justifiably so. That doesn't matter, though, because I have been paying the price of this mark all of my life. The trauma, in fact, has been so severe that I cannot work. I'm on Disability. Trauma is something that doesn't go away. You preach love and acceptance yet you treat me as if God could not love someone like me. Christ didn't die for me. Salvation couldn't possibly be for me. Christians are supposed to be different but you are no different from secular society. There is something very twisted about that. I don't have any friends. That sounds like something that I should be ashamed to admit. I don't say this to MY shame. I say this to YOUR shame. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 All my life I have tried to show myself friendly, but you won't have none of it. On Sundays before and after Sunday School or before and after church service when I have the audacity to say hello to you, for the most part you look either down or away in embarrassment and shame and walk the other way. It doesn't matter if you are the pastor or someone else in a prominent position in the church or simply a 'fellow' member of the church. It doesn't matter. You don't want to deal with me. It would be better if I were simply shuttled away and out of sight. I am a blight on society and always have been. So many times I feel as if I should be outside the church in sackcloth and ashes shouting, "Unclean!" "Unclean!", as if I had leprosy or The Black Plague. Meanwhile all of you beautiful people are inside the church praising God and thanking and praising Him for his unending love and mercy. The fact that I don't have any friends is not to MY shame, but to YOUR shame. I cannot force myself on you. If you don't want to know me so be it. Do you know that is what amen means? So be it. After almost 60 years of doing my best to reach out to people and getting my hand slapped back I have pretty much given up. Do you blame me? If you do something is wrong with your heart. I can only do so much. I have prayed about this my whole life to no avail. I have come to believe that the Lord made me like this on purpose (remember....He makes no mistakes.) to test your heart and let me tell you... You are failing that test miserably. It's incredible to imagine that I have never had any kind of support system my whole life. No family, no friends. That's a tough way for anyone to live, but I've lived it and by the grace of God I'm still here, although there have been many times in my life where I very nearly went off the deep end. I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder among other things. I don't have PTSD. I have what's called Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you think I made it up research it online. You have to type in Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, though. Because of the nature of my illness even medication, for the most part, doesn't really work for me. My whole life has been one continual struggle and pure hell. My medication keeps me from crying all the time. In the past before I was on medication all I did was cry. One job I had years ago I remember having to go into the restroom multiple times a day so I could cry. Everyone knew it and bullied me because of it. Another thing I would do all the time without my medication is I would be angry all the time. I'm not talking about regular anger, but RAGE. When I was a teenager I would actually put my fists through walls and doors. This was before my medication. For the most part medication has helped with that but, most days, I still have my moments. Life has always been a challenge for me. The only thing my medication doesn't do for me is give me a desire to do anything. I have lost all desire to do anything and I don't like leaving the house. I don't drive and I won't leave the house unless I have a definite ride set up to pick me up outside my door. Now that there is Uber it is a little easier but being on Disability I can't afford to do that all the time. I only use Uber about twice a month. Because of my depression I sleep a lot. I believe it's partly my depression and partly my medication. I have been on so many different medications I have lost count and have given up hope. Life has never been good to me. Only by the grace of God do I manage to get to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Thank God that the church van picks me up on those days. Holidays are the worst for me. Nearly every Thanksgiving and Christmas I spend alone. My birthdays are the same. Do you know what I do during Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays (and other holidays)? The day before I go to the store and buy myself a small cake and ice cream (everything must be chocolate, of course) and maybe some chocolate syrup. Then on the day of the holiday or my birthday I order a pizza and spend most of the afternoon and evening watching my favorite genres of movies. With very few exceptions this has been the pattern my whole adult life. Most of my adult life I have lived alone and my one fear in life is that when I die no one would know until weeks later when my carcass starts stinking and my neighbors call the police. When I do die who would come to my funeral? Most likely no one. Unless you are one of the gawkers who simply have a morbid curiosity to get up close to me while my body is lying there in the casket. To be honest with you I wouldn't want you to come to my funeral anyway. You don't know me. What kind of eulogy would you give on my behalf? In every church that I have ever attended I have always sat alone and during the time when everyone greets each other you are never really willing to want to take my hand and give me an open or honest greeting. I have attempted suicide twice in my life and nearly attempted a third time last October 2016. What makes me sad is that usually when people like you know about a suicide by people such as myself your first thought is: "She just didn't have enough faith", or, "She just gave up." Are you kidding me? I'm been fighting like Hades all my life and have gotten absolutely nowhere with you. If I do end up committing suicide don't put the blame on me. Put the blame on yourself. We are supposed to be each others' keepers, as the Bible says. I have tried in more ways than you will ever know or care to know. In every church I have ever been a member of I have always sat alone. You just don't want to be near me. After all, I have some disease that you could catch, right? Last October during my nearly third suicidal attempt I first called two women in the church. They didn't answer their phones. So, I decided to call a man in my church who drives one of the vans. When he picked up I was already crying and I tried telling him that I am so close to wanting to kill myself. His response? "I'm a married man and it is inappropriate for you to be calling me!" I told him that I am doing everything in my power to save my life and THAT is extremely appropriate and started crying again. All he could do was continue yelling at me and then he hung the phone up on me. This is what I have been dealing with my whole life from people. Because I'm mentally disabled you tend to think I must be mentally retarded, right? Far from it. In fact, I have a higher than average IQ. Being mentally ill does not affect the intellect. It affects the emotions. My intellect is far more intact than a lot of other people I know. God has given me such a wonderful brain and mind and I thank Him so much for that but it's hard to utilize them to their full potential when society, as a whole, insists on putting me inside this box and if I dare make any attempts to leave it I'm treated as if I have no right to do so. "Stay inside your cage like the animal you are", has been the general attitude I've gotten. So many times you stare at me with a look on your face that says, 'What's wrong with her?', or, 'What's her problem?' At this point I cease to be the one with the problem. I would like to volunteer more but if I'm always greeted with a look of disdain by you how does that encourage me? Then you say to just come to church and volunteer for the Lord. Don't care so much what others think about you. This is easy for you to say when you have friends or family that greet you with a cheerful hello and hug and let you know from the get go that you are accepted and are a part of everyone and everything that's going on. For me, it is so incredibly frustrating to get those 'looks' from you and ignore them because I have gotten those looks all my life. I have been treated like an outsider all my life. Give me a break and stop blaming me so that you can feel better about yourself. We, as Christians, should be different, but I don't see it. I have never seen it. I know that when I say that I have never been loved by anyone my whole life it may sound a bit melodramatic to you, but it is the truth. God is a Spirit Being and is not going to come down to earth, put His arms around me, give me a hug and tell me that He loves me. He already did that over 2000 years ago with Jesus. The next time Jesus comes back it won't be to spread any of His love around. He will be too busy judging. In the meantime He gave us bodies so that WE can show His love for Him. When I first came to Christ over 35 years ago I would tell you about my struggles and trials that I was going through (and still am, by the way) and in response you would tell me that I'm not really saved. Being a young Christian at the time I bought into that idea and I cannot tell you how many times I got on my knees asking the Holy Spirit to save me and then reciting the sinners prayer. Finally, one day the Holy Spirit told me to get off my knees and rest in the fact that I am saved and that I had already been saved. He assured me that I didn't need to do that anymore. I must say that this was probably the first time in history where the Holy Spirit told someone to get OFF their knees. Another thing you told me and still tell me to this day is that you will pray for me. I have a suggestion for you. Stop spending so much time praying and spend a little more time DOING. Praying is a wonderful and needful thing and the Bible does say to pray without ceasing. But there comes a time when we have to put our money where our mouth is and put some actions behind our words. You forget that all too often and because of that I'm left in the lurch. Believe it or not, whether you want to admit, there are hundreds of people like me in every church in the world and we are all treated the same. The next time you see someone in your congregation who is mentally retarded, has Downs Syndrome, is Autistic, is developmentally disabled, is physically disabled or, as in my case, is mentally disabled do us a favor and walk up to us and greet us. Acknowledge us. Even if you feel that the we aren't aware enough to understand because YOU don't know what we understand or don't understand. You have no way of knowing what's going on inside our heads. We all are yearning to be acknowledged. When we say hello to you don't look down and walk away. Give us a cheery smile and hello. That can do anybody a world of good. Put yourself in our shoes. What would be so wonderful is upon receiving this letter if it is read to the whole congregation in lieu of the usual sermon. This is an extremely important issue that needs to be addressed in the Christian community. Who knows how many suicides might be prevented if we can just know that there are people who do care for us. Who do more than pray. Who actually get into the thick of the battle and show, through actions, what Christ's love is all about. When you see me in church next Sunday invite me to sit with you if I'm sitting alone. Invite me over to your house for a meal. Ask me when my birthday is and mark it down on your calendar. When that date comes around celebrate it with me. Are there other ways you can include me into your life? My prayer is that you take this letter to heart before it's too late for someone like me in your congregation. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this very important message and may God bless you.

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