Grace We Don’t Deserve

I have words today, lots of them.  But I have even more emotions that I can’t seem to sort through.  The news of Josh Duggar and his crimes against young girls have my heart breaking and my head in a dark place today and I’m struggling to make sense of it all.

You see, I was molested by a teenage boy when I was a young girl.  This is a part of my story I’ve never told here.  It’s never seemed appropriate or relevant or something I could put words to anyway, so I didn’t share.  I’ve shared openly in other forums, just never here.

And so this story strikes close to home for me and my family and I feel ill, physically ill, and my heart absolutely breaks for the whole Duggar family.

I’ll admit, I’ve not read the police report, and I’ve only read a couple of the news reports.  I really don’t want or need to know details and I’m protecting my own mind from going places it doesn’t need to go in light of my own background.  But, from what I’ve read, it seems that Josh confessed what he did, repented, it was dealt with with the proper authorities, and the family has tried to heal and move on from unspeakable tragedy and shame happening under their own roof.  Even before this all went public, the Duggar family was sentenced to carrying this shame forever, secretly or publicly.  They could never forget.  JimBob and Michelle cannot and will not ever probably forgive themselves for what happened under their own roof, under their watch.  Josh will forever live with the guilt and shame of what he did to those girls.  And those girls, they are forever scarred and will carry the shame of a sin they did not commit for the rest of their lives.

But now it’s all public.  Very public. The whole world knew them already but now the world knows more than it ever should have.  Not only were these girls robbed of their dignity by someone they should have been able to trust to protect them, now they’ve lost the veil of secrecy that they had from the world.  This was their story to tell and that has been stolen from them too.

And when we hash this out on social media and berate Josh Duggar and/or his parents or the faith they grew up in, we abuse these girls all over again, but publicly now.  Their dignity, their shame, is the price of admission for the world to express their hatred for the Duggar family.  And it needs to stop.  Those girls, Josh’s family, JimBob and Michelle, they all need time and space and grace to heal.

Sometimes I love social media, but it’s times like this I hate it.  We do not sit in the judgment seat – either temporally or eternally.  So let’s choose grace upon grace and even more grace.  Because we are all broken, we are all sinners, and though your sin may not seem as big as someone else’s, we’re all filled with darkness and desperately in need of light and grace and hope.  Let’s show some today.

For His Glory ~

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13 thoughts on “Grace We Don’t Deserve

  1. This family handled the situation years ago. Now the world has to hear it, digest it, and let it go. The difference in this compared to many other stories that people go through is: Acknowledgement, repentance (never doing it again),asking forgiveness.

  2. Thank you for your eloquent words. Our family encountered a similar situation many years ago. My daughter still struggles with her violation. God’s grace is sufficient and may we all have that same grace.

  3. Came across your blog because it showed up on my newsfeed and I have to say I’ve never agreed more and I am NOT a fan of this family. Thank you for posting this.

  4. Thanks for this! I’d never seen this blog before today, but I like it. It’s good to see someone think of how all this media attention will affect the girls, particularly from the perspective of someone who has dealt with similar things. I think that’s something that gets lost in our ‘tell-all’ culture-not everyone wants their “dirty laundry” aired out in public. I certainly wouldn’t if I were in their place.

    Anyway, I hope I haven’t misunderstood anything! It’s late. 🙂

  5. I am deeply sorry this happened. I understand & try to practice the forgiveness Christ taught us; however, this family should have NEVER allowed themselves to have become so public (for the victims sake) – all the while knowing this occurred & with the likelihood that eventually it would be discovered. NOT good judgment! Now the wounds are re-opened — so so sad for the victims!

  6. First, let me say I’m sorry that you went through that. Genuinely sorry. I think, had you read the police report, you would have found that proper sreps were not taken. Josh was not sent away for counseling or help, but to do manual labor for a family friend. One year later, Jim Bob took josh to see a policy officer who was a family frI end and, against police procedure, the officer didn’t investigate – this officer is now serving 56 years in prison for child pornography. The girls did not receive any counseling. These are not proper steps and do not allow true, whole healing.

    • Melissa, thank you for your comment. As you may or may not be able to tell, this blog lives (normally) in a small quiet corner of the Internet. This post took on a surprising life of its own yesterday. I wrote it assuming it would mostly be read by those that know me and know my heart. Had I known how wide it would spread, I probably would have said a few things differently, and a follow up post may now be forthcoming due to things I still need to say. That said, I agree that the situation does need to be dealt with properly. The point of my post was that, for the sake of the victims, the world hashing this out on social media does not provide any help or hope to those girls but only continues to rip their wounds open again and again and again. Thank you again for your thoughts! I hope this makes my position a little clearer.

      • I do worry about the impact that this is having on the girls who were molested, but I would like to add that I am so dismayed at how the Christian community has rallied behind Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar like they did nothing wrong. Hiding abuse and not providing help for the abuser and the abused is NEVER okay. Instead of focusing on what Josh did or what was done to the girls, people need to focus on what the parents did. The Christian community needs to take a stand against this sort of behavior. What Jim Bob and Michelle did is no different than what the Catholic church did when they hid abuse.

        Perhaps you should edit your post a bit to let people know that Jim Bob and Michelle did not handle this properly and did not give Josh or any victims the help they needed. I found this through FB where a friend got the information about what happened through your blog post so they thought that the Duggars immediately went to the police and got real help for Josh and all the girls, which is not the truth.

  7. This doesn’t make me think less of the family. Satan is working overtime . He doesn’t like families who talk about there faith. What happened in this family is that Satan has tried to destroy there family and they got through that,now he’s trying again. I am praying for these girls and also for Josh and his family. I don’t know the whole story but I do know God is a God who forgives,heals and restores.

  8. Thank you. I know the pain and secrecy too of something like this. My story was similar to that of the Duggar sisters except it wasn’t my brother but I never told anyone…not even my parents. And I am not a victim anymore. God’s grace is the key to unlock that prison door.
    My heart breaks for the entire family but especially Josh because I know that I would not want this for the boy who abused me. I would not want this for his family. I only want grace for him. And I pray that he has received grace and forgiveness.

  9. Pingback: That Duggar Post: A Follow Up | My Ears Are Tired

  10. Thank you for being a kindred spirit, Sara. I am thankful I found you through Benjamin Corey’s blog on Patheos. Here is something I wrote this afternoon to Matthew Paul Turner who was published at The Christian Post:

    What the hell you ask? I ask you what the hell, Matthew? Why would you hope to hear from Josh’s victims? What, precisely, do you expect and want to hear? Precisely how many in our society would need to hear from Josh’s victims to satisfy you? Why, oh why would any of us need to hear from them? Is it truly newsworthy, according to God’s Holy written Word? Is the public format of a hurting family’s tragic circumstances a part of the healing process? Is the public part of the problem or part of the solution? It seems to me as if the public has all of the answers but none of the problems, eh? Do you think for the public to hear from the victims would contribute to their healing? Do you think it’s contributing to their healing to know that the entire nation – no, world – has heard of their plight? What about Anna’s and Josh’s precious children learning of this in the future??? What the hell? Is that healing??? It appears to me as if the Duggar / purity / modesty / traditional marriage/ homeschooling haters are delighting in – even celebrating – Josh’s sin / public humiliation. Ya know that when you haters relish Josh’s fall, at the same time, you are relishing in the suffering and pain of his victims, right? What the hell? Everyone is in dire need of examining the darkness in their own hearts concerning this. You are right. These things take time and lots of God’s grace. The Duggars have had twelve years of time and God’s grace overflowing since the tragic experiences. Jim-Bob and Michelle love their children more than anyone else besides God Almighty. They, more than anyone else, want them to be restored to optimal health. I have no doubt they have WISELY ensured every one of them has received an abundance of Biblical counseling. Of course, they care about the safety of each of their precious children! For you, Matthew, to question otherwise is exceedingly presumptuous and pompous. What the hell? How everyone has made this their business is affecting the victims, who rightfully put the experiences behind them where they belong. Jim-Bob’s and Michelle’s quiver is NOT too full. What the hell? Everyone needs to see children as unmitigated blessings from God the way the Duggars do! How dare you accuse them of cultivating an environment that led to such abuse??? By the way, their show on TLC began after the molestations occurred. They do not care more about fame and fortune than they do about their beloved children!!! WHAT THE HELL??? What Josh Duggar did as a child is NONE of our business!

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