My dad sent me a text asking me to call him about a week before the inauguration. The capital riot had just taken place and there was discussion about impeaching President Trump a second time.
Dad also sent a link and asked me to watch a video on YouTube. I opened it up to find a man I’d never heard of speaking about his “connections” in Washington who had told him the country was going to declare martial law within the next few days. He told people not to be afraid but rather be prepared. He told them to have extra food on hand, cash, medications, fill up their gas tanks, and so on.
I sighed. The man seemed fairly sincere. He spoke in a knowing manner almost like a father to his children. I scrolled through the comments below noting the responses were mixed with mockery and questions, almost fearfully asking if this was a prophecy.
I knew then what Dad wanted me to call about and I wasn’t certain how to respond or prepare for that call, an admitted sense of dread loomed as I dialed the number.
You know my daddy and I used to talk every day about Jesus and the message. But after my family and I parted ways with the message, he has decided it’s best that we not talk about that or anything to do with how either of us believe anymore. I know it is intended to keep things peaceful but often it’s what is not said along with just enough of what is that stings more than just a little.
Conversations are generally casual. Usually we talk about about the children or perhaps share a recipe. Once in a while he will make jokes and tease mom a bit. But usually he will only comment now and again as mom and I do most of the talking, I’ll have to ask them to repeat what he says each time because he is sitting too far away from the phone mom has on the speaker. I won’t ignore any of his statements, I know they are sensitive and I don’t want him to think I don’t want to talk to him. It is always, however, just a little bit awkward to work through.
Sometimes they act surprised when I call and always thank me at the end for calling. I do try to call regularly. I’ve always been the type of person to pick up right where I left off with someone no matter how long or short the time frame has been. So those little statements of surprise always manage to leave me feeling disjointed and more of a long lost relative than the daughter they used to speak with every single day.
Mom answered the phone and before I could say much she said Dad was the one that called and she took the phone to him. Knowing my mom the way I do, I could tell she was upset.
Dad opened the conversation by asking if I had watched the video from the link he shared. His voice was direct and I could tell he was trying to soften it, yet his words quickened in his excitement.
This time I heard Mom in the background and had to ask what she said, “Oh Momma is afraid. These things have always upset her.” Then he continued. I’ll tell you we were on the phone for more than an hour and a half. I paused more than once to breathe deeply and hold my tongue. I just listened.
I heard concern, worry, and love, but mostly I heard fear. He had all of these things on his heart and needed to make sure I heard it all. Carefully. Repeat back to me, and do you understand? “You are quiet. I hope you’re not upset. I don’t mean to make you upset, I just have all this on my heart and wanted to tell you.”
I asked him, “Why is Mom scared? Is she scared because of everything that is happening or scared because she’s afraid you are going to upset me?”
Before he could answer, Mom cut him off and said, “I don’t want you to get upset and stop talking to us.”
I listened to him talk about news, social media, evangelicals, and how things were all lining up just like “the teachings” said they would. He didn’t want to upset me or offend me, but he couldn’t not say anything.
My mind went from factual statements of rebuttals to movies we had watched when I was a small child. I remembered ‘Red Dawn’ with the teenagers fighting to survive while their parents were captured in enemy camps. Another was people left behind after the rapture and a woman being taken from a house to be beheaded. I know I’ve shared before how I used to have nightmares as a child about being left behind. I used to keep a JanSport backpack in my closet with plans for what I needed, you know, just in case.
I thought about my little backpack and the old nightmares and realized once again how long it had been since I had dreamed like that. I was reminded once again, that fear was gone. That way of thinking is so irrational to me now. If I could paraphrase just a little of his words:
I have watched everything I can get my hands on and it is all pointing to what we know to hold true. We are at the end. I know you don’t believe this message to be true or believe it’s prophet’s words. But I stand by these teachings. Momma and I want to know you and the girls will be okay. We won’t be able to help you and you know we have told others whatever is here, is yours if you need it. Can you just make sure you have 10 days worth of food on hand, and cash, fill up your cars just in case. These are not hard things to do, but if you need it, you will have it. And, if you do not need it, and nothing takes place, it will not hurt you to have done these things. We can only make things right and draw just as close to the Lord as possible….
My mind’s thoughts drifted back again and silently in my heart I acknowledged exactly what my daddy was saying. I closed my eyes to prevent the tears from falling and breathed deeply to recenter myself.
In my worst thoughts as a child I never imagined myself to be the child my parents daily cried out to God on their behalf for. I never imagined me to be the child that caused such a burdensome yoke about their necks and weight upon their hearts. Their fear, their pain, their sorrow, was me.
I had left their teachings and according to those teachings, I could no longer be bride. I would have to stay behind to die for my own faith and then be judged. Mom and Dad would leave soon and I would only know if I called and they didn’t answer. But how long would it take before I put these things together? What would happen to me and their grand daughters?
A cry for salvation, come back to the word! Get your life right now before it’s too late. We used to talk about ‘sighing and crying’ for the people and here I was: one of “those” people.
My reaction was not remorse, doubt, regret, fear, or panic, I simply felt sad. So very sad to see how the message caused fear to encompass its believers lives and dictate actions that to anyone else would seem crazy.
They aren’t crazy, they are very sincere. Sincerely indoctrinated with ‘the teachings’. False teachings. I continue to not understand how the Love of Christ being without fear cannot help them to see how false these teachings are. I couldn’t be offended and in that moment, I couldn’t even be hurt. I only wanted to say something to relieve the pain, the fear, and worry.
Dad said, “You aren’t saying anything, you’ve been pretty quiet.” I heard my mom crying. Once again, I focused on what Dad was saying and knew I needed to say something back. Deep breath. Words. Please come. I finally broke my silence:
“Mom, I don’t want you to worry about me being upset or offended. Don’t let that be a concern. I have heard everything you have shared and believe it to be said out of love and concern. I don’t want you to ever be worried about sharing with me. I may not say much but I will ponder and consider what you say to me. I know we should be watchful, I’m watching.
No, we don’t believe the same way anymore and I understand what that means to you. I want you to know I am not afraid. Should the time come for me to stand or speak, I will do so. I am not afraid.
I have plenty of groceries. We just made a run and we’ve been purchasing extras to prevent frequent trips. I have cash on hand and the fuel tanks are full. The girls are all home with me. We are all okay and we will be okay.
I appreciate you sharing with me and I will continue to watch and see what takes place over the next few days.”
It felt like I was assuring someone on their deathbed holding on to let go. Don’t worry about me, I am going to be okay. You can go now.
I knew it was a better response than Mom had hoped for, but not quite what Dad wanted. He seemed satisfied that I wasn’t upset and pleased that I would at least think about what he said. I know he felt he had done his part and planted a seed. I wanted him to have that small win. I wanted him to have peace.
I cannot begin to tell you the heaviness of my heart in that moment. Heaviness I continue to carry. I long for the relationship we used to have. I would give anything for the pain and fear to leave their hearts.
We hung up and my husband asked me if I was okay and what did they say?
“Oh you know, I’m not bride, it’s almost time for the end, hurry up and get right with Jesus…”
His eyes widened, “Did they really say that?”
“Not in so many words.”
I have pondered his words and the conversation. I would not express as much to them, but I will share with you that it hurts. Those “teachings” he chooses to stand by are from a dead man that has come and gone, who’s ministry was built on falsehoods, dramatic stories, and hindsight prophecy. A man he’s never met. A man that pointed to himself as God’s mouth-piece when Jesus said the Comforter has come. This man defies the very New Covenant our Savior came to live, die, and raise from the dead to fulfill. And yet they “stand by the teachings.”
Apparently me being their own flesh and blood nor my character, honesty, or relationship with Christ as they have witnessed and known provide any weight to my words and opinions.
Yes. It stings.
I still love them. Nothing could prevent that. I know what they believe and I know their sincerity of heart and I continue to hope for unity and truth. I do take some comfort in knowing that phone call was their expression of love and concern. I hurt not at their words, but that my rejection of the teachings they hold so dear only increases their fear and hearts’ sorrow. I ache that those teachings divide the family I love and hold dear.
Suffice it to say we made it through the next few days without anyone declaring martial law. It would appear there has been a peaceful transition of power at the White House, and I’m pretty confident the rapture didn’t occur.
History was made with the swearing in of America’s first female Vice President. If you haven’t yet seen the meme with Kamala Harris making its way around social media quoting William Branham or the Book of Revelation. Hold on to your pearls, I”ll share more about that in the second post of “Purple Predictions.”