Effects of Sin, Shame and Guilt

shame

There truly is a battle going on in our minds. Joyce Meyer’s best selling book “Battlefield of the Mind” has helped many people recognize and deal with this.

When the Father God sent us the promised Messiah, it was to complete the law. We now can come before Him in prayer through the name of Jesus Christ. (John 16:26) The veil that separated us from the Holy of Holies was torn as Jesus was sacrificed for us on the cross.(Matt 27:51) We can walk around each day with the power and Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. (Eph 3:29)  Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit and said that He would be our comforter and  counselor. Yet we still feel as though Adam and Eve did, when they took the fruit and disobeyed God, we feel shame, guilt and fear.  God can’t make us do anything, so we still hold onto the shame, guilt and fear that we battle in our minds.

As an adoptee I felt shame growing up knowing my birth mother suffers with severe mental illness. As an adult I had to overcome the shame finding out she had been raped and my biological father was a rapist. I had to overcome the guilt of the sin of divorce. I had to overcome the fear of being a single mom…… I did overcome these things through Jesus Christ! I had hard days; fearful, shame and guilt filled days, but faith helped me get through it all.

It takes faith to believe that we are truly forgiven. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) I challenge you to read your Bible daily to fill yourself up with knowledge that our Father will never leave us nor forsake us, even when we sin, so we don’t need to walk around feeling ashamed. (Deu 31:6) Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us, so we don’t need to continue to feel guilt once we have repented. (John 3:17) And we do not need to walk around in fear because the Bible tells us 365 times “Do Not Fear” for God is with us.

All of these lessons come from the Word, read it daily-just like you eat daily. Man does not leave on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) Are you truly living life to the full? (John 10;10) Jesus said that is why He came, but you must increase your faith so you can live your life without shame, guilt and fear and be comforted through the Holy Spirit of Christ. Hard times will come, but take heart- you do not need to overcome, but rather be comforted that Christ has! (John 16:33)

Click HERE to hear the first 8 mins of my recent sermon at a homeless shelter on this topic.

 

Mary Rathke

www.MaryRathke.com

An open letter to West Virginia House Delegate Brian Kurcaba

Dear Del. Brian Kurcaba,

Wow, did I just hear this correctly? Did you actually say that babies, even those from rape, are beautiful? In the day and age when the child born from rape are called the rapist baby, when a republican talk show host says these children are evil seed and need to die for the crimes of their fathers, when those conceived in rape receive emails from people saying, “Your mom made the wrong decision, and you should have been aborted.” During this time, you actually publicly stood up and said that these children are beautiful?


Thank you! You are my hero! You see, my mentally ill mother was raped on her way home from work one night. I am a child that is a beautiful, and blessed. A baby who was conceived in rape. Someone must have sent you my picture, did you see my pretty hair, and great smile? Someone must have told you all about beautiful me!


Yes that’s right, all of you who want to criticize House Delegate Brian, go ahead and criticize. It doesn’t change the truth, rape is ugly, but killing me would not have made the memories of the rape disappear from my mother, it would have only ended my life. I am worthy of life!

Sincerely and with much thanks,
Mary Rathke

Rathke is most recently being profiled in the Right to Life of Michigan state wide commercial campaign to let others know that something beautiful can come out of rape, visit RTL. org for more about the compassion project.

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How to Defend Life, in cases of Rape and Incest

When proposing pro-life laws how should you respond to the “rape” question?

Personalize the issue: rape-conceived people are real human beings. More than 32,000 people, conceived by rape, are born every year in the USA1. We cannot discriminate against this people group by diminishing their value. Talk about individuals who were rape-conceived, show their pictures, create compassion for them.

In a recent five-state study commissioned by Georgia Right to Life, Right to Life of Michigan and Personhood USA2, we can demonstrate that people’s opinion of this issue could be dramatically swayed within the one-hour on-line interactive survey. Only one percent still believe in exceptions when we invoke the story of a woman conceived in rape or a woman who became pregnant by rape.  The most compelling argument is to appeal to our sense of justice–we don’t punish innocent people for someone else’s crime.  The worst response is to diminish this issue by saying it is rare.

Doesn’t an abortion help the pregnant rape victim?

An abortion does not make the memories of the rape go away, it only ends a life and adds physical and emotional pain and distress.

A 2006 Study by Dr. David Fergusson found that women who had abortions are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than women who are pregnant but do not abort.3

Over forty peer reviewed studies have confirmed that abortion significantly increases risk for several mental health problems including: depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.4                                                                       

Hasn’t the rape victim endured enough violence?

Supporting abortion for a woman who has conceived by rape is “confused compassion.” When a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, there are two victims: the woman and the child. Whenever a crime hurts two people, we care for them both. We don’t end the life of one hoping it will help the other. Pregnancy is temporary but the death of a child through abortion is permanent. We must offer the woman counseling, care, support and not add to her emotional and physical distress by encouraging abortion. Rape can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); so can abortion. 5

The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research organization, estimates that as many as 91 percent of all women who have had abortions may suffer from physical and psychological “post-procedural trauma.” 6  We must offer these traumatized women support for their pregnancy, birth and parenting, promoting a culture of life and healing! 

“I would definitely discourage a woman from having an abortion. While it may seem to be the quickest and easiest solution to a painful, humiliating ‘problem,’ it is a band-aid approach with horrible ramifications of its own. For me, the effects of abortion are much more far-reaching than the effects of the rape in my life.” — Testimony from a rape victim who had an abortion after learning she had conceived.7

What about Incest, shouldn’t these children be aborted?

It is a fallacy that every child conceived by incest will be born with birth defects. Many people are born with birth defects everyday who were not conceived through incest—each one of their lives is valuable and deserves to be protected. Unfortunately, most incest victims are forced into abortions to cover up the crime of the perpetrator.

Joan Kemp, a rape crisis center counselor and a woman who has had an abortion, says, “In every case of abortion after incest with which I am familiar, the abortion was arranged by the perpetrator or his wife, with the purpose of concealing the incest. In one case, a young woman had seven abortions before she was fourteen, and the incest continued.” 8

1Holmes, Melisa M.; Resnick, Heidi S.; Kilpatrick, Dean G.; Best, Connie L. (1996). “Rape-related pregnancy: Estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women”. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 175 (2): 320–4; discussion 324–5.

2http://www.savethe1.com/?page_id=426#sthash.Hd0gmx46.dpuf

3Fergusson, Dr. David. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 2006

4Shupping, Dr. Martha and Dr. Christopher Gaeck.Big Girls Do Cry: the Hidden Truth of Abortion. 2008

5 Anne C. Speckhard and Vincent M. Rue, “Postabortion Syndrome: An Emerging Public Health Concern,” Journal of Social Issues 48,  Issue 3 (1992): 96

6 Planned Parenthood’s internal report  (“Department of Education’s 3-year Plan and Long Range Goals, 1990-93”)  pp 29

7 Give Us Love, Not Abortions: The Voices of Sexual Assault Victims and Their Children, David C. Reardon and Julie Makimaa, ed. (1992), pp. 23-27

8 Joan Kemp, “Abortion: The Second Rape,” Sisterlife, Winter 1990, p. 5

Are you pro-life EXCEPT in the case of Mary Rathke?

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“I am not the rapist’s baby. I am a beautiful, happy-to-be-alive mother, minister and person who deserves equal protection.” ~ Mary Rathke, conceived by rape

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) does not have exceptions, it does not exclude those who are albino or have vitiligo because they may appear “white” to some. Please do not leave me out of your pro-life bills. Be consistent. Be pro-life for ALL people including those conceived by rape or incest .

Mary Rathke is available for testimony. As part of “Save the 1,”she is connected with many others who are personally effected by and well-versed in this issue. We can connect you with people in your area to bring together a group of rape-conceived and mothers-from-rape, to speak at press conferences and hearings. Share our story!

Mary Rathke is a licensed minster and works with the homeless. She is a “Save the 1” board director and president of HELPeople, INC. She has spoken for various pro-life events, radio programs, press conferences—ie., International Pro-Life Leadership Conference–and is featured in a state-wide conceived-in-rape pro-life commercial campaign. She is endorsed by Dr. James Dobson as a pro-life speaker.

If you were conceived in rape, incest or conceived a child in rape or incest and would like to have your information shared with Save the 1, please fill out the form below;

 

Surprise Love-Thoughts from an Adopted Child, Conceived in Rape.

Ever think about your roots? As an adoptee, when I hear others talk about their genealogy or family reunions, it can cause mixed emotions. Many who are adopted eagerly desire to connect with their birth families and actively seek them out. In my case, though, my adoption was open. As I grew older, the more I learned of my birth parents, the more it caused me to reject the idea of being connected to them. The truth came at me in waves.photo(33)

The first one hit when I was five-years-old, the night before my adoption became final. Up until that moment I was technically an orphan, being cared for by a wonderful couple. Even though I had been with my birth mother for periodic visits until the age of two, I didn’t remember who she was. “Who is my mother?” I asked and pleaded then was shocked to hear the truth. She was the odd, quiet woman that frightened me.

My birth mother has paranoid schizophrenia. As a young adult, I finally understood why this loving couple had agreed to care for me and had finally asked for permission to adopt me. My birth mother was unable to raise me. When people learned I was adopted and asked if I would search for my birth family, I quickly answered that I knew my birth mother and had no desire to reunite.

Soon after turning eighteen, another wave hit me as I received a letter from my maternal aunt in Texas who wanted me to know that I had nine aunts and uncles in Texas! One aunt led me to believe that the entire family was splintered; the hope and desire I had to connect with them was soon shattered. However, they did want to know, was their sister okay? It was hard telling them that I did not know, I did not visit her. I was left feeling confused about my responsibility to them and her.

As an adult, my childhood fears and misunderstandings of mental illness wracked me with guilt. I decided to visit my birth mother. Though her living situation was unlike anything I had ever experienced and her quiet, odd behavior left me feeling uncomfortable, I was satisfied that I had made the first step in connecting with my roots.

Sadly, a tidal wave came as the result: a few days after the visit, I received a phone call from my birth mother’s legal guardian chastising me for visiting her. Supposedly, the visit had caused her to have an “episode” resulting in disruptive–possibly even illegal–behavior towards others. I was told that I needed permission from the guardian before I ever visited her again. This left me drowning in a wave of emotions that affected me for more than ten years.

In those ensuing years, I mailed letters and gifts. When he was in the hospital, I occasionally visited her husband, who was also mentally disabled. I considered this man my birth father. He was now my only connection to my birth mother. He would keep me updated about her. Sadly, his untimely death dealt the final blow to any hopes I had of staying connected to my birth mother.

I called his cousin to pass along the news that my father had died. The cousin quickly replied, “You know he is not your ‘real’ dad, right?” Finally! Someone was willing to explain the mystery surrounding my paternity about which I had always been curious. I knew my adopted mother had heard rumors. My birth mother had made statements about it the one time I did visit. But now her husband’s relative was telling me the truth! The truth I had been afraid to seek out while my father was alive. I had been afraid to dishonor the man who was so proud of me, proud of my good grades as a girl, and later on as a grown woman, proud of my cute kids, his grandkids.

I learned the startling truth, a truth I was not prepared to hear. The man married to my mother was not my father. This cousin divulged the ugly news: my birth mother had been raped. Her husband knew, they had told relatives and had gone to the police. To preserve her honor, he had publicly claimed me as his own. I now realized that my birth parents consisted of a woman who is mentally ill and a violent criminal, the man that raped her.

Thankfully, at the time I learned this, my life was stable and my relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ was strong. Instead of experiencing an identity crisis, I simply embraced my identity in Christ. A daughter of the Most High King was the only identity I desired. Birth family roots seemed unimportant, and, instead, I would embrace the love of my adopted family. I also began to share my story, bringing light and truth to counter the dark lie of “pro-life except in cases of rape”.

Then my maternal aunt sent me a Facebook message, stating that she and one of my uncles wanted to come to Michigan to visit me. As plans materialized, I learned that she and THREE uncles planned to visit! My birth mother had not seen any of her family for almost forty years. Little did I know how disruptive this visit would be. Deep down I felt bewildered: what were these uncles’ intentions? I didn’t even know their names nor had I ever spoken with them. Could it possibly be that they simply wanted to meet me? Why?

The night they arrived in Michigan, I drove to the house at which they were staying and noticed a man standing outside the door. He quickly introduced himself as one of my uncles and then told me that he had wanted to come to Michigan to meet me more than 20 years ago, just to let me know that they loved me. Peace flooded over me. All my uncles had similar sentiments of love, affection and concern for me. For the first time in a very long time, I felt genuine fatherly love. While I know I did not need this to feel complete, it felt so good, so validating. While their trip was short, the aftershock has not been.

Soon, I was invited to and attended their family reunion in Texas. I know that if they had not first visited me, I likely would not have gone. But I was extremely blessed and surprised by my uncles’ desire to spend extra time with me during the visit. These men whom I had only met weeks before, valued me, accepted me, had true fatherly concern over my well-being, and enjoyed my company.

I never expected to be so loved. I am the long-lost niece, found and now surprised by such lavish attention. Waves of joy have washed over me ever since, as I’ve relished the feeling of being so wanted. My conception may have been the result of violence, and my mother may endure a lifelong struggle with mental illness, but my life and purpose defy such confusion. I am wanted. Thank you, Mom, for choosing to labor and birth me.

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Edited by Shawn Spry

Surprise Visit with my Mentally Ill Birth Mother

My mother was raped; many would say I am the rapist’s baby.  Those mothers who have been raped will quickly say their child is their baby, not the rapist’s.  In my case, I was never the rapist’s baby, nor my mother’s.

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Mothers whether you love them or hate them, they are always yours.  Deep down you know that when trouble comes, your mom will be there for you.  She may give lots of unwanted advice at times, but at least she is there to give it.  For women who are mentally ill like my birth mother, who is schizophrenic, correct motherly responses are almost impossible.  When I was born, Michigan still had state mental hospitals, and she had many visits there.  While she was finishing a stay in the mental hospital after I was born, a local couple cared for me.  When she got out, they tried to teach her how to care for me. Under her care, I would go all day not being fed or changed; when the crying would not end, her husband would call for help.

The local couple, Ursula and Zara Hunter, continued to step in to help when asked.  When I was five years old I was legally adopted by the couple. Before this, I was an orphan.  My biological father discarded me the moment I was conceived through his horrible act forced upon a mentally and physically defenseless woman. Though it’s possible that on her good days, my biological mother wanted me, she was not capable of caring for me.  Through no fault of her own, a mental illness robbed me of a relationship with her.

When people hear that I’m adopted, the first thing they ask is, “Do you know who your ‘real’ parents are?”  My response is always the same: “Yes, their names are Ursula and Zara Hunter.”  But I know what they are really asking.  After visiting my biological mother and her husband almost 15 years ago, I didn’t go back for a long time.  My mother seemed quiet and, at times, indifferent about the visit but answered the basic questions I asked.  After this visit, bizarre behavior surfaced.  I was told by her legal guardian at the time, not to visit again.  I continued to visit her husband when I could and sent pictures of my family.  He explained that if she got to the mail before he did, she would rip up the pictures explaining that she did not have a daughter or grandchildren.

When her husband died, she acknowledge me at the funeral.  Afterwards, I made more of an effort to write and would occasionally ask if I could stop by for a visit.  She did not respond to the requests.  However, a few weeks ago I received a response to my most recent attempt to connect.  Her written response to, “Can I stop by to visit?” was, “I don’t care what you do. Make your own decision. Sincerely, your Mother.”

What to do?  Stop and hope it’s a good day, or always wonder if she was having a bad?  Since we were going through the area that evening, I decided to stop.  I must admit it’s difficult to see how she lives, and her behavior.  The visit was short and my family stayed in the car.

My hope is to visit again but I know that it will never be a normal situation.  So does that mean I should have been aborted?  What if my traumatic conception and birth always cause her pain? Would having an abortion have made that pain go away?  I have heard so many women tell me that they regret the abortion they had after being raped-that the abortion made it worse not better.  What about the grandchildren she doesn’t want to see? Are they not real because their mother was conceived in rape? Of course not! Their lives matter as does mine.  Yes, the memories will last a lifetime, but the pregnancy only lasted nine months. But an abortion would not have ended the memories, only my life.  I may not have the fairy tale ending many who have been adopted dream about. The reality of that makes me even more grateful I was adopted and not aborted. I was never given away, I was given a family!

Mary Rathke learned of her conception at the age of 32 yrs, she is a licensed minister, Pro-Life Speaker and is on the board of Save the 1.

Edited by Shawn Spry

Pregnant Woman Jailed Because She Is a Rape Victim

An 18-year-old woman who was searching for a rental home for herself and her husband was lured into an empty building and was gang raped by seven men. A police officer found her after the incident and dismissed her statement, because it was a Muslim holiday and he did not want to take the time to investigate. The men who raped her had told her during the event that if she told anyone what had happened they would kill her. The police officer who found her did nothing, so this confirmed her fears that no would would help or take her seriously. She lives in a country where rape convictions are rare, and, instead, the VICTIM maybe prosecuted for adultery.  (Full story here- http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/18/sudan-pregnant-alleged-rape-victim-charged-adultery)

She is now seven months pregnant. Because her attackers filmed the event, she was arrested for adultery, and could face death by stoning. She is now sleeping on the concrete floor in a jail cell. Victim’s rights in many different parts of the world are not looked upon the same as here in the USA. We hear about her horrible ordeal, in wonder and dismay. I look at her situation and realize there are three victims. The woman, her husband, and her unborn child. In America that child would be marked for death. Advocates for justice cry out against her stoning, but many of those same supporters of the woman are staunch believers that injecting her womb with a salt solution so the baby scalds to death would be okay. Many believe abortion in case of rape is okay.  Why are we appalled by how her country’s judicial system condemns the pregnant rape victim to death, and not realize that we condemn innocent children to death because of rape, here in our own country through the laws that are passed everyday!?

 I pray that this woman is not found guilty of adultery. I hope the video will help the judge realize she was not a willing participant. No one who wants to have sex needs to be held down while each man takes their turn. Victims need just laws and fair courts. She does not desire death by stoning and neither does her child. No child wants to die.

My son was one pound, eight ounces when he was born…  I was told that he was a fighter. Our 27 week gestational age baby was fighting for life. This desire and fight inside him to survive did not instantaneously occur on the day he was born, rather it was in him from the moment he was conceived.

This woman tried to fight off her attackers, and now she has to fight a brutal judicial system. This corrupt system does not recognize her as the victim. Please join with me as we pray for her release, that she receives understanding and grace from her husband. And, pray for life and  blessings for her soon-to-be-born child. “Every preborn child deserves to be born, no matter the circumstances of his or her conception. Abortion only perpetuates the violence. Life liberates.

Edited by Shawn Spry

No Medical Treatment for 4 year old, Molly Dies! ~satire

I was having a busy day when I reached for the phone; as I said “Hello”, I heard a frantic voice on the other end. I stopped looking at my emails and focused on the call. It was Cindy, a single mom who had attended our church for the last three years. She had a cute four-year-old daughter named Molly who was a chatter box, I often had her in my nursery class. Cindy was crying and it was hard to make out her words.

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I began to talk in calming words, “Cindy what’s wrong? I’m right here, it’s okay. Do I need to come meet you somewhere?”

Slowly she began to make sense. She had been at the doctors with Molly and they discovered that Molly had a brain tumor. The doctor went over treatment options with her. I sat speechless as she began telling me about Molly’s diagnosis. Without treatment she will probably die in the next month. The doctor had never seen a case this severe in a young child.

“I didn’t realize how ill she was,” Cindy explained.  “The day care ladies would say she was fussy once in a while, and she occasionally complained about headaches. But I never imagined she had a brain tumor!” Cindy sobbed for a few minutes, I sat quietly and began praying. Soon she calmed down and continued, “The doctor says that with nine months of intense treatment, if I drive a few hours back-and-forth to Ann Arbor every few days, she has a 75% chance of making it. If we do nothing she will be dead within a month. What do I do?” she pleaded.

This question startled me, “What do you do?” I thought, “Fight for the life of your child!”

However, I didn’t say anything. I took a few moments to pray and in a steady voice said, “What do you mean, Cindy, what are you thinking you should do?”

“I don’t know?,” she said, “I’m so close to being finished with my master’s degree. I just can’t put my life on hold for nine months right now. What kind of quality-of-life will she have after all this treatment? She’s only four years old, I’m not sure she should suffer during this time. If I just do nothing, within a month it’ll be all over and she’ll be in heaven.” Cindy began crying again.

I sat quietly and pondered what Cindy had just said. Cindy has been a part-time college student since becoming pregnant with Molly her freshman year of college. Two years after Molly was born Cindy was pregnant with her second child and she came to me explaining that she needed to have an abortion, she couldn’t put her life on hold for nine months again. I tried to talk her out of it, and even offered to adopt the child myself. I explained that I had been conceived in rape and had been given a wonderful family, but she insisted it was her life, her choice. And now she’s faced with a similar choice.

“Cindy,” I said, “Molly’s life is valuable, she’s worth fighting for. Even if she has some ill effects from the treatment, she will still be a beautiful precious girl, bringing joy to all those around her.”

The thought of this laughing little girl–who had played in my office and nursery class–now lying in bed sick, made me sad.

Cindy was quiet for a few moments and finally said, “It’s my choice, it’s my life that will be affected. I’ll lose my apartment, I won’t be able to work, or to finish school. You can’t understand.”

“There are many of us that would be willing to help you as much as we can,” I replied. “I know you might have to put your life on hold for a few months, but it’s just temporary. Once Molly is gone she is never coming back.”

“I know,” said Cindy in a very small voice, “but it’s my choice.”

I continued to reassure her that we would be there to help, but Cindy kept restating that it was her choice and she was not sure what she’s going to do. She hung up quite upset with me in the end. Unfortunately, she did not choose life for Molly, and she died three weeks later. I was always haunted by that conversation. Should I have called the state to report child abuse?  Should the doctors have insisted that Molly get treatment, or have her placed in foster care? Was it really the mother’s choice about how to take care of her child when it came to life and death? Or, did society owe Molly a fighting chance at life, especially since she had such a high chance of surviving with treatment?

The story I just shared with you is fictional, however the excuses Cindy used are real. Instead of a four-year-old, mothers are talking about their developing pre-born child.  A woman doesn’t want to put her life “on hold” for nine months. It’s her body, her choice. I hear women say it’s their right to choose an abortion, especially those who have been raped. It was not their fault they got raped, someone else perpetrated an evil against them. How could they be expected to bear this child and put their life on hold for nine months? Just like the choice Cindy had to make for her daughter, Molly, many women are faced with a choice.

If they choose as Cindy did, their children will never have a chance to laugh and play, to live! There are Mollys, Marys, Rebeccas, Jims, Toms and Wesleys all over the world that will never be given the chance to live, because of a selfish choice. Society would be appalled at a mother not willing to sacrifice nine months of her life to care for her child, but yet we find it acceptable for mothers to end lives through the choice of abortion. Shouldn’t the law protect those children whose mothers won’t? Until all mothers embrace life and forsake abortion, I will speak out to protect the unborn, I will encourage all mothers to choose life.

Edited by Shawn Spry