I recognize bullies. I “get” them; I feel the pain pulsing in their hearts and empathize with the desperation pumping through their veins. For that same poison has pulsed and pumped through my own bloodstream.
And although DNA may make one person more susceptible to becoming a bully than another, most bullies are not born, they’re created. They’re molded, sometimes instantly, and sometimes over many years, by hands of rejection, abandonment, abuse, and heartache – and these hands always craft into the dead center of every bully one thing: fear.
Fear is the master; the bully is but its slave. Anytime you see a prideful man, you see a man who is scared to death.
If we bullies were honest with you, we would tell you a few things.
We would tell you that the reason we make you feel so stupid, is because we’re terrified you may figure out how smart you truly are – and if that happens, you’d realize how dumb we truly are.
When we control you, it’s because we are fearful that too much freedom may allow you to see that you don’t really need us anymore.
When we hurt you and intimidate you, it is because we hope that by keeping your head down; you’ll never be able to look up – look up and see that we are actually the ones trembling.
When we make fun of your friends and your family, it’s because our hearts are wrenching with jealously for that kind of love.
When we nag, criticize, and point out your every weakness, it’s only because we’re petrified you’ll get a taste of your true goodness – and realize how much better you are than us.
We are paranoid because we know we deserve the worst, and we assume everyone else sees it too.
We don’t hate you; we hate how much we love you.
We hate how much we need you.
We hate how ugly we are, how weak we are, how broken we are, how lost and desperate we are.
We hate how scared we are.
So we spend our life in a state of constant self-defense.
Until, if we’re lucky, we get to the point where we can’t defend anymore, and we give up – even if only long enough to murmur the plea, “Lord, help me.”
The only cure to the bully’s ill is love. Not just any love, certainly not human love, but only Perfect Love can cast out the fear that strangles and entangles the bully’s heart.
Love that never abandons, never fails, never lies, never takes advantage, never controls, never abuses, and never disappoints – but rather Love that comforts, heals, saves, forgives, and endures forever.
Day by day, grace by grace, and “Lord, help me” by “Lord, help me,” Jesus Christ is taking my fear and insecurity — and turning this born-again bully into a person who is free to love without fear.
The only way to win the fight… is to quit fighting.
We are proud to announce that Friend of RP and regular contributor to The Recovering Politician, Morgan Hancock was named “Mrs. Conservative Indiana.”
She will compete for “Mrs. Conservative USA” this coming July in Baton Rogue, Louisiana!
Please join us in wishing Morgan well!
I’m so prideful.
I’m so angry.
I’m so desperate.
I mock my husband.
I yell at my children.
I can’t even take five minutes out of my self-centered day to call my grandfather who lives alone – and lonely.
I spend my money unwisely and speak even less wisely.
Even as I write these words, I should be cleaning, or playing with my son. On the other hand, I probably should have written more lately, but I’ve been too lazy and managed my time too poorly to fit it in.
But, I love the Lord. I love Him deeply, and sincerely, and totally.
I love Him, and I yearn for Him to be proud of me, but how—
How could He ever be?
I’m gross. I’m pathetic. I can’t even stand myself, so how could a most perfect and Holy God possibly stand even the mere sight of me?
I can’t fathom it.
I drop to my knees.
“Tell me who I am to you, Lord. Tell me…again.”
I know all the right words, the scriptures, and the songs, but what do I know of Holy?
“That’s just it, Morgan. You don’t
comprehend Holy. You think you are making me big and you small by belittling yourself, but you are doing the exact opposite. You are underestimating ME, you are calling ME a liar, and you believe that your weaknesses are more than I can overcome.” the Lord speaks to my spirit, “And, you know, it really is true, my grace is
enough. More than enough.”
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Morgan Hancock: Breathing the Name of God
Brilliant lights explode in the night’s sky; lighting up my children’s laughing faces. The air is warm and the grass is cool.
It’s the night before Independence Day.
The families around me look celebratory and happy, but this year, I’m not feeling it.
Please understand that I am very grateful for the freedoms I currently enjoy as an American. I can worship on Sunday mornings – aboveground. I can homeschool my children; I can pray in most public places; and I can lay down my head at night without much fear of being arrested for my Christian faith. Many Christians around the world are not afforded these luxuries.
Yet, with all these things to be grateful for, why aren’t I in the Fourth-of-July mood?
As much as I love Independence Day and all that it represents, it is also a harsh reminder of how far we have strayed from this country’s original intent. Most Americans today, including most Christians, have replaced their God-centered worldview with a man-centered worldview.
Our founders were not sinless, but this modern humanistic mindset is one of the starkest differences between America then and America now – and its influence is destroying the very freedoms that our founders fought so hard to obtain.
Rosalie Slater describes it well, “For the first one hundred and fifty years or so, we maintained our Christian character as a nation. Then began our period of ‘falling away’ when we worshipped the ‘effect’ of our great success and forgot the ‘cause.’ This vacuum was readily filled with man-centered philosophies which replaced the internal battles of conscience with social, economic, and political struggles of society.”
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Morgan Hancock: From Independence to Bondage
Sexually molesting ten innocent children: if there is one crime for which I can hardly fathom forgiveness, it is most certainly this one.
Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to life in prison yesterday — and justly so. He deserved to be punished severely, and if he is murdered in prison, he most likely deserves that as well.
However, in the midst of my celebration of “justice being served,” a still small voice rose up inside of me.
“I love him.”
I knew it was the Lord.
He came again, but louder this time, “I love him.”
I was speechless. Yeah, sure, I know that God loves everyone, but never before had it shaken me to the core like this. Here was man whom abused ten innocent children, and probably more, and God is telling me he loves him. I just couldn’t swallow it.
As I watched one Facebook status after another pop up in celebration of Sandusky’s demise, the Lord’s words played on repeat, “I love him. I love him…”
I don’t understand.
And that’s just it, as humans we have such a difficult time fully understanding the height and depth and width of God’s unconditional love because it is, well, so un-human.
God loves Sandusky as much as He loves you, your children, and your grandchildren; and even as much as he loves those hurting, aching, and wounded little boys that Sandusky abused.
It’s not fair.
It’s not fair!
“Grace is not fair,” the Holy Spirit interjected unwaveringly.
I guess that’s the mystery of grace; you just can’t get God to quit loving you.
It’s crazy love, way beyond my comfort zone – yet, for it, I’m forever grateful. If grace can be extended to man like Sandusky, then there is hope for us all, and that is good news.
And as for the victims, I mourn for them, but I don’t put anything past my God. I know that out of this horrendous tragedy, He will bring about healing, peace, transformation, and a beautiful display of forgiveness and the ability to overcome all things through Christ.
(Cross-posted, with permission of the author, from Eucharisteo)
Soon after my youngest son, Colt, was born, my husband and I began to struggle in our marriage. I had been loading the anger, jealously, and resentment filled bullets for quite some time, but the hormonal imbalances of post-partum-hood finally cocked the gun and pulled the trigger.
I’d always been too prideful to seek professional help but I felt, we felt, it was time. I contacted my pastor and asked him for a referral to a trustworthy, Christian therapist. I only went to one session, partly because it was too expensive and partly because I was too lazy to return. We continued to struggle for another six months or so before God really started working in our lives, but that’s another story.
In this article, I want to discuss something the therapist said to me, which never really started sinking in until now, years later. At the end of our 90-minute session she gave me a homework assignment.
“For the next week,” she explained, “I want you to completely eliminate the words, ‘should,’ ‘ought,’ and ‘must,’ from your vocabulary. These expectations you’re creating are killing all your relationships.”
I shrugged off the assignment and never returned to her office.
Yet, every so often, over the next couple years, her words would replay in my mind as I’d listen to myself grumbling over how, “He should of have shown me more respect,” or “It’s just what people ought to do,” or “If you really care about me, then you must…”
Should, ought, must; should, ought, must.
This was my life mantra and it continually left me feeling offended, shortchanged, and disappointed.
I lived my life based on expectations. Expecting others, myself, and God to behave in whatever particular way I deemed as good or reasonable; and when they didn’t live up, I would be hurt, disappointed, angry or all of the above.
Not only would I be chagrined in that moment of offense, but I would hold on to the grudge, letting one resentment pile on top of the other.
Countless times I nagged my husband for not doing whatever I felt he ought to do. Worse still, when someone else would fail to treat me how I assumed they should treat me, I would not only attack them, but also my husband for not responding to their wrongdoing in the way I felt he should respond to it.
Shwew! Talk about exhausting. Expectations on top of expectations – and it was making me miserable.
“But,” I would protest, “as my husband, he should do certain things for me! I mean, isn’t that kind of part of the job description!? The marriage vows?!”
No, it isn’t.
Marriage vows are what we promise to do for the other person – regardless of the situation we are in and without a promise of getting anything in return. Problems arise later when we “expect” our partner to respond in the way we want.
Instead of living a life of expectation, I’ve started living a life of expectancy. What’s the difference? Well, expectation sets up exact terms for how something should happen, or a particular way someone must respond to us or illustrate their love. We bring these expectations into our friendships, marriages, and our relationship with God.
The major problem with these expectations is that no one, not even God, ever lives up to them. And because we are so focused on whether or not they have done what we think they ought to do, we overlook all the other good things they are doing.
Let me explain.
When I married my husband, one way in which I felt that he should demonstrate his love for me is by cutting off all communication with his ex-girlfriends. If I saw him talking to one of them I would become so irate, so offended and oh, so heartbroken. His insistence on noncompliance became the only thing I could focus on and I was convinced that since he wouldn’t stop talking to these other girls, he must not truly love me. And, since I was so focused on his failure to meet my particular expectation of how he should demonstrate his love, I was missing all the other ways that he was communicating his love for me, i.e. spending time with me, loving my child, being affectionate, supporting me in anything I do, gift giving, and helping me in times of need.
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Morgan Hancock: Expectancy vs. Expectation
At fourteen, I willingly opened the door of my apartment to a thirty-six-year-old drug dealer — and he raped me. At fifteen I was arrested for shoplifting. By seventeen I had been in drug rehab –twice. At nineteen, I left my three-year-old son with my mother and moved to Michigan, then Washington, DC, and didn’t return home for four months. At twenty, I joined the ARMY, signed up for six years, yet served less than three before chaptering out. By twenty-two I was pregnant, out of wedlock, for the second time. In March 2008 I received a DUI, and in December 2011, I was nearly kicked out of law school for my “failure to disclose.”
Even just this morning, I awoke, asked the Lord for an opportunity to bless someone, and he snapped back with that same unnerving response as always: “Start with treating your own mother right.”
I raise my voice on Sunday mornings over things of great import like misplaced socks and spilled cheerios — and then head off to teach Sunday school.
At times, I’ve wished people were dead and, on occasion, I’ve wished it was me.
Secrets sit in the dark, smoky corners of our lives, reminding us who we “really are.”
But secrets lie.
They hide in darkness — terrified of Light; because they’re fearful we may catch a glimpse of what they really are: empty suits, paper tigers, tin gods.
I freely tell you all those ugly things about me (and believe me, there is more) because I’ve discovered that my identity doesn’t lie in any mistakes I’ve made, or will make.
I’ll never forget the first time I read the quote, “Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Read the rest of…
Morgan Brooke Hancock: Real, Raw, Ravishing Love
OK, folks, round two of the 2012 GOP presidential primary, which means round two of the fearless predictions of our recovering politicians.
Last week, our RPs boldly made their Iowa caucus prognostications, and with the exception of RP staffer Zack Adams (who predicted the correct finish of the top 6 candidates) and Artur Davis (the only contributing RP to predict the correct order of the top 3), well…let’s say they are lucky to get a second chance. But this web site is all about second acts, right?
And we ask you to join them in the comments section as well. No fun prizes, but instant fame and glory to the reader who is the closest.
So, here goes the New Hampshire experiment:
The RP: Romney 39; Paul 19; Huntsman 17; Santorum 12; Gingrich 11; Roemer 1; Perry less than 1%. Ron Paul let me down — big time — last week, but I still have confidence that the independents will keep him in a solid second place. And I predict that the media darling, John Huntsman, will underperform. And my big surprise: Buddy Roemer ekes out 6th place from under Rick Perry’s nose. Oh, yeah, and Mitt Romney wins big. Yawn.
Paul Hodes (contributing RP and former New Hampshire Congressman): Here goes from the Granite State…Romney 34; Huntsman 19; Paul 18; Gingrich 14; Santorum 12; Perry 3
Zac Byer (RP Staff): 1st – Mitt Romney (32%); 2nd – Ron Paul (19%); 3rd – Jon Huntsman (15%). [Click here to read his Zac's full report from Manchester, New Hampshire.]
Jason Grill: 1. Romney (Needs at least 35% or a 10 point win); 2. Huntsman (The candidate with the best chance to beat President Obama in the general); 3. Paul (Another third place finish, but still relevant); 4. Gingrich (Edges out Rick, but Tick…Tick…Tick…SC is next. Boom); 5. Santorum (No Iowa magic tonight); 6. Perry (Already hunkered down in SC for his last stand)
Greg Harris: Romney – 35; Huntsman – 21; Santorum – 16; Paul – 13; Gingrich – 11; Perry – 4
Steve Schulman: With apologies to Frank Sinatra…Mitt Romney – If he can’t win it here, he can’t win it anywhere…Ron Paul – He’ll do it his way…Jon Huntsman – Strangers in the night…Rick Santorum – Please don’t talk about him when he’s gone…Newt Gingrich – Fly him to the moon, let him play among the stars…Rick Perry – Ain’t that a kick in the head…And too bad Michele Bachmann dropped out … that lady is a tramp!
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The RPs Predict the New Hampshire Primary
“Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day”
“Affirmative Action Bake Sale”
These are only three examples of the many controversial events I hosted during my years as a College Republican.
At the time, I was proud of these events. Looking back, however, I realize they were merely embarrassments, inching me closer to rock bottom and my current journey as a Recovering College Republican.
The College Republican National Committee (CRNC) is the largest and longest-running political youth organization in the United States. It has produced many prominent Republicans such as Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Rick Santorum, Jack Abramoff, and − believe it or not− Hillary Clinton, who was president of her College Republican chapter at Wellesley College.
To the outside observer, College Republicans may simply seem like a group of nerdy fuddy-duddies in polos and pearl necklaces. Yet, for those of us who participated in the CRNC, it provided a setting that nurtured our dreams of becoming future governors, senators, or political consultants. While most college kids were out drinking alcohol and making bad decisions, we were refilling our coffee cups and finishing those last few crucial hours of “Get Out The Vote” (GOTV).
It was spring 2006 when I first sighted the online advertisement: “Now accepting applications for fall 2006 College Republican National Committee (CRNC) Field Representatives. Click here for more information.” Without hesitating, I clicked the ad.
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Morgan Hancock: From “Worst Person In World” to Work in Progress