Married to a Pedophile: Is God a Liar?

I prayed for two things ever since I was a little kid. I prayed that I would never have to suffer the pain of losing a child. I watched my parents change before my very eyes when my young sister Carmella died, and I prayed to God that would never happen to me. And, I prayed for a Christian husband. I wanted to be joined in marriage to a man who honored God above all else. I witnessed physical and mental abuse in my home between my parents and I wanted a home centered around loving and honoring God above all else.  

I was blessed with children, but….I also suffered the unthinkable pain of six miscarriages, one stillborn baby boy and more recently the death of my young adult son, Mike. And, I’ve cried out thousands of times, “God, where are you? Did you hear my prayers? You promised if we were faithful to You our prayers would be answered!”

My heart has ached a desperate, lonely ache for these losses, and my heart will forever feel the hole that remains in the very center of my heart. 

I gave up thousands of dollars in college scholarships so I could  go to a private Christian college in hopes of finding a Christian husband. I believed God would answer my sincere, earnest prayer. I did get married, but unknown to me I married a man who was living a life of deceit and lies. He was a child molester and by his own admission had been abusing children sexually since he was fourteen. His life was a mockery to God, and his life was a blatant, black pack of lies to me and to his children and to all who know him.

“How, God? How could you not hear my prayers? Why did you allow me to marry a man whose life was committed to raping children? God, where are you? Are you a liar, God?”

I’ve spent hours upon hours wrestling with my thoughts about God and His word. I’ve gone through a period of total resignation from God and prayer. Why pray? What’s the sense? Is there really a God? Does God enjoy seeing His followers anguished and in pain?

Grief and healing take time, and so does reconciliation with God take time. In fact, time in and of itself brings a certain amount of healing and comfort.

Let me explain where I am in my life right now.

I will never, ever be able to say that I’m okay that I’ve experienced the death of children. Never! God forbid! I wouldn’t wish this heartache on anyone!

But, I have learned lessons of love and faith and humility because of my pain. In fact, I’ve been led to start a grief support group online that now has a quarter million daily followers. Yes, that’s right! Every day God has given me the responsibility and the blessing of speaking to that many precious ones who have experienced the gut-wrenching heartbreak of child loss. **If you are part of Facebook, please look up Silent Grief Support. And, God has also given me the words to write books to those who are grief-stricken by child loss.

It has been said there is meaning in pain. I believe God has shown me meaning in my pain. He was with me through every one of my losses. I simply needed time to process how involved God has truly been in my life. 

And, my marriage. Well, this is a really, really hard one, too. It is now six years since I’ve found out that the man I married is a pedophile. He now serves a life sentence in prison. I’m divorced and living alone. This is a far, far cry from my prayers that I prayed every day since the day I was twelve!

“Why? Why, God? Why did you allow this? Why have my children had to suffer through this pain, too? Why has our family ended up so broken? Why  have so many precious children been abused by the man I married?”

The passage of time is helping me to see why my life was the one chosen to be married to such a person. Since John’s arrest, countless people have been helped. My son Jimmy has devoted much of the past six years to fighting hard for the abused. He has begun a ministry that cannot and will not be stopped. I’ve written countless articles on abuse and this blog has now been visited by nearly a million people! Not to mention the podcast that was recently started and the books in progress.

God was here all the time. In His infinite wisdom He knew who would carry on this work that needs to be done.

Am I saying I’m okay with what has happened in my life?

In all truthfulness, I haven’t grown to that point yet. I’d love to be married to a fine Christian man, and be part of a thriving ministry with my husband. I’d love for my children to have a dad who is involved in each of their lives every day. I’d love for my grandchildren to be near a loving grandfather who spends time with them teaching them about life and God.

But, those things just aren’t part of the picture.

I’ve come to a place of trusting God again. I know He is here. I know He is mightily part of my life. I know He is guiding and directing Jimmy in this work.

I am humbled as I say, “God is a God of truth. God is love and always has been. My God is a mighty God.”

If you are struggling with abuse in your life right now, please know that you’re not alone. Please visit jimmy’s blog and listen to our podcasts. Please don’t give up on prayer. And, please, please don’t give up on God. I know we’re at a critical turning point in the fight against abuse and I also know that we will win this battle!

With love,


15 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: Is God a Liar?

  1. No words except thank you for continuing this journey for yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your church, your readers, and perhaps people yet to discover your blog.

    • Linda,
      Thank YOU for the encouragement! You are a blessing in my life!


  2. Dear Clara,
    My heart (as you know) has been smashed to pieces in the same painful way as yours, by my husband of 30 years. I also simply prayed for a faithful christian husband, who would journey with me through life, whatever it brought our way. I am also alone now and asking God everyday to help me trust Him, for my sorrow and future, which looks SO different to what I thought would be. Acceptance of a different life is my current battle… Be strengthened and comforted to know that I am on the same road as you, asking “Why”? and then daily declaring “I trust you Jesus.” and remembering as you so often do, to really see and thank God for all the blessings He gives to us and continue NOT to let the devil steal our trust or faith or small joys!

    • Dear Lydia,
      I think that the “acceptance” of the new and much different life than we planned and dreamed is one of the most difficult parts of this journey. I lived by a simple equation: If you are faithful to God, your prayers will be answered. I forgot to add prayers will be answered “according to God’s will.” I’m not certain that I’ll ever be in a place that is fully accepting of what my life is like right now. It’s been a hard life, and I know that you can understand what that means. But, when I focus on the bigger picture as well as my many, many blessings amidst the pain and turmoil, I can only say “Thank you heavenly Father.” Life is a journey and it’s one that doesn’t always turn out the way we planned. But, I am convinced that with God in the center of our lives, the plan becomes the very best one!

      Hang in there! Beautiful days are ahead!

      With love,

  3. I finally, after many troubles I won’t go into, have come to the realization that suffering is a part of the human experience. Whether we read a Greek myth of Pandora allowing all the evil and awful things to escape out into the world, or sit around a table listening to tales of oldtimers’ lives, or open our Bibles to read about Job and Solomon’s search for understanding — everywhere, it seems, there are physical pains, abuses, diseases, premature deaths, and on and on.

    What I think, and this is truly my own opinion, is that as the saying goes, “God is good. Always. In all ways.” 100% good. So if God is good, I don’t think He sends pain and suffering and loss. They come because we are human.

    He is always here to help His children, to carry us through, and to share our pain. But He does not stop all our human troubles because He knows that working through them may develop us into stronger people, or bring out hidden gifts from inside us. Just as Clara has found writing and speaking an extremely positive way to “bear one another’s burdens.” The same is true of Anu, whose talents are emerging in her recovery and in her ability to share her survival story with others.

    And just maybe, God doesn’t stop all the evil because then we’d never want to leave here, for as it is, we look forward to a Heaven where “all will be made new.” The sick will be healed, those who are suffering will replace their tears with joy and praise for God, and many will be reunited with those who left our lives too soon.

    God is just. He is loving. He will not allow “His holy ones to face destruction” once we reach His Heavenly realm. As the hymn goes, “This world is not my home/ I’m just a passing through/ My treasure is laid up/ Somewhere beyond the blue … “

    No cheating. No lying. No abuse of any kind. No pain and sickness. Where God is there always, and in all ways, our new home will be 100% good.

    • Jana,
      Thank you so much for this beautiful comment. The more I get to know you, the more I know how completely surrendered to God your life truly is. You are a beautiful example to me. You’ve encouraged me in ways that you’ll never know, and I’m so thankful for that. Our God is just and pure and holy. Our God is fully and completely a God of love. When we trust Him, our entire focus on this earthly life changes into something spiritual. Thank you so much for the encouragement you give to me just by being you. You are a beautiful blessing in my life!


  4. Thank you so much for writing about such things: loss of loved ones, piles and piles lies, marital and child abuse, and REAL, honest questions that may not be “popular” to voice among Christians (how dare we question God or His ways? Don’t anger Him by your doubt and disbelief!)

    It is breath of fresh air just knowing that it’s all right to cry out to Him, from your heart, and DON’T try to hide your real self from Him: especially under the guise of—just be strong and have faith and He will be pleased with you.

    NOT TRUE: Paul cried out three times to the Lord out of real pain, and He answered by saying His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. His grace is sufficient.

    So there is no shame in admitting our frailties. and even better: HIS grace (His, not ours) grace IS (present tense, so right now) sufficient (it will make the unbearable, bearable in Him)

    “Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” (Psalm 50:15)

    “I’ve gone through a period of total resignation from God and prayer.”

    So have I. I started to backslide, actually—because I was so knotted up inside. This was in the year 2000, and it took a real work of the Lord to bring me full circle, back to Him. I was so alone for so long, it felt like, but He was always there.

    Then, in 2015, I suffered through four different, separate traumas—each of which completely blindsided me. I lost a beloved family member, and most of the people around me fled (who wants to be around a crime scene with all that sobbing and tragedy? Most people don’t, I guess)

    My pastor was revealed to be a cheat and a liar. We found out a dear friend was in an abusive marriage, which NO ONE suspected. My own marriage took a heavy blow (long story; it’s still mending) and I lost another family member (through divorce) who had been like a daughter to me, and I didn’t know about it for months (another long story).

    I thought I was going to fall apart for good. My health had also taken a lot of blows in previous years, which took constant adjusting and a toll on my life before 2015.

    So every facet of my life that meant something to do me had been exposed to have real, serious deception in it.

    I wasn’t sure if I was going to “bail” out on God again, to be honest. As with most people, I couldn’t just crawl into a hole and disappear. I had people around me that had needs, and I had responsibilities in general. No matter how badly you are hurting, you have to find a way to move forward, or at least get out of bed in the morning and face the day.

    I did spend hours sobbing, pleading with God to bring back my beloved family member who left us so suddenly. I had no idea how much I could hurt inside. How empty I felt. How huge that void was.

    And this is APART from all the other traumas that would not leave me alone. The moment I woke up, there they were—waiting for me, with all the various amounts of anguish, confusion and anger wrapped up in each one of them.

    What was God thinking?? How in the world could He let these things happen to me: bam, bam, bam one after the other? Couldn’t He have at least spaced them apart a bit, to give His already frail, lonely child a moment to catch her breath?

    There are no clear, easy answers to that. To any of the questions that still swirl around my brain constantly.

    I’m not the person I was for sure. I have no idea who to trust around me, or even how to trust. I’d given it to people who chose to abuse it. I am extremely careful to whom I lower my guard to, and I almost never do unless the Lord gives me confidence to do so.

    But God’s not like people. He does not lie, or abuse, or or bail out on you when you are hurting (He actually runs TO you, unlike people) He is utterly trustworthy and faithful. And He cries with us. And gathers up our tears, because every single tear means something to Him.

    I have tried to let Him use all this pain so I can minister more effectively to others. I hope He has succeeded in some ways.

    NEVER let the pain of your life become a wall of hostility to the world. Christians can rightly be called out as having little to no empathy for others, which is what the world so badly needs in order to see what a loving. living God is out there.

    I liken some of my experience to a real life event in the 80’s: the day Reagan was shot. Shots were fired, and his bodyguards leaped into action. One of them pushed Reagan into the car as fast as possible, and one other spread his arms, eagle like, over the President, to protect him. He took a bullet for his trouble, and one other person was shot as well (but not his bodyguard).

    Reagan was shot as well as we know, but his bodyguards are still unsung heroes IMO.

    The people at that event screamed, ran, hit the ground when the bullets started flying. Understandably so, by the way!

    But the bodyguards, trained to do the EXACT opposite, did what they swore to do: protect their charge.

    This is how the Lord worked (and still does) in my life. When the traumas came (like bullets flying out of nowhere), everyone else hit the ground or hit the road. Not Him. He spread Himself over me and did not leave me when I needed Him the most.

    Even though the Secret Service are some of the bravest of all persons, and even with all the training they go through—it is only when those bullets start flying that their true heart and bravery are tested.

    When the bullets started flying, I found out how shallow and callous most people are (especially Christians, sadly). But I also found out how much He truly loves me.

    All of this pain, which I would pay someone a MILLION dollars to take away from me (not possible, but still!), just pushed me closer to Him.

    I also would not wish this pain on anyone who has hurt me or rejected me when I was in so much pain, simply out of “now you’ll know what I’m feeling.” I have heard that that is usually how anyone will truly “get it” is it it’s personalized and they experience it themselves.

    Maybe that’s true, but I still wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I also am not sure it’s guaranteed to change a person, to cause them to have more empathy and compassion for others.

    We have to allow Him to take that pain and ask Him to use it, or to use it to soften our hearts. Otherwise, I think the pain just thickens and becomes more like a cancer, eating us up inside and wearing us down over time. I am working on actively giving Him my pain, so that it does not become my enemy, and own me and destroy me from the inside out.

    • Dear Anu,
      Thank you so very much for taking the time to write these awesome, helpful comments. I know that you “get it” — going through pain and questioning our Father. Periods of questioning often lead to us learning to lean more on our heavenly Father. I, like you, would never wish this kind of pain and suffering on anyone. Never! And, in all honesty, I wish there had been others ways of God reaching out to me to become a better servant. But, here we are — you and me and countless others. Learning to live again in spite of the pain.

      My heart weeps every day for those children who are suffering in abusive situations. And, that is why I will continue to speak out and do all that I can to help prevent this type of abuse from happening again and again. Together we are a strong voice, and I thank you for YOUR voice!!!

      Sending love to you as we both continue to grow stronger each and every day.


      • Clara,
        I can’t thank you enough for your ministry and I have also subscribed to Jimmy’s.
        I have an automatic download for the podcasts and I find myself shaking my head in disbelief as I realize that you are confirming what I am living through.
        It is difficult to accept that the man I married, my adult children, siblings and those within the church could be so full of manipulative greed in order to get what they want out of life by using me … several counselors referred to be as being the sacrificial lamb.
        I feel at a standstill as to where the Lord wants me to live? I remain here, non-verbal for several years and do not sense that a separation or divorce is about to happen. I tried and the lawyer backed out on me; felt I wasn’t moving quick enough and thus I obviously wasn’t ready?? No. There was more to the story as this lawyer seemed to suddenly clam up on me and seemed almost to be more positive towards ‘his cause’. 🙁
        Praying that the Lord continues to heal you and your loved ones as you minister to others.
        Praying my life glorifies the Lord. That is my sincere desire and that my precious loved ones be saved. My heart aches for my little grandchildren.

        • Dear HealinginHim,
          I can sense that lost feeling in you. Please keep seeking and searching for life beyond abuse. God never intended for us to live a life of abuse! I’ve come to a place of finding purpose in my pain, but I’m ever so thankful to be free from the situation(s) that were causing my pain. Find another attorney to help you. There are plenty out there. The longer you stay in an abusive situation, the more of “you” gets chiseled away.

          Thank you for your comments. I continue to pray that the words written and the words that come from my mouth are words that others need to hear for encouragement and strength. Jimmy does the same. Always remind yourself that you are much stronger than you think. I believe with all of my heart that our Father will help you break free of any abusive situation.

          With love,

    • Anu, you stated, “I have tried to let Him use all this pain so I can minister more effectively to others. I hope He has succeeded in some ways.”
      Dear Anu, I want to confirm to you with great love that you have ministered to many. I have always appreciated your insightful and encouraging comments on FB pages that we both gather at.
      I’m not always able to comment as much as I am still in a place of despair as I am forsaken by all around me … (have some very tiring days) … BUT God is great and He is faithful. He is definitely answering the prayers of many online sincere friends who are praying for me as my physical health is returning so I can accomplish so much more. This in turn is healing my mental state and I am slowly returning somewhat to the woman I used to be. The scars are still there but I sense the healing is coming even amidst more attacks.
      Praying for you Anu. I have learned so much more of your grief from your comment here. ((hugs)) and I wish that I lived closer to you to be a flesh, face-to-face friend. <3

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