“The secret to any failure is not to give up.” –Marian McSpadden
We are born to experience life at its best. But can anyone really do that? Even before we were born, we were already imprisoned within our parents’ expectations of us, the culture we are raised into, and the experiences we have that turns into painful memories. Today’s guest, Marian McSpadden, lived much of her life in that situation just as how many are living their lives today. What changed her life? Marian relates her journey as she liberated herself from everything that’s making her unhappy and unfulfilled. She also hints us on how to stay free once we’ve escaped from what’s holding us back. It takes a whole lot of courage and a bag of faith to take that journey. Tune in and learn what really confines us how to find happiness and hope amidst disappointments and disconcertion. Reaching that place of contentment and peace is no plain sailing. But if we never give up, we will surely advance to that place we deserve.
Listen to the podcast here:
01:09 Making a Cultural Shift
13:22 The Cost of Abuse
20:26 Grow in Faith, Build in Trust
26:37 Trust Your Gut
29:36 How to Overcome Deception
37:23 What Imprisons Us
41:01 Who Has Broken Trust
46:23 Stay Free
Resources:If you’re wanting to change your life but is not sure how, join @myexpectation as he interviews Marian McSpadden on another inspiring story of living to your expectations and reaching high places. #healing #abuse #followyourgut #overcomedeception… Click To Tweet
“One of the things that parents can do today to help instill that responsibility is to give your child responsibility.” -Art Costello
“You have to have faith in something first, and then you build the trust in it.” -Art Costello
“Your gut instinct will never, ever be wrong. It will always be right. Trust your gut.” -Art Costello
“There’s times we become deceived because we want something and we allow that deception to come on us.” -Marian McSpadden
“Letting go is like death… It is so difficult to let go of things that we want so desperately… you have to have an inner strength and faith to get through that.” -Art Costello
“When you start looking at yourself and what you don’t have and you lose your thankfulness, you’re just setting yourself up for a whole lot more hurt.” -Marian McSpadden
“It would be hard for us to honor God if we were robots.” -Marian McSpadden
“Everyone is prisoner to something… Our brokenness brings us to a conflict with relationships. “ -Marian McSpadden
“The secret to any failure is not to give up.” –Marian McSpadden
“We all get to decide who we are, what we’re going to stand for… and integrity will win at the end.” –Marian McSpadden
“Anybody can make a mistake. But we have that perfect reputation where people can expect and trust that this person isn’t perfect, but they will always make right if they find themselves off track.” –Marian McSpadden
Marian McSpadden has had her own share of bitter-sweet life. She lived the simple and serene country life but was hiding piles of hurts from sexual abuse and a controlling culture. She needed her freedom and at 34, she decided it was time. She left the life she knew and walked her own path. She took a GED, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and grew to be the inspirational speaker and compassionate coach that we know today. Marian and her husband own a multimillion dollar business. And as they continue to thrive, Marian also tries to help others free themselves from the bondage of their painful past. Marian knows no color or culture. She speaks to anyone who seeks hope and healing because she believes that everybody “deserves the chance to live a joyful, free and fulfilled life.”
Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast. Today, I am honored and thrilled again to have Marian McSpadden, her and along with her husband own a multimillion-dollar business. She was born in a secluded culture of a horse-drawn buggy religious organization. When she was 34 years old, a strong force within her took her beyond the world as she knew it. She sees no skin color and has a strong ability to bridge cultural gaps and speak to corporate, and women, and other groups. If you want her to speak to your group and be inspired by her directiveness and authentic stories, she believes everyone deserves the chance to live a joyful, free, and fulfilled life. Marian, welcome to the show. It’s an honor to have you here, and could you please, please tell us your story because I know it’s compelling.
Marian McSpadden: Well, thank you Art, likewise. It is an honor for me to be on your podcast. And you said a word that just triggered the thought of culture, and you said, I don’t see skin color or culture, and I really believe that firmly, that we’re all people with common goals, we need a place to live, and a way of doing life, and how do we get her food, and what clothes do we wear. I did grow up with a different culture right here within the United States, majority of the people cannot identify with because theirs was different. They grew up in a different culture. And when I was 34 years old, I did make that cultural shift.
Art Costello: And when you made this cultural shift, can you tell us how it all went for you?
Marian McSpadden: Well, Art, some people make a cultural shift for different reasons and mine was unique in a way that it wasn’t like it was dissatisfied with, when you’re in a conservative community like I was, where we didn’t have cars, I rode my bicycle to school for eight years. That’s the education I received was eighth grade. And I rode my bicycle to school all those years, starting from first grade, no matter what the weather was, except in some severe rain, rainy days, we did get a ride to school with a horse and buggy, but that was a cold ride, rainy, wet day. So my life was a little bit different in that way. But we still found a way to make a living, you know, we had to have a place to live, and I was always provided for as far as a home, and it was just, we did things differently. And my dad and mom had a 400 acre dairy farm. And so, I learned how to drive tractors at a young age. And when I was 10 years old, I learned how to throw the harness on our family horse, and I could drive two miles down the road to the little country store, and pick up some groceries for my mother as she needed them. And that was a real win for me. That horse was taller than I was, but I figured out how to get that harness up there because that mean I, when I could do that, I was qualified to drive on the road, which was a country road and not much traffic. So it was pretty safe for a little 10 year old. But in looking back to 10 year olds today and now, I’m kind of amazed at the difference of experiences I had compared to a lot of 10 year olds today. And I think our, and I visited before that you also had some farm experiences and learning some work ethics. And children these days when they don’t have that opportunity, I think they miss out on something.
Art Costello: I agree. You know, it builds, it instills in you a sense of direction, work ethic, pride. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of things that you learn by having the responsibility, maybe that’s what I should say. You really learn responsibility at a young age when you have to take care of animals because they cannot take care of themselves, you have to take care of them. And when you learn that, when you get up at 3:00 o’clock in the morning, and milk cows in 4:00 o’clock in the morning, kids today if they get up by noon time, sometimes they think they’re doing something fantastic. But we had to live in that culture where we had responsibility at an early age, and it really, really built character in us. That is I think lacking today.
Marian McSpadden: I wonder what there would be that we could do to bring a shift to that culture. Not everybody lives on a farm, and there’s absolutely joys of living on a farm. You’ve got a lot of freedom. You get wide open fields. You can play in the barn. You just got so much space to do things.
Art Costello: Let me answer that because I think that one of the things that parents can do today to help instill that responsibility is to give your child responsibility. Whether it’s with a pet because you can have a dog, or a cat, or a rabbit, or chickens. I mean, there’s a lot of cities now that allow chickens and stuff in cities, and when the child learns, those animals are dependent upon them. I think maybe not to the strongest degree that we did, but the idea is the same. They get that sense of responsibility and fulfillment. When you watch a little chick grow, or you can watch a piglet grow into a big stout pig, or calf grow into a cow and all that, there’s a sense of accomplishment that you help create something.“One of the things that parents can do today to help instill that responsibility is to give your child responsibility.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
Marian McSpadden: It’s true, and you also get to watch him die sometimes.
Art Costello: Yeah. And that’s another cycle of life lessons that kids don’t really see much of today. I don’t think we showed our children from seeing that, you know?
Marian McSpadden: Yeah. Yep. And Art, this may sound kind of gross, but by the time I was 10 years old, my mom gets sent me to the chicken yard, and I could get a couple chickens, pluck them, and feather them, and bring them to the house, processed ready for the family table, we cook for the family table.
Art Costello: That’s not gross, I mean, anybody that’s grown up on a farm and had chickens knows that. I could tell you a story, I raised a pig, his name was Oscar. He was huge. Six, 700 pound pig. And he would follow me and my sister to the school bus, and as soon as we got on the school bus, he had go back to the barn. He’d spend the day there. He knew when the bus was coming back to drop us off late in the afternoon, and he’d be waiting. One day I showed up at the house, or I showed up from school, and Oscar was not there. And I said: “Where is Oscar?” So I went looking for Oscar, and my brother was down on the bottom of the barn and I said: “Have you seen Oscar?” And my brother turned around to me, I’ll never forget it. It broke my heart. My brother said: “Yeah, he’s hanging off of the rafters, and poor Oscar got slaughtered to be put in the freezer.” And God, I was just heartbroken, I loved that pig. I mean, I raised them from just this little piglet, it’s just this big pig, and they’re very affectionate animals, that’s what people don’t understand about them when they’re domesticated like that. And him and I would spend a lot of time together talking. Matter of fact, when I used to go up and down this big hill where I’d have these conversations with God, Oscar sometimes would follow me all the way up and down that hill. It’s really, it’s a lifestyle and a culture that I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. And I think you’re probably the same way.
Marian McSpadden: It is true. There are parts of my childhood that were difficult. But on the flip side, where can children grow up where they say, well, I didn’t have a difficult childhood. We all get some adversity. And so I do, I do value the country experience, and to further a little bit how my story was different perhaps was that as I became an adult, I didn’t have options and choices like most people have because there were so many rules and restrictions of what you could and couldn’t do. So I was not allowed to have a driver’s license. I had to wear the certain dress, and my hair had to be a certain way, and my shoes had to be a certain way, and everything was pretty much looked at as it had to be a certain way. And even that wasn’t so difficult for me, Art, it was the hurts that had happened in my life, and I didn’t know how to release my emotions or even ask for anything because I wasn’t given opportunity or choices. The way I grew up, it’s just, I kinda grew up like a wildflower, I didn’t know that I had options in anything or that I could have a choice. And part of that is I’m saying, because with all of the hurts, everything that took place, I was sexually molested when I was five years old, and all of that hurt just got pushed down, pushed down. And so as I grew and there were more hurts, I just added them on top of the first hurts. And by the time I was 34 years old, I felt like I would physically die if I didn’t have any relief from that because it was so oppressive and my depression had become so intense. In-between my young adult years, I had become a school teacher as well. I taught in the one room schoolhouse for five years where I went to school, and we didn’t have electricity, we had outdoor plumbing, that mean outhouses. So what the weather was, if you need to take a trip to the bathroom, you went outside, that’s not so bad either. Your body adapt to a lot of things.
Art Costello: Yes, it does.
Marian McSpadden: As I continue, I also became a midwife and I helped women birth their babies in the community, and that was very rewarding and a very wonderful time as well.
Art Costello: Can you tell us what religious sect you were in?
Marian McSpadden: Well, a lot of people might reference to them as Amish or Mennonite, and they’re very much the same, and yet very different if you’re on the inside. My mom had a quilt shop and a lot of people would ask, are you Amish or Mennonite? So I would give them the information that Amish men typically have a big full grown beard, and the men will wear all solid colored clothes, and so will the women. Men on the other hand are clean shaven, no beard, no mustache, they’re clean shaven, and typically the women will have some like flowers or design in their dresses. So that is almost like a sure way to say this is a nomination, this is a Mennonite. And there are so many different varieties of Amish and Mennonite within the culture that may look like similar in the outside. But again, if you’re on the inside, it’s very different. One person can do this, one person can have electricity in the home that the other one can’t. One can have electricity in the school, not in the school, but you can have it in your home. Just how you make your clothing? What your buggy looks like? Just little nuances. But yeah, as I grew and I took on more responsibility, it just seemed like life got heavier for me. And there are happy Mennonite and Amish families that absolutely love their lives. And I think that’s an all people groups. There are some people who are absolutely happy where they’re at. And then there’s other people that are absolutely miserable. And I should have been happy because it was not like I was being held hostage or tortured in any way. It was my own oppression and depression that I didn’t know how to overcome, and nobody in my circle knew how to help me. And that led me to a search.
Art Costello: Do you think that being molested at a young age added guilt to it? Because I would think being in a Mennonite community, you think of purity and commitment to values, and all of those things. And then to have that trust violated by anybody in the community is hard enough. But when you’re in the kind of community you are in, it seems to me that that would be even more difficult.
Marian McSpadden: Well, definitely anybody that has suffered in that realm and they received some healing will finally discover how much it really did cost in their life. You just don’t know how life would have been if it had been different because that’s all you know. But for me, Art, I didn’t reckon with it. I always knew my story, and I always knew what happened, but I never put language to it as an adult, and so it was kind of like furry buried with everything else, all the other emotions, everything got buried, and didn’t dare have a lighter crack. I really didn’t trust many people or hardly anyone, so I wouldn’t even open up and share with my mom or my sisters. I was pretty close chest it with everything,
Art Costello: Which just adds to the burden of it more.
Marian McSpadden: Yes, it does. I didn’t recognize either what really happened to me. I refuse to look at that and even consider anything, I just never did till I was 33 years old, which was part of my breaking away then. But like I was saying, the responsibility of being a midwife, being responsible for mothers and babies, and I think the very nature of the work too was around sexuality. And I think it just stirred a lot of things, and I think I was just getting to the place where, it was like right, something was going to open up and release one of these times because it couldn’t be contained anymore. But you have to have a safe place for that to happen. If somebody opens up and releases all that has been hell on the inside with unsafe people, it can be very devastating institution. They don’t know what to do with you because your body’s going to have a reactions that it cannot control. And that’s where I have to give God so much credit because in those oppressive times of about 32, 33 years old, I really started crying out to God because I felt like I couldn’t live anymore, and I didn’t know how to live. I wanted to live, but I didn’t know how to live. And I cry my pillow at night. I would walk the country roads by myself and just cry my heart out to God, not even knowing that God could help me, but I knew that I needed help. And that intense seeking started shifting things, and it was like amazing how this person came in my life that brought a piece of the puzzle here, and another person came, and another person, and it was a jigsaw puzzle.
It didn’t come in a straight line with clear direction every day. It was very much a faith walk of moving one step forward at a time, and embracing new possibilities, and never dreaming that it was possible to change. I was introduced to a program that was very intensive and it was like two and a half days, and then he came back a little bit later, and in five days of intensive workshop where they had us open up and talk. And while I was at that workshop, I was in that really intense crying, and seeking, and through that, I was asked to throw out my garbage, and I didn’t think I had garbage, I thought I was a good Mennonite girl. Whatever, I had just always been kind of a good girl in a lot of ways. Except on the inside, I was very, I had bad attitudes and things, but I didn’t do the physical things that some people might call bad. So while I was at the program, they asked us to throw out our garbage and I didn’t want to. At first I didn’t think I had any, but as I started actually responding to what they were asking me to do, just hypothetically, I felt like I was so vulnerable, like I could go to hell. And I was told that if I did anything different, I would go to hell. And I really didn’t want to go to hell. I wanted to live, and live right, and do right. And that desperation of just feeling so vulnerable and so open to what I didn’t know, I really turned to God again. But this time with a little bit of a shift of attitude of saying, God, I’m going to trust you completely. I’m going to get so close to you that I’m in your arms, and if I’m so close to you that I’m in your arms, then I won’t go to hell because you’re not going to hell.
I believe God was good, and I believe he was right, but I didn’t know how to access that. I didn’t know how to bridge that far away, angry God that I saw him as falsely, and that trusting of just coming near him and saying, I’m going to trust you completely shifted from us, it was like in a moment everything shifted. But I had to learn what that new shift looked like. It was like I had new glasses and I saw everything differently. And then also simultaneously about a day later, I was just visiting with one of the other attendees in that program, just like I’m visiting with you and kind of dialoguing back and forth. And I said, you know, here’s a story I’ve never told an adult. And when I did, she says, Oh, I was raped when I was five years old too. And you talk about expecting that we were a good community? It was a Holy community? A set apart community? It shocked me like you would not believe, and I actually became incapacitated. I couldn’t move and talk. I just went down like a drop — and they got some of the trainers to come in, and talk me out of it or through it, not actually out of it. They said it’s all right to see all what I’m seeing, but it was a safe place with people who could help me process what had taken place and start the healing process. Now the healing process didn’t feel very good. I’m going to say it hurt like hell. It just hurt.
Art Costello: I can’t imagine how it hurt. I mean, it’s one of the thoughts I had when we’re talking, and it’s kind of an odd question, but I’m hoping you can answer it because I’ve thought about this a lot. You use the word faith, and you used it in the sense that I look at faith. Faith is just believing in something, but then you add a trust, the word trust to it. Can you identify the difference between faith and trust?
Marian McSpadden: Well, we can have faith that when we go to our car and turn the key that the car is going to start, that may be a little loser term of faith. It’s kind of a confident expectation of good. It’s a hope in whatever we’re hoping for, or we’d go to the faucet, and we kind of expect we turn the faucet on, the water’s going to come out. Do I trust that the faucet is going to turn on? It’s a play of words I suppose. And for me, it became very simple. I knew what it was like to be near God. Everything became simple in that form. It didn’t matter to me what you call me. It didn’t matter if I was a Mennonite or not a Mennonite. It did matter to me, I just knew the love of God.
Art Costello: See, that’s faith to me.
Marian McSpadden: A trust.
Art Costello: See that’s faith to me.
Marian McSpadden: That is also my faith.
Art Costello: Yeah. But then when you believe it’s so long, you begin to trust in God, and you build that trust. You have to have faith in something first and then you build trust in it. That’s kind of my definition, and I think it’s yours. I just wanted to see if we were on the same thing.“You have to have faith in something first, and then you build the trust in it.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
Marian McSpadden: Absolutely. There’s so much lingo out there, and people take lingo for whatever it is, and I’m okay with that. Just like culture, to get so wrapped up about culture, or skin color, can’t we just let that all go and become one. I like that oneness, and I think when I experienced that oneness with God, my heart just longed to be with other people who’ve had that oneness with God. And unfortunately that was something my family didn’t have. So I went and pursued that, that was kind of my pursuit. But two things happened when I was in that coma state for, I don’t know how long, it might’ve been an hour or so, but two things happen. I knew that I was going to be leaving the Mennonite community. I didn’t know what that looked like. I didn’t know when, but I knew that. And I also knew that I would have to confront the person that violated my life sexually. And I didn’t know what that will look like.
Art Costello: Two major, major, major deal events that you’re having to deal with at the same time.
Marian McSpadden: Exactly. And it was like that compelling was so strong, and that is what moved me. If I didn’t have that strong compelling, I would have flaked out because I wouldn’t have wanted to go through the pain of the separation. Something inside of me knew that this was going to cause a divide between me and my family. Now I was single, I had never dated anyone, never had a relationship with anyone, as a boyfriend or anything. So I was completely free from any type of obligation in that way. But I had some nieces and nephews I was very, very close to, and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to have a separation with them. Two of the girls were five and six years old. And then of course my mom, I wasn’t close to my mom, but I had no desire to hurt her, and I knew she was going to hurt almost like none of the others would, and the two little girls. So there wasn’t anything in me that was joyous and excited about leaving and saying, Oh, now I can do whatever I want to. I didn’t have that. I just knew that I knew that I needed to go. I needed to confront the perpetrator for several reasons, for my own, and also to raise an awareness to protect other people, other children.
Art Costello: And you were subject possibly, I mean, you wouldn’t know this or not, but you would probably community-wise shuns somewhat, weren’t you?
Marian McSpadden: After I left?
Art Costello: Yes.
Marian McSpadden: When I left, I chose to close the door behind me so nobody knew where I was for nine months for the reason of, if they would have known where I was, they would have done their best to convince me to go back. And there was such a longing to be with them, I was afraid they could have done it. And something inside of me knew that I knew that, I knew that was going to have to be forever separation. And the only way it can be bridged if they want to come my direction of finding unity. Not saying they have to leave the Mennonite culture, but we have to find that unity where we can become one. And I’m so thankful to God that he allowed that to happen with my mom before she passed, two years ago. She stayed in turn into community, but there was a oneness that started happening where we could allow each other to be who we were.
Art Costello: A healing.
Marian McSpadden: Yeah, a healing. And it happened as she was dying, and up the hill, not a hill, but it’s kind of a downward spiral sometimes when somebody gets to the end of their faith, their life. And going through that phase, phase of spending more time with mom when she needed help was also part of the healing. So I’m very grateful that the doors open, that I could be a part of that in my heart.
Art Costello: One of the things that you said that really resonated with me that I want people to understand and know is that, you did something that I did when I was nine years old and had my experience with facing God and having my conversation with him. You trusted your gut. You knew the time was right to leave, and you trust your gut. And see, I think sometimes when our gut is speaking to us, that’s God telling us we’re doing the right thing, and people sometimes fufu it off or put it aside, and say, Oh, I really didn’t do that. And then end up doing what they wanted anyway, when really they should have been listening to their inner instincts and that inner voice that God puts in each and every one of us. If we listen to that, I always say to people: “Your gut instinct will never ever be wrong. It’ll always be right. Trust your gut.”“Your gut instinct will never, ever be wrong. It will always be right. Trust your gut.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
Marian McSpadden: Well, Art, I agree with you other than there’s something called deception. We weren’t deceived, we would know it to be true, and then it wouldn’t be deception. And I believe sometimes we can be trusting your gut, but there are times we become deceived, because we want something, and we allow that deception to come on us, and we think that it’s okay. Because I have my own story with that, where I chose to become a part of a relationship after I moved out, and I knew that it wasn’t right in the way that it was, but I allow deception to come on me, and it cost me.“There's times we become deceived because we want something and we allow that deception to come on us.” -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet
Art Costello: I’m sorry. And my thoughts about that is, I do believe that there are deceptions and everything. One of the things that I teach with expectations is that, when you’re so solid in your expectations, no one can deceive you because you’re acting upon your instincts, not the expectations or instincts of others, because that’s how they try to control us. When people who deceptive things, they’re trying to control us. When they expect deceptive things from us, they’re trying to control us.
Marian McSpadden: Absolutely.
Art Costello: Yeah.
Marian McSpadden: But for me, coming from a controlling environment, that was a little bit normal for me. I did not establish clear boundaries strong enough. I don’t like to admit it, but I became vulnerable to deception, and an area that cost me a lot, and it would be up for another day, another story.
Art Costello: But the point is you learned from it.
Marian McSpadden: Oh, yes.
Art Costello: Because I know you enough, that I know you are one strong, powerful woman right now that you overcame it.
Marian McSpadden: I overcame it.
Art Costello: And that is the important thing. How did you overcome it?
Marian McSpadden: I had to kind of let go. I just had to let go. I had to let go of the broken, I had to let go of the disappointment because what it cost me was, I believed when I left my family of birth that I would be given a new family, and that I might be able to have my own children and create an environment of family in my new culture, and that didn’t happen. So when I hit my 40’s, I started grieving the loss of family. I grieve the loss of the family I got separated from when I hit 40, and that was at 34 when I made that shift. But at the age of 39, 40, I started really grieving the loss of the children that I loved and the family connections, but also then grieve that I didn’t have my own. And it was like, it felt unrecoverable at that point, and that was the biggie.
Art Costello: And when we expect something so near and dear at childbirth, and you haven’t had the experience of being a midwife and helping so many, bursts yourself, and then not experiencing it, that expectation is pretty high. I mean, when you don’t meet or achieve the expectations that you set in your mind for yourself, you better have something in place that manages them. And it just makes it difficult to get through that.
Marian McSpadden: Yup. So letting go was the thing that I had to do. I have to let go, and it felt like I was letting go, I could get better, but then the desires would come back again, and then I let go again, and then the desires that come back again. I mean, overwhelming desires.
Art Costello: Letting go is like death. I mean, you grieve just like death.“Letting go is like death… It is so difficult to let go of things that we want so desperately… you have to have an inner strength and faith to get through that.” -Art Costello Click To Tweet
Marian McSpadden: Absolutely.
Art Costello: I mean, it is so difficult to let go of things that we want so desperately and think that we really need, and you have to have an inner strength and faith to get through that.
Marian McSpadden: Right. I think through all of the journey for the 17,18 years, I’ve always found that healing, that piece, this thing of finding that place where there wasn’t pain was with God. And what was the hardest thing for me to do was to stay that close to God that I could operate in freedom and own this. Because when you start looking at yourself, and what you don’t have, and you lose your thankfulness, you’re just setting yourself up for a whole lot more hurt. And that was the battle, I have to really, today, guard my mind to not allow negative thoughts about what I have or don’t have, and to continue that near relationship with God. I think when I first encountered that trust and that love with God, I kind of treated him like a Santa Claus God, I come to you when I need you, but then I’m fine on my own in between, and I think it took a lot of muscle strengthening to get to that place. For me anyway, maybe different for other people, to build that relationship where I now feel like it’s a little more like a daily relationship, sometimes 24/7 type of closer relationship. And if I stray away from that a little bit, I try to remember like, Oh, my, this is not good. It’s just like something else tries to steal me away.“When you start looking at yourself and what you don't have and you lose your thankfulness, you're just setting yourself up for a whole lot more hurt.” -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Don’t you think that that’s God trying to make you grow?
Marian McSpadden: No.
Art Costello: No, I do. I think that he presents us with things so we’ll actually be challenged, and from it we learn and grow.
Marian McSpadden: I know a lot of people do what you do. I tend to take a different viewpoint on it. Hey, we don’t have to agree on everything, and that’s okay. I just, I believe that God is good and everything he does is good, and I like to remind people sometimes, would you do it to your children to teach them a lesson? What would you do to your children? You would not cause sickness or disease to come upon your children to teach them a lesson.
Art Costello: I guess maybe it’s, we’re just talking about two different things because I don’t think that God does bad things to people, I just don’t believe that.
Marian McSpadden: No, I don’t believe that.
Art Costello: I don’t either. But I do think that, because he gave us free will.
Marian McSpadden: Yes.
Art Costello: That sometimes we step out of his light and into shady areas. And wherein those shady areas, he gave us the power of choice, and to choose to either progress with that shady area, through that shady area or backpack out of it into his life. And that is kind of where my thoughts are on it, I don’t want to say he tests us because I don’t believe God tests us either, but I think he does shoot free will, give us choices to make and we need to make the right choices.
Marian McSpadden: Well, it would be hard for us to honor God if we were robots. This free will, we couldn’t choose to honor him or we couldn’t choose to love him, we would be robots. So we have that free will choice and when we choose him, that is, that is an honor to me. And then I believe the adversary that tries to distract us and show us another way, away separated from God, I’m not so sure that he’s on our side at all. I think he’s lies and deceit, broken promises makes it look good, but it’s not. I really read a book early on in my journey that someone recommended a John Bamiyan book, The War for Man’s Soul, the war for men, and it’s a very interesting allegory, our loyalty to God, and the way it’s set up, I’m now reading it again just to refresh myself. It’s really stirs me all over again.“It would be hard for us to honor God if we were robots.” -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Good. I’m going to have to get that one. I haven’t read that. I read a lot, but I haven’t read that.
Marian McSpadden: I think it might be taken in a little different context of John Pilgrim’s progress, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that book, The Pilgrim’s Progress. I’ve never read that one, I think that’s a big thick book of some kind. But this is in a shorter read, but in a narrative that’s kind of like a story,
Art Costello: Well, you went through the trials and tribulations, and Marian obviously has come out of this hole. Can you continue with part of your journey? Where it’s gone to?
Marian McSpadden: Well, another book I read early on was the book, Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, and she was in the Valley starting out as a limping girl who was much afraid. This journey guided by the shepherd? No, she had another companion, but shepherd compelled her to go to the high places in the mountains and he said, meet her there. And so she believed that because she didn’t want to be who she was, and she took that journey, and I identified so much of being that girl in that journey, and I aspire to get to the higher places so I could have Hinds’ Feet, I would have those Hinds’ Feet that could leap from rock to rock up on the high mountains. So I don’t know if life is always perfect where we can be on the high places, but I feel like I took that journey, and now I feel like it’s also a part of, what I’d like to do is reach back, and go to the Valley, and walk with other people so they can make the trip to the high places, whatever it is that they would like to get free from. Because everyone is prisoner to something, you know? It can be relationships in our homes. It can be in a boss, employee relationship. It can be between parents and children. Bottom line, our brokenness brings us to a conflict with relationships. I didn’t know how to be in relationship in my previous, my before lives because I was too hurt, there was too much going on on the inside.“Everyone is prisoner to something… Our brokenness brings us to a conflict with relationships. “ -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Do you think you were isolated? And being in the Mennonite community like that, that you were isolated, and you were really, a lot of what was holding you back?
Marian McSpadden: Well, there wasn’t too much option to get help, and there’s people outside of the Mennonite community that don’t know where to go for help. You may reach out and talk to somebody about some problems, but they don’t know how to help you. So you just assume there is nobody that can help you. And even on my life on this side, I found myself in similar situations when I was hurting, going through grief process, kind of all over again, and picking up some negative attitudes that I felt like I don’t know who to go to for help. And I started hearing a voice saying, see you trusted God and now look where you are. You don’t have family. Look at you, you’re not happy. And that was the hard place. But because I was able to respond when help came again, that was about 10 years ago. Seven years into the journey, I pretty much, got my head under water and didn’t know how to get out again. And so the journey of healing again started 10 years ago. So started 17 years ago, in mark seven, the year mark seven, I was pretty flat. I work out the way I thought it would, and then help started coming, and I responded, and it’s been a 10 year growing journey since, and now I’m feeling like it’s just, I want to walk with other people and also help them establish such clear goals and boundaries that they don’t go back to a hurtful place and have to be hurt more.
Art Costello: Is there any type of person that you want to work with more than another type?
Marian McSpadden: I think if anybody, the people that may find themselves, divorced people a lot of times have been hurt, and you’ve been betrayed in some way, whether you’re the person that even had an affair outside, now you have broken trust because you’ve been unfaithful, so who are you going to trust? Because you’re untrustworthy yourself. Or if you’re the one that was cheated on, you’re going to be having broken trust. So I think, and even children that are caught in the, and divorce is such a big part of our lives, in 45 to 50% of marriages do not survive. And then a lot of people don’t even get married anymore.
Art Costello: It’s up to 54% now.
Marian McSpadden: Yeah. So there’s a lot of people that get hurt by that, and then you end up trying another relationship, and you find yourself back in the familiar place because those trust factors, and then you throw in all the people that had been raped, those numbers are horrifying too. So I think, people that have something that is in them that they don’t know how to uncover, they don’t know whether it is through a broken divorce, or a relationship, or they’ve been violated in some way. And then the children are caught in the middle, and I’ve worked with children, and they just want mom and dad to be together. They don’t want to have to pick mom over here, dad over there. When they’re younger, they just want mom and dad to be together. And so, I think there’s something that happens in children too that they carry into their adult years. And then many times if mom and dad are divorced, those children end up being divorced. So we just perpetuate that. And so if there’s somebody who would say, you know, I carry some of those scars, I find it hard to really bond and connect with people, especially in my marriage, especially in closer relationships. Because I find, Art, that some people are professional, Oh, I have trouble saying this word skips, schizophrenia.
Art Costello: Schizophrenia?
Marian McSpadden: Yeah, because they know how to look this way in the public so that people think they’re good, but then when they’re home, they don’t know how to trust people close in their life. They don’t know how to bond and connect with people closely, because they’ve been hurt, there is broken trust, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Somebody can take that trip, and go through the healing process, and can get to the high places, and they’ll be able to leap and jump, and open up their hearts and trust again. Because what happens when we open up our hearts many time here comes that arrow and shoots you in the heart, and you’re right back up again. So that is who I think would really fit this. But it could be somebody wanting to get out of a culture like myself when I was broken, I was broken. And if somebody who is successful financially, but they’re struggling in an area that they cover up, they can make it look good professionally in a public place, but privately, they may be struggling. And anybody like that would really get benefit because they would find higher places where love, and trust, and hope, and when you have hope in your heart, then things get better because you just, you’re gravitating towards something that is brighter and better for you.
Art Costello: I got a question for you. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Marian McSpadden: Well, the hardest thing I’d done, Art was the night that I moved out of the community I was born and the culture I was raised, for generations of people, and aunts, and uncles, and grandparents, and brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews, just all around me, everything that I knew, and to make that separation is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Art Costello: I don’t know if people can imagine how hard that must be, but to pick up and leave everything that you’ve known for 30 some years is, it’s incredible testament to your strength, and your faith, and your trust in yourself. And I can understand how difficult it was because it’s like being in a tug of war, your tug pulled one way, knowing that you want to seek this independence, and then the other way, keeping family, and security, and everything that’s near and dear that you’ve learned all your life. So that’s why I’m in all of you so much because it takes a great inner strength to be able to do that.
Marian McSpadden: It was a constant letting go of some things while you’re aggressively embracing something new, and it’s just literally impossible to turn loose of everything that you know and just immediately embrace everything new. You have to be able to do both at the same time. If you don’t, you’re stuck. You stop somewhere, and you’re not progressing anymore.
Art Costello: Yeah. Let me ask you this then. If that was the hardest thing you did, what’s the second hardest thing you ever did?
Marian McSpadden: Well, I wish I didn’t have to answer this one, Art. The second hardest thing I’ve ever done was to stay free. It is so easy when you take an alcoholic or anybody who comes out of something, you really have to be careful not to go back into behaviors of the past. And for me, I didn’t want to be a Mennonite again. There was nothing in me that has ever wanted to do that, but there were familiar things that I had to guard against. How I responded to situations, and how I allow people to impact my life and not keeping that choice of freedom. And it’s amazing how you’ll find yourself in different situations where you feel like, Oh, these people are, they’re trying to take my independence. They want to take my independence.
Art Costello: Happens everyday.
Marian McSpadden: Happens everyday.
Art Costello: Happens everyday to people. We’re getting close to our time to say goodbye. And I wanted to give you the opportunity to tell people where they can get a hold of you. And again, I’m going to encourage them to do so because I think you’re spectacular and you’re an incredible lady that has much to offer people through the real life experience of having lived it and which I is the best teacher that we have in the world is letting through things because there’s nothing like it. So can you kind of tell people where we can get ahold of you, and how, and leave us with some parting wisdom.
Marian McSpadden: Well, yes, I would be honored to have a consultation with anyone who would like to investigate what they could do for their life, and talk about what it would look like for them, or what’s not working, and what it could look like for them to get to a different place in life. And the way they can reach me, Art, is pretty easy, go to www.everythingyoutry.com, or they can go to my name marianmcspadden.com, they’ll come to a landing page that they can see a little video that I’ve put on there, but they can also click to connect and set up a free consultation with me through a scheduler. And then there’s also another link there that they can click and they can get a free chapter that I’ve written, and I share a little bit of my story in there and just some things that I’ve learned, and the name of that chapter is Pretty Much Everything You Try Doesn’t Work! That was kind of how I experienced life. I didn’t land on the mountain then just hit it all right, I have to take a few slides down, sharp slope. The secret to any failure is not to give up, and say, you know what? I’ve learned from this, and there is somebody who knows what I need to know to get past this limiting thing. Because you have a dream, you want to move forward, here comes something that tries to limit you. Intimidates you, I think I faced more intimidating than anything else. It was real easy for me to be intimidated, and we all get to decide who we are, what we’re going to stand for, and hopefully they will stand with integrity, and integrity will win at the end.“The secret to any failure is not to give up.” -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet “We all get to decide who we are, what we're going to stand for… and integrity will win at the end.” -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Always.
Marian McSpadden: My goal is to live a life where I am perfect. I know I’m not a perfectionist, but when I say I’m perfect, my goal is to live life so that if you hear a story about me, Art, you will say that does not sound like the Marian that I know. Don’t think that has come correctly, I would need to hear that from her in order to believe that. That would be to me where I have now created an environment where people just kind of know this is not her, this is not the integrity, and anybody can make a mistake, I know that. But we have that perfect reputation where people can expect and trust that this person isn’t perfect, but they will always make right when they find themselves off the track.“Anybody can make a mistake. But we have that perfect reputation where people can expect and trust that this person isn't perfect, but they will always make right if they find themselves off track.” -Marian McSpadden Click To Tweet
Art Costello: And with that closing statement, it really speaks volumes about Marian McSpadden because, I mean, that is a testimony to who you are. I mean, I think that’s exactly what, if somebody heard something that didn’t sound like you would say so. And with that being said, folks, this is going to be the first part. I don’t know when Marian and I are going to get together, but there’s another whole part to her life story and I want to share that. So I know we’re going to have a part two somewhere down the road. I want to let you know all, please reach out to Marian. She is eager to help you. She’s eager to just give you her heart and soul. She’s as genuine as they come. And she’s a blessing in all of our lives, and to the audience and to Marian, thank you for coming this week, and I look forward to another conversation with you.
Marian McSpadden: Thank you Art.
Art Costello: Heather White, everybody you know where you can get ahold of me, expectationtherapy.com. Email me at [email protected]. Heather White, go ahead and take this out of here. Thank you for attending this week’s podcast everybody.
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