Not of My Making…Book by Margaret Jones!

March 30, 2009

I mentioned “meeting” Margaret Jones earlier in the blog. She is a therapist who wrote a book called Not of My Making, with a subtitle of Bullying, Scapegoating and Misconduct in Mainline Churches. She was going to mail me her book so that I could read it and review it.

Well, it came today! I am really looking forward to reading it and sharing my thoughts about it.  On the back, it says this:

Margaret’s father said no on would ever want her. Her classmates called her “Reject”. She believe them. She tried to be what others wanted and expected. She failed. Bullied at home and at school, the church provided a safe haven. Kneeling under a crucifix, she believed Jesus would protect her. He didn’t.

Declaring God irrelevant, Margaret abandoned Christianity. But when she was lonely or scared she would slip into the back of the nearest church and take comfort in the familiar sight, smells and sounds.

Eventually, she joined a congregation and felt spiritually nourished. Then, like a sleeping volcano, conflict erupted, and she was accused of being the problem, nearly shattering her faith, her life and her marriage. While she salvaged what she could from the destruction, she discovered that she could only try to live well, hurting as few people as possible while not letting others drag her down.

Not of My Making, is the account of how Margaret came to discover that God had a place for her, even when churches didn’t.

The Preface describes how very difficult it was for her to write this book. It took an incredible emotional toll on her, causing her to have to start and stop and take self nurturing breaks. She tried very hard to be as accurate as possible in the telling of her story, yet she also acknowledges that it is her story…her perceptions that she shares. She calls that the “strength and weakness of a memoir”.

She writes:

Like most survivors, I had an intense need to tell my story. I do not want what happened to me to happen to anyone else. I hope, after reading this book, people will talk about adult bullying in churches and seek to put a stop to it. I am committed to creating religious communities that are safe places for everyone.

I do not want to spread the harm done to me. Therefore, to protect people’s privacy, I have only used the first names of the main characters. Where there are two people with the same first name, I have changed one of the names.

I am impressed with the care she says she takes to not wound anyone needlessly. She even offered her manuscript to those who were in it and gave them the option to confirm the facts and to add to them or correct them. That is much to her credit.

I am going to be really busy for the next day or two, but I am doing to squeeze in every minute I can to read this book.


  1. […] Who Keeps Me Going « Not My Making…Book by Margaret Jones! […]

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