Imprisoned: Falsely Accused

Guest post by Rhoda Baty

I couldn’t breathe. I’m suffocating. I’m dying.

Conversation didn’t often happen in my home; the focus was more on taking orders from my dad, acting quickly to obey. I used to pride myself for my ability to act before he spoke, to “read his mind.” Fear of his cruel wrath forced me to monitor his facial expressions, listen for the tone of his voice, to gauge the severity of cruelty to come.

One day, I found myself chatting about my day at school. I don’t know what came over me. My mom, dad, and younger sister were chewing ill-prepared steak during dinner. In the middle of my chattering, my dad looks up from his meal, stops chewing, swallows his food and looks at me with disgust. “Do you think anyone cares what you have to say? Do you really think anyone wants to listen to you? You will never amount to anything!”

I felt like a deflated balloon, like a stuffed toy with no stuffing.

Satan succeeded that day. I stopped talking not only at home but everywhere. In a quick instant Satan’s prison was fully constructed, like one of those pop up cards you purchase from the Hallmark store. The bars of the prison clanked shut, the sound of metal scrapping metal closed in around me. I stood close, holding onto those thick bars as they pushed against my heart. I did nothing to help myself; I accepted my fate, believed a lie.

Occasionally, I wrapped my hands around those solid bars and tried to shake them open. I recoiled in self-loathing and disgust, a feeling that grew each time I opened my mouth and perceived criticism. I surrendered to those solid, cold bars. If a class project required an oral report, I took an ‘F’; no one wanted to hear what I had to say. I was asked to take a new position in the company I worked for. Were the impenetrable bars opening? Soon my new supervisor suggested I needed improvement in an area—the bars slammed shut immediately. I returned to my old job where I didn’t have to talk to anyone in person.

John Eldredge in Waking the Dead warns us of satan’s tactics. “You are not what you think you are. There is a glory to our life that your Enemy fears, and he is hell-bent on destroying that glory before you act on it.”

Even to this day that stronghold threatens, lurking in the shadows taunting me, waiting to pounce. My dad lied. And I believed him, landing in an emotional prison.  Phil. 4:8 says to think on “whatsoever things are true.” When I choose to dwell on and believe what God’s Word says, I can truly keep my enemy at bay.

Today, as a life coach/mentor people pay to ‘listen’ to me; they want me to talk to them. They are interested in what I have to say. Take that satan! “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good,” Genesis 50:20.  God doesn’t waste our pain. As I step out of my comfort zone, He uses me to give hope. How good is that!


Rhoda Baty is a Life Coach with “Hopeful Heart Coaching”, and works as a secretary at an alternative high school. Rhoda lives in  Snohomish, WA, about 30 miles north of Seattle, with her pastor husband of 37 ‘never a dull moment’ years, two daughter’s/son’s in law and her 7 grandchildren.



6 thoughts on “Imprisoned: Falsely Accused

  1. Rhoda, that was such an inspiring story. I too have things that were said to me. I would be talking about something at the dinner table, and my mother would start talking over me as if she didn’t even realize I was speaking. How many lies will people continue to believe that keeps them locked up behind bars? I am so glad God has been able to show you just how much of an inspiration you are and how people truly want to hear what you have to say.

  2. Dear Rhoda, I am always blessed and compelled by the loving wise words that you share! Not only do I like to listen to your thoughts..I like that you listen to mine!

  3. Wonderful, freeing testimony of God’s ultimate plan for our lives…even through the devastation that our parents can inflict on us, meant by the enemy of our souls to destroy what God has ordained. I, too, was abused as a child..sexually…and then spiritually as I grew and clung to religion to stay hidden within the safety of ‘walking by faith’ and not by ‘feelings’…..which enabled me to keep my secret far too long. I was not walking by faith at all but in denial. I am a Life Coach today as well, and marvel that people actually pay to hear what I have to say. I so identified with that statement Rhoda. The laughs on our enemy, that the very thing he thought would destroy us only opened doors to see even more set free….hooray for God!!!! Bless you!!!

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