She’s a Little Runaway: A Journey from Rejection to Acceptance 

As a teen, I lived in Alaska, in two different houses, over a five year period. I snuck out several times from both, and ran away from each one. Some of these times were known to others, and some were not. But of the two times I felt the most desperate need bolt, the most desperate run away attempt was the least successful. Maybe it was because I seemed to run backwards. Perhaps it was a mix of fear, false security, guilt, and concern over leaving a loved one left behind, along with worrying what my friends would think; but running away became a more desperate desire, yet I seemed to fall further and further from my goal of making it happen.

In any regard, not making that final run, was definitely not because I had suddenly decided home was a safe place to stay. It was more like the jail door was open, but a tornado was whirling at the front door. Which option was best for me? Years later, I now know which option was best…the tornado by far. It might have landed me some place safe, like the baby you read about in the news, who is scooped up into a tornado’s belly, and vomited safely into a dresser drawer two towns over; safely sleeping. After all, Dorothy survived a tornado, and while on her journey, was kept safe from lions, tigers, and bears; and also from the witches and the flying monkeys sent out to destroy her. But unlike Dorothy, the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” meant something entirely different to me.

The first attempt at running away came out of sheer desperation to leave the role of scapegoat I had been assigned by my family. I couldn’t take it anymore, being blamed for everyone else’s problems. As the scapegoat in a family reeking with dysfunction, I was tired of being the excuse for everyone else’s issues, problems, and bad behavior. Sure I was an imperfect teenager, fully capable of mouthing off and being selfish, but not to any extreme some would be led to believe. I was a good kid; compassionate, intelligent, and funny. Why wasn’t I loved? It was never enough, so I kept trying harder to prove myself, and I was about to break. Being labeled a “problem child” subtly causes a shifting focus, which is exactly the intent; for the idea is to blind others to the truth of the real chaos lying underneath, and to distract them, so denial can go on and lives of sin can continue without inspection.

I’d given up on getting attention or love, but I still hoped to remain under the radar, undetected, left alone to live my own life in peace. But that wasn’t about to happen, so I became angry. I began to rebel, because I knew it couldn’t be all my fault. I knew the truth and began to fight for myself, because I realized no one else was going to. “A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel” (Prov. 18:19 New International Version).

However, it was getting harder and harder to see the truth, when the fiery darts kept coming. Though I was saved, I didn’t yet understand how to defend myself with prayer. The phrases were aimed at me, over and over: “Why can’t you do anything right… Why can’t you be more like (someone else)… What is wrong with you… Why do you have to ruin everything?????”  These were the lies which years later, I would learn to renounce in the name of Jesus. I still have to pray against them today, but they come less often. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16).

How could it be only my fault when my thumb was smashed black and blue after being slammed in the doorframe, and then my face slapped afterwards for cussing from the pain of the “accident.” And even worse, was when that cold hand forcefully slammed down flat dead center on top of my head; HARD. There was actually a witness then, but when everyone is trained not to tell, even adults remain silent. Reporting it doesn’t even cross your mind; it would likely be futile. Who would believe it? For, those things just don’t happen in families that go to church on Sundays, where girls wear pretty dresses, and invite their friends to come with them, because the family is a positive influence and a good example. 

Like any hurting teen, I believed if I didn’t protect myself, they would break me. I refused to be broken, not realizing I was already constantly gluing the precious broken pieces of myself back together. And that’s what l was doing… holding on to all my broken pieces, the night I was done being blamed. Of course no comfort; only condemnation, was offered that dark night when I shouted, “Then I’ll leave!” There was no reassurance of love, or a reminder that I was wanted, a gentle plea to stay and talk and pray about it. Instead, I was told that if I was going to go, I would have leave my coat behind, since I hadn’t bought it with my own money.

On Elmendorf Air Force Base, it was less than 30 degrees that evening, and pitch black outside. I had nowhere to go. But it took me less than a second to make my decision: I shoved off my new white downy coat with sporty blue stripes, threw it to the floor, and ran. I ran out into the black night, looking to the left and looking to the right. The icy clean air took my breath away. I ran towards my best friend’s house, but knew that would be the first place I’d be expected to be found. Her home life wasn’t stable either. It wasn’t an option. So I wandered. I wandered far past anywhere my friends and I ever wandered, even by our independent standards of doing whatever we wanted and going wherever we felt like going. I ran to warm up, but I slowed as the wheezing started. I was an asthmatic; just another way I’d caused problems for everyone else. I blew on my frigid fingers, and I scratched at the welts raising up under my jeans. I would get them when I got cold, due to a protein in my blood which reacts starkly to frigid temperatures. I didn’t realize then, that I actually suffered constantly from cold urticaria, which can in severe instances; cause low blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, and death.

I still didn’t want to go back. At the same time, I’d seen the footage they show all the military families upon first arriving to The Last Frontier: “Scary Survival Videos.” At 14, I was old enough to know that hypothermia was a reality, and frostbite was serious business, where I could actually lose my fingers and toes. This time, I had no runaway friends to be my hypothermia partner so I could keep warm, and I was never going to do that “naked hugging sleeping bag survival skill” anyway; not unless I was left for dead on a mountaintop. I don’t remember if I prayed,  but I do know God was with me, protecting me and loving me.

I’d wandered for at least a couple hours, and I was far away from home. I knew I needed to get warm, or my body could be permanently damaged. I had on tennis shoes, instead of boots, and there was snow and ice on the ground. I didn’t much care about living right then, but always in my mind, was a loved one I had back at home, and being a teenager, I was also worried about my reputation, even among my friends. They would ask me why I ran away. I’d been trained not to tell family secrets. I’d been trained to pretend I came from a perfect “Christian” family. Who would believe me? It was too much anyway; a mountain of madness which no one would understand or believe or care about, and many don’t; even to this very day. Telling them would be impossible. Now I’ve gained enough wisdom to know that some things are only revealed by God in His perfect timing.

That night I found myself at the chapel, and was mortified to find a friend of mine was there too. He sang with the adult choir, so he was often up at the church. I didn’t want him to see me, but it was too late. He was an intelligent, kind boy, and our mutual friends had mentioned he had a crush on me. Maybe he wouldn’t tell anyone. As far as I know, he never did. He asked me what I was doing there, and if I was ok. I shook my head, and took a deep breath, so I wouldn’t cry. He didn’t know how bad it was at home, but I think to this day, he knew about one of the secrets. His eyes said he knew. He wanted to ask more questions, but seemed to understand I couldn’t answer them. When I said I had to go, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently shook me. His dark eyes looked scared. He said the M.P.’s (military police) would come looking for me, and everyone would find out I had run away. He said I would freeze to death if I went back out in the cold. And finally, out of wanting to help, he convinced me to call home.

When I made the call from the church, I did it on my terms. I’d learned a thing or two about manipulation and control tactics. I’d been taught well. My terms were that I’d tell where I was, but there would be no talking about it, and no punishment. If the terms were broken, I’d run away again, and I’d tell people why I was running. The terms were agreed upon, and the ride home was just as cold, if not more frozen, than the air outside. I was surviving.

The next attempt at running away came out of a desperation that had turned to hopelessness, and the plan came down to no running away at all. I was found out before I even got a chance to get out of the house. I’d spent too long packing in the bathroom, and refused to open the door even when a hole was punched halfway through it. If there’d been a window, I would have exited. But with no escape in sight, I stuffed my school bag into the lower shelf of the bathroom closet, put some towels on top, and exited the bathroom. After hearing about how it was my fault that there was a hole punched in the door, I shrugged and announced that I was going to bed. I slid under the sheets in my clothes. I’d have to wait until about 1:30 or 2 a.m., because darkness in Alaska doesn’t come till then during its super short spring and summer months.

My bag was packed with a few necessities, my tiny teddy bear, and about $100. The car keys were on my dresser, since I drove to school each day. The car wasn’t really mine, so I’d have to drive somewhere and leave it with a note, saying I was sorry and that it wasn’t stolen. I planned to drive from Eagle River to Anchorage, and then park and walk until I found a hotel. I KNEW there were some areas that were dangerous, like 4th Avenue, where everyone warned you never to go. But I was headed that way, because I thought it was the last place anyone would look. I never got there. I never got anywhere that night.
The door to my bedroom flew open, and my escape bag was swinging back and forth before my eyes. I was shocked, and my heart sunk. I was completely deflated… hopeless. I must have raised suspicion by staying too long in the bathroom, packing up my things. My key set was whisked up from my dresser amidst angry shrieks. I’d be taking the bus next day to school, which I hated. I lay in bed that night with my tiny brown teddy bear, tears soaking his curly fur. I’d never get out. I don’t remember if I prayed, but I do know God was with me, protecting me and loving me.

Though I managed to move out of my house quickly, because I was snapped up for a teaching position immediately after graduation, I never really got away until my husband and I moved from the state of Texas, out to Virginia where we didn’t know a soul. It was especially hard to leave a loved one back home, and I missed my friends. But being on my own was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I began to write my prayers in a prayer journal, participated in a bible study, and pursued Jesus in peace. All my life, I’d been bashed over the head with a bible and forced to go to church, with scripture used out of context to guilt and shame me. I was a victim of spiritual abuse, and was running from God, because I thought He was always watching me from the sky, waiting to condemn me and punish me, and tell me what I was doing wrong. I was afraid of Him, and angry with Him too. I was now discovering the joy of having a relationship with Him! My eyes began to open up to the truth for the first time in my life, and God’s teachings showed me that everything I’d been taught was completely upside-down… and completely wrong. I do remember that I prayed!

God moved me more times with my husband. Then God moved me more times with my children. Many things happened during those moves, and I’ve had many homes, but instead of running away, during each of my moves I have learned to draw closer to Jesus. When I start to run away, he doesn’t let me out of the door, without first insisting that he loves me and doesn’t want me to go.

Whenever the pain becomes too hard to bear for those who have been running and running all their lives looking for a little bit of love, there lies ahead the silver lining: One ends up desperately running straight into the arms of Jesus! And in that most desperate time, the running away will stop, before you even realize it. Why? It’s because Jesus has been waiting here for you the whole time, with his arms outstretched, already wrapping themselves around you! I discovered that Jesus had been holding me in his arms the whole time, crying tears when I cried tears. He was waiting for me run in his direction and cry out his name, so he could save me. He is doing the same for you. Though I was already God’s child, I hadn’t understood the power and authority I have in Christ Jesus. I didn’t realize that I was loved by God, unconditionally, without condemnation or judgment.

We don’t need to run away from Jesus, for he does not reject us! He loves us in spite of our imperfections, and in spite of our sins. We can run into his everlasting loving arms, and he will greet us with acceptance and unconditional love each and every time. If we forget how much he loves us, and start to run away, we can always turn back, repent, and ask him to forgive us. He will help us to battle the negative lies we have been falsely led to believe, and heal us of our guilt, fear, and anger; which will then banish depression; leading us to freedom and joy! We will discover that God is not far away up in the sky, but right inside of our hearts, and He’s been loving us our whole entire lives! For there really is “no place like home” when your eternal home is in Heaven with Jesus Christ.

“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:20).

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).

If you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful, you may like PAST PATHS… AND OTHER THINGS TOO PAINFUL TO MENTION.

Write to the author, and find daily encouragement to give you hope, as you heal and find freedom and joy in Jesus Christ at The Silver Lining Facebook Page. 

14 thoughts on “She’s a Little Runaway: A Journey from Rejection to Acceptance 

  1. Erin says:

    Angels…God bless you and your sweet, sweet soul for enduring, for sharing, for refusing to be less than what you truly are. You are a gift, my friend. Keep running to Him. And write on!


    • Angela Royse Pelleman says:

      Jeanne, thank you for caring about me and my ministry. You’re such a beautiful, encouraging friend! It’s true the scars run deep, but God’s love is even deeper; isn’t that wonderful? I’m learning to appreciate my scars, because they help me remind me that I suffer with Christ because he is in me, but that I also have joy with Christ, and get to have eternal life with him in Heaven. I’m so grateful God loves me and considers me valuable enough to be used for His Kingdom! Today I’m thanking Him for his mercy, and for Jesus The Great Physician who heals all our wounds, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual! May God bless and heal you Jeanne, in Jesus’ name! 💙


  2. Stacey R. Louiso says:

    You took me back into those situations with you! I pray dear sister that God uses EVERY word you witness for His glory to not only deliver but erase that painful past. Please let him. He is so worth it and so are you!! This morning the Lord whispered something in my ear in your regard: You’re allowed to Trust! If it doesn’t make sense I’ll explain further in private.


    • Angela Royse Pelleman says:

      Thank you, my sweet friend and sister in Christ! I can’t wait to talk to you, and I love that God laid a message in your ear regarding me! It does make sense, especially right now at this time! I know God has given me a special gift in you, and I can’t wait to see what He is going to do with us and our ministries! I wonder if I’m going to be taking a trip to Kentucky! Much love to you, Stacey. You are more encouraging than you even know! God bless you and your ministry, in Jesus’ name! 💙


  3. secretangel says:

    Beautiful message. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I am so sorry for all the abuses that you have had to withstand… but you are so right… God never leaves us or forsakes us!! He is with us through all the pain and turmoil that we have to endure. God bless you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Royse Pelleman says:

      Thank you very much, Secret Angel! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog posts. I’m so thankful God can use our painful pasts and turn them around to be used for our good and His glory! I hope to use my experience to encourage others; reminding them that they are not alone. Even when it feels like we are alone, God is closer than our own breath! Thank you for leaving such encouraging words for me. This reminds me that I am following the path God has set before me. May God bless you, in Jesus’ name. I’m so glad you stopped by to leave an uplifting note! 💙😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lightformypath62 says:

    Ok, I’m new here but I’m thinking these articles are based on your real experiences am I correct Angela? I’ve found hope already and shared pain is a first step in knowing we aren’t alone and there really is hope.
    Sometimes I blame God I think. I’m filled with hurt and anger because I’m coming out of denial and the pain is great. I’ve suppressed pain for so long. But, there is a silver lining and I don’t have to be a victim anymore. We are victorious in Jesus! One day we’ll spend our precious time with Jesus in our real home!
    God Bless!☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Royse Pelleman says:

      Yes, dear LightformyPath,
      These are my real experiences, though there are a select few who may not believe my story. But I know it, because I lived it, and God knows the truth, which is what matters the most! It is not unusual to feel angered and blame God. But your real enemy is the devil. Take some time to forgive those who have caused you pain, in Jesus’ name. It’s ok if you don’t feel like being forgiving… just pray and let Jesus work on your heart! Ask God to forgive you for blaming Him, and to help you understand that bad things happen because people have free will. HOWever, God promises to make good out of all bad things for His precious children! Our hope is in Christ! Read Romans 8; all of it. It will bring you great comfort! If you are not sure if you have received Christ, be sure and visit here: It sounds like you have, but I’ve learned to point people first to Salvation, or they won’t understand anything, because The Holy Spirit is The One Who makes our hearts understand.
      And, of course, Jesus is the beginning of all healing for us! Also, understand it is very very normal to be angry when you begin to realize that you lived a lie; that you actually have been being abused throughout your whole life. You are correct in mentioning that it happens as you come out of denial. Naturally, we feel cheated of what children should be given to grow into happy and healthy adults. But God can restore and redeem what’s been lost, and no one can take away what He gives to us! It’s pretty emotional when you start to realize that you were mistreated and abused, when you should have been nurtured and loved. Give Jesus your anger; he can take it. I wrote a blog on righteous anger here: It may help you to see that it’s ok to be angry as long as we don’t sin. If you want to talk to me, I can help you with some healthy ways to deal with narcissism and also point you towards some really helpful websites which define it and give lots of examples. You can message me from The Silver Lining Facebook ministry page. If you have any trouble, you can just comment under any post and ask me to message you! 😊 One huge way Jesus has helped me to heal, is by using this ministry to allow me the privilege of helping others. Also, to encourage you, yes we are meant to enjoy a perfect beautiful life in Heaven one day, but we are also meant to have joy, and be free in Christ while we are here on Earth! I’ll have some more posts coming on how we can do this by renouncing the lies we were led to believe about ourselves in Jesus’ name! Only God has the authority to tell us who we are. If you’re hearing negative things, they are lies, and they aren’t coming from God! Ask God to help you identify and remove the lies from your life in Jesus’ name! Then ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and to give you wisdom and discernment. He will! Thank you for reading my words given to me by God to share with my brothers and sisters in Christ. You have encouraged me greatly today, and I’m so thankful for you! I promise you will be in my prayers, and I’m just a message away if you’d like to chat! Blessings to you for healing in the name of Jesus! 💙 Remember too, that it can hurt before it gets better… kind of like surgery! So don’t give up on God! He’s got your back!
      Here’s a longer article to help you when you have extra time: It’s time for your heart to heal! 💙


  5. Brenda Slaski Grunewald says:

    Thanks Angela!! ☺
    Sometimes I read SO much about Narcissists and family dysfunction and I get very down. That’s when I need a break and start praising God by listening to the spirit channel or YouTube music and that helps give me a break. I think we need to heal in stages and take in only so much as we can handle. I also like to get outside with nature and be alone or take my dogs for a walk. It’s ok to be happy and put my needs and wants first for a change. You’re right about lies! The devil is very sneaky!
    God is stronger and has our backs. If we let Him and like you said, ask. Thanks for reminding me to give up the anger I’m holding inside. It’s not letting anyone off the hook if I can release the anger. It will be good for the soul and yet we can still set boundaries and protect ourselves from future abuse.
    Thanks for praying for me!!! Thanks for being available and for understanding. I agree most people wouldn’t believe the half of our stories!

    God Bless!

    Brenda ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Royse Pelleman says:

      Brenda, yes you are correct! We definitely need to educate ourselves as much as possible on narcissism, but we have GOT to take breaks! I found the same thing happened to me; I’d feel moody after reading several articles. Sometimes I even get a migraine! That’s not worth it! That’s why I’ve been praying about whether or not to write another blog specifically to help victims of narcissists. I want to help; I just know I will have to space it out! As I read your comment, I saw myself studying narcissism, and then I saw myself writing my blog, looking in my bible for the verses I need. I then saw myself taking a walk on my beautiful country road to get fresh, be with my family, and take in the beauty of the wildflowers and horses! Brenda, I think you would be one of the few to understand this, but for the first time in my life, I am learning to take care of myself. I’ve taken good care of my family; my children, my friends and church; but not myself. I mean I get my hair done, like shopping for new clothes, but it was only this year that I understood how much I needed to nurture my mind, body, and soul. I finally put together why I don’t do the very best and nicest things for myself. I was made to feel guilty for enjoying life. I was made to put all of my energy and life into an adult’s happiness, and was stripped of the joy of being just me, when I was only a child. Now I need Jesus to teach me to be good to myself; eating healthy, exercising, taking time to read the books I love, draw, paint my toes! Ha! And being extra choosy about outside activities, so I can have that time with my beloved family. I love time with family and friends, and they take wonderful care of me. But I used to do some special things I enjoy for myself, and somewhere along the line I gave up and stopped nurturing ME! I did other things that seemed easier like shopping, and surfing the net, and though that’s fun too, it’s not truly fulfilling (though I do love shopping with my fun friend, Michelle, and also with my daughter!) But you probably understand, I need to do the things that give my joy… like painting, writing poetry, and spending even more quality time with my family doing more of the things we love. We’ve explored the beautiful outdoors together, and I’d love to do that more! So I will be praying for the both of us to continue to release the lies and enjoy life with guilt, anxiety or fear that we are doing something wrong by loving on OURSELVES! Let me encourage you… I’m finding that even though many years were lost, God has loved me greatly with my precious family and He is changing us ever more, so that we have more freedom, healing, and joy in Him… but we have to keep praying against the lies in Jesus’ name! You’re a kindred spirit, Brenda. I’m here for you, and have have greatly blessed me with our kind, loving, encouraging words! 💙


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