Sandra was an assistant minister at this large church. She’d been ordained for five years and had recently been engaged to one of my fellow students. With me working at this church, we were thrown together. During our courtship, I saw no signs of the abuse that was to follow. However, I now know that certain things Sandra told me were lies. Had I been told the truth, it might of changed the course of our relationship. At the time, the lies sounded quite plausible and I had no reason to doubt. In my naivety , I believed then that everyone in the church spoke the truth at all times. As the years went by, I saw Sandra to be a compulsive liar but very few people recognized her lies because she’d had plenty of years sounding plausible.
Another college ruling that governed the love life of students concerned marriage. All students have to seek permission off of the college /church authorities to marry. Students that were engaged prior to their entry into the ministers college could marry upon their ordination. However, students that got engaged while in college had to wait until six months after their ordination before they could get married. Church authorities also stipulated when children could be born to married couples. Married couples could arrive at College with children, but none were to be born while they were studying at College. If a wife fell pregnant, she would be expected to leave college, have the baby and then return a couple of years later to finish the study course.
Just before my ordination in 1992, Sandra’s mother took ill and died. Sandra’s father had passed away when she was a young child and this left her with one older sister. Just before she died, I spoke to Sandra’s mother on the telephone and her last words to me were, “look after my little girl.” These words really bore heavily upon me as I endured the abuse that later came my way.