Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.
(00:39): You guys are here with us today. As we have such a special guest, we actually met through the podcast. She plugs in each week and she joined us for the just brief retreat last month. So that's where we officially met. We met there. And let me tell you, she has a story that is going to bring you so much, hope, so much encouragement and will inspire you. I want you to meet my friend Barbie Scanlon. How are you, girl? I deal. Thanks so much for having me great today. Great. Thank you. That's awesome. Where do we begin? Like where should we start on your journey? Because it's so like, it's just, wow. I remember sitting at the kitchen table on our first night on the retreat and we were kind of like, just sharing our stories, why we're here, just getting closer with the Lord and, and building that relationship and that sisterhood.
(01:31): And you shared your story. I think my jaw, I was just in awe. I, my jaw dropped and I just had to have you here sharing your story with, with the women because there's so much hope. I mean, that's what I get from this. Where do we begin? Let me take you back to the beginning. So I am the youngest of eight kids grew up in a small town, great family life. My dad, he worked a lot of course, taking care of eight kids and I was the youngest. So I was the baby of the family. My mother and I were inseparable. And I remember it was my eighth grade year. And I remember that morning so vividly. I was getting ready for school. She was getting ready for work. She was sitting on the rocking chair, curlers in her hair.
(02:21): And I think I was about 13 at the time. Just sat on her lap, gave her a big hug and you know, told her, I'd see her after school. And I remember coming home from school that day, I had made a clock in shop class and I was excited to kind of show her. And my bus driver had said to me, Hey, do you have any grandparents at your house right now? And I thought, Oh, that's kind of a weird question. And I said, no. And she said, wow, the emergency squad is that your house? So the whole bus ride home, I was kinda nervous thinking what's going on? And about three roads before my bus stop our neighbor. I seen her out there waving down our bus driver and she was crying and shaking and she kind of walked me off the bus and she said, you know, I'm sorry, it's your mom.
(03:15): I didn't want the bus to stop in front of your house. So she walked me and when I walked to the driveway squad was there. My mother was laying on the ground and they were working on her and I was just in shock. And I noticed that she wasn't responding and they put her in the squad, but in my mind I was thinking, okay, she's going to be all right. They're taking her to the hospital. We're going to my oldest brother's house and sat with his wife, just waiting for my brother to get back. And as he, when he finally came home, he walked in and I remember I was sitting in a rocking chair, holding the remote. And I said, how's mom, when do we get to see her? And he said, I'm sorry, she didn't make it. And I just kind of sat there.
(04:00): They're numb, just just heading the channels. Like I just couldn't even process it. And then I just ran out the door on the steps and, and just cried. And I remember coming home, he took me home and my dad was on the porch crying. That was the first time I ever seen him. My dad cry. And I just remember just feeling like my whole and like my whole heart had just been taken out like such despair. Like I couldn't even breathe. It felt, yeah. Like, and it was all a fog, but I going through that, so all of my older brothers and sisters, you know, were older, so it was just me and my dad. And that was a new normal that I wasn't used to, you know, cause my dad always worked so much and we just didn't have that type of relationship.
(04:51): And I just felt so alone. And I kind of felt like a housewife because it came, you know, I would do the dishes, I did the laundry and he would make dinner. And he started to become pretty strict where I just wasn't allowed to go places. Like I was still, you know, doing cheerleading and into school things. But when it came to friendships, you know, it was always a big struggle when I would, you know, ask to go to a friend's house or go hang out with a friend and he would yell and get mad. And it just I feel like I just kind of shut down and just quit asking. And so I started dating right after my mom had died. And honestly, I, I feel like as I look back, I could see that I had this big void, this big hole in my heart and I was trying to fill it.
(05:45): And, and, and that's the way I did that. And I was with him. I am from eighth grade all through high school and he became my world. Like everything was about him and, you know, he was the greatest. And, and then my junior year found out I was pregnant and I was so terrified to tell my dad. And I remember after telling him he was pretty silent at first. And then he finally, a few days later he had said, I made you an appointment at planned Parenthood. And he said, I don't want you to ruin your life. I think you should either have an abortion or give up the baby. So he took me to the appointment. He didn't go inside with me, but when I came out, he, you know, we're in a truck and he says, so what did you decide? And I said, I'm keeping the baby dad.
(06:34): I'm not giving up this baby. And he just, he said, well, then you either get married or you don't have a place to live. If you're going to have this baby, you're going to be married. Wow. So we got married, we were young. We thought, you know, we thought we were in love and make the best of it. Okay. So here I was a junior in high school getting married, I'm pregnant. I had him the beginning of my senior year and I had enough credits to where I could just kind of go to school later in the day and just made it work. But we were married probably about two and a half years. And during that time we had a mobile home that we had fixed up. And I remember going to work, getting a call to come back home that's that our home was on fire.
(07:25): So I rushed home and thank God, my son, who was about two at the time thankfully it happened during the day because if it would've happened at night, his bedroom was clear on the other side, the kitchen was in the middle and that's where the fire was. The gas had exploded. So after that, our marriage had kind of fallen apart. And honestly, I just, I felt like this is not the life that I had planned here. I am 20, almost 21. And I'm divorced. I'm a single mom. I just felt like, what future do I have? Like, how did this happen? Just kind of feeling hopeless. And, you know, I, I started to because I was my first love and had never dated, I kinda, you know, got a little wild streak and was just doing whatever I wanted and started to date someone seriously.
(08:24): And as it slowly progressed, he became mentally and verbally abusive. Now back then I say that now, but back then, I didn't know that that was abuse. I knew it wasn't right, but it, whenever I heard the word abuse, I always would, you know, somebody's hitting someone or hurting them. And you know, this person that I was with after knowing his past of how he grew up in an abusive home, you know, I kind of wanted to fix him. I kind of wanted to help him. And I would understand it. I don't know if you have bedded a cycle of abuse or know someone, but it's a cycle that you kind of get trapped in and, you know, because the person that you're with it starts to demean. You starts to tear down your character and you just don't trust it yourself. And, you know, you think that you're the problem and, and do you want to make it right?
(09:19): And so, you know, here, I had already been married and had a baby and him and I had two kids together. And I didn't want to, you know, I need to make this work. I don't want to just keep doing this. And it was on again, off again. The hard part also was the many times that things would happen. And I would tell my family, or I would leave. After a while they kind of got tired of hearing that it's like, you know, and I felt like I couldn't tell them anymore, because if I, if I went back to him, they would be upset with me and kind of to the point where I felt like I was just by myself, I had to do, I had to handle this well, I was with him for seven years and, and he actually wanted to leave the relationship.
(10:07): And I felt so relieved. I felt hurt because of all the time. But I also that relieved, cause I thought, wow, this is okay. This is my way out. This is, you know, he made a decision to leave. And during that time I, you know, strengthen myself. I started to feel good about myself and little by little, he, he tried to come back. He kept, you know, the phone calls were coming and but this time I finally said no, and I stuck to my notes. I didn't take him back. I didn't listen to the things that he had to say. And it just kinda got worse and worse. You know, the threats that, you know, don't ever date anybody or I'll kill you. So don't, you know, there was just all kinds of threats and, you know, the phone calls would start out nice.
(10:56): He would call to act like he was calling to see how the kids were doing. But as the conversation started, it would just all end up in him, tearing me down and, and calling me names. And, you know, I could just would hang up on him. And what had happened, I had actually went on a vacation just to get away for a week. And when I came back, I knew that he knew about it. He had called my dad, you know, asking where is she? He had banged on my apartment, a door where my kids were had family watched to them and he was yelling, where is she? And so well, I knew when I came back, there was going to be some kind of comfort station. And so we talked and of course he started out calm, like always, and then it kind of escalated.
(11:47): And after a while he had asked if our son could spend the night with him. And I said, you know, yes, because as our son was four, almost five. And he was, you know, never bad with the kids or anything. And my son had missed him. So I said, okay. Yes. Well, he went to spend the night with them that night. And he called me that night, questioning me. I hung up on him early the next morning he calls and same thing. So I knew he was coming back. So I'm getting my daughter out of bed, changing her diaper. And I remember looking out the upstairs window and I seen him pull in and I seen him look up at me and I just had this feeling. I D I didn't know what was about to happen, but I knew it was not going to be good.
(12:31): So I go downstairs to open the door and my, my son comes in and kind of comes over to the steps and starts crying. And so I go over to comfort him and, you know, just thinking, you know, what's wrong. And of course he didn't want to leave his dad or anything. Well, as I turned around, he had locked the door and he had a 22 pointed at me. Now he was, my two little ones were just feet away from him when he shot me the first time. And I don't remember the words that we were saying, but my son grabbed a toy and threw it at him. He was trying to protect me. Wow. And I remember him turning towards the kids and I thought, don't, you dare hurt them. So my niece, who was living with me at the time she was in her early twenties, she had heard the commotion came downstairs and she tried to call for help.
(13:26): And he had said, put the phone down, or I will shoot you too. So I told her, get the kids, get out of the house, just go. So he allowed her to take our two little ones out the door. I didn't know. At the time that my oldest was still upstairs, as this went on, it really felt like forever. It felt like forever. I was just thinking, where are the police? And each time he was pretty close to me when he would get ready to shoot me, I would kind of pushed the gun down. That's how close he was. And he ended up shooting me six times that day. And at the very end, I was standing against the wall and I had my hand on my chest and he had the gun over my hand. And I thought, this is it. I'm going to die.
(14:10): I didn't even know how I was still standing. I was just, my whole body just felt hot and I was having trouble breathing. And I was just praying in my mind, God don't let me die. And I was doing everything I could to try to calm him down. When you're in a relationship like that, you kind of learn ways to, you know, you're trying to help the situation. And so I'm trying to calm him down and say, whatever it is he needs to hear. And then finally, he just starts crying and he says, what have I done? I love you. And I guess at that time, my son had came down. The steps, seen all of this, ran back up and pet under his bed. And then meantime, he threw the gun on the couch and I, in my mind, I'm still scared. I'm thinking, okay, do I grab the gun?
(15:01): Do I try? You know, what do I do? What if I shoot him? And I miss. And then he finishes me. I'd never shot again before. So I just begged him please, you know, just let me outside. I can't breathe. I just, I need air. So he walked me outside tried to put me in his truck, but I said, no, I I'm not going in your chop. Cause in my mind I was thinking he he's lost it. He's going to drive us somewhere and, and finish us off, hit a tree or something. So he pulls the tailgate down and I'm kind of sitting back there and kids are getting ready to go to school. So I see a couple kids walking by. I'm trying to be calm and not cause a scene. But in my mind, I'm like, okay, where's my help. And is he going to go grab the gun?
(15:55): I didn't know. You know, I can't run. And my neighbor comes out and sees me. And she just kind of looks and slams the door and just like, God, you know? And finally the police come and the squad and I just, I remember laying back there and they cut off all my clothes there, taking pictures. I remember the tears just coming down my face and I was just praying, God, please don't let me fall asleep. Cause I thought, okay, I'm awake. I'm alive. You know, don't let me die. And just thinking, why did he do this? Why would he do this to our children? Why would you do that in front of your kids? Why would you do this to their mother? Just all the questions just, and I remember sitting back in the squad feeling like, wow, this is taking a long time. And I heard the guy in the squad yell at somebody on a thing.
(16:49): I guess they had tried to call Lifelight, but it must've been a pretty cold day and they couldn't something about ice. So anyways, they had taken me to a local hospital, ended up taking me to OSU hospital where I had surgery. And at that point that I was still awake. I was finally like, okay, knock me out. Like, I'm ready. So they did exploratory surgery because one of the shots was actually in my side. And thankfully no internal organs were hit and all of those six shots, I do have some shrapnel kind of in, and I had a bullet. Most of them went through and through, there was one behind my knee and eventually later that year I had to go back to get the bullet removed. But so after this had happened, I just, I think I was in shock for a while.
(17:50): And people were pretty shocked at my attitude because I was just like, okay, I'm fine. I'm alive. You know, he didn't when he's in jail and just kinda like, you know, I'm okay. And I was staying at my dad's for a while. And Kennedy told my dad, Hey, I need to get back to my own place. And so I went back to the same apartment that this happened and, you know, wanted to just get on with my life. And I didn't realize how difficult that was going to be. I remember just being so scared. Anytime anyone knocked on the door, always locking the doors, getting upset with the kids because you know, we lived in an apartment place. So of course kids came over all the time. There was always kids knocking out the door and of course my kids would always want to go answer it.
(18:41): But I just had this fear inside of me, like don't touch the door and just having lots of nightmares. And during that time is when I had to go get the bullet removed. And when that happened, I went back to OSU hospital and I think going back there kind of awakened me in a way. And that's when depression hit pretty bad. And, and at this time, you know, when, when something bad happens you know, you'll have a lot of people gather around you and help, but I feel like it's after that, when you're kind of settling in and trying to get on with your life. For me, that's when I felt really alone and depression was bad. I, I didn't really talk to people about it. I don't think my family knew how bad it was, but I couldn't even, I couldn't go to work. You know, the kids would go to school and I would just cry all day. I would either be sleeping or crying and just not functioning. And I just didn't know how to get out of that.
(19:47): Where was your faith at this time? I see this story building and building and it's like, how I, can I get the questions? Like how many times can I be hit? The only thing that I can think of is number one, you are a walking miracle that you must have this massive, massive purpose in this life for you to be here. Like I that's all I can. That's all I'm feeling. That's all I'm hearing is that you are here, whether, I mean, and I don't even know where your faith was at this point. Like, you know, where, what was your faith like in eighth grade and high school? And you said you had a wild streak and in all of this, and then you're going through this journey and you hit this depression. I mean, what was your faith like at this moment?
(20:40): So growing up, I don't remember going to church a lot. We did go, I remember going to Sunday school sometimes. I remember we had a picture of Jesus on the wall. I remember my mom had a cross necklace and it had this, a Bible verse in it and growing up, I kind of always thought God was, it was more about if you're good, you'll go to heaven. You know, there was no relationship. And in eighth grade, middle school I would, I joined the Oh, it's like a student youth group, mostly because my friends were there, but my sister had reminded me. And my, one of my sisters is actually the one who brought me to Jesus. I had seen her all through my life, just walk with Jesus. And she was just always positive and encouraging. And she was the one that, you know, I just would always go to, she was kind of like a second mom to me, since my mom what's gone.
(21:37): And she reminded me, she said, Barbie, you got baptized just weeks before that happened. And I guess I hadn't realized. And to be honest, I didn't truly know at that time [inaudible] true. Meaning of baptism. And, you know, I knew that I was accepted Jesus. I did that prayer. And I believe that with my whole heart, but I had so much, so much to learn. We all do. And so faith wise, I would say I was not going to church. Of course I would pray. And I did, I guess a relationship has had been kind of started because during those years, yeah, the abuse, I remember just praying out loud to God and talking to God, but as this happened, so when I'm in this depression, I talked with God quite a bit and some was anger, some money sadness. And I just unfiltered, you know, I, I would say, you know, God, why did you even keep me alive?
(22:37): That's how I felt. I felt like for what? Why am I here? Because I felt such despair. And like I had no future. I didn't see it. I thought here I am. I, you know, I was about 28, 29. I have three kids, two different fathers. I just felt like I don't know what the word is, but I didn't feel anything good. And so I started, how did you kind of live that way? You know, I was going out to the bars, you know, just not respecting myself and no respect for men because to me back then, it was just like, they were the enemy and I was just using them and it was terrible. But I knew, I knew that I knew over time, whether it was Holy spirit in me, whatever, I knew that there was, there was just something telling me, there is something more, this is not it.
(23:34): And I came to a crossroads, you know, I got help. I got counseling, started taking medication and I came to a point or I kind of laid it all out. And I repented for everything that I had been doing and just sobbing. And then I remember praying to God, you know, please, God send me a man who will love me for who I am, who will love my children and care for us. I mean, just those kinds of things just laid it all out. And you know, it doesn't happen in an instant, it's still a work in progress, but things started changing. He started changing my heart, healing me little by little,
(24:17): So many people need to hear that. I mean, whether, I mean, healing is healing. A broken heart is a broken heart, hurt is hurt. And and I love that, that you said that you were praying and asking. I think so many of us don't ask for what it is that you want and you did that. And he was there.
(24:38): Yes. And also, I think a lot of times when we think of prayer, we think it has to be some big, magical, beautiful thing. And God just wants you. He wants a relationship with you and you can be honest about where you are. He knows where you are. You can be honest about how you're feeling, because once you get that out, once you talk to God about it and say, God, I'm angry. You know, God why? And some of your questions may not get answered, but he is there and he is listening and he's comforting you. And he gives you peace. It's just, it's beautiful.
(25:16): Yeah. Wow. Well, we'll ask fast forward because he answered your prayer. A man that like loves you for who you are and everything that you've been. I mean, let's talk about that. Like you talk about hope and encouragement. Like this is your prayers have been answered.
(25:36): I get chills when you said that, because it's such a, such a beautiful story that only God can, can do. So here's the funny thing. I, I had seen him at a restaurant and I knew his sister and she comes up to me. Hey, my brother thinks you're cute. You know, I was kind of in that transition period, still not ready. And I just kind of was like, Oh, okay, that's nice. And she gave me his number and for some reason I had kept it in my jewelry box. So during this time, you know, I was still healing. Hadn't prayed yet. Okay. How does that, that prayer yet? And then I did. And some time went on and I remember thinking, you know, I just would like to have a friend, somebody to just have coffee with and talk with. And I'm standing there going through my things and I see his name and number.
(26:29): And I tell my niece, Oh, maybe I should give him a call. And then I'm trying to talk. It I'm like, no, no, I can't do that. You know that he will not even remember me. That was six months ago. And no joke. She's like Barbie. He could be one, you better call him, just go call him. So I did. And it went to his voicemail, but he called me the next day. And we talked for hours. He of course remembered me. He's like, yes, I remember you. And it was so weird. It had to be God, because after we hung up, I just felt God saying, he's the one. And I'm like, what are you talking about? Like, I've never even went on a date with this guy yet. Where is this coming from? And he definitely was, it took some time we dated and I had a lot of walls up as you can imagine, but he was just super sweet patient kind.
(27:24): And part of me when we first started dating, okay, when's the real, you know, when's the shoe gonna drop? What does he really want? And we've been married for 18 years and he's still the same sweet, compassionate kind person, any even more so, but he actually has helped me in my healing process as well, because I have post-traumatic stress. And in the early stages, like I would, if you know, I remember falling asleep on the couch, he came to kiss me goodbye or something. And he startled me and I just freaked out. So he realized, you know, okay, she's got to know that I'm coming. And it wasn't because of him. It was because of my past. So as he walks down the hall, he'll kind of click, click his fingers or do something. So I'm not alerted things like that. So, yeah, it's been amazing.
(28:19): And as we were dating, I actually, I tried to break up with him cause he didn't have any kids here. I had three kids. I had no intentions of having any more. And I tried to tell him, you know, Hey, you've got your future ahead of you. And he just wasn't hearing it. And he said, you know, that doesn't matter to me. I just, I love you. I want to be with you. And as the years kind of went by, we kind of talked about having kids together. Now I had had my tubes tied and a few years in, we talked about it, but he said to me, you know what, he's like, I don't want the kids to feel like they're not enough. He had adopted my two younger kids. And so now my oldest of course, was a teen pregnancy and his dad was still involved in the picture.
(29:07): So, but he had said, you know, I don't want to make them feel like they're not enough because they are. And so you kind of, a few more years went by, he went to Iraq, he's in the national guard. And during that time we kinda talked about it and talked with the kids. They were a little older and they were like, yes. So my youngest was 14 at the time. So I had 14, 16, 22. Yeah. So I was here. I was 30 and have my tubes reversed and we have two children together. So we have a family of five kids and we have three grandkids. And God's just blessed us so much, so much working through you. And I think that's the best part, like through all of this, you know, talking about your purpose and your vision, like you have your, like you had this mojo back and it just kind of like has fired you up to, to how you can impact other people.
(30:06): I mean, I know that you're going to help so many people with your story and I know you're, you know, reaching out and that's been laid on your heart as well. I know we've talked and I'm just excited to see where this goes and how God's going to breathe on this and really have your story inspire so many. And I think this is just a part of it as well. So what can you say or share with someone that is struggling with whatever? Like I said, pain is paying her as her, you know, betrayal is betrayal. I mean, all of that. W what can you share with someone to give that hope and encouragement of what they can do right now today? Well, I would say definitely the things that help me is number one, prayer, talking to God, having a support system and not looking too far ahead.
(30:55): You know, the thing that helped me now, there was not Facebook back then. So if you have Facebook, maybe take that off for a while, but just small goals. Like, you know, when I was going through depression, it was more like, okay, I did the dishes today, little goals, little things, okay. I made my bed today. That's good. You know, little steps, one thing at a time, and maybe whatever it is, your outlet is whether it's journaling or art or nature, you know, do something to kind of wake up yourself, you know, do something that's for you that you enjoy. That brings life to you. For me, it was kind of all those things. I would go out in nature and I wrote poems about how all these family, maybe nobody's seen it, but I kind of wrote out, you know, if I'm angry, write it out, you can burn it up in a fire when you're done, get your feelings out and just start building on yourself.
(31:54): And for me I also got books that kind of just I wouldn't say self-help books, but kind of like, kind of built who I was. And if we don't have a church, you know, slowly when you're ready find the right church community, it took me a while. The church part didn't kind of happen till later. And me sharing my story didn't happen till later, to be honest, I kind of kept it to myself for a long time, because I was afraid to share my story. I didn't want people to view me differently to feel pity for me or whatever, but God finally revealed to me that, you know, this isn't about me. It's about sharing what he's done in my life and to help give others hope. This is just a season. This isn't the end. You know, God, doesn't leave you the air in that spot and he's with you.
(32:45): So just push through. Yeah. You're definitely not done. Where can they find you? I know you have a spirit led Facebook group encouraging faith-filled sisterhood. Yeah. So the funny thing about that, I just started that around the time COVID started just to kind of have positive things. I invited just a few friends and said, Hey, if you know, ladies that need encouragement, invite them, add them to the page. And now I think we have like 365 already. That is awesome. But it's just a positive uplifting because I need that. I need that. Yeah. We definitely want them to have one of you there. We want to invite you to that group for sure. I cannot thank you enough for being here and sharing your story. I know it was one that has impacted my heart and I just knew that women had to had to hear this.
(33:38): So be sure to head on over to her sisterhood. I also want to share if you want to break free from, what's holding you back from walking into your true identity. And you're interested in a small group mentorship that Jess Bree sisterhood for 2021, email email@example.com. And we will be, be able to connect that way as well. Heads up on the next episode, we have another special guest founder of you are and an empowerment coach, Angie Leitnaker. So be sure to come back. Thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you so much, Barbie, please subscribe. Share this episode, link on your social media. If you felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know someone that can benefit. And I would love it. If you would give some feedback and a review as well, talk with you next time.
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