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Extreme Trauma Made This Woman Dangerous for Christ

 

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There is little doubt that Kristal Klear possesses the credentials to coach and advise people through traumatic events in their lives. She was ordained as a pastor by the ever-popular Kimberly Jones—aka Real Talk Kim—and is certified by Learning Journeys, the International Center of Coaching, which has produced a great number of leaders both in the spiritual and secular world.

But throughout her entire life, Klear has spent a great deal of her own time in the proverbial school of hard knocks. Her own life experiences and the difficult lessons she has learned from them qualify her to coach others to not only endure these pockets of trauma but to come out clean on the other side, washed by the precious blood of Jesus.

A pastor’s kid, Klear suffered sexual and emotional abuse at a very young age, enduring it multiple times at the hands of family members, teachers and family members of friends. That led to many trust issues throughout her childhood, teen and young adult years.

She has withstood other forms of physical abuse along the way, depression and suicidal thoughts, PTSD and domestic violence. She’s been through a painful divorce, and she recently faced the deaths of her father and her aunt in the same week.

Through it all, and with the help of many loving, caring women along the way, Klear has found the deep-rooted healing power of Jesus that miraculously rescued her from a potential struggle with drugs, prison, domestic violence and perhaps premature death.

Considering the impact she’s making on others now, Satan missed a golden opportunity to take Klear out of the picture early. But now it’s “crystal-clear” that God had other plans for her.

Early Pain

She says she’s always known Jesus, but her situation was far from ideal. “Jesus has always been with me, and it’s not like I didn’t have parents who didn’t introduce me to Him,” she says. “Unfortunately, they were pastors, and a lot of this happened on their watch. I didn’t have parents who let me run the streets or didn’t watch after me. They were very, very strict. That’s why I think it’s so strange that sometimes this stuff happens in our lives. It was hard for me because I felt like I had to be perfect. Like with my parents, sometimes you have religion and not relationship.”

Klear’s issues began at the tender age of 4. “At that age, my grandmother’s stepdaughter put hands on me in a way no one ever should with a girl that young,” she says. “A lot of my issues and the sexual violations I went through were with women as well as men.

“When I was about 11 years old, I had a teacher who molested me, and I had to go to court,” she says. “I knew exactly what was happening, and I wanted to get that case out in the open. People came forward from 20 years prior and said he did the same thing to them.

“And then I found myself in my teenage years beaten and bruised and raped on the bathroom floor by the cousin of a girlfriend,” she says. “It was sad because my friend didn’t do anything to help me. It made me feel extremely uncomfortable, and it obviously made it hard for me to trust people.

“From that point on, I started dealing with a lot of PTSD, depression and mental health issues,” Klear explains. “It was then I felt myself becoming suicidal. I’ve always had to fight really, really hard to just allow Jesus in the cracks of those spaces. I understand that Jesus is our therapy, and I understand He can and will deliver us from deep-seated issues like I had. But He also has practical tools for some of us, and people are put in our lives to help us partner with Him to make sure that we’re taking care of our minds and that we rewire our thought process.”

One of the people who has helped Klear do just that is Real Talk Kim, who now serves as Klear’s spiritual adviser.

A True Mentor

Klear has known Real Talk Kim for several years, and Jones has coached and encouraged her through some very tough times in her life.

“The cool thing is that she’s been a part of my journey every step of the way,” Klear says of Jones. “She’s been with me through some heartache, some hurt, some hang-ups. Fortunately, she helped me through my divorce.

“Pastor Kim licensed and ordained me for ministry,” Klear adds. “I’ve had the privilege of serving under her before as a volunteer and serving alongside of her as well. Now she’s like the mama eagle, and she’s given me my wings and just let me fly and soar into all the things that not only the Lord has for me, but the things that she’s imparted into me too.”

A traveling evangelist and bestselling author who has gained mass popularity through social media,

Jones’ determination to defeat the devil at any cost is only one of the qualities that drew Klear to her when they met several years ago. “Pastor Kim, or ‘Mom’ as I call her, does not quit no matter what comes her way,” Klear says. “I’m a lot like her in that: No matter what the enemy throws at her, she figures out how to get to the other side of it. She just doesn’t stop.

“She’s determined to win, and she’s determined to make Jesus famous,” Klear says. “She’s determined to be Jesus with skin on, and she’s determined to forgive quick, love hard and create memories. She’s determined to take someone who doesn’t feel like anything and make them feel special. That is exactly the way I want to be for Jesus. It’s an infectious attitude, so you just can’t help but be drawn to her in a big way.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Jones is also a partner in Klear’s nonprofit Rock, Paper, Scissors Foundation, which Klear initiated in 2021 to help give a voice to those who have been silenced from all forms of abuse, low self-esteem and human trafficking.

“Our purpose is to heal,” is the RPS vision. So why did Klear come up with the unique name? She explains it in a single sentence:

“Rock is for no matter what you throw at me, paper is for no matter how you try to crumple me and scissors is for no matter how you cut me, I am an overcomer,” Klear says. “With Jesus’ help, we fight any form of sexual, emotional or physical abuse and human trafficking, and of course, the fear and insecurity come along with that, with awareness and prevention.

“With Rock, Paper, Scissors, we are in seven states right now and active in four, hoping to become active soon in all of those states. We have our Lily program, which goes into the schools. The cool thing about our Lily program is that it gives us an opportunity for girls—anywhere from elementary to middle school to high school girls—to help them develop their self-esteem, their self-worth, their self-value.

“I love these experiences because I get to speak at something called ‘We Day,’ where, for the last three years or so, I spoke to about 4,000 seventh graders,” she says. “Each time I did that, anywhere between three and six people came out with a very compelling story.

“In one instance, we found ourselves backstage with a Child Protective Services counselor to help one young lady in a dire situation,” she says. “We were able to help pull her out of her house to put her in foster care and get her away from her stepfather, who was actively sleeping with this 12-year-old girl. So I feel like we’re anointed for that. This is not an avenue that we picked because it was popular. But it was something that we were graced for. So I feel like we’re change- makers, game-changers and cycle-breakers.”

At its annual Break Silence Conference, RPS helps adult women by creating a safe environment backed by community resources. The experience is a tremendous example of the Holy Spirit’s healing power,” Klear says.

“It’s a really good time of worship, impartation and love,” she says. “We bridge the gap, and we unify the community. You don’t have to be a believer to be there. We take women from all walks of life. We put a pastor and a prostitute at the same table. We address someone who’s strung out on drugs. There are no big guys and little youth, as my father used to say. Everyone is equal.

“Those are some of the things that we do; we create awareness prevention,” she says. “We have our annual domestic violence campaign that we do to create awareness and to get people to realize their worth and their value in Jesus’ eyes.”

Shattered Glass, Powerful Podcast

Helping people to realize how God values them is only one of the reasons God led Klear to write her book, Shattered Glass. In the book, she transparently pours out her heart about her painful past, which God has used mightily to help others who have suffered similar tragic circumstances.

The book is “a candid look at the healing power of Jesus Christ” and covers “restoration,” the result of giving God permission to heal every area of your life. For Klear—and for readers—it is a journey to wholeness and forgiveness.

“As I detail in the book, I had to learn to stop trying to get back at people who hurt me. That wasn’t my job,” Klear says. “My job was to walk in forgiveness and love and peace and let God be my vindicator. For me, it was causing me more harm than good to try to figure out how to be the vindicator of people who have hurt me.

“I think when women go through a divorce or emotional abuse or domestic violence, they’re looking for someone to get justice from. Sometimes we’ll take it back to the people who have hurt you. But when we take stuff out of God’s hands, we don’t give Him an opportunity to work with it, and it takes a lot longer to get the healing in your heart that you’re looking for.”

On her Charisma Podcast Network show, Kristal Klear Podcast, Klear deals with many of the same subjects, including grace, self-worth, stepping out of your past, victories in Christ and overcoming domestic violence.

She’s been through it all, so she knows what she’s talking about.

“I love to help people navigate with inner healing,” Klear says. “I also can help people get closure for a lot of situations, including what their next business move is. I can coach them after a divorce. I can also coach pastors through their issues. It’s so cool that God has allowed me the opportunity to do this, but I had to be put through a lot of pain and heartache to get this point. I’m just thankful for His grace and mercy.”


Shawn A. Akers is a content development editor for Charisma Media.

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Second Peter: The Delay of Jesus’ Return & the Crisis of Patience

Peter’s Last–and Lasting–Words

Second Peter is a little book with a whole lot of passion. It feels intense, but that’s to be expected when the apostolic pillar of the early church pens his last words. Peter knows he’s about to die, so he carefully crafts this farewell speech to the network of churches in Asia Minor (2 Pet. 1:12-15 He wants his final exhortations and warnings to be recorded and preserved in order to serve as a memorial of his teaching for future generations, which includes our generation today. And I think you’ll discover that his message is as timely today as it was then.

What’s 2 Peter All About?

In chapter one, Peter challenges believers to never stop growing in godliness and Christ-like qualities. Then, in chapters two and three, he pivots towards the corrupt teachers who were denying the return of Jesus and final judgment in order to justify their immoral behavior. Their combined skepticism of Jesus’ return with their love of sin without consequences was all too convenient. They could reject biblical authority, get rich quick by teaching a false message of Christian “freedom,” and have lots of casual sex all without fear of accountability or judgment. It was a classic “have your cake and eat it too” scenario.

Peter wasn’t having any of it. He condemns them in chapter two, reminding his readers of God’s certain judgment on wickedness. To make his case he follows a rabbinic formula of proof, which moves from a minor to a major premise. It goes like this: if A is true, how much more so is B true also. Using that formula, he pulls from notorious events in biblical history to knock it out of the park. If (A) God did not spare the fallen angels, the ancient civilization in Noah’s day, or Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Pet. 2:4-8

2 Peter 2:4-8

4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), Moreover, their knowledge of the gospel will actually make them more culpable on the final day of judgment (which, by the way, is coming!). Wow. Let’s just say, Peter: 1, False Teachers: 0.

But Peter doesn’t stop there. The allegation that the delay of Jesus disapproves the expectation of his return demands a response. Yes. The false teachers needed to be silenced, but the young churches also needed to be shepherded through the delay. After all, they were living through the first wave of organized persecution against Christians during the reign of Nero, a wicked Roman emperor. The question initially raised by the corrupt leaders would have become inescapable in the minds of these persecuted Christians. Why did Jesus delay when such palpable evil was ruling the day?

This very real, felt question isn’t limited to first-century believers. Just look at the world around you. Evil is rampant. There’s violence and mass shootings and terror. There’s brokenness and pain and suffering. The innocent are oppressed while the wicked prosper. High-rise moguls get rich while the assaulted are shunned. We can’t help but wrestle with the same question. What’s taking Jesus so long to return and right all wrongs?

The Central Crisis: What’s Taking Jesus SO Long?

Second Peter 3 actually contains the most explicit treatment of the delay of the parousia (a Greek word that means the second coming of Jesus at the end of human history) in the entire New Testament, so it’s particularly important if you’re trying to make sense of this wait.

Peter begins by reminding his readers how the Scriptures warned there would be scoffers in the last days who depart from truth and follow sinful desires. They would question the promise of God’s return, citing that ever since the patriarchs died, all things have continued just as they were from the beginning. They purposefully overlook the fact that God had intervened before, both in the account of creation and the flood. God would surely intervene again on a final day of reckoning for the unrighteous and rescue for the righteous (2 Pet. 3:1-Peter then moves to his central argument on how to understand the delay of the parousia in verses 8-9

2 Peter 3:8-9

 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Hit Pause!

At this point, we need to pause because there are differing schools of thought on how to understand Peter’s logic in verse 8 (“one day is as a thousand years”). Without boring you, I’ll briefly share two prevailing views in order to reject both for a more balanced, biblical alternative, which I think better helps us to understand the meaning of the delay. (Note: I’m following Richard Bauckham’s excellent work done on 2 Peter here.)

One school says you have to interpret the verse in light of parallels in contemporary Jewish and Christian literature, following a chronological formulation where a “day” means a thousand years in human terms. Interpreted this way, verse 8 is speaking to chronological data (the day of judgment will last a thousand years), not to the delay of Jesus’ return.

But this doesn’t work in light of the context of 2 Peter 3. The whole chapter is built around refuting scoffers who deny the Lord’s coming, so why would Peter turn aside from his central argument to give one line of chronological data about how long the day of judgment would last? It just doesn’t add up.

The second school acknowledges that verse 8 is indeed Peter’s answer to the problem of the delay raised by the scoffers in verses 1-7, but they hold that his use of Psalm 90:4 is a novel idea produced in an ad hoc kind of way to meet the urgent issue raised by the false teachers. They don’t understand Peter to be utilizing any resources from contemporary Jewish or Christian literature.

I also find this highly unlikely. In the Apocalypse of Baruch, a contemporary of Peter reflects on Psalm 90:4, contrasting God’s eternal existence with man’s brief span of life. Clearly, there’s Jewish precedence for a reading of Psalm 90:4 in its original sense during Peter’s day. It’s hard to believe that Peter, writing as a thoroughly Jewish Christian, was unaware of this material while simultaneously using Psalm 90:4 in the same manner. It doesn’t fly.

That said, how should we understand Peter’s argument in verses 8-9?

Hit Play Again—What’s Taking Jesus SO Long?

We should read these verses according to their genre (apocalyptic eschatology), appreciating that Peter is a Jewish Christian who has been shaped by apocalyptic visionaries throughout the centuries. He would have been intimately familiar with writers such as Habakkuk or Daniel or Baruch, men who knew what it was to cry out in anguish, “How long O Lord,” while maintaining trust in God’s sovereign purposes, even as he delayed. He would have learned from their fierce faith in the face of evil to trust that God’s timetable was not his own and that God’s delay was part and parcel of the plan.

This helps us see how Peter when confronted with the delay of Jesus’ return, does not hastily contrive arguments in hopes of calming fears for a moment. Rather, he brilliantly enters into a long line of apocalyptic tradition saturated with eschatological delay to form arguments regarding the parousia that were already familiar in his readers’ minds. Through this technique, he is able to help them (and us!) understand how the delay holds great meaning within it. Check out his two points:

One: God’s timetable is different than ours (verse 8).

Ah. This one’s hard to grasp in the face of all the evil that we see, yet apocalyptic writers were quick to point out that God operates on a different eschatological clock than we do. His eternal, everlasting perception of time frees him from human concerns. Our human expectation of the “situation” as we see it is bound by our own brief existence and our desire to experience full redemption. We’re impatient to see our broken lives fully restored, so we cry out with the martyrs of Revelation 6, “How long O Lord?!”

Peter reminds us that “the eternal God is free from that particular impatience” (The Delay of the Parousia, Richard Bauckham). He’s not bound by a desire for personal redemption or limited by human perspective. Thus, what seems so long to us, might not be as significant when viewed from the perspective of the eternal God who surveys and rules over all of human history.

Two: God is patient, wanting all to come to repentance (verse 9).

Lest we think God works according to his own timetable without any sense of the urgency with which evil and suffering confront us, Peter gives his second argument taken from Jewish apocalyptic writing—God delays not because he is slow, but because he is patient toward sinners, giving everyone time for repentance. We see this in God’s description of himself from Exodus 34:6-7, “…The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty… .”

This is as true as ever when it comes to the parousia. Though we may long for Jesus’ return and the defeat of all evil, God has allowed these last days to continue so that more people can turn towards him in faith. The delay isn’t a hiccup in his plan; it’s a part of his plan, which makes him kind, not cruel. Jesus will indeed return to judge the living and the dead, but as long as the parousia is delayed, there’s still time for people to repent and trust in Jesus. This truth should actually fuel our patience and passion as we await our Lord’s return.

So How Do We Live Right NOW?

With patience and purpose! Peter says we’re to be characterized by holiness and godliness as we wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God (2 Pet. 3:11-12). Like the apocalyptic visionaries of old, we’re called to patiently trust in the perfect purposes of God. But this text also suggests that Christian living actually has an effect on God’s timetable (we can “hasten” the coming of the Lord) as we live out the new covenant realities.

That’s pretty profound.

As followers of Jesus who believe that the eschatological promises have broken into the present through the work of Jesus and the outpouring of the Spirit, we don’t wait idly for Jesus’ return, nor do we live like the corrupt teachers who saw Jesus’ delay as an opportunity to indulge the flesh. Rather, like Peter, we live as new, transformed humans who take advantage of the divine delay to join in God’s redemptive purposes. We live out our days bearing witness to Jesus, continuing his mission, fighting back the powers of darkness, and hastening the day when those purposes will be fully accomplished.

So yes, we wait. But we wait patiently, knowing that God is orchestrating all of human history towards his glorious end. And we wait purposely, joining in God’s redemptive mission to make disciples of all people.

Whitney Woollard is a long-time Bible Project Blog contributor, writer, speaker, and Bible teacher in Portland, OR. She holds her M.A. in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and loves sharing her passion for the Bible with others. You can check out her work at her website, whitneywoollard.com