Julie is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. A pastor’s daughter, she grew up in the church and experienced true faith and also hypocrisy. Like so many of us, Julie was broken at an early age. In her pain and desperation, she ran to Jesus. He carried her through her darkest days and later through a deep healing and restoration period. Today, Julie is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, speaker, therapist, and a woman who has experienced the immense grace of God. She is a Humpty Dumpty who has miraculously been put back together by the King. A Broken Treasure, Julie is passionate about helping wounded women find healing with the King.
Julie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Hawaii and Colorado. As a new resident of Florida, she is also pursuing a license in her new home state. Julie is a tested educator and a model Experiential Family Therapist with a proven impact on communities, organizations, families, and individuals. Previously an elementary school teacher, Julie now spends her time working with women. Julie is a proficient teacher and counselor. Also having been a Domestic Violence Advocate, Julie excels in dealing with Trauma and Abuse situations. As the spouse of a retired military member and a prior Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC), Julie is also familiar with the myriad issues surrounding military life.
You can read more of Julie’s story in her book entitled “Broken Treasures.” In addition, you can hear some of her talks in the videos section of this website.
My name is Julie Daubenspeck, I am 53 years old. I am a wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother to five, soon to be six, wonderful grandchildren. The life I live is a gift from God. As a suicidal 16-year-old, I didn’t think any of this was possible. But, I have learned that God is bigger than my brokenness and my pain. He is the God who heals and makes us whole.
As a kid, I grew up in a strong Christian family and we attended church regularly. In fact, my father was the pastor of our sweet little church. Every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any other time the church had services, we were there. I loved watching my dad teach and preach. He was my hero and I wanted to be just like him someday. I was never very close on a personal level with my mom when I was growing up. I don’t know why. Instead, I was Daddy’s girl and I absolutely adored him.
When I was in the 6th grade, my younger brother was diagnosed with severe kidney problems and required major surgery in a town several hours away. My mother went to the hospital to be with him. She was gone a few weeks. My father stayed home to watch my older brother and me. It was during that time that my father began to molest me. He sexually abused me until I was almost 15 years old. During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, my dad called me into his office, at the church, and told me he was never going to touch me again. He said if he ever did, I should tell my mother. I wanted to scream, “If I could tell her, don’t you think I would have done that by now!!!” Instead, I said nothing. I didn’t believe him, but he was true to his word. The sexual abuse stopped.
I cannot say how long the spiritual abuse lasted. After all, he was both my father and my pastor. I would listen to him “teach” the word of God, week after week, knowing he wasn’t living the truth of the gospel. He was a fraud. The hypocrisy was brutal on my mind. In addition, unlike many abusers, my father never threatened me. Instead, he was incredibly “kind, gentle, and loving” …… while he was abusing me. His manipulation was to lament about all of the bad things that would happen to him or to our family if anyone knew what he was doing. All of these concerns were true, with one exception. I believed those terrible consequences would all be my fault. Adding to the overwhelming mental abuse, my dad would try to counsel me both during the years of abuse and the years that followed. The abusive father/pastor thought he could counsel the daughter he was hurting. Even now I cannot wrap my mind around the craziness. I often ask God, “How am I sane?” It reminds me once again that my life, every part of it, is an example of God’s grace that was and is so much bigger than my experiences.
Shame tormented me as a kid. That’s why I could never tell my mother, or anyone else. My dad was a “godly” man, a pastor, someone everyone adored. Therefore, I believed I was evil and that it was all my fault. Why else would a pastor sin in such a horrible way? I thought I was stupid, that I was flawed, that if anyone knew my secret they would see how awful I was. So I lived in isolation. I was surrounded by people, as pastors’ families always are, and yet, I was horribly alone. I lived in a bubble, so to speak, with my secret. But, that secret drove me to Jesus. Although I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and savior when I was 8 years old, it was during the years of abuse that Jesus became my very best friend. Each night, I would pray and tell Jesus, “It’s just you and me. Nobody else knows my secret. It’s just you and me.” And Jesus was there. He carried me through those horrible days.
After the abuse ended, I continued to spiral down until I was suicidal. By God’s grace, I never attempted suicide, but I desperately wanted to. God kept me from harm when I was sixteen and determined to end it all. On that cold, dark night, God promised me that I wouldn’t always hurt and that He had a wonderful husband and family for me someday. Today, I enjoy those precious answered prayers. God is so good.
Shortly after that night, my dad happened into my room and asked me a question. “Do you ever think about the past?” he asked. Stupid question. “Every minute of every day,” I answered. “Then we need to get you some help.” He took a risk and scheduled me an appointment with a pastor friend of his. He went first, and undoubtedly gave his friend a totally watered down, minimized version to protect himself. I never spoke when I went for my session. All I remember is the pastor telling me how fortunate I was, that it could have been so much worse, and that I was so lucky it had ended. Then he asked me if I enjoyed it. I said, “no.” He said, “Usually the girls don’t, but the boys do.” Undoubtedly this pastor said some other things, but that’s all I remember. Nevertheless, a door was opened. For the first time, somebody knew my secret. And through that opening, God began to heal.
I have lived a lifelong healing journey. I told my husband about the abuse after we had been married for two years. Together, we told my family about the abuse when I was 26. Later, I began to share my story with a select few…. and I mean few. In 2003, my pastor asked me to share my story with the church. My husband was delighted to tell people that I was “preaching” that Sunday. As my story was going public, I first had to tell my preteen children what their grandfather had done. Since then, I have continued to tell my story and to work with wounded women.
In 2004, God threw me into a major healing and refining season. During that time, He impressed upon me that I was cracked and broken like Humpty Dumpty, but there was healing with the King. He let me know that He, my King, was going to put me back together. When I told my husband about this symbolism, he wrote a poem about how Humpty Dumpty gets put back together by the King. “May I See the King?” was published in 2009 as a children’s book. I love to use this book with women and children. A friend of ours even uses it with men. At the end of 2005, God had me write my personal story. “Broken Treasures” was subsequently published in 2011. I later went on to get a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy so I would be better equipped to work with wounded women. I am still pressing into the ways in which God wants to use all of these things in my life. He is taking all that the devil intended for harm and is turning it for good.
I still battle with insecurity. Every step terrifies me and I never feel good enough or truly equipped. I can still build up walls and push people away. But, I am aware of these things. I pray into them and press ahead in God’s strength. They slow me down, but they don’t stop me. Today, I am once again Daddy’s Girl. My trustworthy Father in Heaven has revealed Himself to me as Dad and I know that He adores me. It is His love that continues to heal me. I am blessed.