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Maxwell 54: Sarah Married and Looking Joyful


samurai_sarah

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I'm late to the party, y'all. I just read all about Sarah Maxwell and her engagement. Consider my mind blown. 

Seeing her in the videos and pictures, although I am filled with joy for her, I cannot understand how she got from Point A to Point B. The chances of her being able to blossom the way she has are practically at zero. Seeing her lit up with  delight, physically demonstrative and *very comfortable* physically with her fiance, confident and comfortable playing games and getting engaged in front of an audience, all for the first time at the age of approximately 40, I can't wrap my head around it. How was she able to shed a lifetime of total repression and control, not allowed to build attachments outside of the family or to anything that makes her happy and emerge (seemingly) normal, relaxed and fully engaged in her new life? Remember that Steve took away anything that they showed interest in or said they liked as he didn't want them to have idols? She comes from one of the bleakest, most joyless and unstimulating life of 40 years. 

How did she get there? Most would be completely broken and defeated. Having little exposure to the world and normal people, they would not know that their lives didn't have to be so dull, routine, and devoid of individuality and laughter. They wouldn't know that they could choose many options for their lives on their own and not burn in hell. Yet her spirit, and apparently those of her sisters, remained intact against all odds. 

Something, or a series of somethings, definitely happened to force Steve out of his position of total authority in that family. 

This is my speculation:

I'm not 100% up to date on exactly what happened to lead them to go to an outside church. From what I gather, the pandemic forced them out of the nursing homes and searching for an alternative. Despite what I assume is an extremely conservative congregation, the church members and pastor(s) were more mainstream and normal than anything the daughters had experienced in the past and it gave them a glimpse into how other "godly" people were living. One or two of the extended family members by marriage weren't quite as crazy. Even extra conservative types were doing a lot more living than them without bursting into flames. This, combined with other factors, made the daughters restless and wanting more out of their lives. Sarah, especially, was bitter and sad about her forced sacrifice. 

I speculate that Sarah met her fiance before she moved out. She may have met him through extended family or on one of the family business trips. They hit it off but were extremely limited in what they could do; however, phone numbers were exchanged. Steve tried to put the kibosh on a relationship because the guy wasn't the right kind of Christian, plus he wanted Sarah to remain in service to the family forever. 

In talking and texting with the guy (sorry, I can't remember his name), he introduces her to the idea that the bible does not say all forms of joy are forbidden. He has all the bible verses at his disposal to challenge some of the dogma and lifestyle choices that Steve has forced on them. Combined with her feelings for him, wanting her own life, she listens and sees that she can pursue a relationship with him and she can make some independent decisions. 

I think the dog was either Steve's way to mollify her and keep her in line, or an independent decision to get a dog because she wanted one. Either way, it was significant in the story. 

As Steve tries to tighten the screws on his daughters, he's being challenged by the pastor and that is another factor at play.

At some point, all of these things lead to Sarah realizing she could move out. Her brothers provide an income to make it possible. She says Sayonara and moves out. If at first locally, she eventually moves to Kentucky (or wherever the fiance is), joins that church, and dates the guy. She continues to learn how to live and love like a normal adult with his help. I don't think she is new to that church.

Thanks for listening. 

Edited by Phyllis_Stein
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@Phyllis_Stein (I dig your name!), I can't speak to your full range of theories, but I remember enough about Ellie to comment on that. Ellie was, in part, a concession to give some comfort/distraction to Sarah, but I don't think she had anything to do with Kory. 

Sarah put a deposit on Ellie in 2015, and got her in early 2016. That would imply that Kory and Sarah had some kind of understanding that flowered 7+ years ago during a time when the entire Maxwell family was still actively attending nursing home church exclusively, and Mary was still being homeshooled. The timeline just doesn't work very well.

Then, there's the fact that they never intended Ellie to be a simple family pet. Sarah was allowed to adopt her with the understanding that they were going to breed her and sell "English Cream" puppies or whatever psuedo-breed Ellie was marketed as. Sarah actually set up a website to take down payments on puppies when Ellie pulled a Bloody Mary and had a phantom pregnancy. The ensuing surprise surgeries and "closing of the womb" interrupted what had initially started out as a fundy backyard breeding operation.

Sarah would never have been allowed to get Ellie if Steve had not seen the potential for profit in it, regardless of how much Sarah may have benefited from a companion animal.

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Well. You step off the crazy train for a while and all hell breaks loose when you check back in. SARAH'S GETTING MARRIED?!?

I gotta catch up. Once I pick myself up off the floor.

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I'm thrilled for Sarah that she is living on her own, and engaged. I also like how carefree her body language seemed on stage when she was playing the game, and then got engaged.

However, I'm surprised that she didn't seem all that surprised herself. Many women who are surprised with a ring and an engagement spend a few moments looking at the ring, but Sarah barely looked at the ring and instead flashed her hand to the crowd.

Makes me wonder if she was already engaged and they re-created the engagement for the benefit of doing it in front of an audience. Then again, if that were the case, she probably would put in extra (i.e., too much) effort play acting surprised. I don't know, but her reaction totally baffles me.

Regardless, clearly she knew an engagement was on the horizon, and maybe she even knew what the ring would look like (meaning they picked it out themselves, or it was a family heirloom, etc.).

She's also not looking at her betrothed after she receives the ring. She's side hugging him, but her head is turned away from him and she's listening to the guy with the microphone. I would have expected her to lock eyes with her fiancé while the rest of the room melts away.

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I have a feeling Sarah knew the engagement was going to happen. I think by the time you’re 40, you aren’t going to bother with the over the top fake surprise like so many young fundies. I roll my eyes so hard at the fake look of shock on a fundie girl’s face. “The cameras, millions of candles, rose petals, and telling me to wear my nicest dress gave me no hints at all! I had no idea!”

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49 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

 I think by the time you’re 40, you aren’t going to bother with the over the top fake surprise like so many young fundies. 

True, but Sarah is emotionally young in many ways. You can see some of that in the video when she scrunches up her shoulders and laughs like a little girl. Most 40 year old women do not imitate young girl behaviors like that one.

If I had to write a script for how I thought Sarah would react to an engagement, it would be a combination of shell-shock, unmitigated relief, and mouth dropped open surprise in disbelief.

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On 7/25/2022 at 12:24 PM, Caroline said:

 

I've convinced my own daughter that eloping is the way to go if she every decides to marry.  A very small informal wedding would be ok too.  She's like me in that she doesn't like a lot of attention or anything too showy. 

I too hope that Sarah gets to do exactly as she pleases for her wedding day.

This was in the early 80's - a co-worker was getting married.  They had both attended Bob Jones university, and she got pregnant 4 months before graduation.  She managed to keep it hidden because they both would have been expelled immediately if discovered.   When they told his parents, her's had disowned her, his parents told them they would put $5000 towards a small wedding or they would give the couple $5000 for a downpayment of a home.  They chose courthouse wedding and took the money.  She told me the day after they graduated, her belly popped out, she thinks it was sheer willpower that held it in till school was over.  

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She’s almost 40 years old, she knew it was coming. I thought it was a lovely engagement. He was proud and pleased to show everyone and I’m sure she felt very special. Sarah from 2019 wouldn’t have seen the path but it was there! 

Re: the blog… if Steve/the larger Maxwell borg didn’t make a post happen for the right to abortion vote today, it’s dead. That was their main political push for years. And you know those Christopher and Nathan MaxFams were doing some sort advocacy today. I was kind of hoping he’d crack and give us something today. 

Edited by fundiewatch
Editing to add this made me a Homeskool Hero! As I am sending my homeschool due to COVID back to godless government school at the end of the month, this is on point!
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Thought I was going to get to bed at a decent hour tonight. Then I swing back by FJ and find out SARAH FREAKING MAXWELL IS ENGAGED????

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10 hours ago, fundiewatch said:

 

Re: the blog… if Steve/the larger Maxwell borg didn’t make a post happen for the right to abortion vote today, it’s dead. That was their main political push for years. And you know those Christopher and Nathan MaxFams were doing some sort advocacy today. I was kind of hoping he’d crack and give us something today. 

I was thinking of the Maxwells when I saw the great news this morning of the outcome of the  vote in Kansas.

Suck it Steve!

 

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37 minutes ago, kpmom said:

I was thinking of the Maxwells when I saw the great news this morning of the outcome of the  vote in Kansas.

Suck it Steve!

 

I noticed the majority of Leavenworth county voted no. Hehe. Take that Steve. 

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On 7/31/2022 at 11:42 PM, Phyllis_Stein said:

Seeing her in the videos and pictures, although I am filled with joy for her, I cannot understand how she got from Point A to Point B.

My speculation is that the 3 daughters have been walking the way from A to B for years, but it was never shown in the blog. Those secret ministry trips, the youth ministry in their town, probably lots of friends etc. They were shown cleaning ceiling fans, but maybe after the dusting, they put modern clothes and went out to have fun (friends, sports, eating out, etc).

There was a picture of Mary at the beginning of her stay at college. She wore shorts and was sitting with open legs, absolutely relaxed, watching a sport game. It's impossible that a women raised in long-skirts-only and raised to believe sport games are sinful, can sit down like she was. No it wasn't neither her first time in shorts nor in a sports game. Her non-verbal language showed a woman comfortable with herself, very different from the Mary we watched in the blog.

Whatever happened in Maxhell, it happened years ago. 

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54 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I noticed the majority of Leavenworth county voted no. Hehe. 

That’s the best news!!  

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3 hours ago, Melissa1977 said:

My speculation is that the 3 daughters have been walking the way from A to B for years, but it was never shown in the blog. Those secret ministry trips, the youth ministry in their town, probably lots of friends etc. They were shown cleaning ceiling fans, but maybe after the dusting, they put modern clothes and went out to have fun (friends, sports, eating out, etc).

There was a picture of Mary at the beginning of her stay at college. She wore shorts and was sitting with open legs, absolutely relaxed, watching a sport game. It's impossible that a women raised in long-skirts-only and raised to believe sport games are sinful, can sit down like she was. No it wasn't neither her first time in shorts nor in a sports game. Her non-verbal language showed a woman comfortable with herself, very different from the Mary we watched in the blog.

Whatever happened in Maxhell, it happened years ago. 

Beginning to think you are absolutely right about this.  I wonder if things started to change after they cut back on their speaking engagements, and the brothers started to get married. In order to keep selling product, they probably had to keep projecting a certain image, but behind the scenes things were shifting.  It's been puzzling to me as well, that their transitions away from isolation looked so smooth.

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On 8/2/2022 at 8:03 PM, sparkles said:

Well. You step off the crazy train for a while and all hell breaks loose when you check back in. SARAH'S GETTING MARRIED?!?

I gotta catch up. Once I pick myself up off the floor.

Exactly!! Maybe we can help each other up - I hurt my damn back stacking wood two days ago, so could probably use a hand! 😂

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8 hours ago, kpmom said:

I was thinking of the Maxwells when I saw the great news this morning of the outcome of the  vote in Kansas.

Suck it Steve!

I too thought of the Maxwells when I saw that. 

7 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I noticed the majority of Leavenworth county voted no. Hehe. Take that Steve. 

I wouldn't be surprised if at least one person voted that way, because the Maxwells are tedious. Someone who had the Maxwells try to convert them several times.

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4 hours ago, petrushka said:

Beginning to think you are absolutely right about this.  I wonder if things started to change after they cut back on their speaking engagements, and the brothers started to get married. In order to keep selling product, they probably had to keep projecting a certain image, but behind the scenes things were shifting.  It's been puzzling to me as well, that their transitions away from isolation looked so smooth.

I had wondered the same thing.   That there was far more going behind the scenes.   One small but significant indicator IMHO was allowing travel away from home.   And I agree that Sarah getting Ellie might have been a distraction, also an income source but still a distraction.  Perhaps because there was already some turmoil at home and this might have served to calm things down?   I can't imagine Steveovah went along with these changes of his own accord.   He was dragged kicking and screaming into it somehow.

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Over the years I’ve seen a ton of posts about Steve “reluctantly “ allowing Sarah her dog and only doing it because she could breed it. While, yes Steve is controlling and I’m sure she had to get permission, I think we forget all the time about the fact that they used to have a dog and Steve loved that thing. He did a dads corner about how much he loved it. I think he had to add something about how it didn’t have a soul just to be Steve - but he loved that dog. 

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1 hour ago, ElizaB said:

Over the years I’ve seen a ton of posts about Steve “reluctantly “ allowing Sarah her dog and only doing it because she could breed it. While, yes Steve is controlling and I’m sure she had to get permission, I think we forget all the time about the fact that they used to have a dog and Steve loved that thing. He did a dads corner about how much he loved it. I think he had to add something about how it didn’t have a soul just to be Steve - but he loved that dog. 

I’m surprised Steve allowed a cat of all animals in the house. Dogs are loyal, hang on your every word, and follow you around. Cats do whatever the fuck they please. I swear my cat knows exactly what’s happening when I call him. But he only comes like half the time. Because half the time he just doesn’t feel like it. Stinker. I bet it bugs Steve that Arnold doesn’t listen to a damn thing he says. 

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On 8/2/2022 at 1:03 PM, sparkles said:

Well. You step off the crazy train for a while and all hell breaks loose when you check back in. SARAH'S GETTING MARRIED?!?

I gotta catch up. Once I pick myself up off the floor.

Welcome back! 

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Today is the last day of summer camp for Anna. ABC school term doesn’t start until August 30th. She can fly back to Kansas now to help Sarah out with last minute wedding stuff. Her wedding is August 20. I hope we get a few pics of the wedding. 

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6 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Her wedding is August 20.

August 20?  ELEVENTY!!!!1!1! 11

These two are not messing around with an extended courtship!  This time next year she could be a married woman with a baby! 

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I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Sarah met Kory after she moved out, and I wouldn't care if it was a quick relationship either. Hopefully they're old enough to have some way to assess character and be more decisive. In a young couple, a fast courtship would seem like more of a red flag.

 

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Interesting, Sarah is getting married the same day as one of my cousins (his 2nd). I am their photographer, they requested me.   I'll try not to get any pictures of wire hangers and bathroom doors.  😅

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