Today is my birthday. This morning I woke up happy, smiling, and very excited to be alive and well with a great home, a great job, and great family and friends. But I’d like to give you a window into what it was like this time last year. I was not well.
One thing that has been good about this job is that it has given me a break from trauma-related topics while I’m working.
I wanted to share a personal update.
In black/white churches, you have two choices: follow along with the pastor, or you are immediately castigated as someone who has made the wrong choice. If people know of your "bad" choice, you may be called a sinner or rebellious.
So, then the question I'm learning to ask myself is: what pain am I avoiding, and why am I avoiding it? Isn’t numbing pain simply prolonging it? Why would I want to prolong pain? What would happen if I moved toward the pain and wrestled with it? What would that look like?
But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?
But what I missed in listening to the stories is that sometimes those stories resonated personally for me. Sometimes after listening to or reading someone's personal story, their story elicited a personal response for me. It reminded me of my own journey. My own unfinished business.
But what it means is that we are being taken seriously. I think that gives us a bit more credibility. When we reach out to church leaders and ask questions, they will know we mean business.
What's interesting is if you address these people and question the way they are attack you and your beliefs, they quip they are telling you this in love and they are being Biblical. It never feels like love. It's rude. It seems like a clanging cymbal to me. Love is patient and kind, right?
Julie Anne Smith shares with Michael how she got slapped with a $500,000 lawsuit, uncovered abuse in her church and among evangelicals, and how patriarchal theology harms women. Hear this lively conversation as they discuss the prevalence and roots of spiritual abuse . . .
The spiritual abuse I experienced will only be a blip in my life's story, and it doesn't define who I am, just as Notre Dame's 2019 fire does not define it. Abuse is part of my story and has shaped me, and has produced life-changing fruit.
This story is not over yet, but I figure I better check in before people start wondering what's happening with me. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about my pastor and church. It's a long story, and one I hope to tell one day, but for now, I am grieving… Continue reading Another Sad Church Story
Sex Abuse, Jimmy Hinton, Pedophiles, Illusionists, Magicians, Dr. Larry Nassar *** *** April is sexual abuse awareness month. It is very important for parents to know that nearly 90% of perpetrators are known by their victims. It is also important to understand that a pedophile can abuse a child while you are in the same… Continue reading Sexual Perpetrators and Magicians – How Both Trick People with Illusions
I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and New Year's holiday celebrating with family and loved ones. I've had a nice break from school. I had plans to get things done, but wasn't too successful. But that's okay, I'm listening to my body tell me that self-care is more important, and things can wait.… Continue reading Happy New Year and Personal Update
Spiritual Abuse, PTSD, Recovery, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Chuck O'Neal *** When someone deals with spiritual abuse, it can have lasting consequences. One popular response is making the decision to no longer go an institutional church. I get that. I'm pretty sure I relayed the story either in a post, or in comments, that one… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse, PTSD, and the Aftermath
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 There has been heaviness for me this week, and it has wiped my writing mojo. But I have been thinking about a lot… Continue reading Doctrine, Debates, and Salvation. Will the real Christian please stand?
Spiritual Abuse, Pastor Ken Garrett, Spiritual Abuse in the church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery *** Ok, here we go, plowing through Pastor Ken Garret's dissertation about spiritual abuse. I used the word plowing intentionally. For some of us, it will be work. It is not enjoyable to be reminded about difficult experiences. However,… Continue reading Blog Series: Spiritual Abuse in the Church: A Guide to Recognition and Recovery by Pastor Ken Garrett, Wk 2
Hey friends, I'm still alive. I'm just swamped. Welcome to my world. Feel free to continue discussion on any post. I am checking in and responding to pressing e-mails. I'll get a post up soon. Thank you for your patience!
* * * * * * * Boy, oh boy, it's been FIVE years today since the beginning of my blogs, and tomorrow marks five years since being served with the lawsuit by my ex-pastor Chuck O'Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church. It's a good milestone moment to update the legacy. Here was my profile… Continue reading Spiritual Sounding Board: Updating the Legacy – Year 5
*** I'm sure you have noticed the sporadic blog posts these past few weeks. After taking off last term to recovery from a hysterectomy, I have gone back to school with a full load this term. I'm still not at 100% and require more sleep/rest than normal. All of the women who told me that… Continue reading Personal Update