Is God Misogynistic?

As a survivor of a fundamentalist cult and now an advocate for spiritual abuse survivors, I have experienced and seen first hand just how much God’s Word can be twisted and turned into a weapon against women. 
When I hear people claim that God or the Bible is misogynistic, I completely understand where they are coming from, and yet...

Read more...

Freedom Day 2020

Five years ago today, I began my journey out of a cult. 
I walked into a counselors office for the first time in my life and asked for help. 
I didn’t fully understand what kind of trauma I had endured; after all, it was my “normal”. 
I began the incredibly hard work of facing the reality of my trauma. I got angry. I grieved. I accepted. I healed. 
I then began to deconstruct everything I had been taught about God. Was He a God who only loved me if I did...
Read more...

Welcome to The New Blog!

Today we released the new website for Thriving Forward!! (Isn't it gorgeous?!) 
While I have focused most of my writing on the Thriving Forward FB page for the past two years, recently I have felt it was time to expand to a place where I can provide more resources for trauma survivors. In the coming months my husband and I plan to release...
Read more...

No Longer A Slave?

I don’t know about you, but I still fight against fears on a daily basis.  I often get frustrated with myself thinking, “Come on Em, you should be getting a handle on this right about now.  Fear shouldn’t even be arising”.  But I don’t think God is telling us that fears are never supposed to come up...it’s what we do with the fears that he’s cares about.
Over the years people have quoted to me “God never gives you more than you can bear”.  However, I think that verse is greatly misinterpreted...
Read more...

The Modesty Files: A New Podcast on Toxic Fundamentalism

I woke up just a touch nervous today. This morning a podcast episode has been released where I talk quite frankly about the messy details of my trauma story. 
A few months ago I received an email from a group of three sisters who run a new podcast called The Modesty Files. They found Thriving Forward on a whim while doing research on the Christian Fundamentalists culture and they began to read my story.
Read more...

The God Who Rescues

In these uncertain times, I want to share a reminder that our God is bigger than you think. ☺️
Nine years ago I traveled to Chicago and stayed the week at the headquarters of what I now know was religious cult. During that stay I was asked by the cult leader to make my stay permanent. 
He promised many wonderful things...
Read more...

You Can't Always Choose How You Respond to Trauma

Why are victims told they can control how their body responds to stress? Why is the burden put on them? The four involuntary responses to stress, Flight, Fight, Freeze, and Fawn, are just that —involuntary. They are *God-given* response you were created with to keep you alive in a life-threatening situation...
Read more...

Called To Peace Ministries

Living in a marriage with domestic violence is terrifying; wondering how to protect your children is even more frightening. Many women choose to stay, believing that it’s better to attempt to hold on the marriage for the sake of the children. They believe the stress of divorce would be worse.  
That is usually not the case, however...
Read more...

Why I Believing in Dressing "Modest" Anymore

One of the most healing pieces in my journey out of the cult was becoming a member of a few online cult survivor groups. While searching through one of those groups today, I found an old post of mine from May 2019. I LOVE IT!  
Read more...

Happy Six-Months, My Love!

Happy sixth month anniversary to the love of my life!! I never dreamed marriage could be so sweet, but I guess that‘s what happens when you marry your best friend. 💗
I’ve absolutely loved our continued traditions of four-hour long coffee dates, spontaneous “Haagen-Dazs Emergencies”, and late-night Downton Abby dates. ☺️ 
I’ve treasure our evening strolls together around the apartment and how we sometimes...
Read more...
 
Read Older Updates Read Newer Updates