Let's Talk About Purity Culture

Can we talk about the negative effects of Purity Culture for a bit? 
As a recently married woman who grew up in the height of the modern Purity Movement and choose to remain a virgin until marriage, I am beginning to see even more reasons why this culture and its teachings are SO SO dangerous.
Here are just two core..
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The Modest Files Podcast -- Part Two

Part Two of my interview with The Modesty Files podcast is live! 
In part one I explained how I got involved with my cult and my personal experience with the cult leader, Bill Gothard.
In this final episode things gets a bit more raw. I briefly explain how I got involved in a lawsuit against Gothard, how I found my way...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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!  
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Freedom Found in a Haircut!

Wanna know a little-known fact about me? Five years ago I believed that it was unbiblical and displeasing to God for a woman to cut her hair. 😛
Well, one day, about a year into my journey out of the cult...

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Lawsuit Update: It Is Finished!!!

1,604 Days
That’s how many days I have been fighting in a court for legal justice against my ex cult leader, Bill Gothard.
One thousand, six hundred and four long, exhausting, treacherous, grief-filled, gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, healing, redemptive, beautiful, victorious days.
In January 2019 I at last sat in the witness stand of a Chicago court room and told my story before a judge.  Bill Gothard had filed sanctions
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I Couldn't Do This Alone

“Your courage was not wasted or in vain.”
Today I received this beautiful, hand-crocheted lavender lap blanket and encouraging letter from a woman I have never met.  
This is not the first gift I’ve received from a supporter over the last few years. Seemingly small (but deeply meaningful) tokens of appreciation such as a handmade journal, books, tea from Germany, and other care packages have made their way to my front door from all over the world from fellow cult survivors whom I have never met...
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The High Cost of Speaking Out

One year ago today I gathered every ounce of courage I had and did something that would forever change my writing and public story. I went live on NPR and for the very first time, publicly named my second sexual abuser — my father. 
Until that day I had been very open with my story about my former cult leader and his abuse against me, but I had not yet been ready to share the details of the abuse I had endured within my very home.  Prior to my interview...
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