Why Am I Still a Christian?

A commenter told me yesterday, “It’s amazing you still have faith.” 
My answer to her? “Jesus. It’s allllllll Jesus.”
In the recent years that I have been studying the dangers of Legalistic Christianity, I have seen the many, many heartbreaking consequences. 
Most common is the abuse of power. The sect of Patriarchal Christianity is a favorite among abusers, for it ultimately gives them...
Read more...

A New Name!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
I have found the famous quote by William Shakespeare to not always be quite accurate. 
A name can hold so much power. It can fill you with pride of your heritage or drag you down with the weight of the memories of it.
For years now I have dreamed...
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...

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...

Justice At Last -- Finding Freedom in Divorce

We’ve been preparing for the today for months. Actually, 40 years is probably more accurate. And finally, it is finished. 
After abandoning my mother six years ago and leaving her financially destitute, bruised, and broken, my father finally decided to file for divorce last year. Once it was made clear my parents were headed to trial, I was asked if I would be willing to testify against my father.
After growing up with domestic violence...
Read more...

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...

Read more...

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
Read more...

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...
Read more...

I Forgive You

Three Not-So-Small Words
Last night was a difficult one for me.  In my dreams I was once again haunted by memories of my former cult leader and his actions which stole my childhood innocence.  As I finally rose from my bed at noon I felt so much heaviness over me.  
But then, I witnessed something beautiful: a video of Brandt Jean telling the woman who was just convicted of murdering his brother, “I forgive you”.  The scene that unfolded in that courtroom yesterday was a picture of the Gospel in all its raw, pure, and holy authenticity. 
In April of 2016, just six months into extensive therapy, I wrote a 10,000 word, ten page letter to my former cult leader...
Read more...

Eight Years Ago Today...

Eight years ago today my life was forever changed.
I walked into that Chicago office, 
So desperate, so exhausted, so full of hope...
Scarlet carpets, polished brass, bone-white molding; 
Whitewashed imagery of a promised sanctuary. 
“He’s the one person that can save my family, the one person that can help.”
My heart yearned deeply for safety, 
And I trusted
Read more...
 
Read Older Updates