My Story of Sexual Assault

Today I’d like to share a highly vulnerable story with you in the hopes of getting one very important message across:  You are NEVER at fault for your sexual assault.  EVER.
Shortly before I met my husband, I met another man through online dating. He was from out of state and so the first few months of our relationship were solely long-distance. After countless phone calls...
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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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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...
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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...
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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...
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Triggers are Our Teachers

My husband, Joshua, and I were in our counselors office earlier this week to discuss this very topic. Five months into marriage and we’ve both noticed a pattern of a few things that each of us do that annoys or upsets the other. We didn’t know why. Our counselor surprised when she said, “You’re getting triggered.” 
Ooohhhh....
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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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When Victims Take The Blame

My heart has been heavy this week. In February 2019 during a live interview with NRP, I took a public stand against a wolf in my family and community. Over a year and one half later, I am *still* being attacked and ostracized by some people for “trash talking” this individual.  
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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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