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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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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What Is A Girl Worth?

Never in my life have I read a more impactful book.
After many of my fellow plaintiffs had read and recommended this book to me after its release in September, I finally downloaded the audio version this week and began to listen.  I was not prepared for how it would affect me.
The first day after listening to the first couple of hours, I became very ill and eventually vomited from the overwhelming triggers and grief.  Each day after that, as I continued to listen...
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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...
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Burn The Ships!

“There was some truth mixed with the heresy.”
“Some good came out of it.”
“Some people were helped.”
I hear these phrases all the time about the cult I was raised in.  People try to convince me that I shouldn’t walk away completely; that somehow the small bits of truth mixed in the cesspool of toxic sewage still makes it worth swimming in.  
Here’s the truth...
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I Walked Away from Church -- But Not Jesus

Shorty after leaving the cult, I took a break from church.  I was so tired of the abuse of authority that I’d experienced most of my church-going life; I needed a break from it all.
I walked away from going to church, but not from my faith.
While I do believe being a participant of a local church congregation is a wonderful thing and has so many benefits and protections for the believer, we should never confine our faith to four walls.  
During my two years away from church...
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New FB Group for Trauma Survivors!

One of the most healing tools for me these past three years has been some private FB groups for other survivors who have walked through similar journeys to mine.  The communities I have found there have been wonderfully helpful as I’ve deconstructed my former beliefs and eventually rebuilt them...
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Emotional Abuse is Physical Abuse

Emotional abuse IS physical abuse.
 
I was dying for most of my teenage years.  I mean literally, in a hospital, 73 pounds, not enough blood running through my veins, dying.  
 
When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  The doctor said it was the worst case he’d ever seen...
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