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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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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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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National Denim Day

I grew up in a culture where women only wore long skirts.  If that’s your personal preference, and long skirts float your boat, than by all means, go for it!  But if you were taught, as I was, that long skirts protected you from abuse, or that a woman wearing jeans is just asking to be assaulted, then that’s dead wrong...
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Umbrella of Authority or Abuse?

Today one of my FB friends posted this umbrella picture. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this graphic, in fact, I usually see it every month or so.  
 
Today one of my FB friends posted this umbrella picture. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this graphic, in fact, I usually see it every month or so.  
 
On one hand, it looks innocent enough.  It’s dripping in Christianese and it seems to support a complementarianism view of marriage where everyone has a role to play.  I’m all for *healthy* complementarianism (almost never seen anymore), but that is not what this graphic supports.  Instead, this graphic is quite dangerous, and even heretical.  Here’s why...

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Coming Out of A Cult: The Honest Truth

Some people ask me what it’s like coming out of a cult. Well, here’s the honest truth:

One day you feel completely empowered. You are cruising down the highway with your freedom songs blasting away, singing your heart out, and feeling invincible.

The next morning you are crumpled in a heap on your bedroom floor, gasping for breath, desperately wondering how you’re going to make it even one more day...

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NPR Interview

Today I was given the beautiful opportunity to share my story on live radio. As nervous as I was, I knew God would give me the exact words to say, and sure enough, He did! I felt very strong and confident and so incredibly grateful for the chance to share my heart!

I have discovered that over the last couple years of becoming more and more public with my story...

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