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Eight Years Ago Today…

by | Aug 12, 2019 | Bill Gothard, Cult, Freedom, Survivor, The Year of Gratitude

August 12th.

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 this was a safe place.

Little did I know the nightmare I was in store for;
Ten long days of hopes and dreams shattered.

Paradise was now a prison;
The Promised Land now a desert.

The bright eyes and the ministry smiles,
They suddenly seemed so fake.

The people I once thought were full of joy,
Now held secrets behind the painted masks of perfectionism.

The place I sought hope was filled with a darkness,
My mind and body would never forget.

Eight years ago I went seeking for answers to life’s turmoil;
I found evil deception instead.

The “Great Oz” was merely a man behind the curtain;
Empty promises, intentional lies…

He sent me back to the hellish pit called ‘home’,
With a curse on his lips and a fresh branding of fear and lies burned onto my flesh.

I crawled into that dark pit, praying to die.

But then, Jesus.

After eight long years, I am no longer a prisoner;
Not to fear, not to shame, not to hate.

I am a free woman, redeemed through Love.
Broken, Beautiful, Redeemed, Enough

I have found my Safe Place, my Sanctuary;
I have found Grace.

I have found my voice;
May I never be silenced again.



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About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

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