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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 everything perfectly? I had to find out.

I asked all the questions, read all the books, and prayed all the prayers. All while suing my former cult and cult leader, attempting to bring years of darkness into light.

The court battles lasted five years.

The scars still remain.

But then, Jesus.

Over the course of the past five years, Jesus never let me go. In fact, He rescued me.

On a freezing cold February night, just two years into my journey, my body lay crumpled on the floor in desperation. While shaking uncontrollably from the panic attack coursing throughout my body, I whispered into the silence, “Are you even real?”

In that moment, He dove into the dark abyss I was drowning in and lifted me up into freedom to take my first, life-giving breath.

He said, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Not for anything you do. Not for witnessing enough, not for praying enough, not for memorizing enough Bible verses, not for wearing modest clothes, or listening only to Christian music, or going to church every week.
With more power than 1,000 hurricanes He whispered back to me, “You are enough SOLELY because I AM enough.”

With new courage and a new mission I rose from the ground, and picked up my mat. Healed. Yes, there was still more counseling do, still more deconstructing, more legal battles and more physical and emotional healing to walk through.

But I arose that day fully and completely whole in God’s eyes.

Five years after that first, frightening step I am now affectionately know as the #advocatewithanattitude. I have a burning desire to expose the rampant abuse found in most religions today and to replace that abuse with the truth of Jesus.

If you have been burned by the church I ask that you consider that what you have experienced is not Jesus.

For truly, God is not abusive.

If you need a listening ear, I am here.

But so is Jesus. Tell Him your pain. He wants to show you who He really is.

He loves you so very much.

Love,

Emily Elizabeth Anderson

~Em

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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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