WHERE TO FIND JESUS // A THANK YOU TO EVERY PETTY TYRANT WHO CHANGED MY LIFE

when I was young, I thought finding Jesus was easy, thought it was a one-time event. like, “Oh, he found Jesus, and now he’s saved.” (whatever those christian-isms actually mean?)

as I got older, I realized it’s never that simple.
because, as rachel held evans says, God chose a side when Jesus arrived here, wrapped up in our messy humanity.

so, today I am writing a thank you letter to every abuser, liar, manipulator, fool, and pharisee who changed my life. I’m writing this thank you letter, because they are the ones who have showed me where Jesus is and is not. they’ve showed me where to find him. they’ve pushed me towards him, unintentionally.

thank you.

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to the people in my youth group who made jokes about me every time I was moved to tears during worship, prayer, or someone’s testimony…
thank you. Jesus is with those who are moved with compassion, because the heart of God is moved with compassion. I felt like an oversensitive drama queen for years, until I realized my heart is soft, gentle, and overcome with empathy. and that those are my strengths. and that you can find Jesus with the compassionate.

to the girl who manipulated and sexually abused me as a teenager…
thank you. not for the abuse, which was despicable and vile, but for opening me up to the reality that Jesus is found with the abused. you can always be sure to find Jesus wherever people are being taken advantage of at their core. he was beaten, stripped naked, and hung on a tree for everyone to mock. Jesus is with us. Divine Love has chosen sides, and as a mother comforts, nurtures, and empathizes with Her children, She sits with us, grieving our abuse, collecting our tears.

Continue reading “WHERE TO FIND JESUS // A THANK YOU TO EVERY PETTY TYRANT WHO CHANGED MY LIFE”

A THOUGHT FOR THE ONE LEFT REELING BY A TOXIC GOSPEL

are you ready for the sheer honesty that’s about to hit you right now?

most things religious are a hard pill for me to swallow these days.

when you’ve had the name of Jesus twisted to promote an abusive, toxic theology of shame & manipulation, a pure spiritual experience with Jesus is damn near impossible to come by. and a GOOD, KIND, COMPASSIONATE God seems like a long shot to reconcile with the angry, volatile, shunning one that’s been fed to you.

although it’s felt like it during the most anguished of moments, I know I’m not alone. I’m not alone in the crowd of thousands of exvangelicals or dechurched people, reeling from the pain inflicted on them, and I’m not alone in the select accounts I can still read with comfort in scripture.

I love the stories in the Bible where broken-up & cast-out people are anxiously, desperately, helplessly searching for Jesus.

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I like when the woman who had been turned away by every doctor & shunned by every friend finds actual, physical & emotional healing with just a brush against his clothes.

I like when Jesus protectively stands in the way of power-hungry religious leaders, when they drag a half-naked woman in front of a crowd of self-righteous men and are basically drooling to throw stones at her until she dies… and then through love, He builds her back up and empowers her so she can go live clean and free.

I like when He honors a woman who has been learning at His feet as a student, and says she chose the better thing, when she is chastised by her frustrated, jealous sister for stepping out of her gender’s expected role.

I like when later on, Jesus then defends the honor and wisdom of a woman who is worshiping him with expensive perfume and the intimacy of her own tears.

in those stories, the people always had to wade through a toxic crowd of Pharisees & the religious elite before they found Jesus.

He wasn’t with them.

they were simply obscuring the view.

perhaps you need to keep going, keep wading through the messy parade of rehearsed hypocrisy, until it no longer hides Jesus from your weeping eyes.

keep pressing on. keep coming closer, closer, closer to the center. the closer you come to Jesus, the more you’ll realize that those Pharisees might be tall and obtrusive, but they hold no claim to the Prince of Peace.

THE THING ABOUT #METOO THAT MAKES ME WANT TO SCREAM

hey babes!

if you haven’t read my last post or you have nooo idea what this whole #metoo thing is all about… go read it now! I’ll wait 😉

as I’m sure you can tell, I am a thousand billion percent on board with the genius bravery that is the #metoo movement. I’m thankful that finally, a platform is being given to every woman who has ever suffered the humiliation of sexual harassment, assault, or abuse.

I’m thankful for the push to share my story.

but something happened on Tuesday as I pressed publish, and as I scrolled through my newsfeed, and as I talked with suffering survivors, that chilled me to my bones and set a wild fury in me. something started coming to light that left me physically ill and shaking with a holy rage.


I started noticing a common theme among those who chose to share their story.

shame. embarrassment. a need to explain themselves. covering their tracks. plentiful recognitions of “but so many other people have t worse”. an over-emphasis on why their abuser/attacker/harasser isn’t that bad of a person.

do you understand how utterly disturbing that is?

as women we are trained to be in a constant state of lowliness. we default the blame to ourselves because that is what we have been taught to do. 

we literally end up carrying the shame & guilt for the dehumanizing actions done TO US

we carry the weight of the abused and the abuser.

and it’s wrong. so wrong.

it was an astonishing amount of women who felt guilty posting their story or even those two simple words: me too. 

why would we feel guilty? we didn’t want to make our abusers look bad, didn’t want them to be embarrassed, didn’t want them to have to deal with the torture we’ve been enduring, surviving, silently for years.

it’s conditioning. it’s rape culture.

as I pushed published, my stomach lurched. I was terrified. not that people would know what happened to me, but that people would question me, that people would attack my abuser, that people would roll their eyes at my “need for attention”, that people would suggest I wanted it to happen, that proof of some sort would be demanded of me… the list goes on.

I. should. not. be. the. frightened. one.

the abusers should be the ones afraid & embarassed to let these secrets find the light, NOT the ones abused. 

the abused/assaulted/harassed should feel SAFE in the exposing of this darkness, not condemned, not afraid, not embarrassed. 

this disturbing twisting of who is to blame in the event of abuse/assault/harassment is one of the most blatant views of rape culture.

until we remove the blame from the battered shoulders of the victims & survivors, and place it on those who actually committed the acts of violence and violation, we will never succeed in respecting or elevating women… or even at the very least recognizing & honoring their humanity.

do. better.

if you’re silently whispering “me too”, know you are so loved, so believed, and so innocent of this evil that has been done to you. 

you are worthy of your healing.

10 AFFIRMATIONS FOR SURVIVORS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE

hey loves!

I announced a bit ago on instagram that the blog would be slowing down due to unforeseen & life-uprooting circumstances. perhaps someday I will be able to shine a bit of a light on the horrifying, healing, disastrous, delightful, unwanted, unbelievable journey we’re currently on… but as a wise woman once said (love you, G!): write from your scars, not your fresh wounds.

so… I’m just gently taking this journey day by day in the most loving & grace-filled way I know how. we shall see where it leads. 🙂

I’ve talked a little bit in the past about what spiritual abuse is and how we can recognize it & combat it in our faith families.

but today I woke up and decided all I wanted was to offer up a bit of encouragement and hope for those who might be leaving a situation where they experienced spiritual abuse… to those who are trying to heal from the hell they experienced, to those who have walked away & feel completely disillusioned by it all.

10 AFFIRMATIONS FOR SURVIVORS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE. 

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  1. I am loved by someone Higher than my abuser.
  2. I am safe.
  3. I am healing, and I will heal.
  4. I am not their perception of me.
  5. I am a human being- more precious than their theology.
  6. I am full of hope.
  7. I choose to reclaim my beliefs, separate from their lies.
  8. I choose to believe that God is for me.
  9. I choose to deconstruct.
  10. I choose to be who I am.