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.

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.

IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN TOLD TO BE AFRAID OF GOD…

hey loves!

today I just really want to talk to you about something a bit heavy that has been weighing down hard on me. it’s something that just recently became oh-so-clear to me, and I think it might be just the thing that sets us all a little bit more free. ❤

there’s a disgusting habit among people of corrupt power, to instill fear in the people they feel the need to control. usually this happens through very manipulative & subtle ways. and when these people creep into houses of worship & our spirituality, it can be downright abusive in the most life-changing and soul-deep ways… particularly because their un-Christlike biases are often handed down in teaching under the guise of absolute truth. (how do you think the church managed to condone slavery for so long?)

instilling a crippling fear in one’s victims is an age-old abuse tactic that every manipulator everywhere uses. but it isn’t one that God uses.

if you grew up in church, you’re probably quite familiar with the famous verse from proverbs 9… the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

I grew up believing that this meant I should be forever in fear of God. and yeah, you’re supposed to love Him as a father and follow Jesus… but in the very core of what I learned, at the foundation of my very faith… was fear.

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and when I realized that virtually everything I knew about my faith, and everything that made up my theology, was built upon this foundation of “fear and trembling“, I was crushed. horrified. and yes… afraid.

Continue reading “IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN TOLD TO BE AFRAID OF GOD…”

THIS GLORIOUS HOUSE

hi babes.

it’s been a bit, huh?

lots of processing and healing and (I’ll be real) just plain craziness going down over here. and it’s GOOD. I’ve got some insane stuff that I’m currently working on which will be coming at you next month… and it is honestly just the culmination of some of the biggest dreams & greatest fears of my heart that I didn’t even know I had, y’all. so you’re not gonna want to miss it.

I thought it might be profitable for me to let you into the sweetness that is this journey for me, and to break open some of that breathlessness that has been rebuilding me…

because sometimes I need to be reminded that what comes to me is for me. that what takes part in my deconstruction does, by default, take part in my rebuilding. that all the things that are happening in me now are working to make a greater and more purposeful future that is so worth living.

what about you?

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I love the visualization of being the dwelling place of Grace & Truth.. a house in which the Divine feels at home… a residence for the Spirit of Peace. that is a picture that has always just spoken to me really deeply. and what’s lovely is that in the book of Haggai I get this whole new insight into what that could mean, into what it must mean, as I read about the people of God rebuilding the temple.

“the future glory of this house will be greater than the past glory… and in this place I will give you peace…” Haggai 2:9

Continue reading “THIS GLORIOUS HOUSE”

YOU DON’T NEED MORE FAITH… THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE, ANYWAY

ever had someone tell you that you “just need to have more faith”?

aside from being kind of judgy & just plain unhelpful (that’s a blog post for an entirely different time), it’s biblically inaccurate and impossible. yeah, you did actually read that correctly. 😉 and there’s an overflowing amount of freedom that comes with no longer striving for this imaginary amount of faith you have to reach in order to no longer be deemed “less than” or “not enough” by humanity.

I mean, let’s take it back and actually look at scripture, okay?

“For I say, through the grace that was given me… think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.”
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did you catch that? yeah, you’ve already been given every ounce of faith you need, planted deep in your soul since the moment you said “yes” to healing. it’s already been measured out, and Divine Love didn’t shortchange you. I promise.

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you don’t need “more faith”, because Jesus doesn’t deprive us of what our souls need.
you don’t need “more faith”, because you weren’t haphazardly tossed together.
you don’t need “more faith”, because the power of grace didn’t run out before it got to you.
you don’t need “more faith”, because Divine Love doesn’t allow you to suffer meaninglessly.
you don’t need “more faith”, because He isn’t dangling it in front of your nose, then handing it to someone else. Continue reading “YOU DON’T NEED MORE FAITH… THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE, ANYWAY”

CHANGELING // FINDING YOURSELF IN THE UPROOTING

come sit for a minute.

I’ve got the fire going so it’s all aflame and crackling, spitting sparks up into the chimney.
the little cast iron kettle is hot and bubbling, and I’ve got a mug here ready to be filled with tea meant for cradling in chilly hands.
there are candles burning, and the tree lights are all soft and twinkly.

it’s a space made just for long chats and secrets spilled and hands clasped.

and I want to chat with you about something.
something big & deep & intimate & loud.
something I’ve been feeling my way into and out of and around as I grow and become and discover.
something I’ve been tasting on my tongue, breathing out in every shaky exhale.

this is something that changes everything.

you, my love, are a peculiar creature.
shifting & resplendent as the tide.
ebbing & flowing to newness and delight and sorrow.
restless & vagrant as the wind.
whispering and screaming through the world with unbroken tumblings.
tidal. rolling. unsettled. transformable.

you, my love, are a changeling.
this fluidity is your gift, your offering, your dynamism.
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do not forget, dear friend, that you are never stuck.
you are never without the freedom of choice in your own heart… of the still small voice that calls you to choose a new way, a different way, a better way. Continue reading “CHANGELING // FINDING YOURSELF IN THE UPROOTING”

THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM IS ALWAYS BITTER… BUT CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT

with Christmas just around the corner (yup, just 26 days…!) and all of the merry hustle and bustle that we love to get swept up in, it can be hard to wrap our heads around the distinct and glaring contrast of the peace that the holiday represents with the unrest and injustice going on in our world today.

I’ve noticed that everyone seems to be in a hurry to get Christmas HAPPENING this year. people seem to be putting up their trees and decorations early, more facebook statuses than usual have been posted with an open longing for the season to begin, and it seems that Christmas music was blaring a couple weeks sooner than it typically is.

I don’t think this is chance- I think there’s a very communal and vocal desperation for the beauty of Christmas this year that hasn’t been quite so loud in recent ones. I think our hearts recognize the reverence and sacredness of Christmas, and this year we’re starved for it. we’re stuffed full of shock and sadness and the ugly unapproachable-ness of our current reality, and we’re just so ready for a little peace and hope and rescuing.

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I think this is where we need to be.  Continue reading “THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM IS ALWAYS BITTER… BUT CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT”

MANIFESTO // THIS IS WHO WE ARE

there’s been something boiling in me, dear hearts.

something pressing up and out that is too much for my skin to hold in, too big for my body to contain. it’s something living and breathing that is begging to be sent out into the world to do its work. it’s a wild creature, ready to breathe fire with us women. and it’s time.

it began to run free when I released This Holy Becoming and souls started soaking in what it means to be made in goodness and blessing, what it means to walk steady and sure in the core of who you are, what it means to be sought after when everyone else has backed off, what it means to turn the spotlight onto Divine Love by dancing free in our original True Design.

and now it’s going to be set a little more free, a little bit wilder, a little more unstoppable.

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now, I found more fullness in my voice, more strength in my stance. I’ve discovered new frequencies within myself, new and exciting wavelengths on which I operate. I’ve begun to expand, to take up my own space, and to invite others in- broadening the proverbial table to which I offer them a seat.

and now, finally, I have my manifesto. I want you to grasp hold of it, to claim it as your own- just as I’ve begun to. I want us to rally together as this tribe, clinging to our manifesto with grace and kindness and bravery for ourselves and others. I want us to wave it like a flag as we run into the battle, rippling behind us in the wind.

and this is it, sweet souls: Continue reading “MANIFESTO // THIS IS WHO WE ARE”