Me and My Daughter Without Our Church

Sometimes things that may seem small can have huge repercussions. I’ve talked about unsaid messages I received growing up. Now it was my turn to hear my daughter’s struggles. My daughter and I had a necessary conversation recently since we are both in therapy. I approached her with the thought of covering some ground in our relationship. She’s always been feisty (that’s my side of the family) but she had this underlying anger over small things that she didn’t like about herself. She said it was hard to discuss but she wanted to make a first attempt.

Continue reading “Me and My Daughter Without Our Church”

The Things I Allowed.

No matter how badly other people behave, you have to heal by looking at yourself and how YOU are handling their actions.

One of the first questions my therapist asked me was not about my religion but about me.  She was getting me to focus on MYSELF. I had to stop talking about everything wrong in my life.  I am usually very intense about everything, and when I would come, I would talk about all of the weird things that were going on at church and in my life.  Then it finally hit me. I realize that the things that I was complaining about in life were the result of the things I allowed.

No matter how badly other people behave, you have to heal by looking at yourself and how YOU are handling their actions.

Continue reading “The Things I Allowed.”

Be Yourself

download 5Life’s journey is not always comfortable. Sometimes it’s challenging to learn about who we are, but it’s one of life’s highest goals.  

 Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote,

“to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to turn you into someone else is one of life’s greatest accomplishments.”

I’m taking a short break on this blog from talking about dysfunctional religion and the damage it can do to children only for a moment.  I just want to stop and celebrate my journey.  Recently, I got an opening to write a guest post about children in dysfunctional religious homes for the Child-Friendly Faith Project website. This organization works to help children who have suffered religious maltreatment.  I will continue to interview and research this subject and the results I see in my own religious circles.  I am glad that I’m able to help others whatever way  I can with my experience. Continue reading “Be Yourself”

Story #4 – Live Interview – A Story of Recovery from a Church of God Childhood – Part 1

This is a beautiful and touching story of recovery from a religious system with a damaging atmosphere.  This interview was conducted with a young lady who was saved as a child only to realize that several detrimental things from the church followed her and others into their adult lives.

  1.  She mourns very little connection with her natural blood relatives.  The church was considered her family where holidays and other times were not spent knowing her relatives.
  2. John 9:31 that God does not hear sinners’ prayers was drummed into the doctrine to such a point that often some adults from the church have trouble praying to God because they feel God will not hear them. (I want to address this later in a separate blog.  This was taught incorrectly and out of context).
  3. She remembers it as a male-dominated religion where the women and children did most of the suffering. (I remember a Joliet, IL Pastor of our group gathered young men together to apologize to them for things they endured as children, but it was an all-male meeting when overall girls suffered disproportionately more troubles to adhere to standards)
  4. She remembers the strong focus on God as a God of judgment and not much emphasis on God’s love.

approx. 15 minutes

God Loves Individuality

Snowflakes, leaves, and stars are all things we can name where billions of them exist but no two are alike.  Our fingerprints are so unique we know that no one on this planet can sign in to work for us based on our fingerprints.  Out of billions of people, they identify us.  So why, when it comes to God and worshipping him,  do we expect God to want everyone to be the same.

csm_individuality_and_collectivity__01_77aa31108aAfter being believing in a conformist type of Christianity for many years, God showed me that there is more freedom in Christ than what we know.  Look at how God created the universe.  Snowflakes, leaves, and stars are all things we can name where billions of them exist but no two are alike.  Our fingerprints are so unique we know that no one on this planet can sign in to work for us because out of billions of people, our fingerprints identify us.  So why, when it comes to God and worshipping him,  do we expect God to only talk to us a certain way or deal with our problems the same as the next guy. God recognizes our uniqueness.  He made us that way.  God looks at us as individual souls, with different understandings and convictions and he works with us on that basis.

Watch my Video on the subject. Continue reading “God Loves Individuality”