A few months ago, an old college friend asked me if I would be interested in being a guest on a new podcast that a colleague of hers was starting on Religious Trauma. I agreed, and sat down to a chat with Anna (a therapist) about what it’s like to go through religious trauma/spiritual abuse as a missionary. Being a victim of RT/SA is awful for everyone, but going through it as a missionary is particularly isolating and scary because…
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I had so much fun on Ken Kemp’s podcast The Beached White Male. He invited me on the show to talk about deconstruction and what it is like to go through it when you are a professional Christian. Short answer: excruciating and terrifying. Long answer: you’ll have to listen to the conversation.
I did not expect to wake up this angry today, but grief is a weird companion and where trauma rears its head can rarely be anticipated. Yesterday morning, I received an email from a friend who is still employed by my previous organization, PIONEERS (though not for much longer). She wanted to know if I had seen this article yet. “Sounds similar to your situation,” she said. She had recently found the author, Breanna, through a podcast and suspected it was a…
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I was delighted to be invited to be a guest on the Faith and Feminism Podcast. Meghan and I had a wonderful conversation exploring the reality of Patriarchy and Colonialism in Western missions work. I deeply believe that things can be done better and offered my perspective on how that is possible. You can listen to our conversation here.
All this to say, I think it’s time to share my experience in Bali for those who care enough to read it. For the past year, I’ve sat with this document – read it a few times to try to process and heal, but I’ve been afraid to share it beyond my closest circle of friends. Truthfully, I’ve been afraid that I will be told that what happened wasn’t that big of a deal or that we are still struggling nearly 2 years later means that we are weak and pathetic. I am also afraid that former colleagues will somehow read it, and I will once again be perceived as the community’s monster and the scapegoating will somehow find me again.
I was told that being a woman meant that I was supposed to know my place and allow a man to protect me. I was to go second, a step behind him, into the adventure God was calling him to. My role was to submit, to support, and to follow. That didn’t work out so well.
In the strangest twist of grace that is so laughably just like God, it is the very person that I am which was so detested my former conservative missions community that allows me to forgive them.
my counselor casually mentioned how my family had been scapegoated in the missions community. After she said that I spent several weeks reading about scapegoating and trying to decide if she was right. I think she was,
I feel betrayed by his silence and apathy, or at least by what looks like silence and apathy to me. As my son said, “How am I supposed to trust anyone when they tell me they care about me after this?” How do I trust God’s love for me when it feels like God is less concerned with justice, truth, and kindness than I am?
None of us can be safe for everything. We have to choose what we will be safe for and what we will be unsafe for.