Evangelical Trauma; Getting Free to be Fully Me
Last week I found a journal from 2011 full of prayers while sorting through old memories from my time as a missionary in Mexico. As I skimmed through, I found my young, earnest heart pleading for the locals’ hearts to be opened, full of repentance for talking too much and taking up too much space (once again) at the team meeting, and asking God to make me different so I could honor Him.
“God, why did you make me like this if I’m supposed to be meek and quiet? I don’t understand why I have all these desires to speak, teach and be seen if I’m not supposed to. Can you take them from me? I just want to glorify you.”
In other words: “God, can you strip me of everything I Am, break me, humble me, so I can be more like they say you want me to be?”
Make me less.
Make me less.
Make me less.
My trauma in the church didn’t look horrific;
I just asked me to be less, different,
something other than who I really am.
It taught me I was bad, filthy rags, broken, so broken in fact, that God’s perfect son had to die for me to be made worthy… and apparently that’s called a miracle.
It taught me others are to be feared, along with my own heart, intuition and desires.
I was afraid of who I was made to be.
(Who wouldn’t be, if you’re so bad someone has to die for God to want to be near you??)
Subtle trauma. Unconscious wounds. Deep core beliefs about who I am and who others are.
It also was a safe place for me for years, a refuge I sought from my childhood trauma. Church community was the family I needed, the container for worship of something bigger than me, the rules and stability when life at home was chaotic and dysfunctional.
Until I started waking up to my wholeness and healing.
I found the God I was looking for all along when I realized all of me was welcome, worthy and whole.
When I was seeking first the kingdom, wholeheartedly devoted to seeking His righteousness.... I didn’t yet know that we are already living the kingdom, if we realize the Divine inside and all around us. I didn’t yet know the gifts inside me, waiting for the dogma to get out of the way so I could really be used and free. I didn’t yet know I wasn’t broken, needing a savior or someone to atone for my sins.
I didn’t know how good my full humanity really was.
Now that I know, my prayer is:
More of what’s really me. Less of everything else.
More forgiveness. Less resentment.
More abundance. Less scarcity.
More honesty. Less dogma.
More humanity. Less masks.
More grace. Less striving.
More love. Less hate.
More understanding. Less assumptions.
More healing. Less identifying with my pain.
More inclusivity. Less judgment.
My time knee deep in Evangelical Christianity provided me something I needed at the time, and, it perpetuated a deep sense of fear, unworthiness, scarcity, and self-denial.
It’s taken me a long time to see the goodness in it, it’s taken a lot of healing to let go of the anger and find my way back to my innate goodness (You can read more about that deconstruction and exit in this blog post).
That’s the fullness of life we want to invite you into at The Way Home Retreat.
Where all of you is welcome and old programming of “not enough,” shame, and fear no longer run your life.
No matter what your spiritual wounds or trauma look like, you are entitled to wholeness, freedom and living in your divine fullness. This is your invitation.
Learn more about The Way Home Retreat HERE. We have 10 seats left, and would love for one of them to be yours.