Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

Sign up to get new articles and podcast episodes sent directly to your email inbox.

I will also send you a free PDF copy of the first chapter of my book, Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage as well as the first chapter of the brand new companion workbook. It’s like a super-charged therapy session!

It’s the deepest form of betrayal you’ve ever imagined or experienced. In fact, you may have denied the truth for years, because the pain of reality was too devastating. It’s destroyed your view of God, men, and family. If you’re wondering “How do I heal from sexual and spiritual abuse?” your first step is to start with the truth of how you’ve been harmed. Acknowledging the very reality you denied to protect yourself is what will begin your journey of freedom, healing, and restoration. 

In today’s podcast:

  • The importance and power of honesty in a survivor’s recovery process
  • The actual purpose of confrontation with toxic/abusive people
  • The real meaning of your anger and hatred of God for what you’ve endured (it’s actually beautiful, valid, and acceptable)

Rochelle Sadie is a teacher/advocate for victims of betrayal trauma and abuse.

Rochelle Sadie, M.Ed., is a life long learner and truth seeker, completely humbled by God’s grace and kindness. Some of her greatest joys include laughing with true friends, snuggling with her dogs, hiking a scenic trail, and finding a deal at the local thrift shop! You can usually find her reading about all things recovery, healing, and hope! She passionately leads betrayal trauma support groups in the Minneapolis, MN area for women who have been devastated by the effects of their partner’s sexual addiction. She also offers one-on-one coaching for women beginning their journey to joy and beauty after abuse and sexual betrayal.

Related Materials:

Do you have a question related to emotional or spiritual abuse that you’d like answered on the Flying Free podcast? Head over HERE!

Listener Shout-Out

I love the overwhelming hopefulness of your review, “MamaG2313”! For all you’ve already escaped and all the healing you’ve done, there is even more to come! Thanks for leaving a rating and review on iTunes!

Subscribe and Review in iTunes

Have you subscribed yet to the Flying Free podcast? If not, why not do that today? It’s easy! Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

If you’ve got a few extra seconds, I’d love it if you left us a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find this podcast and they’re also fun to read! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what you like best about this podcast. Thank you!

How Do I Heal After Abuse and Sexual Betrayal? [Transcript]

Hi. This is Natalie Hoffman of Flyingfreenow.com, and you’re listening to the Flying Free Podcast, a support resource for women of faith looking for hope and healing from hidden emotional and spiritual abuse.

NATALIE: Welcome to Episode 104 of the Flying Free Podcast. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Rochelle Sadie. She’s a teacher, and she’s also an advocate for victims of betrayal, trauma, and abuse. First, welcome, Rochelle, to the podcast.

ROCHELLE: Thank you. I’m so happy to do this.

NATALIE: Rochelle and I live in the same neck of the woods here in Minnesota, which I think is kind of fascinating. I think you’re the first person I’ve interviewed who is like a neighbor.

ROCHELLE: Exactly! And it’s snowing today.

NATALIE: Yes, it’s very gloomy and depressing this weekend.

ROCHELLE: It’s such a Minnesota experience.

NATALIE: Totally! My kids are gone this weekend, so it feels kind of quiet, lonely, and sad. It’s really weird.

ROCHELLE: I know. The no sun thing doesn’t really help us, does it?

NATALIE: Nope. It doesn’t. While you are introducing yourself and letting the listeners get to know you, I am actually getting to know you as well. So let’s dive in. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself, and why this subject, teaching about this subject, and learning about betrayal trauma and sexual addiction is so important to you?

ROCHELLE: I’ve been a teacher for ten years, so if you hear my little teacher’s voice come out, I apologize. I have to transition between teaching adults and children. I love to teach. My heart is for teaching. It’s neat to see how God took some really deep tragedy in my life and is still using that for good and allowing me to use that gift of teaching. I was married for eleven years. I grew up in a pastor’s home, so I’m a PK. I didn’t know anything about trauma. I had never heard the word trauma. I had never heard the word betrayal trauma. I guess you could say I was a pretty innocent, naïve kid growing up very sheltered. Little did I realize there was a lot of evil happening in my own home. I grew up and did what was expected of women—girls—in the church. I think some pastor’s kids are especially groomed in a certain way where you grow up; you go to college; you get a Mrs. degree; and you come back and support your husband’s ministry. That’s what I saw from my mom and dad. That’s what I saw from my grandpa and grandma. It was generational. So I assumed that’s what my purpose in life was. So I married the first boy that I dated in high school. My first year of marriage I caught him looking at pornography, and I was completely devastated. It still makes me tear up, no matter how many times I share that story, to think of this 22-year-old little girl feeling very confused and very betrayed by something that she saw her husband (who is supposed to love her, cherish her, and honor her) was doing. At that time I ran to my mom and dad thinking, “They are pastors. They are going to know what to do. We work in the church. They will know how to handle this.” When I did that, I was met with the advice, “You need to go home and have more sex with him. How often are you giving him sex? Newly married men need to have sex a lot. That’s your job. You need to continue talking to him. You need to stay. God calls you to forgive.” So I went back with my tail between my legs, completely devastated, this 22-year-old girl who knew nothing. I was isolated and alone for the next nine years in my marriage. I had nothing. I had no resources. I had no community. I had no idea what sexual addiction was. Over the next nine years I heard five different disclosures over and over of what my husband was doing. I didn’t even begin the process of “recovering” until year eight. But within that time of isolation, in those eight years… I don’t know how to describe this to people who have never experienced this but being married was the loneliest experience I’ve ever had in my life. It was horrible. I love what Leslie Vernick says. She says, “Indifference is the opposite of love.” And it is so true. That pain of not being able to connect to my husband. Not being able to understand why he’s controlling me through anger and angry explosions. While that isolation was going on, this secret sexual addiction is just festering behind closed doors, and I’m not… In my brain I thought, “I caught him, so he’s dealing with it.” I had no idea how to protect myself or what I was dealing with. Our marriage got more and more abusive with emotional and verbal abuse—name calling. I would confront him to seek safety: “Hey, could we do the budget together? Could we read this book together? Could we go out on a date? Could you just spend time with me?” There would just be anger explosions at me asking, “What are we doing with our life? Where are we going as a couple? What are our goals?” Things that healthy couples discuss and do I would be met with, “Why do you have to control me?” This is the typical feedback you get from someone who is trying to hide something. There were a few moments in our marriage where I confronted him, and he was physically violent and choked me. At that point I thought, “This is not right. I cannot live like this anymore.” I would go back to my dad and mom a few times during that portion of our marriage. I didn’t know that I was describing abuse, but I knew something was wrong. My parents’ response to that should have tipped me off that, “Hey, something was really wrong in your childhood, Rochelle, and now you are seeing the effects of that as an adult.”

NATALIE: Right.

ROCHELLE: But their response to me was, “What did you do to cause him to choke you? What role are you playing in this? You’re confronting everybody else, but how come you’re not taking responsibility?” So there was a lot of re-victimization. We saw a couple of counselors throughout our time, and I was met with the same responses. One counselor told me I needed to allow the computer back because we just have to learn to deal with temptation. Another counselor literally turned to my ex-husband and said, “Well, sometimes women are just so angry they can’t see reality.”

NATALIE: Wow!

ROCHELLE: Yeah. So I just had some bad experiences with even trying to seek help. Here I am, this little girl who has been betrayed over and over. I have no one to go to; my parents don’t understand. I spent nine to ten years in a fog. As I began to recover, that is when I started reading material and recognizing, “This is me.” Things just started clicking. This was something that the church never helped me with. Then suddenly this new world was opening up to me where I could relate to everything in the abuse material that I started reading.

NATALIE: Were you going to the same church that your parents were pastoring at the time?

ROCHELLE: Yes. I was. (I don’t know if we’ll have time to get into this.) I ended up going back and confronting them about the abuse within the church. My ex-husband was training to be a youth pastor. Part of the problem of addiction is they can’t finish anything. They can’t commit to anything. So he never finished that. He never was able to complete that process and was always back and forth. But because my dad was a pastor on staff, he would volunteer and disciple under my dad. So while all this sexual addiction was going on, and my parents knew that the marriage was unhealthy and that there was a sexual addiction, my ex-husband was being promoted within the church to work with the youth ministry, to serve on the elder board, and to have a say in the worship services. Meanwhile, I was just drowning in isolation and silence and dying on the vine.

NATALIE: I will never, ever, as long as I live, be able to understand the lack of consistency in their moral judgment of things. They would say that you are an angry person for coming forward to say that your husband is hurting you, but he can certainly have a sexual addiction and do all these things, yet he’s just fine. We’ll just have him take leadership roles in the church and everything is great.

ROCHELLE: Yeah. It stems from either a hardness of heart where there is true narcissism there on my father’s part or whoever was in leadership, or there is just a complete hardness of heart and there is no Holy Spirit. Or it’s just outright denial because the pain of facing reality is too hard. It’s easy to just stick our head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend it never happened. With my dad especially, there is more skin in the game. “Oh, my word! We’re a pastor’s family!” That is part of the betrayal from childhood. I heard the party line all the time: “You will not tell anyone what happens in this home. You are a pastor’s kid. You will live above reproach. We do not share what happens in this home.” There was always this standard that I was taught that church is a place where you protect your image at all costs. But what Jesus really came to say was, “I came to set captives free.” The church has now said, “No. We’re here to hide all the captives and make sure that they look really good.” You know how Jesus describes the clean cup on the outside but inside it is completely dirty. I had to grieve so much for the loss of my parents because these were people who…I thought I had parents who were one way, but in reality, they were this way. That is a loss that is the deepest form of betrayal that you could ever endure.

NATALIE: When you are a child growing up with parents who do that, children don’t know that there are any other options out there. They just believe…They must believe that their parents love them and have their best interest in mind because that is how we survive mentally and emotionally. They have to believe that. So it is such a betrayal when you get older and realize, whoa! My parents really didn’t…Number one, they didn’t know. They didn’t have the education. But number two, even when they had the opportunity to get the education, they didn’t want it.

ROCHELLE: Exactly. That’s the hard part about grieving the loss of someone who is still alive. We either have to acknowledge and understand that this person is actually the firsthand victim—the enemy stole their identity as well. It’s that generational curse that is passed down through the father. We understand that they are broken too. But then you get to a point where you say, “I have shown you the truth, and you’re still refusing to join me out in the light.” They continue to say, “Come here, Rochelle. We don’t like the light. Come back. Get in line. You need to get in line. You stepped out of the box and rocked the boat. We need you to come back because you’ve destroyed our image.” So now we’re talking about… God says that He hates pride, and He doesn’t hear the prayers of a prideful man. Are we saying that yes, they are wounded, but do they have the Holy Spirit? Can they accept the truth when it’s presented to them? Part of my recovery process was what I call breaking the denial bubble. I needed someone to help me pop that bubble with a needle. The veil came off my eyes. I had joined a betrayal trauma support group in the last two years of my marriage. They were talking about abuse in the workbook. I had written a letter to my mom and dad confronting them about some things I was uncomfortable with. I didn’t know at the time that it was abuse. I was just trying to share my heart. I had a mentor read it for me, and she sat down and said, “Honey, this is abuse.” For the next year, I would text her at the most random times of the day or night and say, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know this was sexual abuse. I didn’t know this was domestic violence. I didn’t know that my mom abused…I didn’t know.” In order for a woman to begin her healing process, we have to deal in reality. We have to come to grips with, “Oh, my word. This is my life.” I remember having another moment early in my recovery. I was sitting in my bedroom. It was right after my husband had told me of another relapse. He’s still in his addiction. Every time this happens, the rug gets pulled out from under my feet. I have no safety. I can’t feel the ground. It implodes your world. I remember sitting on my bed and writing in my journal, “My name is Rochelle. I’m married to a sex addict.” I believe it was at that point when I realized this is real, so now what am I going to do about it? There’s a quote that says, “A really strong woman knows how to take the stones that other people threw at her and build her foundation.”

NATALIE: Wow. I love that.

ROCHELLE: Yeah. That sounded so real and true for me because here I was living this journey of 32 years of betrayal from not only my primary caregivers but then from an intimate partner. I don’t stand a chance! Some days I still think, “How am I not in the fetal position?”

NATALIE: Right.

ROCHELLE: But it’s through God’s mercy of breaking that bubble of denial and lifting the veil from my eyes. “Okay. This happened. Now what am I going to do about it?” That’s what resilient people can do. They can say, “This is what was done to me. It is not fair. It is wrong. It’s an injustice, and my heavenly Father is crying for me. But now what am I going to do to build my life back?” I think it’s very possible for women to do that with the power of community, validation, knowledge, and understanding. It can happen.

NATALIE: That is powerful. I think we should drive home this idea that you brought out so perfectly that you don’t realize that it is abuse. You just don’t realize it. When you first hear that…I remember the first time I sat and thought, “My mom used to hit me and scream at me a lot.” I remember a lot of it. When it dawned on me (and it wasn’t that long ago) I thought, “Wait a minute. If I did that to my kids, I would be guilty of physical abuse or domestic violence.” That happened to me.

ROCHELLE: Yes. Exactly. What happens when you finally break that denial bubble, the memories just start flooding in. It’s so important, and something I would highly recommend for someone in this stage of healing where the veil is just lifted and you think, “Oh, my word, I didn’t know,” is to get yourself a notebook. Every time you remember something, write it down. Write it down and take it to someone that you trust, someone who is safe, like a counselor or a trusted mentor, and talk through that situation with them. I was so blessed to work with my mentor. She was my teaching assistant for a couple years. The kids would be out at recess, and we would be in the room. A memory would come up and I would start crying. I would tell it to her, and she would say, “Honey, that’s sexual abuse.” I would say, “No, it’s not. I didn’t know.” She would remind me, “It’s okay. You’re here right now with me. You’re in the classroom and it’s 2019. We’re safe.” God will be so gentle to show you what you need to see at the exact right time that you need to see it for you to heal. Trust those things that come out in your memory and document all of them. If you’re scared that you’re going to see something you don’t want to see…I believe there are parts of my story I haven’t seen yet. I think it’s through God’s mercy. Denial can serve three purposes. It can protect us because we’re not ready. I’m sure you’ve heard of amnesia that happens because of abuse when it’s just too much for our brains to take. It could be denial because of hardness of heart and we just refuse to see the truth or the light. But I believe there is a slow denial where the denial fades away slowly at the exact time that you can handle it because the Lord created our brains. He knows exactly how they work. He doesn’t condemn us for the way He designed it to work. He won’t condemn us for using a system that He designed. It’s there to protect us. So some things might come out slower than other things because it is for your protection. But yes, that notebook really helped me along with a safe person to get feedback about what I was remembering. We need validation. If we don’t have validation, we won’t have comfort. If we don’t have comfort, we cannot heal.

NATALIE: Along those lines, I was going to ask you. Did you experience kickback from other family members? Do you have brothers and sisters? Do you have relatives? What was your experience there?

ROCHELLE: I had three different times where I confronted my family. The first time was in person. That was devastating. If you’re in recovery and you are debating, “Should I confront them about this? Should I tell them?” just know that the success in confronting someone is not whether they believe you or you get an apology because nine times out of ten you will not get an apology. The success is that you are becoming autonomous. You are becoming your own person. You are finding your voice. You are using your voice to advocate for that little girl who was betrayed, abandoned, and lost. That is the success of confronting someone in your family, especially. Their response, while it will be very painful, is irrelevant. We’re not worried about changing them. We’re worried about empowering that little girl inside of you who was betrayed.

NATALIE: So good!

ROCHELLE: When I went back, I went to confront three different things. First is the domestic violence I saw as I was growing up in a pastor’s home. Then I confronted my mom specifically about her behavior. I’m like you, Natalie. My mom would just scream at me. That constant berating of my personhood or jokes at my expense will slowly degrade a person’s view of themselves over time. So I confronted her about that. It was also a cry for her as a woman. “Mom, from what I know now and from what I saw as a child, I believe our stories are probably very similar. Please talk to me. I want to know your journey as a woman.” It was really a cry for her to be honest with me about her journey. But again, she wasn’t ready for that. They are not interested in coming to the light. The other time was specifically about the church abuse and the lack of church discipline and how they continued to choose an immoral man over their own daughter. When I did that, they told…My grandpa is like the patriarch of our family. So here is how you know that your family is unhealthy and enmeshed. There is so much enmeshment in my family of origin where it is not the “I” but it is the “we”. If you step out of line, you have completely defaced the whole family heritage. When I confronted my parents, what they told me was, “This is disrespectful. You have disrespected the family heritage. This is wrong. You are selfish.” At that point my grandpa, about a month later, sent me a letter on official letterhead from the Baptist college that he works at (so there’s an intimidation factor right there), and it was just dripping with spiritual abuse. “I’m dishonoring my family, my mother, and my father. The Bible says I need to honor my mother and father. Rochelle, you need to repent of your sin. You need to repent. Why would you trust counselors and support groups? These things are not of God. Only the Bible can heal you. You are unforgiving. To not answer your parents’ phone calls is cruel. It is evil.” There was name calling from my own grandpa. The worst part of that betrayal was that it was my mom who betrayed her own daughter. It was like taking your daughter and throwing her into a pack of wolves and just letting them devour her. I think that even above my husband’s sexual addiction, that was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.

NATALIE: I am so sorry.

ROCHELLE: Thank you. That attachment pain doesn’t go away because the caregivers we’ve grown up with…God made us for longing and connection and to be delighted in. When there is pain, we go to these people to think they are going to comfort us, to think that they will move through pain, but instead they betray you. They can’t comfort. They call you names, and they spiritually abuse. So in addition to my grandpa’s letter, the flying monkeys flew out of the woodwork. I got phone calls from the head pastor’s wife, who never talks to me. I got phone calls from my mom and dad’s friends. They would leave messages and voicemails. My aunts would randomly text me Bible verses, but it was under the disguise of, “I was reading this in the Bible, and this just impacted me so much.” You know it’s super passive aggressive.

NATALIE: Yes.

ROCHELLE: Meanwhile, these are people who never call me or text me, so you know it has nothing to do with our relationship. We don’t even have a relationship. I got letters in the mail from cousins telling me I needed to repent, that it is wrong for me to leave my husband, that they stood up with me on my wedding day and they are disappointed in how I’m breaking up my marriage. That is a distorted belief that many women will carry—I’m breaking up my marriage. No! No, you’re not. Who was the original one? Let’s put the responsibility back where it belongs. So it was hard for me. When that happens, when you’re trying to come out and advocate for this little girl inside of you who has been so betrayed and abandoned, you are gaining access to your adult self, so you have choices. You can make decisions. You don’t have to live this way. You don’t have to live trapped. As you are trying to exercise your freedom and your personal rights as Jesus intended, as you are trying to live free, then you have all these people who you thought were on your side and you thought loved you who are pouring on this toxic shame. The toxic shame gets distorted into these distorted beliefs that we have about ourselves. It can make the process of recovery so much muddier because then we are fighting against our own brain and our own thoughts too.

NATALIE: Right. You’ve been through so much. I’m sitting in the pool with you because I’ve been through so many of the same things. It is kind of a…I have thought I’m just going to have to be okay with this dark, sad pain inside of me for the rest of my life because I can’t make this mean anything other than the horrible thing that it means, which is that the people you thought would love you your whole life…As you said, “Throw you to the wolves!” That’s exactly it. The other thing I can’t wrap my brain around is that I would never do this to any of my kids. Some of my kids are very challenging, yet I would never take them and just throw them to the wolves and say, “If you don’t do what I want you to do or you don’t believe what I want you to believe or you don’t pretend that this family is different, then I’m going to have nothing to do with you.”

ROCHELLE: Yes. The sick part about that is that…You know in the Bible it says that Satan is the…

NATALIE: …the angel of light?

ROCHELLE: Yes. My coach gave me this good visual. We reach out to our mom or dad or primary caregiver—wherever we think of love, comfort, affirmation—we are reaching out to them and they look like our mom, dad, or grandparents. But when we touch it, we get electrocuted by this electric fence. Our pain shoots up to a level ten. Imagine what that does to a child’s brain. But now I’m an adult woman, and I associate love with pain because every time I touched the fence it looks like comfort and validation, but it’s toxic. It’s going to shock me, and my pain shoots up to a level ten every time I touch that. Now I am not only detoxing from all these distorted beliefs and am trying to break free from this cultural system in the church of patriarchy and abuse and sexual addiction…I’m trying to break free from that, and I’m trying to reach out for comfort, but there’s nothing to reach out to. So now my brain is detoxing to, “I want to go back. I want to go back.” But every time I do, I collect data. “Oh, that was painful.” This is one of the biggest struggles that women in my group have. This is probably the biggest point of healing—learning not to go back—because these are not the people who can fulfill that deep sense of longing and belonging that we have. It’s good to have that. God created us for that. But that’s not the person you can go back to and receive that.

NATALIE: Right.

ROCHELLE: It took me so long to figure out. “If my parents would just act the way I want them to, then everything would be fine. If my husband would just act the way I want him to, then everything would be fine.” But we must detox off going back to that and realize we will not get what we need over there. As the adult, how can I meet my own needs? Where can I go to get my needs met? That’s when we start dealing with those distorted beliefs and making a plan. Now I can create meaning out of this evil, evil thing that happened. I can rebuild my foundation from the stones that other people have thrown at me.

NATALIE: This gets into…We could do a whole separate podcast about reconstructing what you believe about God.

ROCHELLE: Yes! That’s what I focus on a lot in my women’s groups because the spiritual abuse that I endured…I went through a period when I was isolated. I said, “God, I hate you. I hate you so much.” When I tell women that they get scared. “Don’t say that! Don’t say that out loud! You’re going to get struck by lightning.” But God already knows. The thing is that when a woman says, “I hate God,” that is not what she is saying. She’s saying, “I can’t trust anybody! I am desperate for You to show me if You are safe.”

NATALIE: Exactly!

ROCHELLE: “God, are You safe? Can I trust You? Can I, really?” What I realized is that all along I never really knew the real God. They ruined that for me.

NATALIE: That’s right!

ROCHELLE: They ruined it. I didn’t know who He really was.

NATALIE: They didn’t even worship the real God.

ROCHELLE: Yes!

NATALIE: They worshipped this god that was made in their own image, which was very abusive.

ROCHELLE: It’s the god of tradition and image. It’s the god of man-made church rules. It’s not even Jehovah! It’s not.

NATALIE: There’s a book…I must throw this in here. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this. It’s not on Amazon. I Googled it the other day because someone said, “Where can I buy this book?” It’s called A Spiritual Evolution. I can’t remember the name of the author. I’ve got to find it on my shelf. You blab and I’ll be right back.

ROCHELLE: There’s another book that has really helped me. It’s called The Joyful Journey. It’s with Dr. Jim Wilder and living from the heart that Jesus gave you. When we learn to connect to joy as survivors, some of those distorted beliefs can break off, and we can build our relational circuits to be able to connect to God. So once we can have emotional experiences with God, those self-preservation walls start coming down. We can see that we have a track record with God over time, that He is safe. But we need those relational circuits to be turned on to access God. We can’t do that unless we feel safe. At one point in my journey, I literally said to God, “I’ve never, ever been able to trust a man.” It’s so sad to me that I have no framework for what a godly man is—none whatsoever. I have no framework for what love is. I told God, “I can’t trust someone that I don’t know, so prove it. Prove to me who You are. Prove to me through Your behavior how You treat Your daughters.” Once I prayed that it’s like I started collecting…Dr. Sheri Keffer calls them “God Sightings.” But for me, it’s so much more personal. I started collecting these moments of goodness or these love letters of ways that God pursues my heart. A simple example—the other day I kept forgetting to order legal pads because I them at work. I was wandering around in the staff lounge and there on the table are two brand-new legal pads, and they’re pink, which makes it even better! I say to the Lord, “Oh, my gosh, Lord. I needed these. You knew that I needed these. I didn’t even pray about it. They are just here.” There is a worship song that says, “I’ve never known a love like this.” When I sang that before, it was like, “Yeah, whatever. That has no meaning for me.” But now is it literally that I’ve never known a love like this before. I’ve never experienced…What if that was a husband and he said, “Honey, I looked in your work bag and you ran out of legal pads. So I picked some up for you. Here you go.” When we think about God pursuing us in love like that, we now have an emotional connection to the scripture that we read. When I read, “God gives His children good gifts.; He does not withhold anything good from His children,” I have an emotional memory of that verse with the Lord. I have literally experienced that. The more a woman who has been betrayed can collect those moments of goodness and see that God is for you, He loves you…He is so in love with you! You are His daughter. He loves you so much. We start collecting all these things. Another story. I moved into my house and started thinking, “Playing the piano when I was a little girl really helped me cope. I’d love to get a piano sometime.” One week later my realtor texted me and said, “My clients are getting rid of their piano and I thought of you. Would you like a piano?” (Not to say that God is a magical genie because I didn’t pray for any of these things and that’s not what I’m saying.) What I’m saying is we watch a track record of faithfulness over time and we see, just like we say to the addict, “I believe your behavior and not your words.” God’s words have been so distorted for women. So distorted! They have been used against her to keep her trapped and belittled. What is so sad is that we can’t believe God’s words anymore.

NATALIE: Yeah! That’s exactly it!

ROCHELLE: Because somebody annihilated them, we can’t believe God’s words. So now all I have is His behavior. All I can watch is His behavior. I don’t believe the words; I believe Your behavior. The Father will show you that. He will show you that His behavior towards you is good. It is kind; it is gentle; it is loving; and it is protecting—if we train our brains to watch for that. The more we connect to those memories and those moments, the easier it is to connect in prayer or trying to learn to read the Bible again.

NATALIE: We should probably wrap this up.

ROCHELLE: Did you find the name of the book?

NATALIE: I found the name of the book. I was also going to say that this book is good for…Going along with your idea of God’s behavior, this book answers a lot of questions about God’s behavior. This man who wrote it came out of the same background you and I came out of and he’s seen so many hypocrisies that brought up all these questions about God, why He does what He does, and why it doesn’t make sense in so many ways. This book is very easy to understand. He goes through and asks those questions, and then he acknowledges all the things he used to believe about God. Then he turns each thing on its head and shows a true picture of who God reveals Himself to be. It’s been so healing for me and my idea of God. The name of the book is A Spiritual Evolution, and it’s written by John MacMurray. If you just Google the name of the book and the author’s name, you’ll find his website. You can buy the book on his website.

ROCHELLE: That’s so good.

NATALIE: But it’s a great book. I don’t know about you, but I don’t go to church anymore—not because of COVID, but because I just don’t go. I haven’t found a safe place where I feel safe. I’m just curious. Have you found a place where you’ve landed?

ROCHELLE: Nope. I do not go to church. I love the quote, “I have had to walk away from the church to follow Jesus.” As soon as I step in the door, my hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I can’t do it. But I love Jesus, and I love people. I love His people.

NATALIE: I can tell. You have a big heart.

ROCHELLE: I do.

NATALIE: Rochelle, you’re a beautiful Christian woman and you represent literally hundreds of thousands of beautiful Christian women who have been used, chewed up, spat out, and left to rot by the side of the road. But you know what? Not one of us is going to rot. We are all rising. We are the true church of Jesus Christ.

ROCHELLE: He always leaves a remnant of His people. He really does.

NATALIE: I really appreciate you coming on the podcast. I’m excited because, for those of you listening, Rochelle is going to be doing a workshop within the Flying Free Sisterhood program. We’re going to record that. That program is closed at the time of this episode, but you can get on the waiting list for that. It opens up in the spring. The URL to get on the wait list is joinflyingfree.com. So go over there and hop on the waiting list. We’ll let you know when it opens up. It will be sometime in April. Then you’ll have access to Rochelle’s workshop and dozens of other expert workshops. That’s only the snowflake on the top of the iceberg of what that program has for you. So head over to joinflyingfree.com and check that out. Also, I want to request that if this podcast is meaningful to you and has been helpful to you, share this episode. But also go over to Apple Podcasts and leave a rating and review. That lets Apple Podcast know that this podcast is important and relevant for Christian women, and then they’ll show it to more Christian women who need to hear the kinds of things Rochelle shared with us today. So again, thank you, Rochelle, for joining us. I appreciate your time.

ROCHELLE: You’re welcome.

NATALIE: Thank you all for listening. Until next time, fly free!

3 Comments

  1. Patricia

    Thank you for this. It is affirming. I too had an addicted spouse. He also is in the church we had attended and I am not. It was many years of me being abused and confused. 28 years. God gives us awakening as we can handle it. You are so correct. I appreciate the affirmation of writing things down as well. It is truly unbelievable to look at words written down and see truth! Also it was recommended by my counselor to do.

    Reply
  2. Nancy Kaye

    Rochelle, thank you ladies today’s podcast meets in so many places of brokenness. Answers and feet to words! Love you both!

    Reply
  3. J

    Wow. You just told MY story. Thank you for sharing so boldly.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.