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12 Life-Changing Beliefs That Will Unhook You From Abuse Part One [Episode 181]

12 Life-Changing Beliefs That Will Unhook You From Abuse Part One

Share with a woman who needs hope!

“I would keep the peace or create peace at any cost. And a lot of the time, the cost was myself.

Amie searched for love her entire life. But all she found were unsafe people. And all she learned was that love demanded everything and gave nothing but pain in return. 

Despite this, Amie is a poster child for what’s possible after a life of abuse. She’s flourished in Flying Free and Flying Higher, moving from a caterpillar perspective to a butterfly perspective, from crawling to flying.

How? It all comes down to old thoughts versus new thoughts. Just like a caterpillar, Amie wove a cocoon of new thoughts to replace the ones that had led her into harm and kept her from living beyond her trauma. 

What she learned is so powerful, so practical, and so encouraging, we talked for 2 hours. I broke our discussion into a 3-part podcast series, diving into exactly what Amie did and providing listeners the simple, downloadable resource she used to fly free. 

Part 1 of this 3-part therapy session includes:

  • Why Amie was terrified that Flying Free would not be a safe place for her
  • How chameleons and trauma are related
  • The FREE PDF DOWNLOAD for old thoughts vs. new thoughts HERE.
  • Why the church’s definition of “community” is usually just icky enmeshment
  • Two old thoughts and two new thoughts from Amie’s worksheet (these are truth anvils, I tell you!)
  • How Amie was robbing her ex-husband of his chrysalis when she thought she was loving him (super easy to do with our kids too)

Related Resources:

  • Listen to Part 2 and Part 3 of this 3-part series!
  • I’m offering Amie’s hard-fought-for-and-won beliefs that have changed her life. I hope they provide an empowering example of what is possible for your own. Download Old Thoughts – New Thoughts, then make your own!
  • While the Reboot Your Life After Divorce live event is over, you can still purchase the replays of this life-changing webinar! If you are a divorced Christian woman, Reboot Your Life After Divorce is for you.
  • “Could Flying Free be a safe space for me to heal?” If you’re asking the same question Amie did, check out what Flying Free is all about.
  • Many women discover lives they could only dream of after divorce. But moving into the future is scary as heck. So don’t do it alone. Become a part of Flying Higher, a sisterhood of women who are fully reclaiming their stories, together!

Suscribe to the Flying Free Podcast

Hi. This is Natalie Hoffman of, 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 181 of the Flying Free Podcast. I am going to introduce this episode a little bit differently, because I actually interviewed a beautiful human being, and you’re going to absolutely die when you listen to this interview because it is so full of amazing truths and profound realities that I just… I’m so excited. But we spent two hours talking. And there’s no way that I’m cutting out any of it, and rather than having… Usually my episodes are about thirty to forty minutes. Rather than having this really odd two hour episode right in the middle of everything else that’s kind of about thirty to forty minutes, I thought I would just break it up into three parts. I know some of you guys have given me feedback and said, “I really wish your episodes were longer. I just love listening to them,” and I love that. I think that’s amazing and it makes me so happy. But I’m one of those people who likes to be consistent, and I want this podcast to be consistent as well. 

So each of these episodes will be about thirty to forty minutes, and there’s going to be three of them. And hopefully you’ll be more excited to listen to the next one, because these are chock-full of truth bombs, profound gems of insight, and wisdom that came out of Amie’s life in a lot of pain and abuse and heartache. And she is one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever known, and getting to know her the last few years has been an absolute honor. So without any further ado, we will begin Episode 181. 

Before I introduce my guest today, I need to give a disclaimer: I have a bad upper respiratory virus, and I had to make a decision about whether or not to record this episode. I just decided, “To heck with it. I’m going to record it and we’re going to try to get through.” Just excuse my voice. Hopefully we’ll get Amie talking more than me, and you won’t have to put up with me for that long.

So today I have with me Amie. She’s a very special guest. She’s been a member of the Flying Free and Flying Higher communities for several years, and she has done her work. And by that, I mean that where she started out in her life experience and the ways that her brain had been programmed by the various types of trauma in her childhood and adult life had her deeply tangled up and stuck. But she made a decision in spite of all of the forces holding her down and trying to keep her back. She made a decision to do something different. She made a decision to get help, and not just to join Flying Free or to join a program or to get therapy, but to actually dig into the tough, emotional work of figuring out the root causes of all the things that she believed and how those beliefs had set her up to continue in the same cycles that she had been spinning in since she was a small child. She learned the skills of how to interrupt that cycle and move into, really, extreme discomfort in order to do that unraveling and that healing. 

And ultimately, Amie has made so much progress and come out on the other side. Not that we go on and we never experience hard things. Not at all. She wouldn’t say that she’s completely not challenged anymore or that she doesn’t struggle with these things. But her new way of seeing the world is no longer… I like to call it the caterpillar perspective. Caterpillars are stuck on the ground. They can’t see that far in front of them. They’re trying to survive. They basically have one function, and that’s to eat and survive. But that’s one perspective, but then there’s the butterfly perspective, which is a higher perspective. It’s where you can fly above your circumstances and see things more objectively, see things more long-term, and I think more accurately and truthfully. 

So a couple of months ago, I gave the members of the Flying Higher program, which is a program for Christian, divorced women, an assignment. And I asked them if they would make a list of the thoughts and beliefs that they had prior to going through my programs, and then the thoughts and beliefs that they had now after they had done this personal development work that they had learned to do in Flying Free and then in Flying Higher. And Amie got super serious about this assignment. And she sent me her list and I was absolutely blown out of the water. I was like, “You have got to come and share this with the podcast listeners so that they can see what’s possible for themselves.” 

Because, you guys, Amie… And she would tell you this — she is not a unicorn, okay? She’s had some of the most egregious roadblocks and setbacks and suffered the worst kinds of abuses her entire life. And honestly, if Amie can do this work and have the kind of personal results that she has gotten in her own life, anyone can. And it’s not like Amie’s situation has changed. Her circumstances, much of them, are very much the same. It is her brain and the way she looks at it that has changed. I think she’s the poster child, really, of what’s possible after a life of being an abuse victim. And I am so honored to introduce her to you today. So Amie, welcome to the Flying Free Podcast!

AMIE: Thank you, Natalie. I feel very honored and privileged to be on the podcast. It’s a bit of a full circle moment for me. Very, very thankful.

NATALIE: I’m so glad to have you, and I’m excited to share your story a little bit with the listeners. Although I have to say, I want you to give us a highview overview of your life story, but you and I have talked about this, how you are going to actually go into much more detail and share your story, your whole butterfly story, with the members inside the program. You’re not going to share it to the public, but inside the program, we’re going to be doing that this summer. So if you’re a member, you’ll get to hear Amie’s story this summer. But for now, just with the podcast listeners, can you just kind of give us an overview of your life from childhood till now? And then we’ll kind of get into the ways that your beliefs have changed. 

AMIE: It’s very difficult to share my story with people, because it involves people who I love. And that is the tricky thing, I think, for a lot of people who have suffered injustice or abuse or neglect or anything like that. It’s really hard to talk about it, because you almost feel like you’re hurting the other people when you talk about the things that have occurred to you. 

I grew up in a home that was very religiously based. We grew up in a very specific denomination. My parents both came from that denomination, and they married. They came from traumatic backgrounds. They had trauma in their life. And they came in a generation that believed that you just got over things. You just let God do the healing, and you move forward. And I think they didn’t realize how much their trauma came into their marriage and into their life. And we’re learning so much in our culture now about how trauma — it affects the body, and it also affects your children, even your preborn children. So I think trauma has been a part of my life’s journey since conception. 

When I was a child, I desperately wanted to be loved. I realized in my forties through this course and through another course that I did that I have an idol of love and peace. And so throughout my life, I, in many ways, in many healthy ways, I found love, and then also in many unhealthy ways love was given to me, and I accepted it. There were physical altercations that I saw within my home. There was… Sorry, it’s hard to talk about. But I want to be able to talk about it, because I hear more and more about how this is a part of many women’s journeys, and even boys as well. There was sexual abuse within my personal history

And I grew up with this belief that I wanted to be a mom and I wanted to be married, and that desire, coupled with the idea of wanting to be loved and have peace in my life, opened myself up to really not being able to see red flags properly and accepting love that was the best that the people could offer but really was damaging to me. And I believed in forgiveness and I believed in peace, so I often compromised myself unknowingly, and also in order to not only get love, but then once I was in a relationship that was loving, I would keep the peace or create peace at any cost. And a lot of the time, the cost was myself. I really sacrificed in order to make other people happy. And all of these people that were part of this journey, these are people who I genuinely do love and care about, and I’m rooting for them as human beings. Maybe that’s part of my trauma still shining through. 

NATALIE: I don’t think so. I actually think that a lot of Christian survivors really do have authentic love and care and concern for the people that abused them in their lives. And that’s not to discount those who don’t, okay? I think that it’s equally as valid to have those kinds of feelings and to want… I mean, you know in the forum. People will be like, they want what’s best for their husband. Some of them might choose to separate or get a divorce even, and they don’t want that. That is the farthest thing from their minds of what they want. But you’ll also read other people that will be like, “I can’t stand him; I can’t wait to get away. When I got away, it was so much relief,” and there’s that perspective too. But they’re both normal and they’re both valid, I think. 

But I can relate more to you. I can relate more to: I really, really want relationship with these people that hurt me so badly. And I don’t think that that’s dysfunctional. Honestly, I like to think — I don’t know; this is just my belief — but I like to think that’s the Holy Spirit living inside of us. God sees these abusive people. He sees their potential. He sees what He originally created them for, and they’ve chosen, so far, not to live into that identity that He has for them. And when we can see that, it breaks our hearts just like it breaks God’s heart. But also, I think that we as Christians have hope that God is powerful and He is good and that He can one day restore even them. But that doesn’t mean that we throw ourselves to the wolves just because they haven’t decided to enter into the peace that God has for them quite yet.

AMIE: Yeah, I think that is generally my desire, is that I want the best for them. And the problem is that sometimes I get too close to these people and then I lose myself in them, and so having boundaries and understanding that concept of boundaries so that I’m actually… It’s not about telling other people about what they can and can’t do, but it’s creating a protective space in which I can grow and thrive and become rooted and become that tree by the riverside. But you have to be able to protect yourself from your own tendencies and then also the tendencies of other people so that you can become that person for the world.

NATALIE: Yes, yes. So true. Okay, so how did you find Flying Free? Why did you decide to join, and where were you at at that time?

AMIE: A friend of mine actually sent your podcast to me. This was a very close friend. She was a very strong personality. And I just thought that if I could become more like this person… I called it “Channeling my inner…” Her name is Lorraine, and I would try to “channel my inner Lorraine” in order to become a stronger person. And you know, it doesn’t work. It’s like putting on someone else’s clothes and expecting that it’s going to make a difference. It doesn’t, right? So over the years… We laugh about it now, because we gave really horrible advice on how to kind of cope with the hard things within the marriage. 

She sent me your podcast and I started listening to it, and it was the first time that I really related. And then I listened to it… I think it started in 2018, I think you started your podcast. And then I separated. I had a pretty bad mental breakdown, and I separated in early 2019. So I just continually would listen to the podcast. The one on boundaries, I think I’ve listened to it more than ten times. And a lot of them I will just re-listen to, because there’s so many good things, and as I experience things, I’ll re-listen. And then, of course, through the podcast, the group was an option. And I think at that time you were kind of offering it as an every-six-months type of thing. So the first time I thought, “No, I’m not going to do it quite yet,” because I was heavily involved in doing some work with a counselor, and I was also doing a course called “How People Change,” which was by Paul Tripp. 

Which, there’s an interesting crossover, because a lot of that work is very similar to the model work that you do in your course. So after a couple of cycles, I also did Leslie Vernick’s “Introduction to Core,” which was really helpful just to understand what CORE stands for. That was really helpful to me. I just did the introduction course. But I really gravitated towards Flying Free. 

The other thing that I did is I was also involved in another relationship within my marriage, and it was a relationship that started with somebody that I had met when I was twelve. And I was very much so ashamed of that, and I remember reaching out to you and kind of testing the waters and telling you. I had already at that time told my husband and experienced a lot of fallout around that, and we were already separated too. But I reached out to you, because I thought, “Is this going to be a space for me?” because I didn’t want to put myself in a group where it would be triggering for other people, for one thing. I didn’t want to cause harm to other people. And second of all, I wanted to enter a group in which I could be myself. I could say, “This is me. This is all of me. I need help. Can you help me?” And you responded to me very graciously, and I thought, “Okay, I’m going to try it.” So that’s when I joined Flying Free. And then I joined Flying Higher around a year after that. 

NATALIE: And I just want to say, too, that you have been an angel in that group for so many people. I know that when you share the things you used to believe and the things you believe now, I know you’d say that you’ve gotten a lot out of the group, but you’ve put far more into the group than you’ve gotten out. You are such a contributing member and encourage so many people by the ways that you’ve changed, but also by the ways that you encourage other people. 

And there have been several women coming into that program who have had affairs. They’ve been in these abusive marriages for years and years and years and grew up in abuse, ended up having an affair, which actually is not that uncommon when you have been mistreated your whole life, and then someone comes along at the right time and offers you relief. That’s a temptation to take it. And then it just, as you would say, complicates everything. It just adds another five hundred layers to the whole thing, right? Layers of healing.

AMIE: Exactly.

NATALIE: You’ve been a great help to so many people in that program. You did this assignment. You went over and above, which, I feel like that’s kind of your M.O. a little bit. You’re probably the kid in school that, you know, did you get your homework turned in a week in advance?



AMIE: No. I had really bad learning issues. I don’t know — I would probably be diagnosed with something nowadays. But I… No, not at all. But one thing that you touched on that I think is very true is what my teachers would often say is, “Amie spends a lot of time talking. Amie spends a lot of time on the sidelines talking.” And so that’s always been my thing, is relationship. I am a huge lover of people. It’s really hard for me not to find the good in people. And so I do my best learning in relationship. And I think that’s one thing that Flying Higher and Flying Free has been for me, is like, you’re learning, but then you’re also learning with other people. You’re sharing your stories. You’re sharing the good and the bad. That’s how I learn. Now, my teachers would laugh. I got kicked out of class so many times for having a bad attitude. 

NATALIE: No. What? 

AMIE: Yeah, it’s hilarious. 

NATALIE: Oh my gosh — I cannot even fathom that. 

AMIE: I didn’t like physical education. Oh no, I didn’t like certain things, and then you have to obey, and if you don’t obey, then “you have a bad attitude.” And then I’d get kicked out.

NATALIE: That is so intriguing to me. I would never have pegged you like that. It just goes to show you what’s going on inside of a person might be very, very different than what you see on the outside. 

AMIE: I think what did happen in school was an extension of my personality, though, is that when I would get in trouble, there would be sort of this feeling of injustice, like, “This is not fair.” But then I would slip into shame and then figure out what that teacher wanted for me. So you follow the track, right? You’d get disciplined for this, but you’d get praised for this. So it’s like, “Oh, okay, This is how I know how to do this relationship, then. I gotta do this more.” So that is a dynamic that shows up in lots of relationships. After a while, I realized that I wasn’t doing good in school, and that was shameful. So then I busted my butt, because I didn’t want to be a failure. 

NATALIE: Okay. So it did kind of come out then, eventually. Because that’s the way you think. And I think a lot of survivors actually have that deep-down-inside drive to, we want so badly to be loved, we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

AMIE: Yeah. And if you come from a trauma background, your ability to become a chameleon is amazing. It’s a huge coping skill. And you can sense what people want. I noticed that more after I separated from my husband and I was interacting with the church. I realized when fawning would pop up. I’d be like, “What in the world did I just do? These people just hurt me so bad, and I just emotionally gushed all over them.” I just realized that I could map people and I could read people, and not in a manipulative way, but that’s a way that survivors often get love, is by mapping people and knowing what people want and then becoming what people want. That’s what we did so much in our marriages, right? That’s why it’s so destructive.


AMIE: It’s not only about the other person changing their thing, but changing those loops. It’s like a hook and a loop. There’s a loop in us that it connects to. And so we lose ourselves in that marriage, in becoming what that other person wants. Don’t do what they don’t like, what makes them angry. Do what they do like, and then you’re praised and loved. 

NATALIE: Yep. So that’s a good segue, actually, into your list. Because you actually talk about some of these things. These things come out in your list. So why don’t you go through it? So how she set up her list is she would say, “This is the old thought that I had before, but after doing this work, this is how I view this situation now, or this is the new thought that I practice.” So why don’t you go and share some of those things with us.

AMIE: Okay, I will. One thing I did want to mention is one reason why I made a big list of my old and new thoughts is because often when I’m in the groups, my brain becomes very… I call it “jazzed.” It just becomes very electrified. So I knew I had learned so many things, and I thought, “I’m going to put these things down on paper and send them to Natalie,” because probably within the group I’m not going to be able to share them all, and they are just really good. I’m happy with the light that the Holy Spirit has poured into my life. 

NATALIE: Yeah. They’re phenomenal. 

AMIE: So I wrote them down just so I could stay regulated during the meeting. So the old thought — and this is one that I’m going to mention my husband — but this is something that carries into lots of different areas of life. It’s not just with my husband. So the old thought was that, “I believed that I was a good communicator, and that if I just had the right words to say, that my husband would hear me and that he would be less irritable, angry, and that he would be happy.” So this would come at a time when, you know, if something bad was happening in the family or if he was upset about something that happened or in his life, that if I could just find the right words and the right tone and the right time, that I would be able to soothe him. And I spent a lot of time genuinely trying to do this for him. And I really wore myself out doing this. It was very draining, but I was willing to do it in the hopes that he would have a breakthrough. 

My new thought is that, “It’s not my responsibility to manage anyone’s emotions or make them feel happiness. I could not help my husband if he was not willing or able to dig at the root beliefs that drove his anger or irritability or sadness.” And that’s a really hard one, because I think that comes out of a feeling of rescue or a savior mentality. I remember once my counselor, very early on, she said that I had a bit of a savior complex. And I was so offended. I didn’t say anything to her in the moment, but I was just like, “I don’t think I’m Jesus Christ. I think you’ve got this all wrong. I don’t think that.” But then as I walked away, when the meeting was over, and I was able just to live life and mull it over, I was like, “Yeah, I can see how rescuing and trying to speak into people’s lives, that was like the thing that got me hooked into some bad patterns.”

NATALIE: Yeah. Well, and I think this is a very Christian-culture kind of a thing too, that we’re supposed to be discipling other people, we’re supposed to be giving them feedback and helping them change and managing them. Especially if you’re a wife, “Of course you’re supposed to be helping your husband to feel good and to feel happy and not be irritated. And you’re not doing a very good job if he is feeling those things.” It’s basically taking responsibility for other people, and then everyone is all up in everybody else’s business. Don’t you feel like that’s kind of the culture in a lot of churches? Everyone’s up in everybody else’s business. It’s so wrong.

AMIE: Yeah, it is. And then they call it “community.”

NATALIE: Exactly. Oh my goodness. It actually destroys community. 

AMIE: Like, “We’re such a good community.” It’s just enmeshment. 

NATALIE: Yeah. It is. It destroys real intimacy. 

AMIE: Yeah, it does. No, you’re right. It destroys real intimacy. That was a big learning thing too — understanding what real intimacy was. But what would often happen, and I learned this even in our dating relationship, is that when he would get really upset about things, there was a grain of truth to why he was upset. Like, it wasn’t always an irrational thing as to why he was upset.


AMIE: And if I would listen to him and be patient. Nothing I said often would help him, and so I would sit there and I would patiently listen to him. I think I did a lot of dissociation, so, you know, going to a cozy place in my mind where I could listen to it for a long period of time. And then he would say to me, “Oh, I just really loved that you listened.” So then I got that little bit of love, like, “This person loves me when I do this.” 

And I didn’t realize that that was actually very damaging to myself to sit there and listen to somebody rant for so long. It’s not a good place to be. And then other people had experiences too, so then they would also praise me for being so patient and loving in that way — for rescuing. It’s a whole culture of it that it’s very unhealthy, and I think it just got to the point for me where, it’s like someone who’s drowning and they’re saying, “Help, help — I’m drowning.” And it feels horrible for me to say, “I can’t help you.” But understanding how I can help, but from a distance, has been really helpful. Because nothing I could say did make a difference. Whether that’s your children or anybody, they have to do that work for themselves, and that’s how they become emotional adults. But a lot of us stay in emotional childhood because we’re relying on mommies and daddies, whoever that may be, to help us emotionally regulate. And there are people who can help you do that — counselors, therapists, all that kind of stuff — but relying on people within your family to do that, it’s not a fair burden to put on other people. 

NATALIE: Right. That’s where codependency comes into play and all the things. 

AMIE: Yes. I would definitely say that I have a lot of codependent tendencies, so I have to be very mindful of that, and then also look at the roots of why is it upsetting to me if someone else is having big emotions? Even as we talked about, too, about becoming an emotional adult, we did that course in Flying Higher, which has been very helpful for me. 

NATALIE: Yeah. This comes into play even with my kids, because we don’t like our kids to have big emotions and to feel terrible about things or have life experiences, and it’s so weird, because why not? I remember a coach the first time I ever heard this concept, and they were like, “So basically, are you telling me that your child is having a human experience?” And I was like, “Oh yeah, I guess. I guess he is.” And it’s okay. It’s okay. That’s part of being human is to experience disappointment or to experience heartache or to experience loss, and I don’t have to fix it. We don’t have to fix it. We can actually learn how to process through those kinds of terrible emotions that come over us when bad things happen to us. 

AMIE: Yeah. That reminds me, too, of that whole idea of the stress cycle, which we’ve talked about in the program before too — being able to manage the stress cycle when things happen in our own lives, and then also, instead of jumping in and rescuing or saving someone else, teaching them or giving them ideas or whatever so that they can figure out how to manage the stress cycle in their own lives. When we save our children, we keep them as children — emotional children. 

NATALIE: That’s right. Instead of saving them, we want to actually equip them — equip them to manage their own lives. Okay, what’s another belief that you had? 

AMIE: This is another one that I’m going to mention my husband, but it goes across lots of different people. So, “I believed that my husband’s anger was due to my bad behavior or mistakes, the children’s bad behavior and mistakes, or the issues that popped up in life. So my belief was that if I could minimize these things or hide them from him, he would be happy and content with me, the children, life, and God.” And this was a big thing for me. I hid a lot of things from my husband because I knew that they would be upsetting to him, and I didn’t want him to be upset. So I took a lot of responsibility for a lot of things, a lot of financial responsibility — I took it all in the hopes that he would just find contentment. 

And my new thought is, “My husband’s emotions or anybody’s emotions are driven by their heart and mind beliefs about people, circumstances, the world, and God. Controlling circumstances will deplete me — which is very true — and it robs him and other people of the opportunity for themselves to do their own personal work towards growth.” 

NATALIE: That’s so beautiful. 

AMIE: We don’t realize. When you’re doing this stuff for people, you think you’re doing the right thing. You think you’re being loving. I thought I was being loving, you know? And I wasn’t. I was robbing him of all of these circumstances either to drive whatever into the ditch or for him to make the… Because sometimes you need to hit rock bottom emotionally. So I was stealing that away from him, and then I was also stealing the growth that would come from him just dealing with these things and possibly reaching out to other people for help. I just took it on. And I know that’s a typical dynamic in destructive relationships: that one person doesn’t take responsibility and the other person takes a lot of responsibility. 

NATALIE: Yeah. It’s like that analogy — I’m thinking of that analogy of the… You know how the butterfly has to struggle to get out of the chrysalis? 

AMIE: Yeah. 

NATALIE: But if you take a scissors and you cut them out, you’re like, “Oh, I don’t really want them to have to struggle, so I’ll cut them out,” and then the whole struggling is what actually pumps the blood from their body to the ends of their wings. If they don’t do that struggling, they won’t be able to fly, actually. And we do that. We do that for people all the time. And again, this is like a Christian culture thing. It’s like, “We need to help each other.” No. We even think that God is supposed to do that. “Well, God is supposed to rescue me. God should be cutting me out of this chrysalis.” He doesn’t do that because He knows that that’s not going to actually help you to fly at all. It’s going to actually ruin you. 

He promises to be with us in the struggle, to be there cheering us on and loving us 100% of the way. And that’s what we can offer to the people around us. “Hey, I love you. I know you’re struggling right now. I see you. I care about you so much. I’m here cheering you on. I’m never going to leave you. I’m always going to be here to support you, but I’m not going to try to control your circumstances or change things for you, because that’s not my job. That’s not my responsibility.” And if they’re shooting themselves in the foot with their own bad choices, then they should experience those consequences so that they can decide, “Hmm. Maybe I don’t want to do this anymore, because everytime I do this, there’s this negative consequence in my life.”

AMIE: Yeah, exactly, exactly. That whole idea of the rescuing, you see it a lot in the church, and of course, yeah, you get praised for it, for doing all of these things, but it’s not helpful. It’s just so sad when you say that example of the butterfly. I can see that experience even with my children,right? I want them to grow; I want them to fly; I want them to soar; I want them to travel the world. I don’t want to hinder them from growth. So being part of the group is helpful as I continue to go and work with my own children on that. It sounds like a lot of truth, right? A lot of things are. Like, it sounds very truthful, but there’s something very toxic about it. 

NATALIE: Yeah. Oh, people will put a spiritual spin on all of it. They’ll attach Bible verses to it. You can put a spiritual spin on anything and make it sound holy and biblical and Christ-like, and it’s actually just completely destructive. Yeah.

AMIE: Yeah. So now I have very limited interaction with my ex, but when he will reach out to me and he’ll say that he’s going through a really hard time, I feel it in me. My heart just sinks, because I know how painful it is for him. But now I can respond in a way that says, “Wow, that must be really hard for you.” And I say it genuinely: “That’s so hard for you. I’m so glad that you have put work into having a support circle so that you have help and support for you. And you’ve proven over the last few years that you are becoming more and more resilient, and I know you can get through this.” So I think I can give him that without getting sucked in and losing myself in it too. 

NATALIE: Yeah. The other thing too, for people who are listening and they’re thinking, “Well, my ex or my soon-to-be-ex or my husband does not have any support system around him,” I want you to know, though, that we actually live in a day and age where there is so much more available to people for their mental health issues than ever before in the history of this planet. And even online — there’s free stuff available online. There’s millions of articles. You can get therapy online now for great prices. You can get coaching. 

There’s so much help available, but if someone doesn’t want the help, then they’re not going to go pursue it. I’ll tell women, “You know, you were the one googling your questions and finding answers for your problems because you’re a big girl. He’s a big boy. He can do the same thing if he wants to. The only reason he’s not doing it is because he’s not there yet. He’s not ready for that yet; he doesn’t want to do it. And it’s not your job to drag him, kicking and screaming, to therapy or counseling or a good article or a good book.” I used to put books, you know, I used to buy my husband books and say, “What if we read this book together,” or “Maybe you could read this book and we could talk about it.” That stuff doesn’t work. That doesn’t work. They’re not interested. And if they’re not interested…

AMIE: …they’re not going to do it.

NATALIE: Exactly.

AMIE: And if they do do it, it’s like putting on a shirt. They’re just becoming who you want them to be. It’s not actually heart change. It’s not digging at the roots. It’s not figuring things out.

NATALIE: That’s right. And so the change, then, might be very temporary. It’s not going to be a permanently, internally motivated change. 

So that is where we’re going to stop the interview for this week. If you come back next week, you’ll be able to listen to part two. But before I let you go this week, I want to let you know that next week, not this week… This is just kind of a little teaser. Next week I’m opening up registrations for a five-day thing that I’m doing. It’s called “Reboot Your Life After Divorce.” So if you are a divorced Christian woman or if you know someone who’s a Christian woman and she’s divorced, you might wanna let her know about this. It’s going to be five days: August 29th to September 2nd. And I’m going to be getting on live with those people who register from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm every day. 11:00 am CST to 12:30 pm CST, every day, Monday through Friday. 

So for five days, we’re going to spend ninety minutes together every day and I’m going to teach you some concepts, and then we’re going to do some live coaching where I’m going to bring people on, and you can get coaching on the concepts that I just taught you. Day one we’re going to focus on your divorce story, day two we’re going to focus on finding happiness after divorce, day three we’re going to talk about where in the world was God in this mess, day four we’ll talk about redefining our identity, and day five we’re going to talk about creating our future. 

So it’s going to cost $19 you guys. $19 is it for five days, ninety minutes every day. And if you can’t come live, it’s okay, because I’m going to provide you with the replays that you can watch anytime you want to. You’ll have access to those replays for as long as you want, okay? Unless I die. If I die and my website goes down, you will not have access anymore. But until that day comes, you can watch the replays whenever you want to. So I don’t have any more details other than that. Well, I do know that when that registration page opens up — you can write this down now and just get ready — it’s going to open up on August 1st, the registration page will open, and it will be If you go to that page on August 1st, you’ll be able to register, pay $19. 

Now, if you are already a member of Flying Higher, which is my program for divorced women, you don’t need to register for this thing, because you’re going to get it. I always put the things that I teach outside of the program in the program and provide those in the archives. So you don’t have to do that. The only reason you might want to do it, and you don’t have to, but if you wanted to for some reason be there live, then of course you’d have to register to be there live. But otherwise you’ll get the replays automatically. They come with your membership. So that’s the scoop on that. 

That’s it for today. Thank you for listening, and until next time, fly free. 

"Natalie is passionate about helping women of faith find freedom from abusive relationships. She combines truth with compassion and a bit of humor thrown in there so that we can indeed fly free."
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The Comments

  • Avatar
    Jennie Heikkila
    February 4, 2023

    Hi Natalie. This has been beyond helpful to me.
    After 20 years ( in May) of an emotionally and spiritually abusive marriage that in the end became physically abusive I am finally free. My last court date is 4 weeks away.
    I cannot tell you how everything you say resonates with me and brings my soul even more healing.
    I want to join the Flying Higher as that is where I am at – I realize though that on paper I still have four weeks till it’s legally over. Can I still join now?
    I have three amazing teenage kids that I homeschooled and I see the beginning of healing happening for them as well.
    I am so hopeful I don’t have to wait to join this group!
    But whichever way you decide I will keep listening and loving what you are doing. Thank you

    • Natalie Hoffman
      Natalie Hoffman
      → Jennie Heikkila
      February 4, 2023

      You can complete the application process! The next time we open to take in new members will be in March – so maybe you’ll be divorced by then!