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12 Life-Changing Beliefs That Will Unhook You From Abuse Part Three [Episode 183]

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

Share with a woman who needs hope!

Life after abuse can feel like you’re just spinning your wheels. You struggle with the same things. The same thoughts. The same downward spirals. Over and over and over.

Flying Free is all about breaking out of harmful cycles, in and after abusive relationships. If you want to see this in action, Amie is a poster child for life beyond abuse: healing, thriving, and constantly growing. 

Our discussion was so powerful, her story so incredible, the amazing freedom she’s experienced so inspiring, that we talked for two hours. There was no way I was going to cut a single minute from the recording, so I broke it into three episodes. 

This series catalogs her thought transformations, from old to new, across the most important aspects of her life, the parts that were hit the hardest by spiritual and emotional abuse. So if you’re feeling stuck, defeated, or just plain frustrated as heck in your recovery process, this is one of the greatest freebies you’ll come across.

If you just started following along, check out Part 1 and Part 2, then skip back here for the grand finale. Because the last thing survivors want is for the abuse they survived to torment them into the future…and these episodes are a line in the sand

In Part 3 of 3:

  • Old Thought #1: Grief, sadness, anger, and anguish are too hard and can be sinful. I will avoid them.
  • New Thought #1: There are no good or bad emotions. I will experience them in full without getting trapped.
  • 3 more old thoughts and 3 more powerful new thoughts
  • Why “dirty” pain is so overwhelming, but “clean” pain is manageable (and helpful!)
  • What exiles, firefighters, and parents have to do with your brain after trauma
  • Why regulating before responding is so important
  • How to have curiosity instead of judgment (which greatly increases your chance of breaking negative thought patterns)
  • The critical importance of community in changing your thoughts and results
  • The FREE PDF DOWNLOAD for old thoughts vs. new thoughts

Related Resources:

  • If you haven’t already, 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.
  • If you’ve been listening to the Flying Free podcast, chances are you can relate to Amie’s story. Do you want to step deeper into healing, just like her? Find out what Flying Free is all about.
  • The biggest challenge after abuse is learning how to live beyond all the damage and unhealthy survival methods. But it’s possible, and it’s in reach! Join Flying Higher for incremental, comprehensive support in the Sisterhood.

Suscribe to the Flying Free Podcast

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 183 of the Flying Free Podcast. Today is part three of… It ended up being a series, because I did this interview with Amie, a longtime member of Flying Free and Flying Higher, and we talked for two hours. And all of it was so, so good that I decided that we were going to keep all of it and just break it up into three sections. So if you haven’t listened to part one and part two, I highly recommend that you just stop this episode right here and go back and listen to Episode 181 and then 182, because we’re just going to be diving in cold turkey into the last third of this interview with Amie. 

Before we get into it, though, this episode is airing right before… I’m doing this kind of online thing for five days called “Reboot Your Life After Divorce.” Now, this event is for divorced Christian women. So if you’re a divorced Christian woman or maybe you’re in the middle of a divorce and you want to come, that’s totally fine too. Basically, we’re going to be talking about five things. We’re going to spend five days, ninety minutes each day, talking about five topics. Number one: your divorce story. That’s going to be on Monday. Tuesday, we’re going to be talking about finding happiness after divorce. On Wednesday we’ll talk about “Where is God in the mess?” On Thursday, we’ll be talking about redefining your identity, because that kind of changes, right? Day five, we’re going to talk about creating your future. And I’m going to teach you some concepts, but I’m also going to bring some people on for some live coaching. I’m super excited about this. I’ve never done anything like this before. I think it’s going to be amazing. 

It’s going to cost $19 for all five days, and if you can’t come live, you can listen to the replays, watch them or listen to them at any time after that. I’ll provide a page for you to access where you can watch those replays. So if you want to be part of that live event, you can go to flyingfreesisterhood.com/reboot. If you are already a part of the Flying Higher program… I have this program for divorced Christian women called Flying Higher. If you’re listening and you’re part of that program, you don’t need to do this thing, because I’m going to give you all these sessions in the archives. You can go and watch them on the membership site after I’m all done. Now, if you want to come live, then of course you are going to have to register and pay the $19 to come live. Otherwise, you can watch the replays for nothing. It’s part of your membership. So that’s all I want to talk about as far as that goes. I think that’s it. I think we can just dive into our interview now — part three. Here we go. 

AMIE: So that’s another one of my old thoughts, was “The subconscious belief that ‘hard’ emotions like grief, sadness, anger, anguish are too hard and can be sinful, so I should avoid them and anything or anyone that stirs up those feelings in me. If I do feel these emotions, I will change my thoughts or distract myself with people, activities, or food in order to feel better.” So that’s self-medicating in an unhealthy way, right?

NATALIE: Yep.

AMIE: We all do this in different ways, so everybody can just look at their own stuff, and I did this in many unhealthy ways, including in the way that I parented my children, too. My new thought was, “There are no good or bad emotions. All emotions are needed to experience the fullness of life. Anger, sadness, grief, anguish, etc. are needed in the mind to process, and often are the pathway towards deep awareness or knowledge about myself, others, and God. I will not get trapped in these emotional spaces,” right? Because when we’re in it, when I’m in it, I think it’s going to last forever, and I hate it. I hate it for a minute, and I definitely don’t want it for a day. But “Sitting with these emotions won’t last forever, and are necessary for movement beyond where I am.”

NATALIE: So beautiful.

AMIE: I would fight these emotions — I would fight that anguish laying in bed and just crying out to God. I would fight it, but it was in those moments that I felt the Spirit’s presence and very deep truths would come to me. But it’s that wrestling, right? We don’t want to do that. It feels horrible, but we have to embrace all of the emotions.

NATALIE: When we resist those emotions and try to avoid them, when we do that… And like you said, we do it in all kinds of ways: we eat a lot, maybe we drink, maybe we smoke, maybe we go shopping all the time or spend money, maybe we just sleep a lot or binge on Netflix or whatever. We all have our own coping mechanisms, and probably multiples of them. But when we do that and we resist those feelings, it actually makes them worse. It doesn’t make them better. It only makes them worse. 

And I’ve done this work too, because I learned to actually move toward the bad feeling instead of running from it or fighting it, to move toward it and let it wash over you like you’re moving to a wave in the water. You let it wash over you, and it’s not as bad then. It’s still painful and it hurts, but it’s what’s called “clean pain.” Whereas resisting it and fighting it and running from it creates “dirty pain.” So it’s like, we want to be all in on the clean pain of things. That’s good; that’s what brings all of that awareness and that growth and that transformation. The dirty pain means that we aren’t actually growing at all. All we’re doing is basically beating our heads against a brick wall and destroying our lives. It just doesn’t work. 

AMIE: Yeah. And our brains, when you have a trauma in your brain, your brain actually protects that trauma, because it doesn’t want to touch it again. So everytime you get close to it or you poke it with different thoughts, your brain can often, I don’t know what it would be. It goes into like, dorsal mode. So some people need help, actually, doing this work and staying in the moment, because they are not able to access certain memories or process certain events because they’re so traumatic. There were times in my life where things were really hard and then I would just go and sleep or dissociate. I would just zone out. So if you find yourself in that type of a pattern, there are ways of getting help to kind of work through that.

NATALIE: Yeah, that’s important. I’m glad you said that, to be aware that you might need some extra help with that. Did you ever do EMDR therapy by any chance?

AMIE: No. I was going to do EMDR therapy, especially around my church trauma — it was really bad — but then someone had mentioned that it wasn’t great, so then I just never did it. And I’ve kind of processed through some of that church stuff. It might be something that’s helpful. I know that people I know close to me have done it, and they have found it very helpful.

NATALIE: Yeah. It was super helpful for me. So if you’re listening, just Google it, you’ll find out about it. I’m not going to go into it here. I also want to say too, we have a coach inside of the Flying Higher and Flying Free programs. Her name is Barb Spanier. And she has her own coaching practice, so you can actually just go to integrativecoachingforlife.com, and she does work with parts, with the internal parts of you. And I think that kind of work would also be good for trauma, because you’ve got all these different parts inside of you that are responding and relating to that trauma in different ways. Some parts are trying to protect you, some parts are hiding — they’re like exiles and they’re hiding and they’re wounded and they’re like small children. And then there’s some parts that are like firefighters, and they’re just trying to boss everybody around and keep everybody organized and shut everybody up. 

And then there’s this part of you that’s whole and complete, and it’s the… I don’t want to say the “real you,” because all those parts are a part of the real you, but it’s kind of like the parent you. It’s the part of you that gets to learn how to love all of these different parts and help them to get along and become a family that’s integrated. It’s basically all about integrating all of those inner parts so that you can live into emotional and spiritual health and freedom instead of having all these warring parts inside of you. What you said made me think of that, and I wanted to mention Barb, because she has been trained in it and she’s getting further, higher education training in it, and she’s really good at it. And if you are interested in learning more about that, you can go to her website.

AMIE: Yeah, I highly recommend it too. 

NATALIE: Or you come inside the program.

AMIE: Yeah, that’s where I learned a lot of that stuff, and we were talking before the podcast even started about how one of the words that really has come into my life through the program is this idea of curiosity, so being curious. So when things bump up or feelings or emotions or thoughts, instead of being very judgemental about it, I’ve settled into more of a place of curiosity, like, “Okay, oh. I’m thinking that.” I actually experience things more physically before I experience them mentally, so I’ll start to feel like my body is shaking or I’ll start to notice that I’m eating a lot of cake or something like that. I’m just curious about it. I’m like, “Okay, what’s going on? My hands just went numb. What’s happening here?” Or I feel like I had this urge to hit myself for a long time, and that still comes up once in a while. So when I feel that sensation, I’m curious. “Okay, what’s going on in the world? What am I believing? What’s true?” By staying curious and not judging about it, I don’t fall into shame, and I can actually start doing some somatic things like going out in nature or some of those things that Barb also taught in the parts work and being curious about them. She was very helpful for me.

NATALIE: And you’re creating safe spaces for yourself, and when you get really good at keeping yourself safe, you become a safe person for other people. You learn that skill of creating that safe space, and you’re able to create that safe space for other people. And in that safe space, that is where change actually happens. You have to be safe to change. 

AMIE: Yeah. Because then, I think that’s when the… Is it the limbic system? No, the frontal cortex. Right?

NATALIE: The prefrontal cortex? 

AMIE: Yeah. That goes online and stays online, but as soon as we slip into judgment and whatever, then I think we lose touch with that. 

NATALIE: Yeah. Because we go into that panic mode of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn because we’re trying to protect ourselves. Again, we don’t feel safe. We’re in danger. So our prefrontal cortex goes offline and our amygdala wakes up and starts freaking out, and then it’s all over from there. Then we have to find that regulation again. 

AMIE: Yes. That’s a big thing for me too, is I picked up on this phrase from I don’t know where, but the idea of regulating before responding. So if I find that I’m dysregulated, panicky, whatever it may be, whatever the symptoms are showing up in my body, that’s the worst time to respond to anything. So it’s been very helpful for me, is regulate before responding. And then also, if you’re engaged in a conversation with someone like a child, for example… Because children become dysregulated, they often don’t know how to be regulated, and teenagers too. They have a lot of stress in their life. They become dysregulated. Before having a conversation with them, encourage them to become regulated, and then also be regulated yourself so that you can actually have a productive conversation.

NATALIE: Yes. I know. I’ve got one kid who will, he’ll start screaming and kicking and freaking out, and sometimes I’ll just take him and hold him and rock him, and until I do that, you can’t have any kind of conversation, because he’s literally not there. He’s somewhere else. Anyway, that’s good. Okay, I know we’ve jumped around, and I’m trying to see if we’ve covered everything. I don’t think we have.

AMIE: We didn’t talk too much about the church ones. 

NATALIE: Okay, let’s do that.

AMIE: So one of the very frantic old thoughts was, “I can lose many things, but please don’t make me lose my church.” This was a big thing for me when we seperated. I literally said to God, “Lord, I’m going to speak the truth. I’m going to be truthful. I’m going to bring all this stuff in the light. And I can lose a lot of things, but please don’t make me lose my church.” And I don’t want to get into too many details about the fallout of that, but it was very traumatic for me, kind of how things played out. It was just a lot of gossip and a lot of certain people’s narratives being spoken, and I wasn’t there. I was actually recommended not to be there for a while, so I wasn’t there. 

And so this whole thing kind of happened. That safe space that I once had became very unsafe and very scary for me, and I was also put under some form of church discipline, although it wasn’t public, so I don’t think that it was actual church discipline. But it was told to me that I couldn’t participate in the sacraments until my husband and I had resolved things, which, as you know, is never going to happen. Things coming to resolution is so difficult. And they said that I didn’t have a heart of reconciliation, which, I do believe I have a heart of reconciliation in the truest sense of the word. I really do. They just kept pushing that idea, and I was very triggered by it. And they took my fear as not having a heart of reconciliation. 

So that was really hard for me, but it was the death of something too. It was the death of my idolizing of men. I really had put a lot of stock into what people were saying. And I can still love them and not give them the power. So my new thought is, “God allowed some very hard circumstances to occur with leadership, which broke my perception of church. God allowed me to lose my church, my perception of what church was, and in that breaking, new light shone through, and new growth has come in me. That spiritual light and growth I now take with me and shine into the world, taking church with me wherever I go, even taking it to the brick building of the organized church that I belonged to. Nothing separates me from the love of God. Church is in me, and that I bring to the world.” 

And I think that through very, very difficult circumstances, my perception, if it could be compared to a clay vessel, it was smashed, and it was so painful. It was the most painful thing and traumatic thing I have ever been through in my life. And I tried to plead my case, and they just were not able to hear me. They were a little bit towards the end, and so now I do have a level of a reconciled relationship with them, but their power over me has definitely dissipated, that yearning to please people. And so God really did open my eyes up to the church being the body of believers, and that’s everywhere. 

NATALIE: Right. Another thought that you had was about church leadership. Let’s talk about that too, because that’s an important tie-in.

AMIE: So, “I believed that my church leadership were wise men that I could trust and that they would help me.” And this is what’s taught. This is what I’ve been taught since I was a kid. I really believed in patriarchy. I really wanted to believe in it. I wanted to believe that these people, if I came to them, that they were going to help me.

NATALIE: Well, and aren’t they like God? They represent God.

AMIE: That’s what they said. I sat down at a meeting at a restaurant with one of them, and he said to me… And he means well. He does. He believes this. I have love and care for this person, and he said to me, “God has placed me in leadership over you as your spiritual guide or head” or something like that. And I just felt the word “no” very gently come into my mind. “No.” Because see, what happens there is when you put men in that position or you allow them to have that power, then you lose connection with God. I really believe that. Because I am looking to them. And I do think that things worked out for my benefit, because it was really difficult because I wanted them to be this person, right? I wanted them to be what I wanted them to be, and when they didn’t show up, it was really God’s grace. And I don’t want to trigger anybody by saying that, because I know women have been through so much. But in that moment, the Spirit said “No. I am your God.” 

What’s the one commandment? “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You will have no other gods before Me.” And that’s not because God is some narcissist that wants us just to serve Him so He can fill Himself up with our love. But it’s because we get stability when we’re connected to a higher power. When we’re connected in the spirit to the Spirit, then we’re more stable. And we give that power to other people and we look to them, right? “If you just agree with me, then I’ll be okay.” I felt so desperate at that point. “If you can just see me and understand what’s happening with me, then I’ll be okay.” But that’s not the case. 

NATALIE: No. Their perspective is not God’s perspective anyways, because they’re not God. They can’t have God’s perspective. They’re human. They’re only going to be able to see things through their own lens of their own experience, their own training, their own personal biases, the fact that they’re men and they’re not women. All of that they’re bringing to the table. God doesn’t have any of that bias or any of that. God sees everybody and everything. He sees the big picture and the small picture. So they can’t possibly come remotely close to being who God is for us and in us. 

AMIE: And I needed to have that broken. 

NATALIE: Yes, we did.

AMIE: It’s like strings attached, right? But I was the one who kept hooking the strings to me. 

NATALIE: Yeah.

AMIE: They have power that they say that they have, and it’s like puppet strings, and I was literally hooking them on. Like, “Lead me, lead me, lead me.”

NATALIE: We have to give them credibility. We have to buy into their paradigm. And we don’t have to.

AMIE: No. And I can still love them and not buy into it at the same time, right?

NATALIE: Exactly. 

AMIE: It’s what they’ve been born into. So the new thought is, “I have to connect with God and have my own back. I believe that my church leadership is made up of human beings. Humans are a 50/50 mix of good and not so good. They are human just like me. We all have the right to opinions and views. Their views about me are not necessarily the same as how God views me. Some will agree with my choices, and some won’t. I am responsible for me, and they are responsible for themselves. If their views don’t change and another woman experiences what I did, then God will work that pain to bring a deep awareness of truth, just as God did to me.” 

That was one thing that was really hard for me, is I had this huge fear that if I didn’t change my church, that they were going to do this again. And it literally made my body shake. I was just like, “How can I change them, because they’re going to do this… I have to stop them. I have to stop them.” And my counselor just said, “What did God do in you through this?” And that’s that rescuing. I’m rescuing people that haven’t even gone to the church for help yet. But I’m trying to rescue them. I’m trying to mitigate any pain. I don’t want people to feel pain. And I think that does come out of my traumatic childhood. When you see big emotions in adults and you have no control, then as an adult you want to control things so that people don’t have big emotions, because it makes you feel very unsafe. 

NATALIE: Yeah. This goes back to the whole Christian culture of, “We see something wrong, we’re going to have to fix it. It’s up to us.” And I actually hear this a lot. I’ve heard this where survivors will say, “Yes, I’m going to write a book, and then it’s going to change the church,” or “I’m going to send them a letter and then they’re going to change their minds,” or “I’m going to get up and speak in a thing and it’s going to change the church.” “I’m going to go out and tell all the churches everywhere and I’m going to speak at churches everywhere and it’s going to change the church.” No. No, no, no. It’s not going to change the church. It might change you — I’m not saying don’t do it. You might actually learn a lot of things through those attempts, but we can’t change the church that way. 

And I tell people that the only people that you can actually influence (we touched on this earlier just a little bit) are people who are in movement towards you. We cannot influence people who are standing opposed to us or standing up and saying, “I don’t buy that; I don’t like that; I’m not interested in your opinion.” These people, generally speaking, unless they’re coming to you and saying, “Hey, we’re really interested in your perspective and what you went through, and would you write us a book about it?” If they’re doing that, then go and write the book, but otherwise, they don’t care about your book, they don’t care about what you have to say. Write your book for people who care. Tell the good news to people who are moving toward you and saying, “Help me. I want to know.” Most of the time, that’s going to be other survivors and victims. It’s not going to be the people that are the perpetrators. 

AMIE: I do think that there are some people in my church in leadership who do want to learn more. The one elder that I ended up getting after the others, he was actually very interested. He had read a lot of books from Darby Strickland, and I always recommended Chris Moles to them, because I feel like because of their programming, they listen better to men than women, so I would often send different things to them. And I do think that there is a little bit of change happening, and so I do have a little bit of hope. But what was the one thing that changed your opinion on divorce or on separation or on a lot of different issues? It’s experience, right? 

NATALIE: Exactly.

AMIE: That’s what changed. That’s what started to change our perception. And I think when someone in their family, as sad as that is for people who have gone before, it’s when someone who is close to them goes through it, all of a sudden they’ll see it. And maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll die with those beliefs forever, and that’s fine. A lot of times it’s just they have to go through hard things. 

NATALIE: Yeah. I have to say, and I want people to know this about you in particular, your inner strength and the work that you’ve done to get to this place, I consider you to be a very mature human being, more so than most human beings, and I think that that stability and that work that you’ve done has enabled you to be able to… Just so people know, Amie actually still goes to her church. She’s still in relationship with a lot of these people. I think you would even say, I think you even touched on this at the beginning — it’s not like you’re having these intimate relationships with all of these people or that they’re privy to all of your inner workings of who you are, but you still love them, you still care about them, you’re still invested in them in spite of the ways that they’ve harmed you. Not a lot of people are going to be able to go there. 

AMIE: Part of that journey is the fact that I grew up in this. I was born in this specific denomination of reformed people, and I’ve grown up with these people and I’ve developed relationship with them. Not specifically in this church — the one that I was born into is about an hour away from the one I go to now. So I’m very connected to these people. And it is a little bit like an abusive relationship or a destructive relationship. I’m not saying that they are all that, just in case any of them listen. I love you. But it’s a lot like “Do you stay well, or do you leave well?” Or it’s like the birthing thing. Is this like the labor pains and then I’m going to leave? I don’t know. It’s hard to leave people that you do love. It’s really difficult, even when they have beliefs that you don’t align with. But one thing too is we can say all these old thoughts/new thoughts all day long. But it’s when the rubber hits the road… Is that the saying?

NATALIE: Yep.

AMIE: Then are these my new thoughts? You know? When leadership comes to me and says something to me, are these really my new thoughts? We can talk about exercise, but until we actually start doing the exercises, you don’t see how strong you are, so that’s one of the reasons why I’m curious as to why I feel the Spirit still having me there. Is it partly so I can practice some of these things, boundaries? So when someone who is unsafe comes up to me and says something to me, then I can be loving and kind, but not over explain and give them all of my business like I used to do.

NATALIE: Yes. That perfectly illustrates how this is a process. We don’t get rid of the old thoughts, get all the new thoughts, get rid of everybody in our life, and then go on our merry way into a brand-new chapter that has nothing to do with the old chapter of our life. It just doesn’t work that way. It is a process, and it’s bringing together two worlds and figuring out how to integrate those two worlds together and how to make sense of all of it, and it’s going to be something that we spend the rest of our lives doing. And I think it’s an adventure.

AMIE: This is getting long I’m sure, but one of the things was the thing about God. I should read that one. So my old thought was, “I believed that God was all-powerful, and that God and I could manage things alone. I did not invite community into my struggles, both inside and outside of my marriage.” My new thought is, “God is powerful, and I can do many things, but isolating and struggling alone kept me spinning my wheels. Inviting educated and wise community into my struggle gave me support and opened up opportunity to hear different thoughts about my circumstances. Accountability and support helped me dig at my own roots and thoughts and beliefs so that I could change my thoughts and results.” 

I was taking that “How People Change” course, and the whole gist of it is digging at the roots of “What are the thoughts and beliefs that drive your behaviors?” And the second chapter was inviting community into your struggle so that you can work on things. And that was an epiphany to me, because there were many times within that relationship, the other relationship in which I felt free and like that I was never going to this or I was never going to be lured back in or never reach out and text that person, and then it would happen again, and I thought, “That is what I’m missing.” And even in my relationship struggles with my husband, that’s what I was missing, is I was just trying to do things alone for so long. 

And having community, so reaching out to somebody… If you’re carrying shame about something, I would just encourage you to tell somebody. Because if you don’t, you struggle alone. And God doesn’t want us to struggle alone. So whether that’s coming into Flying Free or Flying Higher or finding someone that you trust. If you come out with something that has a lot of stigma associated with it, be prepared. You will see the underbelly of religion. You will see a lot of people who claim that they love you, hurt you really bad and use your vulnerability to shoot you or to blame their actions on what you were doing. But I would really encourage people to invite community into it. It feels dangerous, but there are loving, amazing people. 

Another thing that I learned in this group that became very evident is that I have a very hard time using the word “pastor” anymore. I think that there are a lot of great preachers, people who stand on pulpits and preach. I think that they’re there. But pastors, if you look at what a pastor is, that shepherding, you will find those people in a lot of cracks and crevices in this world. People that come along and are gentle and loving towards you are beautiful. And I come from a very patriarchal, “man-only” leadership type thing, and I will say, my counselor, you, Stacey Wynn, my friends — they know who they are — these were the pastors, and that’s a beautiful new thought for me. Stop looking to men. I mean, men are fine. But stop looking to them as though they hold the power, because there’s a lot of power in women, and a lot of pastoral care comes from women. 

NATALIE: Gosh, I love that. I love that. 

AMIE: When I opened my eyes to it and I just thought… Stacy posted that thing once about an Ezer? 

NATALIE: Yeah, Ezer. 

AMIE: The true definition of a woman, and I just had all of these women come into my mind, of these beautiful, powerful… They’re still gentle to a certain extent. But they’re just beautiful, beautiful women. So I would encourage you to find connection. I just went to my fridge, and I’ll wrap it… I shouldn’t wrap it up — it’s your podcast. We could probably talk all day and night and have a whole weekend.

NATALIE: Yeah, we could!

AMIE: My counselor gave me this laminated thing from Martin Luther. And it says, “This life therefore is not righteousness, but it’s growth in righteousness. It’s not health, but it’s healing. It’s not rest, but it’s exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but are growing towards it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not gleam in glory, but is being purified.” And this process, it can hurt like hell. I just remember laying in bed and just crying and crying and crying. It just felt like everything was literally being ripped out through my mouth. I felt like my guts were being ripped out. And I thought, “Lord, where is a place for me? Where is my place? I feel like I can’t show up here and I can’t show up there, and where is my place?” And I got this beautiful picture of Mary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus. And I just felt these words: “There’s always room at my feet.” There’s no better place to be. 

NATALIE: Yeah. That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. And I just want to thank you so much for being willing to come on here. I knew this was going to be powerful with you, Amie, and it has been. I think these episodes are going to be very pivotal in a lot of people’s lives. Before I let you go, I want you to… It’s one thing for me to tell people, “Oh, you should join Flying Free or Flying Higher,” but it’s another thing for… I believe in my programs, and I’ve seen so many women and their lives change, but people don’t necessarily want to hear me say that, because it’s my program, so of course I’m biased, right? So I want them to hear you say it, because I know you’ve invested so much time and energy into these programs as a person who’s gone through them for your own self, and you’ve also invested in other people’s lives in the program. 

So I’m just wondering… Because I think a lot of people — I hear this actually quite a bit — people will finally join, but they’ll say, “Yeah, I listened to the podcast for one year or two years and was on the fence and didn’t know if I should join or not, and then I finally joined and I’m so glad I did.” So if there are people out there that are listening and they’ve been listening for a while and they’re on the fence… Or maybe even people who didn’t know about the program or kind of glossed over it whenever I’ve mentioned it, why would you encourage them to join? 

AMIE: My style of learning is often not from books. It comes from relationship and dialogue. And this program for me has been the marrying of the two. So if you show up for the actual live things, which I always do. 

NATALIE: You do!

AMIE:  I always show up for the live things — it’s kind of funny. You’re able to learn things in community. And often too, community can be very scary for people, and I will say this for myself, is that being able to show up and do community online in Flying Free and Flying HIgher has given… I believe that the Spirit has used that exponentially to give me the courage to show up in community at my church, And the love that I have gotten from you guys has made it possible for me to know that there is love outside of there. We can become very isolated when we go through traumatic things. We isolate ourselves out of fear, so having community online gives me the courage and that bit of oomph that I need to have the courage to step out in community and to hear about the power of God in me, and also the healing work that we do, you know? It gives me the ability to show up in relationships. And it also, if you have a relationship with people who have differing opinions from yours, then when you do a course like “Living into Emotional Adulthood,” then you’re able to sit in those spaces without it being so uncomfortable, right?

NATALIE: Right.

AMIE: There’s so much healing. We’ve done “Failure is My Friend.” Huge one. Especially if you’ve failed in many different ways. Maybe some of you have failed or you feel like a failure, and you learn how those things in those moments of fear and failure, those lessons are actually what makes you stronger and able to walk into the world. We have so much to offer, and yet as people who have grown up in destructive relationships or have destructive relationships or whatever it may be, we can become very fearful. And we have so much — we’ve learned so much. And it would just be the tool of the darkness itself to hide it under a bushel, right? 

NATALIE: Yeah. 

AMIE: This teaches us how to shine in the world. I would recommend it to everybody. I think often what we learn is so important, even for people who haven’t been in a destructive relationship dance.

NATALIE: I know. I wish they would teach this stuff in the schools to all the kids. It should be a regular curriculum every year starting in kindergarten on up.

AMIE: Yeah. And there’s so much stuff in there. The expert workshops in Flying Free — there are so many that have helped me and I’ve gone back to. Butterfly Stories are always amazing. You just realize that you’re not alone. Coaching — love coaching. Other people get coached and you hear it. We are more alike than we are different. So one person’s struggle with their son is the same struggle that you have with your grandma. 

NATALIE: Exactly, exactly. So true.

AMIE: And there’s always something in it that I feel the Spirit gives me to take into whatever circumstance. I just want to be the best human I can be. I love people. I’ve got to learn how to have relationship with people that I shouldn’t be near type thing — how to love people from a distance is my challenge. But I love people, and the women in Flying Free are beautiful. I could think of a bunch of them right now.

NATALIE: I know, I know — they are. We’re going to get together in person. Are you coming to that? I think you are. 

AMIE: Yeah!

NATALIE: Yeah. So it’s called Butterfly Bootcamp, and it’s open to people who are in the programs or who are alumni of the programs. So if you’re interested in coming to Butterfly Bootcamp at the end of September, you have to get into the program first

Anyway, I wanna just mention just one last thing, and I actually touched on it earlier, but there is a one-week long thing called “Reboot Your Life After Divorce.” So if you are a divorced woman or if you’re in the middle of a divorce and you’re getting divorced, it’s $19. It’s going to be every day for ninety minutes, five days, and it’s a combination of teaching and live coaching. And I’d love to see you in there. It will give you kind of a taste of what Flying Higher is like. Flying Free is for women of faith who are still in their relationships and/or are in the process of getting divorced, and you can learn more by going to joinflyingfree.com. Flying Higher is for women of faith who are already divorced. Their divorce is over, and now they’re rebuilding their life. You can learn more about that at joinflyinghigher.com

But this reboot thing, this one-week reboot thing for $19, you can learn more about that and register by going to flyingfreesisterhood.com/reboot. And by the way, if you’re listening to this and you are already a member of Flying Higher, you don’t need to register for this. You’re going to get it. It’s going to be put into the program. It’ll be in the archives, and you’ll be able to watch it all as part of your membership, okay? So this is just for people who are not a member yet and they want to do this five-day thing. Or if you wanted to go and be there live, then you could certainly go and register and pay the $19 and come live. Otherwise, the replays are going to be given to you as part of your membership. So that’s flyingfreesisterhood.com/reboot, and I’m going to pushing that the whole month of August, because the actual Reboot event is going to start on August 29th and run until September 2nd. 

So that’s it. I think we’re wrapping up what’s either… I don’t know yet if it’s going to be a two or a three podcast episode series, but this was amazing, and Amie, thank you so, so much for… You did this hard work and now you’re passing it on, and there are so many golden nuggets of things that I think are going to just blow people’s minds and help create some major paradigm shifts in their thinking, and possibly even save lives in the long run. When we grow and develop, we start then… It’s kind of like, you know how plants, they mature and they start developing seeds inside of the middles of them, and then the seeds spread — either birds or they fall out or whatever — they spread and they plant new plants, and there’s just more and more growth, and that’s how we thrive and flourish. That’s what I feel like your life is an example of. 

AMIE: That idea of being rooted, that was my word for 2022. And that idea of finding the water, finding what nourishes us, is so important. And then when we do become stable and connected with God and strong, then we become a haven for others. So if I’ve helped anybody… 

NATALIE: Praise God. 

AMIE: …that’s amazing.

NATALIE: Right? Yes. 

AMIE: Yes, amen. 100%. 

NATALIE: Wow. That was an incredible interview. I am so thankful for Amie to really share with us so vulnerably out of her own pain all of the ways that God has transformed her life in the ways that she has changed her thinking and her belief system, that really has completely changed not only her life, but it is changing the lives of everyone around her. Because when we change internally, we can’t help but have our influence bleed over into the lives of everybody else, including our children, including our family and friends and our loved ones.

So thank you so much for listening to the last three episodes, and also leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or whatever app you’re using. Maybe you’re using Spotify or Google podcasts. I’m not even sure what they all are. But whatever app you’re using, when you leave a rating and review, it lets the people that are running those apps know that, “Oh, people like this podcast. Maybe we should introduce it to more people,” and then they put it in front of people. You know how you get those suggestions? “If you liked this, you might like this!” So that’s what that does. So I appreciate everyone who leaves a rating and review. You’re really doing your part in spreading the news if you like this podcast. I mean, if you hate this podcast, why are you listening? But if you like it, go leave a rating and review. Alright? Alright. Until next time, fly free.

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Flying Free Sisterhood

An online coaching, education, and support community for women of faith in destructive relationships.

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