Hey, Sister! I’m Natalie.
I used to be a conservative Christian woman following all the rules (my own and everyone else’s) and working hard to create a happy life for my family.
My marriage was emotionally and spiritually destructive, and after two decades of utterly insane and hopeless struggle along with numerous failed attempts to get help from my religious community (think BRICK WALL), I hit rock bottom.
One night, eight months pregnant with my youngest child, I escaped to a hotel and spent the entire night writhing in a bed full of tears, trying to get up the courage to slit my wrists in the bathtub and end it all.
But the baby inside me kept thrusting his little foot into my ribs, reminding me that his life was at stake too. I couldn’t kill my own child.
Then God gave me this verse:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I hauled my very large and exhausted body out of bed the next morning and went to a bookstore with a laptop and a resolve to figure out what in the world I was dealing with in my life and marriage.
That began my journey up and out.
Over the next four years I learned how to be honest and merciful to myself and keep my eyes fixed (shakily at times) on Jesus rather than the demands of others.
I waved goodbye to some of my closest bosom buddies – fear, shame, and guilt – and I turned around and welcomed ALL of me including the imperfections and weaknesses.
I stopped worshiping a marriage that was destroying me, and I learned to tolerate the disapproval of others through my three-year separation (one year in-home and two years in separate homes) and then the 19-month divorce process that followed.
I made strides toward healing and recovery, moving toward transformation from a fearful, people-pleasing woman to a more confident, responsible adult with healthy boundaries.
I finally accept, love, and even enjoy who God made me, and I LOVE to see my Christian sisters experience this same inner transformation.
This is why I wrote the book, Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage along with a companion workbook for small groups to go through together. (Want the first chapters of these two books free? Hop on my mailing list HERE!)
This is why I started the Flying Free podcast in January of 2019 where I answer listener questions and interview experts and survivors on the issues involved in recognizing and healing from emotional and spiritual abuse.
This is why I developed the Flying Free Sisterhood program that offers classes, expert workshops, weekly live coaching, a private forum for survivors, and so much more. This group is designed to gently and compassionately take women from crawling to flying within one year.
We were made to live as adults, fulfilling our God-given destiny.
We were made for a life of peace and joy and abundance in our souls.
We were made to fly free!
You can learn more about my personal story (and why I stayed so long) in episode 53 of the Flying Free Podcast.
To empower women of faith to find the life and the voice God gave them so they can use these gifts to set captives free.
Starting with themselves.
The number of Morkie puppies that live and play with us. Rambo, Thor, and Simba.
How many books I’ve read in my lifetime. My favorite book is Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Audible is my crack.
How many bars of soap I made when I operated a soap business for ten years.
The number of happy years I’ve been married to Tom, my healthy, kind, and loving second husband.
The number of pregnancy losses I’ve had.
The number of living children I have today (ages 8-27).
The number of years I spent in the homeschooling community.
The number of years I spent on bedrest. Before computers were a thing. Or Netflix. Or Audible. I cross-stitched. For two years. In bed. Okay, I’ll stop now.
The number of years I served on the board of our local crisis pregnancy center. (I’ve always been a sucker for babies.)
The number of blogs I’ve had. The first blog was called Visionary Womanhood, and when I started it, I was terrified to write my own articles for fear of disapproval. Instead, I would link to other people’s articles. (I know. Kinda dorky.) Eventually I began to write my own articles telling women they needed to submit more, have more babies, and eat more whole wheat bread. I want to cry just thinking about the damage I contributed to in the lives of women. Those days are over. And people disapprove of me now All. The. Time. For all kinds of fascinating reasons. Bring it on, baby.
The number of churches I’ve belonged to – all of which have had leaders who preyed on women and children in one way or another.
church excommunicated me for telling the truth about my life. If you want to be accepted in church, you can’t be a badass. And you can’t SAY “badass” either. Oof da, my Norwegian grandma would say.
But hey, look what they made me do.