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Betrayal and Park Benches

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Welcome to Grace and Space, a weekly newsletter from the Deconstructing Mamas Podcast! GRACE for who you have been, are now and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be!

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I am angry.

I sat on a park bench with a friend for hours while I listened to the horrific story of betrayal she has endured over the past many months.

As she spoke, I couldn't believe my ears and felt shockwave after shockwave course through my veins.

The worst part of the betrayal was that it was at the hands of those who told her they loved her...




...all done in the name of protecting God (or at least their version of God).

They had used shame, as in heaping doses of it, to try to get her to "see the light."

They had used fear, as in "you better watch out," in an attempt to get her to "behave."

They had used shunning, as in withdrawal of love and support, shouting, "if you continue not to do what we want, you are OUT!"

Out of our lives.

Out of our community.

Out of our family.

My friends, this is not the way of Jesus.

This is the way of a system gone WRONG.

A system that seeks to control, not love.

A system based on behavior management (according to their own rules) and not true redemption and healing.

A system that Jesus tried hard to upend every which way.

"Whoever has no sin, let him cast the first stone."

What has happened to that?

What has happened to being like Jesus?

The co-suffering holy human who gathered a motley crew of misfits and enemies (even of each other) and loved them into transformation?

The Jesus who embodied the Spirit of God and offered kindness and compassion, grace and tenderness to those others deemed unworthy or unholy?

As my friend and I stood up and walked back to our cars, I told her that her heart was safe with me, that her story was sacred and that the way she has been treated is NOT what God is like. AT ALL.

God is with her.

For her.

And will never leave her or forsake her.

As I pulled away, a gift was given to me (although it came about in a most horrible way...but of course, that's just like God, making beauty out of ashes).

The reminder that I always need to walk in the way of Jesus.

Cling to it.

And share it with others.

No matter the cost.

The way of hope, healing, freedom and redemption.

This will change the world.

Even on one simple park bench.

Esther Joy Goetz (aka Esther the Dolly Mama) PODCAST THROW-BACK HIGHLIGHTS #4:

We keep getting requests for "which episode deals with this or that?" for which we are really grateful. It means people are figuring out we are a podcast and that we have fantastic guests who are supporting those of us who are parenting and deconstructing at the same time (a tricky business). With only 22 days to go until SEASON FOUR and time running out for you to catch up on all the episodes you missed, here are FOUR more of our "throw-back episodes" that literally changed our lives and our ways of thinking about this deconstructing and parenting gig! STAY OUT OF THE WAY with Sarah Bessey (EPISODE #30) Sarah Bessey, mom, best-selling author of dozens of words and books, podcast host herself and co-creator of the Evolving Summit, gently shares with us her passion for the inclusive, generous, large heart of God and how parenting has been one of her most sacred altars on her life's journey. As we sat listening to Sarah, there were so many times that we said or thought , "that's really powerful," especially when she shared what we do to "introduce God" to our kids, and mostly it's just "stay out of the way," which we dive much deeper into on the episode. IS GOD A SAFE GROWNUP? with Meredith Miller (EPISODE #31) Meredith is a breath of fresh air when it comes to how to engage with our kids and their faith journeys. Her powerful message on this episode of our kids' belovedness as an image-bearer and how we subsequently approach our parenting is so healing. She also taps into the ways we need to heal as adults and parents from the fear and shame and guilt that has been poured on us from toxic power structures and fundamentalist religious systems. The biggest question that kids are actually wrestling with deep-down inside and we tackle on this episode is this one, "Is God a Safe Grownup?" Why does that question matter and what can we do about it? PARENTING DECONSTRUCTED with Jason Elam (EPISODE #32)

Our time with Jason was refreshing and empowering, especially in the area of deconstructing and parenting. Speaking from his very own mistakes and frustration with his own early parenting based in rigid evangelicalism, he walks us through the hard part of forgiving ourselves and repairing what's been broken in our relationships with our kids, bringing the light of hope to what can feel like a confusing or dark space.


Melissa's tender spirit and fierce passion sit side-by-side and she tells it like it is. On this episode, we are reminded that we have permission to "tear it all down to the ground," and rebuild our faith any which way that feels true and beautiful to us. We also talk about what we can do when our kids are on very different faith pages and how we can allow them to have their own journeys to God.



Latest News:

Support Us PLEASE and Join Our Private Facebook Community Don't forget to sign up for our private and exclusive Deconstructing Mamas community on Facebook for those of you who want to move to the next level with us via our PATREON platform.

At this level, for as little as $3, you can ask questions, experience a safe and welcoming community with others who are deconstructing and receive special surprises along the way from Lizz and Esther.

We've been doing this for several months now and it's been more than we could have imagined. We love it there and think you will too! Head to this LINK to sign up!!

Don't forget to sign up for our private and exclusive Deconstructing Mamas community on Facebook for those of you who want to move to the next level with us via our PATREON platform.



Resource Alert:

So many parents want to pass along their faith, but know that God is so much bigger than the list of do’s and don’ts they were taught about as children. They want to pass along a faith their child doesn’t have to heal from. Woven (BEING RELEASED TOMORROW) is the guidebook parents have been looking for. With a deep reverence for scripture and suggested activities to help your family grow in faith together, Woven is for parents who want to go beyond a list of do’s and don’ts and pass along a resilient faith based on genuine love for and trust in God.

Jason Elam, along with his wife Brandi, has put together a collaborative book called Parenting Deconstructed, where 15 authors come together and speak to their experience and wisdom when it comes to walking this tricky tightrope of deconstructing while parenting. It doesn't matter if you are just starting your parenting journey and have no idea what to do in this unknown space, a smack dab in the middle of the mayhem trying to figure out how to navigate your growing children or have children to are "bigs" and you need to do some backtracking and reparative work in your relationship with them. This book is for you. We love Jason and who he has brought together for this much-needed book that has landed on the scene at just the right time. You will find lots of grace and space for your process when you open its pages.


One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.

Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,

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