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Love Yourself

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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Hi Everyone!


My name is Amber and I grew up in an IFB sect that ran in the camps of Phil Kidd, Sammy Allen, Buster Seaton, and Ed Ballou.


My dad was “called to ministry” in this belief system and used his charm and charisma to climb the political hierarchy.


Growing up in an abusive home, where silence and obedience were strictly enforced- kept us under complete subjugation.


Moving 29 times in 18 years, all under a guise of evangelism or other “ God ordained “ work - we kept the sins of our father hidden behind smiles and praises.


Once I moved out and married my husband joined the military. He returned with such severe PTSD that we had to her professional help. This was so against the teachings I had growing up, that it was the first time I really started focusing on what lies I’d been told.


For the last 15 years I have been deconstructing my faith. Unlearning toxic theology and behaviors, and learning how to love as I believe Jesus loved.


I have learned to love myself for who I am, with all the broken pieces.


Starting Fundie Freed has been a passion of mine for years, and I knew it was time. So in January of 2023 I went for it.


I wanted a space to share my story, challenge toxic theology, and above all give voice to other survivors.


My heart is with you. Every one of you who have been hurt by the place and people who were supposed to love us unconditionally. My hope and prayer is to be a light; showing that there is an “other side” to this battle. I want no one to feel alone in their journey as I have in the past.


It’s a hard road.


But every step forward is worth a million times more than ever running back.


I hope the content I share can be an encouragement to you all.


With Love,


Amber Schultz

2024 P.S. Here's a poem that I wrote that I hope gives you a glimmer of hope in this space of deconstruction and healing. The line.

The line that was once so bold and clear

Now vanishes with each new discovery that I make.

The line that told me what to wear

Where to go

What to think

What to believe

Who to love

With each stone of deconstruction unturned

That line becomes more blurry

Turning what was once simplicity

Into chaos.

The line fades and suddenly

I am on a pendulum

Swinging hard to to the

Right and left.

Sometimes I swing so far away

From who I was

That I don’t even recognize

Who I am anymore

Other times I swing back

Getting dangerously close

To returning to it all…

All that is familiar.

This never ending cycle

Of back and forth

Makes me feel like

I am crazy or drowning.

But as the pendulum settles and

The fog starts to fall from my eyes…

I see it.

A new line forming.

This line now is not linear.

It is not rigid and is

Ever adapting to my

Changing world view.

This line includes

So much love and acceptance

It gives me space to learn about

Real love and how it was meant to be seen.

It ebbs and flows with my

Healing and Boundaries

It gives space to others

To join me.

But this time the line

is not

Being forced around me.

The one who is drawing it

Is me…


 

This Week on the Podcast: The Church needs to be called out and take responsibility for the damage it has done to people. The survivors should be heard. So no, I don't always talk about the good. Because until the darkness is exposed, and more people are removed from power that absolutely should not be in it, I will not be quiet. - Amber Schultz

Amber Schultz, founder of Fundie Freed, a webcast devoted to telling religious trauma survivor stories, comes on the podcast as our guest this week. Amber is a single mama of three daughters and is highly passionate about breaking free from toxic religion and learning to love herself and others fully and without conditions.

On this podcast episode, we hear Amber's own story of survival, having freed herself from an abusive family and church (she was a member of the very destructive IFB sect), along with the intermingling of those harmful systems. Amber walks us through these very difficult and important questions:


  1. You grew up in an abusive home, where silence and obedience were strictly enforced and you were kept under complete subjugation. Can you share with us, as you are comfortable, an example from your childhood that might give us deeper insight?

  2. Once you gave yourself permission to seek therapy, what were some of the toxic theologies that you discovered were, as you’ve described them, “lies you’d been told?”  What’s been the hardest lie to unlearn?

  3. You are learning to love yourself. Was there a specific “aha” moment or tool that has helps you to do this? (we all struggle here)

  4. We love your platform and your YouTube channel, Fundie Freed. Why did you create this space?

We also talk loud and long about taking a different parenting path than the way Amber grew up and what key values she brings into her parenting as she navigates her life as a single mom with three girls. These are powerful and have to do with purity culture, bodily autonomy, emotional health and creating a safe space. You will be both heart-broken and filled with all kinds of hope as you listen to this episode. We hope you join in.

You can find Amber at the following:



Facebook: Fundie Freed 


Instagram:  @fundiefreed



 







 

Latest News:

Join our private PATREON group. For as little as $3/month, you will get lots of extras from Lizz and Esther, including deeper discussions about topics on the podcast, first dibs on knowing about future exciting projects and perhaps some special deals exclusive to those projects and our NEW QUARTERLY ZOOM DISCUSSION GROUP where we dive lots deeper into the things we need to sort out with parenting and deconstructing.

We love our podcast!

We love our guests!

We love our amazing assistant, Julie!


We love helping you walk the tricky tightrope of parenting and deconstructing at the same time!


We do NOT love asking for help (or money) in order to keep it going!


But we also don't love feeling alone in this!


Head to this LINK to join us! You won't regret it! And plus, the reality is that you will help us keep the lights on over here at Deconstructing Mamas. We really really want to! Thank you in advance!


 

Resource Alerts:


We have been frantically working behind the scenes to get all our favorite resources into one space on our website. Just this week, we compiled REAL HELP for you in the form of spiritual directors (Esther being one of them), coaches, mentors, parenting resources, groups, therapists, and other miscellaneous and wonderful gifts so many of our podcast guests have to offer. Check out all our resource pages, but this week, especially THIS ONE. We do not want you to have to go this ever-evolving faith journey alone. That's kind of why we're here.


 

Not tired of listening to us yet? Want more? Check out Esther's interview on Fundie Freed.




 

Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode that's coming up on Tuesday, April 30, with Amber Schultz.


 

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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