Courage to change (which sometimes means going to rehab)

I grip my boarding pass tightly and stare at the bar-code as if I can somehow decipher the meaning behind the lines, trace the trajectory that led me here—trembling in an airport, waiting to board my plane to a Northern California treatment center.

I’m going to rehab because it’s been a decade since I left my childhood cult but I still live frenzied, frantic. I’m still making the same mistake: I don’t take care of myself. I keep burning out. I survive on caffeine and adrenaline.

I still don’t know how to rest, how to slow down, how to enjoy my life. I’m thirty-six years old and I’m still living like the world is ending tomorrow.

So, when a treatment center in Northern California offers me a partial scholarship to come rest, regroup and take a long time out, I book my flight that very afternoon.

I haven’t told anyone besides my closest family members that I’m going into treatment. I’m embarrassed about it. I mean, how long can it possibly take for me to “get over” my past? Shouldn’t I have “moved on” by now?

By all outward measures my life is far better than it used to be. My children are healthy and well adjusted, earning good grades in school and thriving in a safe neighborhood we’ve worked hard to afford. I’m still married to the boy I fell in love with at age eighteen. I’ve done a pretty good job of refusing to transmit the same pain onto my children. I even have a blossoming writing career. I should feel healed.

But I don’t.

I still struggle to believe God loves me.

In fact, I don’t trust God.

In the very core of who I am, I believe I’m not good enough. No matter how well we’ve rebuilt our lives, no matter how “successful” we look—deep down, I’m still a frightened little girl working desperately to make everyone like me. Because if they like me, maybe I’m not a bad person. Maybe if I collect enough trappings of success, I’ll feel ok inside.

The glaring, uncomfortable truth is that I left fundamentalism, but fundamentalism didn’t leave me. My childhood church set out to “break my will” and the tragedy of it is: the cult worked. My will was broken along with my heart and my psyche.

The line in front of me begins to move and I take a step forward.

I’m going to rehab because even though I’m all broken up inside, something remains: the desire to get better. I board my plane and wipe tears from my eyes as the plane takes off, leaving my family and children behind. I’m going to rehab to get healing for myself so I can love others from a place of wholeness. I still believe the light will overcome my darkness.

A note from Tsh & a giveaway:

The Girl at the End of the WorldsmallThe words you just read are a “deleted scene” from Elizabeth’s recently released memoir, Girl at The End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future.

Today, Elizabeth is giving ten Art of Simple readers a free copy of her book! To enter, simply leave any comment on this post (though I’d love to hear why you’d like to read it).

If you’re reading this via email or RSS reader, please click on the post to leave a comment directly on the blog.

This giveaway is now closed. Check Saturday’s post for the winners!

Have a good day,
again and again.

If you feel in your bones the need to simplify so you can live the life you're meant to live...

↓ This is for you.

461 Comments

  1. Carrie

    Good heavens! Just reading that excerpt made me immediately think “I have to read this whole book”.

    • Pat LeClaire Grubb

      me too !

      • Emily

        Wow. Your description of who you still are, despite being “old enough” and “recovered enough” to move on, echoes so loudly with me. I’ve quit doing hurtful things, stayed sober, gone to counseling,taken self help classes…but that scared little hotel still cries, “I’m not good enough.” It’s haunting. Less so now than before, but that little girl needs to be fully healed. I believe your memoir could help me down the path of healing even more than i already have. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.

    • Karen Scripture

      I want to read this book!

    • Jo LP

      As well as really interesting also sounds like you have not only been though a journey of self discovery but are just at the start! I hope that you have found what you are looking for and have a peace that passes all understanding and can lay the past to rest. Look forward to reading the book x

    • Lauren Brown

      Wow. The excerpt blew me away. Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so excited to read it!

  2. Chris Roach

    I’d really love my wife and I to spend some time reading this together.

  3. Leigh Sabey

    I would love to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  4. Michele

    Sounds like a great book. Her words are honest.

  5. Jacque K.

    Though I was never a part of a cult, I grew up with my own demons. Demons that haunt and refuse to ever really leave. Hearing you talk, I felt like this could be me. There is a lot to be space for knowing you are on a shared path to healing, regardless of how you’ve been hurt. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone is the catalyst that helps put everything in perspective. Thanks for sharing your vulnerabilities. I look forward to reading more!

    • Jacque K.

      “said” not “space” – not sure what my fingers were doing!

  6. Sarah m

    This post had me hooked, and then I realized it was part of a book. I think many people struggle with their background in fundamentalism. I know a few, myself.
    Sarah M

  7. Carolyn

    OK, this sounds intense, and I was pulled right in. We all are in the same plight as human beings to some degree. I would love to read the book as it seems very interesting…how the heck do we release the demons of the past and live a fully functional healthy life? It is, in the least, a good question to ponder…

  8. Amber @ Au Coeur

    Sounds interesting! And, you certainly got us with that one. 🙂

  9. Corrina

    Would love to read this.

  10. Melissa

    When I read this blog post, so much resonated with me. Though I don’t have the same background in a fundamentalist community, I do have parts of my past that I simply cannot leave behind me, no matter how hard I try. Lately these broken pieces of me have been eating me alive. So reading this fascinated me… I want to see the journey of a girl with a broken past become healed. I looked up her book on Amazon and was further intrigued with her past because I know many people who have turned away from God because of their upbringing. This breaks my heart, and even more it has forced me to examine what I need to do to ensure that my children follow Him all the days of their lives. I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!

  11. Robin

    I grew up in a similar church. A lot of what she was saying resonated with me. I would love to read this book!

  12. Kendra

    I think we can all relate to these feelings. I would really like to read on to see if the rehab helped her. Sounds like a really good, honest person. Very few of us would be willing to open up like this. Thank you!

  13. Jennifer

    Wow, just wow.

  14. Courtney J

    I would love to read it…the ‘Escaping Fundamentalism’ intrigued me

  15. Casey

    This book is going to be at the top of my to be read list ASAP!!

  16. Tracy @ Using Time Wisely

    I would consider myself a fundamentalist. I am not aware of the Assembly, but my interest is peeked. I would love to read her new book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Heart and Haven

    Wow, grabbed my attention! I would love to win a copy of this book. I too was involved in a church, which I found out to be a cult. I still have mixed emotions about my experience – because even though it was where I first really turned my life towards God…it also took that strong faith to leave, losing the support of all the people I have formed friendships with.

  18. se7en

    Just that little snippet gripped my heart, I would so love to read more…

  19. Christie

    I have been keeping tabs on Elizabeth’s lovely blog for a while now, and my Twitter feed has been entirely Girl at the End of the World themed for the past few days. I can’t NOT read this book. 🙂

  20. Karen

    I’m in the autumn of life and my inner child still cries ‘I’m hurting’. My journey into wholeness and my desire to continue on that journey never wanes. I identified so much with your writing I am so keen to read the book.

  21. Beth Anne Ake

    I would love to win a copy. What a beautiful except.

  22. Katie

    wow, if that was a deleted scene i would love to see what actually made it into the book! so powerful and so beautifully written

  23. Mia B

    Hi Tsh, I just stumbled across your blog today and am so glad I did! thank you for sharing your heart. i feel i can so relate to the raw honesty you write about. It would be a blessing to read your book!

  24. Carla

    I’m in love with the human mind and even more so with the human heart. Your story is intriguiging and will undoutedly expand both my mind and heart.

  25. Janet

    Interesting and heart touching. Love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Sarah

    Memoirs are some of my favorites, especially memoirs in which the author comes more into herself than she was, where God is bigger than everything, and His redemption isn’t just a transaction with a date and time stamp, or a promised future, but a moment by moment presents reality.

  27. Bess

    “In the very core of who I am, I believe I’m not good enough. No matter how well we’ve rebuilt our lives, no matter how “successful” we look—deep down, I’m still a frightened little girl working desperately to make everyone like me. Because if they like me, maybe I’m not a bad person. Maybe if I collect enough trappings of success, I’ll feel ok inside.”

    Oh, how this spoke to me and the work I’ve been doing in therapy lately… I would love to read your book.

  28. Ginnylou

    Well, I’m definitely intrigued!

  29. AP

    This “deleted scene” couldn’t describe by current life anymore accurately. I NEED this book. Hope to win!!

  30. Melissa

    I would love to read this memoir!

  31. Angela

    Sounds like a book worth reading!

  32. Erica

    That core belief that I’m broken… It’s such a common one. Would love to hear how she handled it.

  33. April

    I would love to read this. I grew up in a fundamentalist church, and while not a cult, it definitely affected how I see God, something that I still find myself wrestling with two decades later.

  34. Kailin

    This sounds like such an interesting read, one I’m sure tugs at the heartstrings the whole way through.

  35. Karen

    You openness and honesty are both refreshing and convicting. Thank you so much for being so brave. Looking forward to reading and learning from your journey.

  36. Kym

    I can’t wait to read this one!!

  37. Rachel

    Captivating! I can tell that this is a book that I will forgo all other responsibilities to read! Defnitely one that will be devoured in an weekend.. or afternoon.

  38. Thia

    Memoirs are so compelling!

  39. Melody Reid

    Would love to read Elizabeth’s book!

  40. Katie May

    She writes beautifully! Would love to win and read a copy of this book!

  41. Christina

    Wow! This book sounds amazing! I’d love to read more about her journey! Incredible!

  42. Joy

    I’m hooked, I want to know what happens. Is she able to regroup and experience the love of Jesus in a personal way. Is there a way to quiet your deepest fears and struggles for grace?

  43. Kelly

    I would love to read this book because even though I don’t struggle with these particular issues, I can relate to the feelings she describes.

  44. Bree

    Sounds like an amazing book.

  45. Sarah Westphal

    What a cliff hanger! Hope I win a copy. I love growth stories about doing the hard things, because they are never easy.

  46. Alisa

    I would love to read this!

  47. Lisa

    I grew up in the same background – would love to read how God is healing you. I struggle with some of the same demons.
    Blessings

  48. Michaela

    Ah, yes. How do we unbrainwash ourselves without turning our backs on Jesus?

  49. Desiree

    I would love to win a copy. I’ve felt for a long time I could benefit from intense therapy or rehab but I’m too afraid to admit to those I love that I need help. Maybe this book can help me.
    Thank you!

  50. Margaret

    I’m dying to read EE’s book because she is a gifted writer and a lovely soul!

  51. Cheryl

    This is a book I need to read!

  52. rachael

    Ooo! Sounds like a good book! Would love to read it.

  53. Sharon

    I’ve added this to my book list!

  54. alison

    I would love to hear more of her story; about her church and why she believes it was a cult, etc. sounds very interesting.

  55. RB

    I have my own history with fundamentalism; my own struggle to weed out what is harmful while still growing my roots deep into God. I would LOVE to win this book!

  56. Christine C

    That is so intriguing! Love to read the whole thing to hear her story!

  57. Dana

    I read a lot of things on the Internet but this one broke me open. I think so many people reading it can relate, whether they have experienced being part of a cult or not. I admire Elizabeth’s bravery in being honest and vulnerable about how she’s feeling. It’s exactly writing like this that helps people heal. It’s a testament to the power of writing. Thank you for sharing.

  58. Brynn

    I love her honesty. I would love to read this…

  59. Joan W.

    Admiring her bravery. I would love to review this book.

  60. suzanne

    I would love to read this book. I’ve been eagerly waiting its release.

  61. Kerri

    Looks like a great read!

  62. Tracy

    Sounds like a fascinating read!

  63. economom

    I am walking my daughter through a similar journey of false to real faith. I would like to read this book with her.

  64. Sarah

    I actually intend to buy EE’s book, but I just want to comment here, too. I LOVE EE. I’ve been reading her blog for a couple of years. Her experience was more extreme than mine, but I can relate to a lot of what she’s been through. She’s an amazing person with a beautiful spirit that can’t be held down for long. And no, I don’t know her in person and I’m not a friend of hers. I just really admire her and everyone who finds a life after fundamentalism.

  65. Erin

    I have to read this book! I feel like I can relate and would love to hear more of her story.

  66. Mallory

    Would love to read this book. I think it would provide some insight into someone important in my life. I added it to my ‘ to read list’. Thanks for bringing topics / books/ ideas to the attention of others and getting stories of people’s lives out and heard.

  67. Nicole B

    Wow. Memoirs are my favorite genre, because I find truth more riveting than fiction. And I admire people who can share their truth, however painful, with the world.

  68. Nicole

    This is one of those moments when you feel like someone is telling your story within their own…. Another reminder that we’re not alone. Would love to read this book and be able to share it with others. Winning a copy would be the icing on the cake as we are on a very limited budget these days.

  69. Jen

    I need to escape the “this is the only way” that was relentlessly pounded into my brain so I can raise my children w/ a healthy relationship w/ themselves & church. I don’t want to be preached at, I want to “hear”. This book sounds like that.

  70. Jeannie

    Oh. Reading this physically hurt. I didn’t escape a cult but I survived a family (although those sometimes feel like the same thing) and here I am using the excuse of a midlife crisis to explain away the truth that I never learned to stop running. Rest might as well be a unicorn for as often as we’ve crossed paths.

    If I don’t win a copy, I’ll be buying one. Thanks for the introduction!

  71. Brooke

    I’d like to read and share with someone close who has felt oppressed by her church 🙂

  72. Holly

    I would live to hear how it all turns out!

  73. Jen

    I would love to win this.

  74. Maribelcompagnone

    It’s time I pick up a book and read again. This sounds super interesting.

  75. Erin

    Thanks for the bravery you’ve shown to write this book. May it’s honesty bless and challenge others.

  76. Devon Hernandez

    I never grew up in a cult or fundamentalist environment. I grew up in a Christian home with an evangelical pastor for a grandfather. But I know what it feels like to be haunted by your past; I was sexually abused at age 5 and it infects so many areas of your life. My first child, my tiny baby boy, was born last year and died 5 days later. It can be difficult to trust God through trauma and pain and keep moving forward without constantly looking back and wondering. Healing and trust require effort and will. I would love to read this book and get a glimpse of her journey to healing and hopefully it will influence mine.

  77. Lori Behrens

    Oh my goodness! I have read few things that can convey those feelings like the excerpt you posted. Thank you for writing. I will definately read this book.

  78. JMD

    I just took a leap of faith which feels crazy at the moment… I can relate to the feeling of change, hoping for good to come out of it.

  79. Donna

    You are going to rehab to heal from what I think is my normal. No I’m not in a group or cult but I feel the fear of the end of the world everyday. May you get better and feel whole very soo.

  80. Renae

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a cop of this book!

  81. Renae

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book.

  82. Kate

    Fascinating! I can’t wait to read the entire book!

  83. Liesel

    I would love to read this book.

  84. Jen

    While my wallet would apreciate me winning a copy, ill be ordering this book regardless (and will share the second w a friend). Riveting is just the beginning of how I feel this book will be!

  85. Erin

    I think everyone can relate to not feeling good enough. Would love to read this.

  86. Anita

    I would love to read this book in hopes that it would encourage me to keep fighting my own battle. Each day when I wake I wonder what my purpose is and if I have the strength to fight another day. I am on my own fighting the government for custody of two beautiful children that have been in my care for 6 years and it feels like a battle that not only will I never win but one that will never end.

  87. Jill

    This book is going on the must-read list! Thanks for sharing your heart through your words, Elizabeth!

  88. Sara

    I didn’t grow up in a cult, but my upbringing was sufficiently fundamentalist to leave me questioning, decades later, whether my faith is ever “real enough” to count. I would love to read the rest of Elizabeth’s story.

    • Jennifer

      You just summed up my faith struggle in those sentences!

  89. Holly

    I would love a copy because I had very similar experiences to EE.

  90. Chelsea

    I grew up in/around that same cult. I escaped scarred deeply as well. But not nearly as bad as many others I know who have walked away from faith completely because they cannot fathom loving a “god” like the one they were taught about… A vindictive, record keeping, authoritative, controlling, task master of a ” Heavenly Father”. I don’t blame them. But it’s books like Esther’s that give me hope that some of my friends (as well as myself) can rediscover Jesus who is the only one who can truly reveal the real Heavenly Father.

  91. EB Wolfe.

    Thank you for sharing so openly. I’d love to read more.

  92. Tiffany

    This is a must read for me! She sounds as if& does she had the exact same life as me. I would love to read about her transformation.

  93. Chelsea

    I can relate to the feelings you described-that’s why I want to read this book!

    Good for you, Elizabeth! You’re brave! Thanks for sharing.

  94. Danielle

    I enjoy reading memoirs and this one looked very intriguing.

  95. Robin Z

    I’ve heard such wonderful things about this book!

  96. Alethea G

    Reading this passage really touched something inside of me. I too struggle th letting go of past pains and moving forward. I too do not take care of myself opting instead to care for everyone else around m, knowing that if if i am in service of others i am in service to Christ and my Heavenly Father will be pleased. I dont come from the same religious background, but the service, and not taking the time o care for ones self and not seeing our selves for the amazing people we are is a woman thing….I really ould love to read this book and find out what the author did to overcome her monumental mountain of a past. I wish the author all my prayers. I hope that she found her peace.

  97. Lisa

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Elizabeth’s book. I would love to read it!

  98. Andria

    Your journey sounds hard yet inspiring, exactly the kind of story we all need to read. I would be honored to read about your journey!

  99. Alicia

    Would love to read this book.

  100. Amy Duncan

    Wow. I have to read this book whether I win it or not. I can relate to a lot of just that little excerpt. I would love an opportunity to go to a place where I can be alone…a place where I can clear my head long enough to even start thinking about my life. This really spoke to my heart.

  101. Michelle

    Wow! This really got to me. I would love to read more!

  102. Shannon

    There needs to be rehab for childhood trauma, for sure. I would love to read this book.

  103. Kim

    I would love to win a copy, as I am already gripped by this deleted scene. I have some friends who aren’t in a cult, but definitely are headed that way. I want to help them.

  104. Alexis

    Wow, that was intriguing!! I want to learn more about her past and how she got where she is today.

  105. Debby Stephens

    If we are all honest we have all been here at one point or another. WE live in a world that is filled with pain, loss, and heartache. I have been there. Admitting you need help is not something our culture invites. They want us to believe if we do this, or we try this product, or change this behavior all will be well. Not always true. Last night I was having a discussion with someone about what is next for me in life. Feeling very insecure about the calling I have. Can I really do this? Does anyone really want to hear my story? All feelings of inferiority that I just don’t measure up. I would have loved to been on the same plane going to the same place to try and figure out life.

  106. Debby Stephens

    If we are all honest we have all been here at one point or another. WE live in a world that is filled with pain, loss, and heartache. I have been there. Admitting you need help is not something our culture invites. They want us to believe if we do this, or we try this product, or change this behavior all will be well. Not always true. Last night I was having a discussion with someone about what is next for me in life. Feeling very insecure about the calling I have. Can I really do this? Does anyone really want to hear my story? All feelings of inferiority that I just don’t measure up. I would have loved to been on the same plane going to the same place to try and figure out life.

  107. Dana Moore

    I’m 64, have a granddaughter graduating college this May and still struggle to feel whole. My parents left me in the country, with a 63 year old woman – striped of my brother and sister. I knew the didn’t want me and was told that every day. I worked my way through college and have a winderful husband. I’ m still not worthy or good enough – it will never end.

  108. DebC

    I too struggle with overfilling my life and not placing my trust in God. Sounds like a meaningful read.

  109. Katie G.

    WOW! Just reading those words made me feel like I was walking beside her in line and feeling her emotions. This drew me in and I would love to read the rest of her book.

  110. Anna

    Here’s hoping I get chosen. 😉 I love reading the blog and have been looking forward to the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  111. Linda B

    I did not grow up in a cult, but I did grow up in a fundamentalist church. I’m ever striving to balance the good that was in that church with the not-good, and trying to break free of the not-good.
    I love reading memoirs of people who have survived and thrived, despite difficult upbringings.

  112. Torey

    Sounds like a fascinating story.

  113. Caroline Starr Rose

    Your story has fascinated me since I read your first post at Deeper Story. Thank you for the opportunity!

  114. Abigail E

    This resonates with me because I too grew up in a church cult. I got out 4 years ago but the damage of 20 years in that environment still haunts me. I also struggle to believe God loves me and struggle with being able to fully trust God. I would love a copy of this book, please.

  115. J McAuley

    I also struggle with taking care of myself. I grew up with very critical, negative parents. One was the child of alcoholic parents.

  116. tammy cordery

    wow, I thought it was a real person. I can’t wait to read this book. Put the deleted part back. sounds like a great book.

  117. Brenda

    If that part was not included in the book, I can’t wait to read what was!

  118. sam

    I just stumbled upon her blog a few days ago and put her book on my wishlist. As someone who has been on the edge of a sorta fundamentalist church, I find it very intriguing.

  119. Judy Nafziger

    Very interested in reading the book!

  120. Elizabeth B

    Her words drew me in right away and left me wanting more. “I still don’t know how to rest” a very relatable statement for me.

  121. Renee

    The subject line caught my attention….have a son who was in rehab a year and a half ago and I try to feel his pain and struggles, not only to help him but to help me better understand him and what he has gone through so I don’t get angry when he is down and out.
    I would love to win the book, but if I don’t I will buy the book 🙂

  122. Jodi

    Thanks for the opportunity, it sounds like a fascinating read.

  123. Tammy

    Just that little snippet was so compelling! I would love to read the entire book and share her journey with God and His unfailing love.

  124. Diane

    the story grabbed me from both a personal level- issues that still plague me from my childhood as well as for my adopted daughters, who struggle getting through life with a past of abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome and reactive attachment disorder. Would love to read the entire book.

  125. Lisa K

    I would love to read this book! It already sounds like an amazing read, thought-provoking and well-written. 🙂

  126. Jill

    I think this book touches on an issue that many grew up in the church struggle with! Would love to read more!

  127. Mama23ms

    I need to read this book. I had a similar upbringing, and fell away from God when I got older, especially after the death of my brother. He was a good human being, and over 10 years later, I still struggle with why it had to be him. The fundalmentalists teach you how horrible a person you are, and how you must reach this unattainable perfect way of living, and oh, by the way, God loves you. They don’t teach love, they teach fear. I hope you heal from your experience. I am trying to do the same.

  128. Laura Tawney

    I’m 60 and just recently I’m still asking the same questions – why is this still bothering me and shouldn’t I just get over it?? This book excerpt really resonated with me and I would love to read it.
    Thanks LauraT

  129. Terri

    Oh my it seems by your “deleted scene” and the comments that the boat I am in is a whole lot bigger that I thought. Even though I didn’t belong to the type of church you did I struggle daily with my own demons of your not good enough and nothing you do will ever be good enough. I would love to read how you have dealt with your journey and perhaps it will give me more insight to my own. Thank you for being brave enough to leave your most vulnerable side out for all to see. So that by your journey others may follow.

  130. Sheriah willer

    this post is perfect timing , , been struggling with similar items, feeling down cause can’t just get over it,, life is good ,but my mind still has craziness from past running amuck inside, booking my ticket today.thank you for your honesrty in you walk

  131. MaryLea

    I would love an opportunity to read this. I’m always interested in learning about other women’s experiences in life and finding ways to relate to them – we’re all connected in many more ways than we realize!

  132. doris russelld

    I think life is about learning and growing. Reading this blog/book would help me to grow in a way I haven’t experienced before. Please send me the book!

  133. Pat Amos

    Hello Elizabeth,

    Our 22 year old daughter is lost…
    She cannot find her way out…
    She has a career but something is gripping her so tight…
    She feels ashamed and embarrassed and refuses treatment. We hope your book will shed light that she is not alone.

  134. Sarah

    Wow. The phrase that got me was “shouldn’t I have ‘moved -on’ by now” so many times I still hear that lie in my head, expecting myself to simply grow out of “whatever stuck phase” I find myself in… Would love to read her whole honest story!

  135. Carolyn Williams

    I think I need this book. I feel the same way but the thought of packing up and going to a retreat overwhelms me even more.

  136. Megan

    That excerpt is amazing! I’ve been following EE for a while now and she’s a talented writer. I can’t wait to read her new book and I’d love to win a copy.

  137. Tina

    You are a very brave woman, Elisabeth.

  138. Natalie Winnett

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say. This is definitely on my must read list.

  139. Maureen

    I have friends who grew up in a church environment that left them wondering if God loves them. I would love to read Elizabeth’s story of her journey toward healing.

  140. Marci

    Wow!!! This could be my daughter! I would love for us to be able to read this book together. Possibly it would help her have the courage to get help for herself. If nothing else, maybe she will see that others do struggle with some of the same feelings she has. I want her to know beyond any shadow of doubt she is not alone. There are resources for help. Thank you for sharing this. This small excerpt gives me hope!

  141. leslie

    Wow, super interested to read this book. It is now at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity.

  142. Mama23ms

    I need to read this book! I had a similar upbringing, and feel like because of it, I am unable to move on as well. The fundamentalists teach self-loathing, not love. God is love, and it took me some time to realize it is okay to have a different view of that than what I was taught. I hope that you heal from your experience, and that your new testimony will inspire others to do the same. Thank you for sharing you!

  143. Shannon

    Although I have different demons, she spoke to me when she stated that the one thing which remains, is the desire to get better. I would love to read her story!

  144. AngieW

    LOVE the story of redemption that will surely fill the pages of this book. Really hope I win and cannot wait to read it!

  145. Tashia D

    Wow! This sounds really interesting! I would love to read it!

  146. Julie W

    I’d love to read her journey of leaving the past (hurts) behind and moving forward while learning to trust God’s love.

  147. Lori Spinella Beverage

    I’m interested because I think so many of us are trapped in what our young “church” “gave” us…and hearing another person’s story helps us all.

  148. Adelle F.

    Wow. This sounds like a moving and impactful book. Would love to read this with my book club!

  149. Paula

    “If they like me, maybe I’m not a bad person.” Yes! I mean…no! We shouldn’t think that! But somewhere inside, I think I still do. This sounds like a good read!

  150. Danielle

    Wow! I need to read the rest of this book! What a fascinating journey!

  151. bdaiss

    Fascinating and connecting. What beautiful words for something so painful. Would love to get my hands on a copy! Thank for the chance.

  152. Chris

    This looks like a good book.

  153. Dana

    I was completely drawn into her story and I want to know the rest. I think we are all broken in ways that we try so hard to hide and/or fix on our own. Admitting our brokenness and pain is how we begin to heal. It has taken me many years to heal from a traumatic relationship. The first step was forgiveness of the other person. That was a long process. Secondly, I had to admit my own culpability and then forgive myself as well. It all takes time and prayer.

  154. Lindsey

    I’ve followed Elizabeth’s blog for a while and can’t wait to read her book!

  155. Kallie

    I cannot wait to read it!

  156. Sonya

    I was mesmerized from the first sentence. I’d love to be included in this drawing!

  157. Holley

    This story is interesting, and i would love to read the rest.

  158. Julie Manley

    Just reading that paragraph from the book made me gasp! It took me with her in that moment. Would love to read more.

  159. Karen M

    Sounds like a book I Need to read! Thanks for sharing!

  160. D. Hays

    Amazing! It seems someone’s been reading my mind. Sounds as if surviving a cult leaves much the same scars as surviving childhood abuse. It’s a heart breaking journey for sure. Much thanks to Elizabeth’s courage to share her story and path to healing.

  161. jen

    I feel the same way as the author before she went into rehab. On the outside everything looks great – my kids are healthy and happy. Both myself and their dad have jobs tha pay the bills (although arguably not good jobs), a nice house, food on the table etc. But I’m not happy. I feel like something is wrong. I wasn’t part of a childhood cult but I had lots of stuff happen when I was young and I cant let it go. I pretty much disowned my family as my way of dealing with it but in reality I’m not dealing with it, just trying to ignore it. I’d love to read the rest of this book to see how you were able to move past your childhood.

  162. Naomi

    Although in different circumstances, I’m also seeking healing in order to love my family from a place of wholeness. I love reading the stories of others, and often gain insight into my own story.

  163. michele p

    This sounds like me! i would love to read about her experience!

  164. Amy

    I’d love the opportunity to read this book. I recently had a God appointed sabbatical and continue to believe the lies from Satan that I’m not good enough. I’d love to hear her story.

  165. Ginger - Just One of the Boys

    I am so excited to read Elizabeth Esther’s book! I grew up in a fundamentalist cult as well, and I am still pulling myself out of the old ways of thinking…and healing. I have been so blessed by her blog, and I would love to read more!

  166. Jamie

    I’d love to read this book!

  167. Christina

    This looks fascinating. I would love to read it (and probably suggest it to several friends!)

    Believing God loves us is a journey most of us can related to with deep emotion.

  168. Janie

    As a momof 12, I am so grieved at what my children went through and still struggle with as a result of the cult environment we went through. I NEED to read this book!

  169. Wen Forester

    Like many others, I struggle to trust that God
    is always good, always trustworthy when I see my own life and the pain around me. Would be interested in reading about her journey.

  170. Lisagrace Alsbury

    Wow! What a powerful excerpt! I love reading people’s stories, the perspective it gives always changes me.

  171. Jocelyn

    Mercy. I grew up around fundamentalist messages. I would LOVE to read this book!

  172. Grace

    I would like to read this book.

  173. Barefoot Hippie Girl

    Wow! That start really got me wanting to read your story.
    Side question…which I am sure the book answers…why are we so careful to hide our junk?

  174. Rebeca

    I am also on a search of faith for the future, I need that escape. Would love to read your book! Thanks!

  175. Rhonda

    Having “moved on” from the fundamentalist church I grew up in, I’m always interested to learn how others treat the messages about God they learned in this type of environment.

  176. Pink bear

    I can totally relate. Would love to read this book.

  177. Andrea

    Could have been me writing that with the exception of the fact that I’m not a writer, nor have I been given the offer for rehab. What found though, much later in life than I wish, is that I wasn’t put on the face of the earth to solve every member of my family’s issues. Once coming to that conclusion was the hard part: remembering that fact and standing solid on it rather than caving in and doing for them what they must do for themselves. Freedom! Also, my faith in God’s love and provision for me has been the glue that kept me from falling apart.

  178. Kari Gollup

    This could have been written by me. I have a successful adult life, but cannot figure out how to move on from the wounds of the past – also caused by a fundamentalist background.

  179. Priscilla

    First off, Tsh u are amazing!!! I wish u wrote books bc I can read what u write all day long. The one-a-day inbox isn’t enough. U motivate & inspire the woman in me & the mother in me in multiple ways & I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    As for this book, well… It is something I need. Whether given or bought, although won would be magical!!!
    Her words are impacting. I feel the same at this exact moment yet, I’m not going to rehab & my greatest addiction was to chase life. Constantly going & hardly breathing. Just when I finish my to do list bam I have a brand new one & I’ve convinced myself that play will come after… Well that day never seems to come. I am overwhelmed & constantly seeking my heart but my mind can’t stop screaming to be heard instead. I know this is crazy, but I truly don’t know how to stop this insane cycle & each day turns into a yr:(

  180. Kb

    I need to read this book

  181. Lisa B.

    I’d love to read this book because I know it took incredible courage to leave a cult, and I’d love to hear about her journey.

  182. Kirsten

    I want to read this book because someone recommended it.

  183. Idaho Jill

    I haven’t read my blog emails in weeks, but read this one; it must have been fate. it immediately sucked me in and I would love to read this book. I loved under the banner of heaven, and this excerpt reminds me of that. thanks for the chance!

  184. Bonnie

    If that part was deleted, I can’t wait to read what was left in!

  185. Anika

    So brave! As I tell my kids, “brave” doesn’t mean you’re not scared, “brave” means you’re scared and you do it anyway.

  186. Chelle

    Where is the line between teaching reverence and a “fear” of God but not instilling feelings of brokenness and anguish? God loves us. I’ve seen families like this, and I’ve seen their children. It scares, saddens, and angers me. I’d love to win a copy, but if I don’t, this is going on my next Amazon order. Wow.

  187. Susan P.

    Some of what Elizabeth says resonates in my heart…not believing I’m good enough, not trusting God, not really believing He loves me. Although I didn’t come out of fundamentalism like she did, I suffered trauma in Church, and am in the process of healing from that. I have come a LONG way! Would love to read her book and learn from her healing process. Thanks.

  188. Laurie W

    This was already on my to-read shelf at Goodreads and I’d love to win a copy.

  189. Laurie W

    This book is already on my to-read shelf at goodreads and I’d love to win a copy!

  190. Kerith

    It’s on my reading list now!

  191. Rachael

    Wow! The first sentence had me gripped. Courage to change is exactly what many of us our facing. I’m thankful for a loving Father who always rescues & so freely offers His great courage in my life. I couldn’t live without it.

  192. Esther h

    hidden heartache is all too common and only some are brave enough to share it for the benefit of so many others! that is why i would love to read this-to learn and be better able to choose more happiness for myself and my family!

  193. Diane

    The excerpt is compelling and I’d love to read Elizabeth’s entire story. Thanks!

  194. Tiffany

    You have so much courage in a world that pretends to be OK!

  195. Deb

    Oh, what to say. Yes, a gifted writer. If I can relate to a small portionf her words, I can only imagine how the entire book would impact me – and my family as we are dealing with a “broken” child… May God bless.

  196. Christina

    Thank you for being in so honest when it would be easier to keep it all covered up. I needed that today.

  197. Rebecca in PA

    Knowing in your mind that you don’t have to be good enough and understanding in your heart are the things I struggle with EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Sometimes even sometimes causing me to distance myself from Jesus, getting too busy for quiet time or not praying because I know He knows what’s going on. This sounds like a book I need to read!!!

  198. Anne

    I can so relate to your words, having grown up with a similar church model. I too still struggle with being “good enough” and difficulty trusting God. I will read your book, whether I win or not! I admire your courage in sharing your story.

  199. Melissa

    I would love to read this book. Being a sexual abuse survivor who has been told countless times that God had a reason from allowing me to be molested, I have teetered my whole life between loving God and hating Him. I think this book would speak to me.

  200. Jennifer

    The title caught my attention – that’s where I am today. Maybe just another reminder from God that I am not alone, and that He is with me. Though I am not fighting to overcome leaving a “cult”, I am fighting the fears and uncertainties of change from what I know. I would think that reading this book would offer support through my own changes in my life. Things are not always what they seem on the outside.

  201. Amy Jo M.

    This book sounds beautifully powerful. Putting on my list of books to read…the top of the list.

  202. Kim Y.

    I too grew up in a fundamental church. Very restrictive and for a long time, I didn’t go to church because I didn’t like the God I knew (the angry one who only loved me when I did good things). It was hard to try to live up to what they said God wanted you to do/say. It was never enough. I just figured why not drink and do bad things, cause I’m prob going to hell anyways. I lost count of how many times I saw my classmates being saved. They made us doubt our salvation every service. Every service at school we had we were told we were bad and music was bad and we were going to hell. I would love to read your book and see how you healed from the fundamentalist teachings that you had.

  203. Jennifer

    Wow. Would love to read more of her story- especially how she handles healing and motherhood.

  204. Jennifer

    I would love to read this book!

  205. Kathy

    What an incredible story. I would love to read this book–as a parent, as someone with pain from childhood, as a friend,….. Thank you for generously gifting copies of this book away!

  206. Polly

    I’m always interested in hearing about how people move from fear to hope. And then how they have to do it over and again. This sounds like one of those stories.

  207. Serena

    I’d very much like to read this book.

  208. Vicki I.

    I’m definitely going to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win! I was in a very bad work situation for approximately 2 years. Even though I left that job in 2010 and the company a little over a year ago, I am still struggling to regain my health – both body and mind.

  209. Cora Kirkpatrick

    Her writing is amazing. Would love to read more!

  210. Heidi

    I would love to read this book because we ALL have something we are trying hard to “get over”, and it seems the rest of the world wants to put a timeline on when and how that should happen.

  211. Jessica

    Floating right now and can’t seem to pin myself down to what it is that will settle me into who I am today. Seems like a match. Thanks Tsh.

  212. Amy

    Sounds like we are working to overcome similar struggles. I would love to read her story and maybe find some answeres.

  213. Nichole

    I would love to win a copy this book!

  214. Jenny

    What courage it took to seek out healing and then share your story! You are loved!

  215. tback

    I would love to read this book because my brother got caught up in a cult at age 19 and is still deeply entrenched in it. I would love to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of cults, and I would really love to hear how Elizabeth managed to extricate herself from her cult. Also, though I didn’t grow up in a cult, I related to so much of what Elizabeth said. I suffer from panic disorder and anxiety, and I find it difficult to relax and enjoy life. It sounds like a fascinating read.

  216. Trisha

    Apart from having been raised in a fundamentalist cult, everything else could have been written about me. I feel such kinship with the author, and deep understanding of what she writes. I am going through so many struggles right now, that I would love to read this book. Perhaps it would give me some peace, as well as some ideas of how I can be in my life right now, and how I can not leave this legacy to my children.

  217. Leslie

    I pray this book will encourage others to seek healing. I look forward to reading it.

  218. Jan

    I would love to read more!

  219. jade

    would love a copy of this book

  220. Becca S

    I would love to win a copy of this book. My husband grew up in an abusive cult-like family and it is so helpful to us to read other stories of people moving beyond their past into healing.

  221. Sandy

    While I wasn’t raised in a cult, there are old tapes that still run through my head. Elizabeth’s account resonates with me and I’m drawn to her story.

  222. vicki

    Regardless of the demon’s name, the scars are there. Some days I don’t notice the marks across my heart and then out of no where the scars blister and silent screams fill my body. I’m 65, at the end of my life. I don’t want to take this to the grave. I want to bury the memories and live life , pretend and endure. Thank you

  223. Virginia

    I don’t know if this is where I’m supposed to post my reasons for wanting to read this book, but this is all I could figure out. My computer is older than God’s dog and I also think he chewed on it a bit!!!

    I am honestly at a horrible place in my life. I am 47 and spent 17 years of my life building, loving and nurturing our restaurant only to lose it because of many reasons but the easiest to explain is a fall down the steps during a power outage three years ago which has left me unable to do the things I used to. I crushed my ankle and have had two surgeries. The last being December 10th. My husband finally found work with benefits so I was able to get the surgery necessary to alleviate some of the pain and hopefully allow me to walk again. We moved back to our home state of PA and did renovations (paint, cleaning, fixing up, nothing major) to my Mums basement. Both our families are here and I am thankful they welcomed us with open arms. Very fortunate for that.

    I have also had lots of medical problems that I won’t bore you with. In and out of the hospital all the time. Lots of medical bills.

    The long and short of it is I am fearful through all these things happening to us I blame myself. I can’t seem to just accept the “shit happens” policy or the “God has his plan”. I’m just plain old pissed off and I believe that is what is affecting my health. I read a book called womens health, womens body and it said that if you are constantly under stress or unhappy your body will rebel. I am afraid that I hate myself deep down and feel like it’s my fault our lives seem to be in ruins. I keep looking for the good but more shit just keeps piling on.

    I used to be a very happy fun-loving person. The restaurant allowed me to be creative and touch peoples lives and nurture them with food and conversation but now I just spend most of my time trying not to think or feel anything. Just writing this will bring me to tears because it is telling of my failure and sadness. Another horrible disillusion I have experienced is that if you have worked hard your whole life and try to get any assistance there is no help for you because you may own a house or a car, nothing elaborate. We always lived within our mean. But when you are down on your luck and bad things happen there is no help for people like us. The less you have accomplished the more help there is available to you.

    I am at a crossroads. I need something. I can normally pull myself up by my bootstraps and give myself a much needed kick in the pants but I am tired and do not have it in me. Every day is a struggle to get out of bed, to not numb myself with alcohol. I used to go to the gym and hike and of course restaurant work is very physical. All of that is over.

    Sincerely,
    Virginia

  224. marianne

    Intrigued -would love to read the whole book!

  225. Adrienne

    Sounds like an amazing book…Such honesty and transparency.

  226. MemeGRL

    Her willingness to admit that while everything looked fine on the outside, the inside needed work–that truth speaks to me. (That sounds cheesy but that’s the best way I have to describe it.) Thank you for posting!

  227. Jeanette

    This put tears in my eyes. I would love to hear her story and compare it with my own.

  228. Mary-Sue

    this resonates SO strongly I’m shaking. Need to read this book!!! Thanks!

  229. Kimberly

    Wow. I would love to keep reading, to know the whole story. Did she find hope? Healing? How had she come to be free of the cult? Here’s hoping I win a copy! (I think we all struggle to break free of those internal lies, the who I really think I am vs. who I want to be – or want the world to think I am – but here, here is a woman who seems to have had that in such a tangible way. Wow.)

  230. Leslie

    I would love to read this! I love reading books about people overcoming their internal struggles, as well as the external pressure to “just deal with it” or “just get over it”.

  231. Jamie R.

    I want to read this book! I’m curious why when our head knows “I have it all. I should be happy.” that we still can’t seem to move on from whatever childhood experiences have told us we are not enough or left us feeling broken.

  232. Emily

    Raw, brave, and inspirational. This will be a life-changing read.

  233. Amanda

    “No matter how well we’ve rebuilt our lives, no matter how “successful” we look—deep down, I’m still a frightened little girl working desperately to make everyone like me. Because if they like me, maybe I’m not a bad person. Maybe if I collect enough trappings of success, I’ll feel ok inside.”

    I want to read this book because that quote describes me. I would love to hear this story!

  234. Miriam Boyken

    The blog post really resonated with me and I would love to read this book.

  235. Tiffany

    I would love to win and read this book! Experiences like hers, which seem so different than mine, are fascinating to me… Although I think there are truths to be learned from and shared no matter how ‘different’ a life is from another.

  236. Dee

    Wow, and this was a deleted “scene!” The book must be amazing!

  237. Bethany Turner

    Would love to read this book.

  238. Carol

    I too have followed Elizabeth’s blog. And I’d love to read the whole story. Spiritual abuse is one of the worst kinds of abuse, because how are we supposed to have a relationship with a God of abuse? It just hurts too much. My husband and I are in the midst of our own recovery and my constant prayer is that we “will be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Thanks for the give-away!

  239. ali

    Thank you for writing. I’d love to read your book!

  240. Anna

    Elizabeth, your book sounds really interesting and I hope you are finding continued healing. I loved watching you and Kristen Howerton debate issues – was that during election season? I really appreciated both of your perspectives.

  241. Connie Price

    I would love to read all of her story!! Thank you for the opportunity to win/read it!!

  242. Corinne

    Sounds powerful and intense, would love to read.

  243. pam

    Oh my goodness, I was on the edge of my seat. I am a rape survivor and it was almost parallel to how I feel much of the time. I have survived for more than 20 years now and each day it surfaces no matter what I do, say or think. I want to read this book.

    But, then it scares the heck out of me to even think of it.

  244. Rachel E

    A friend recommended this book and after reading the excerpt, I’d really love to read more!

  245. Tracy Stone

    Wow. That’s a great way to snag someone. I’d like to read the book to see how rehab went and how she did afterwards.

  246. Amy B.

    I want to read this book!

  247. Angie

    Wow, great giveaway! Though I haven’t had a similar experience, I’ve certainly had some of those “never good enough” feelings!

  248. Mia

    I love Elizabeth Esther and can’t wait to read her book, whether I win it or not! 🙂

  249. Keilah

    What a compelling excerpt! I want to read this book to learn from her life. This strikes home because of my family experiences, and I need to read this book to get another perspective on how God helps us to break free — of ourselves, our demons, our past. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  250. Becky

    Wow!! I really want to read this book! I’m on a journey, or should I say, God is guiding my journey to Him and undoing a lot of the crazy religious craziness which instilled so much fear in me, up until about 2 years ago. Can’t wait to read this!

  251. Laura

    I am definitely intrigued..if I don’t win, I’ll probably buy it! I grew up “in the church” and have been doing a lot of questioning lately about what exactly that means now.

  252. julie

    Wow – what a great book to read. I would love to read this. Thanks for giving me the opportunity

  253. Jenna

    Wow, would love to read this book. Thanks for sharing.

  254. Deedee

    this books sounds so similar to my own life journey that I would love to read it!

  255. Victoria

    I love to read another women life stories and where they find peace! It’s very encouraging!

  256. joanne

    I need to read this book!

  257. Berleebgirl

    Blessings as you pursue restoration and freedom! Would love to read this book!

  258. Becky

    So interesting! Thank you for sharing!

  259. Jamie

    My heart aches for the pain you must have endured. I am so sad to see what has been done in the name of “God”. I am thankful that the true God is bringing you to wholeness and a true knowing of who he is. Blessings!

  260. Kate

    Sounds like a great read! Hearing someone else say they feel like they’re running on caffeine & adrenaline really resonates with where I am in life right now. Thanks for the chance to win!

  261. Erika

    I would love to read this book… I feel like it’s part of my story, though definitely not the same. As a homeschooled conservative Christian, knowing there is an unhealthy side of the culture is important.
    Thank you for writing this book, Elizabeth.

  262. Sarah Silvester

    I’ve heard so many great things about this book and would love to read it!

  263. Sarah

    I would love to win this book. I grew up as the oldest daughter of a southern Baptist minister and I connected with her words. It is so comforting to know other women have the courage to question what they were taught. Thank you for being a platform for these things to be shared!

  264. Sarah

    Ooh, how fascinating! Would love to delve into this book!

  265. JenD

    I love reading about biographies & learning about other cultures. It helps me understand others & broadens my small town Ohio world.

  266. Katie

    I’d love to read this book! Sounds like a powerful story of renewal.

  267. Lindsey G.

    Sounds fascinating.

  268. Emily

    I want to read this book! I’ve recently become interested in reading memoirs and people’s personal journeys to healing. This would hit the spot!

  269. Melinda

    Very compelling. If that’s deleted, what’s left?? Thanks for the chance to win!

  270. Harini

    What gripping and moving writing! Can’t wait to read the book.

  271. Kim

    There is a part of this story in all of us.

  272. Shawna

    I would love to read this! We have some heavy stuff going on in our family and I wonder if this book might help to “ground” me.

  273. Kellie M

    I can’t help but think wow, and remember a lot of my childhood that still clings with me into adulthood that I want to learn to release. These remainders, these cling ons are not about a church or cult but a family that had too many problems, and the denials within that they cling to to this day. I also think this book would help my fiancee’ overcome some of his demons from his past. His mother was abused regularly by his father and left with his younger sister, and so the beatings and abuse that he had received while his mother was there, increased ten fold when she left, he took her place, and his father’s anger was transferred to him. As a result he feels he is unlovable and is skeptical of everyone he doesn’t know and even our relationship which has been 6 years now. He thought that there was no way there could possibly be a God who would allow this. Within the last few weeks he has expressed a desire to go to church, even though he is still skeptical. I think this book would help both of us. I would love to see how her treatment went, thanks for this opportunity.

  274. Kristin Thomas

    I would love to read this book to get a better understanding into a friends childhood who grew up in a similar cult. Sounds like a fantastic book!

  275. Sarah

    Boy, I hope I win a copy! I’d love to read this.

  276. Courtney

    I’d love to read this book and learn more about such a brave woman

  277. Amber

    It’s truly amazing when I read this…that there is actually someone else like me out there? A 30-something momma of kids who still desperately wants to love and trust God in all moments but still feels unworthy? That I try to do possibly everything just to be liked by someone…to feel like I’m worth something to another person, even though I know God and my family loves me…I would love to read this book.

  278. Melanie

    I love hearing how other people have done after having surviving an ordeal. It is inspiring!

  279. Crystal

    Wow, I would LOVE a copy of this book. I’m still suffering from a “church” experience almost 5 years ago. Very fundamentalist and cult like. I still struggle with trusting God and believing He cares for me at all. I’m terrified beyond belief, and haven’t been able to step foot in a church since. We’ve tried, but I have anxiety attacks at the first mention of a verse that I remember the other church using. Even if I don’t win a copy of this, I’ll try to buy one as soon as I can. Thank you so much for even posting this. Sounds like it could greatly help me.

  280. Jennifer

    Would love to read this and see how it relates to my own faith journey.

  281. Marlon

    I can relate, and I WANT this book!

  282. Leslie

    What a great excerpt! I loved reading it, and would love to read this book. I was really drawn by her writing, “I mean, how long can it possibly take for me to “get over” my past? Shouldn’t I have “moved on” by now?” What a powerful thing, that resonates with me. Really looks like a great book! Thanks!

  283. Michelle

    I would love to read this book!

  284. Katherine

    I’d love to read this! It has been on my list:)

  285. Elisa

    Wow, I was part of a cult for a long time and I still deal with a lot of fear and guilt. I think it’s great that you were able to put your struggles in print. I still try to block out the memories.

  286. Kay Swanson

    I struggle with the idea of not being good enough, even though I am almost 65 years old. I spent most of my life and still do being a people pleaser. The logically side of me has been taught through a life of Christian teachings that God does love me and that I don’t have to prove myself. I’ve been married twice once when I was very young for a short time and then to the love of my life for 29 years and two amazing sons. At the same time I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I really had questions. I’m in a better place now but it has been a life long journey of pulling myself up and out! We all need to believe that we are of value and that indeed, God loves us , faults and all

  287. Heather M

    Would love to read this!

  288. LaReta

    I’m intrigued and would like to read this book. I wouldn’t call the church I grew up in a cult, but I’m so thankful not to be caught up in the legalism of it. I want to hold onto the good values I learned there but am happy to experience personal relationship with Jesus my Saviour.

  289. Lisa

    I would love to read this book because I went through something similar though as a mom.

  290. Whitney

    The line that intrigued me most from the Amazon page for this book: “And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?” I would love to see how she answers this. I think that it is a great question. I think that most people struggle with this in some form during their lives.

  291. C.A. Lewis-McCarren

    I will be reading this book regardless if I am blessed with it through this post or not. I feel compelled to……it sounds like my secret voice that I struggle with on a daily basis.

    I understand her relationship with our God……”why does my mind KNOW all of this, but yet my heart isn’t FEELING and ACCEPTING it as your Truth??!!! What is WRONG WITH ME???!!!” At least this tends to be MY experience. Sad and painful, but truth.

    I am excited for you Elizabeth and also envious. Physical rest and nurture is what I crave – just being by myself for a while to actually process my life and where I really am with it. But I too, can understand those horrible guilt feelings and the angst that goes along with them.

    May this time with yourself and your Abba fully restore you and may you continue to be bold with YOUR truth and not be ashamed of who you are TODAY!!!! I will be thinking of you and sending you blessings and love.

    Blessings & Shalom to you,

    ~cheryl 🙂

  292. Leanne

    Would love the chance to reada raw, real story of her journey of faith and how she still has faith at all.

  293. Whitney

    The line from the Amazon page for this book that I found most intriguing: “And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?” I would love to see how she answers this question that I think we all consider at some time in our lives.

  294. Michelle

    I’d love to read this because I know that in some way or another we are ALL fighting darkness.

  295. Melanie

    My heart goes out. I would love to read this story.

  296. C.A. Lewis-McCarren

    I will be reading this book regardless if I am blessed by it via this post or not. 🙂

    My hope for your Elizabeth is that you find the rest and nurturing that YOU need from our God during this time and that He will fully restore you to a place of contentment and confidence in Him.

    Blessings and Shalom to you,

    ~Cheryl 🙂

  297. Chloe

    Different circumstances, but it sounds so similar. At 28, and with 3 kids at home, I finally went to a treatment center to take care of myself once and for all, after a lifetime of trauma. I am very interested in reading this book, as I feel I can relate on a certain level. Thank you for the opportunity to win it!

  298. Caitlin Mallery

    Growing up in a church is not a safeguard from sin and despair. A broken past is not always a Christless one. I am intrigued to read more of Elizabeth’s journey. God works so differently for everyone as he teaches us the meaning of hope.

  299. Joanne

    Sounds like this would be a great read. It’s amazing the impact one’s childhood has on the rest of his or her life.

  300. Jessica W.

    That little snippet sucked me in and I’d love to read the rest!

  301. Ari

    Pick me, pick me! I have been reading EE’s blog for about a year now. I purchased her book as a gift for someone else, but I’d love a copy too. We come from a similar background – harsh fundamentalism, followed by conversion to the Catholic Church.

  302. Anne

    I’m 66 years old and yet when I read the post, I immediately recognize the feelings you relate. I’m beginning to feel that there is nothing that will change this fractured and empty space I’ve occupied for so long. The thought of rehab had not even occurred to me.

    I would love to read your story.

  303. Donna Pyle

    WOW. Elizabeth’s story is a powerful one that the Church needs to hear — fundamentalist or not. I’d love to read the book in its entirety and offer a blog post review. Just WOW. Elizabeth, I cannot imagine your pain, but I can’t wait to read how God healed you and now uses your story to encourage others to step into the community of help they need toward wholeness. You’re an inspiration.

  304. Courtney

    I went to “rehab” in January due to severe depression and anxiety and I’m still in treatment. I blog about it. It has been a very difficult process. I would love to read about her journey.

  305. Andrea

    WOW! Elizabeth grabbed me immediately. I felt as though she was speaking directly to me. I am of the belief that we all have demons in our past. Elizabeth is not only facing hers, but is sharing her emotions on her sleeve in hopes that it can help all of us in one way or another. I would love to see how Elizabeth moves on and I hope that she can heal. What an inspiration to us all.

  306. Johanna

    I’d love to read this. I’m coming to terms with my fundamentalist, evangelical background. I’m not sure where I will end up but this book looks like something I could really relate to. If I don’t win, I’m buying it. 🙂

  307. Carol White

    BOY. Sounds like my childhood. Would love to read your book.

  308. Lesley S.

    Wow! Elizabeth’s writing is powerful. I want to read this book!

  309. Sarah Roring

    Well that totally hooked me. I myself have gone through things in my childhood that have made me wonder how long it will take me to “get over it” and completely heal. While, our backgrounds are very different I am excited to read this story and hear about another’s journey to healing.

  310. wheelwi

    WOW!!! I can’t wait to read this book!!

  311. Stephanie Griffin

    Ugh – your post struck me today. I have been wrestling about the love of God for some time now. Would love to check out this book. Thanks!

  312. Sarah Caldwell

    I’m intrigued by Esther’s honesty. I’ve followed her on Twitter, as she has shared her thoughts and feelings through her writing journey of this book. I’m hopeful for her, and curious about her story.

  313. Marie

    Wow, this really spoke to me. I want to read this book!

  314. Maryellen

    I would love to read this book. The excerpt has left me wanting for more. Thanks for the opportunity!

  315. Kelly

    I think so many people can relate to this brave woman’s story, despite not being in a cult. We are taught by society to be strong and take care of ourselves, not to admit that we need help. Good for her for doing what she needs to do to be able to heal.

  316. HopeDS

    That sounds marvelous.

  317. Valerie @ Making It Worthy

    I’d like to read the book because it sounds interesting. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  318. Julie S.

    I admire those that take the step to heal, it is a BIG one!

  319. Amber N.

    I am impressed with anyone that can live through those experiences and come out the other side strong enough to share their story are incredible.

  320. Tonya

    This post certainly captures my attention and interest. Would love to read the rest. Thanks!

  321. elrika

    I’m a therapist and constantly work with people trapped in their past. I would love to read the whole story, instead of the weekly one hour glimpses I get…

  322. kris

    healthy growth takes our entire life–some days are a struggle. But the days that are free–such joy

    I’d love to read your book. Too many of us share the same struggle-

  323. Kaye Edwards

    The excerpt from this book left me wondering what kind of fundamentalism you were following, what your view of God is now and how the past makes it difficult for you to relax and enjoy your life. In any event, you are on my prayer list and I will pray that you are able to return to your family at peace with God and yourself. Blessings, dear one. You are deeply loved by our Maker.

  324. Jennifer

    I would love to read this book because I also went to rehab at 36, but for substance abuse. So glad I did!

  325. Alissa

    I would love to understand more of Elizabeth’s story. The few bits I have read on her blog are captivating, and this… a deleted scene? Can’t wait to see what actually made it in!

  326. Anne Y

    Sounds like a good read! The desire to seek out and trust the Lord is a daily endeavor. I would love to read about her journey!

  327. Erica

    Eventhough the likelihood of winning the book is now small, the journey depicted sounds huge. Taking the time to piece together your life and leave the past behind to create whole ness sounds like an unbelievable journey. I can’t wait to find and read this book. Tons of blessings on the power behind this story.

  328. Jen

    I grew up in a very controlling religious home/belief system, and while I hesitate to call it a cult, technically that’s what it was/still is. I left when I was 24 and at 38 still struggle to free myself from some of the thinking/doctrine that was ingrained in me. I have zero relationship with organized religion of any kind, and struggle to feel like God needs or should be a part of my life. If I don’t win a copy of this book I’m going to have to purchase it. I can’t not read it after reading that little bit!

  329. Dani

    Thanks for the giveaway. Looks like a great read!

  330. Shirley

    I was blown away after reading the exert from your book. I also grew up in what some also consider a cult. Its been such a struggle for me as well and I cannot wait to read your book. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!

  331. Catherine

    Thank you for bravely sharing what many would hide. Our authentic stories are making us (women) collectively stronger. You Go!

  332. Melanie

    I too am taking a similiar journey, this weekend. But only because I was supposed to be going on a honeymoon, and a week before our marriage, I was told he doesn’t want this.
    I’ve struggled all my life with trusting God with my life
    I’ve decided to take my trip as well…to rest in Him, relax, and pray..to find out who I am. Not that I couldn’t do this from whereever I am, but I feel Him saying go..and for the first time..I’m going to step outside my comfort zone and spend time with Him and only Him.

  333. Karen

    Looks like a great read. One I could relate to in many ways.

  334. Cheryl Ives

    The excerpt drew me in – the courage it takes to go to rehab – I now want to know more. Thank you for the opportunity to try to win a copy of this book!

  335. Mary Beth

    Would love to read this book, for I am still struggling, though not because of a cult background. Can’t seem to get it together.

  336. Jen

    It’s amazing to me how after reading just that short excerpt you’ve already pulled me in. You’ve made me want to read more and feel more. I already sympathize with you and see parallels between your fight to ‘get better’ and to trust God again and mine. I would love to read more and see if maybe, just maybe, something in your journey and discovery can help me in mine.

  337. Kathy S.

    Love to give this book as an encourgement to someone begining a journey of great change.

  338. Ami

    Many of the feelings you stated used to be mine. At forty years old being very very ill, I found Buddhism and peace. I still have times of wondering but feel stronger each year. I would love to read this book.

  339. Pam

    I didn’t grow up in a fundamental church but in a very strict environment. At 71 I still feel ‘not enough’. would love a chance to own this book.

  340. kimberly

    Been following her for a while and would love to year how this book turned out!

  341. Jamie

    That struggle with truly trusting God – like, for REALS – is such a core issue. I would love to read her story.

  342. Lisa

    Wow, I began reading this excerpt and felt like I was reading a page from my own life. Aside from the cult, I am currently going through and experiencing many of the same feelings as Elizabeth has described here. If I win this book, terrific and if I don’t I will be buying it because I want and need to know what recovery can be like.

  343. AnnaM

    I’d love to read it, having escaped fundamentalism at 16 myself- I love authentic quests for faith and wholeness and everyday life

  344. cissy oldner

    I cannot wait to read this boo!

  345. Ola Kabazzi

    I’d like to read this book, that little excerpt is resonating with me!

  346. Jennifer

    Wow! That’s all I can say right now. Just by reading that little but, I was pulled in. It’s fascinating how well adults can indoctrinate children with their beliefs. I am left waiting for more of this book right now.

  347. chrissy

    Yes please. It sounds very intriguing!

  348. Brenna

    Woah! How could I not be interrested?

  349. Kaitlin Jenkins

    Sounds like an incredible read! I’d love to win this book.

  350. Natalie

    This book sounds so intriguing! I didn’t grow up in a cult but have friends who did. I think it’s important to know other peoples success stories and share them with those who need to hear them. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  351. Emily

    This sounds like a book that is honest in a way many Christian women’s books are not. And I often feel like I am at the edge of the world. Plus… AMAZING cover!

  352. Catherine

    I love the honesty of the excerpt! As working mom with six kids, one with special needs and health issues, unemployed hubby and father battling depression following my mom’s death I often feel on the edge…..I would love to read what she learned in a raw and honest way!

  353. Rachel

    This spoke to my soul. Just in these few paragraphs I feel a fight and a fierce desire to not just survive but to thrive. We are all surviving something. It takes a strong spirit to learn to transcend merely living and actually become alive again. I would love to win a copy but if I don’t then I will add this to my “to buy” list. Thank you to the author for sharing your story and thank you Tsh gor sharing it on here!

  354. NJ Rongner

    I would love to read this. It is on my “to get” pile.

  355. cheryl

    Sounds like an excellent book to read to help so many others headed the same direction. I would love a copy

  356. Erin

    If this is a deleted scene… I’m dying to read what makes up the rest of this book.

  357. Trudy Mintun

    I was hooked with the first line. I would like to read this book to see how healing happens after so many years. I have healing I need to do…not from being in a cult, but healing nevertheless.

  358. Susan

    Love and peace to you on the journey. Sadly, so many awful things are done in the name of God. I am so interested in your story.

  359. Tricia

    I too would love to read this book to see how she handled brokenness once and for all.

  360. Salena

    I would love to win a copy of this book. My husband, children, and I were also in a fundamentalist church for a time.

  361. Lynn

    I follow Elizabeth and really want to read her new book!

  362. Rachel

    I would love to read this. Grew up in an extremely fundamentalist church also.

  363. Kim

    I felt as if I were reading words my heart could not find to speak – can’t wait to read

  364. Robin

    I need this book.

  365. Jennifer Blair

    So relate to these words you wrote – “I’m still a frightened little girl working desperately to make everyone like me. Because if they like me, maybe I’m not a bad person. Maybe if I collect enough trappings of success, I’ll feel ok inside.” This is me – on the journey to emotional health! I’m sure your insight and experiences and story will help. Thank you!

  366. Shelly

    This story sounds mesmerizing! I want to know everything- what happened in the long ago past all the way up til now. I want to know when and how she found healing, and if she ever learned to trust God again.

  367. laura brownstein

    This book sounds so fascinating! And I need a new book to read!

  368. Kim

    I think we all think we need a little rehab once in a while. Scary, but true. I’d love to hear the end of this story.

  369. Amy Boone

    Wow this sounds like a great read!

  370. Melodie Booton

    Thanks, Tsh, for introducing us to such great books. This one is definitely going on my need to buy list. Honestly, she had me with just her subtitle—a faith with a future. What a great search.

  371. Mrs. K

    I can’t wait to read this book. I’ve worked very hard to move on from my cultish past, not my childhood church, but a cultish abusor. Having wonderful children and a fabulous husband who love and support true healing is crucial for me. My friends are a huge help too. Nothing helped me more than a priest who encouraged me to “file it” imaging a filing cabinet and a completed project labeled on the manila folder with the years. Filed. Done. I did the work. That is over. Filing cabinet locked. That file no longer has permission to interrupt me anymore. I like the never ending song in my current household from Frozen, “Let it go.” The lyrics and movie are quite moving to the adult viewer. Finally, when memories rear their ugly heads, I pray. It works every time.

  372. Kirstin

    Wow! I am speechless. I can’t wait to read this book .

  373. Kim

    Reading the excerpt got ahold of me … I would love to read the rest of the story.

  374. Jill

    Wow. I look forward to reading this book–it resonates with me deeply.

  375. heather

    I struggle with some of those same feelings of being unlovable. Would love to read the whole book

  376. Kirsten

    Would love to win a copy!

  377. Julie

    Captivating. I do believe I would enjoy and learn from the entire book. And who doesn’t love memoir?

  378. Kelly B

    Wow! I was just going to skim over this email but after reading the first two sentences, the author had me hooked! I bet this will be one of those books you can’t put down.

  379. Eva

    Sounds like a strong modern heroine! I like reading about those =)

  380. juli

    The excerpt reminds me of the church I used to attend years ago and have never got over. Book sounds intriguing.

  381. Jessica

    Sounds like a therapeutic read. Can’t wait!

  382. Kelsey

    Powerful

  383. Jen A.

    Beautifully gripping. I want to know what happened at rehab and what she learned. Her feelings are so relatable. I want to read her story!

  384. Alissa A

    I would love to read this!

  385. Casey Duncan

    I would love to read this story! Thank you for writing it so that you can help so many people with similar stories!

  386. Alison

    I met Elizabeth at Allume in 2012 and was so intrigued by her story. We have some similarities in our pasts. This post resonated with me and I would love to read the whole book.

  387. Feda

    Would love to get a chance to read this! What a journey…

  388. Casey Duncan

    Thank you for sharing your story…so many people will be helped and encouraged!

  389. Heidi

    I’m dealing with my own church scars and reading everything I can find to help me sort it all out. Would love a free copy, although if I don’t get a free one I’m pretty sure I’ll read this anyway!

  390. Mary

    I am so intrigued and want to read more!

  391. Katie S

    Looks like a great read!

  392. Elizabeth

    Struggling with the ability to give oneself Grace and feel God’s love is hard. Would love to read how Elizabeth meets this head on.

  393. Tricia N

    Hope I win!

  394. Nikki

    This just sounds like good raw stuff!

  395. Cori

    I was never in a cult, yet I struggle often with truly believing God loves me. I have never really understood why, other than being a typical oldest child with perfectionist tendencies. This book is being added to my wishlist.

  396. Gretchen

    If that was an unpublished scene I am eager to hear what actually made it into the book! I’m hooked already!

  397. Jessica

    Wow, that pulled me in! So much of the excerpt resonated with me even though I did not grow up in a fundamentalist faith. I’d love to read it all!

  398. Traci W

    Wow! Clearly the message is being sent my way. I’ve done work about this very topic and believed I was ready to continue on with life but all signs in the last week are pointing to, you are now ready to REALLY deal with this and do the work. Thank you for sharing.

  399. Jennifer

    I grew up in a fundamentalist church as well, and would love to read about your experience. Writing something like this takes courage!

  400. Autumn

    Thanks for sharing this post and book. You have got my interest in her journey. Thankful that the author is willing to share her story.

  401. Kimberly

    While I grew up atheist (and was thankfully, gracefully saved at 24 years of age!) I can still relate to this book excerpt. My sister & I were just chatting earlier today about how hereditary our “issues” are and how we are being challenged, by God, to be free in Christ indeed! I wish you all of Gods best today & always & hope to grow with you through your writings! Much Love!

  402. Bex

    I would love to read this book! I’m also trying to figure out how to grow past the trauma of my teenage years growing up in a cult. This seems like it would be incredibly healing and helpful!

  403. KVossler

    I would love to read this book.

  404. Deanne H.

    I would love to read this book. It looks awesome!

  405. Lucy

    I would be so thrilled and blessed to be able to read this book. Thank you so much for the oppurtunity xxx

  406. Susan S

    I love your blog and I am fascinated by the cult followers and what made them join and why they leave.

  407. Marilyn

    This book sounds wonderful and what an amazing ability to write!

  408. Stephanie

    I’d love to read it! In fact, I just added it to my book list for 2014 b/c of this post. Thanks.

  409. Barb

    Wow, this seems really fascinating!

  410. Andrea L.

    Would love to read the book. Always interested in other peoples journeys. There is always something that can be learned.

  411. adriel booker

    Wow Elizabeth, what a terrifying and brave journey. So glad you’ve found a better future. x

  412. Heidi

    I’m at the beginning of my own journey to healing and this seems like a perfect inspirational story. Hope I get it as it won’t be available in Finland very soon

  413. Karen Taylor @ Journey towards simplicity

    wow, I want to read this memoir. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. Retraining our brains and changing our emotion/thought inventory is definitely challenging and it takes a lifetime of hard work and persistence.

  414. Joyce

    Oh I feel for Elizabeth. I’m glad she found the courage to get help. I would love to read her book. Thank you.

  415. Stephanie Gregg

    I’d love to read this!

  416. Stasi

    this sounds like a wonderful book. Pinning it to my to read board in case i don’t win….

  417. Dayna

    Wow, I would love to read the rest of her story!

  418. Mariah

    I’d love to read this book because the excerpt grabbed me and I can relate in some ways in regard to feeling like I’m not “enough.”

  419. Anita

    WOW! would was totally captured by that story and would love to read more…. too often we feel worthless and it takes a great amount to get the helpe needed…

  420. Gloria McGee-Denton

    Elizabeth, just reading this much makes me expectantly happy for you–and sad all at the same time.

    As a woman who’s experienced disappointment as a result of untruths treated as truth and who ministers to women who have been told they are perpetually lesser than their male counterparts and their female peers, I see potential for your book to encourage others in their transformations.

    I have already prayed that God will complete the good work he began in you. Thanks for your vulnerability. I look forward to reading your whole story & recommending it to others.

  421. Lynuska

    I empathize with her plight, and I am on my road to wholeness. I find myself holding my breath to know what she hopes to accomplish with the book. I am glad that she took the courageous step to take care of herself.

  422. Rebekah

    “I’m going to rehab to get healing for myself so I can love others from a place of wholeness.”
    This line popped out from the page and smacked me in the face. I am quitting my current job in a couple months in order to cut back a little of the stress in my life so that I can (hopefully) come to a place of healing.
    I’ll admit I’m scared to death of what the future holds. I don’t have any for-sure plans, and I don’t like that. I just know God wants to restore me and I must be obedient.

  423. A. Craig

    I’ve been wondering what book to read next . . . this looks like one that would be encouraging in my own walk and enlightening about the lives that others are sometimes forced to lead.

  424. Angelica

    I would love to read this book. I feel like I can relate to the words shared above.

  425. conny

    As someone who is also slowing getting over the grips of fundamentalism (abusive, controlling, breaking-people-down, cultish fundamentalism) yet wanting to hold on to GOD (and believing in His love – acceptance- mercy), I’d love to see how your journey ends … no doubt for God’s glory!!

  426. Doris Pick

    She so describes the way I feel. Even though I’m 60, I still feel like if I could just stop the world for a while and get off, I could finally catch my breath and let my spirit catch up with my body.

  427. Peggy

    I also would love to read this book. I’ve spent a lifetime recovering from childhood sexual abuse. I have struggled for years with the feelings that I’m too bad for God to love and working so hard to be good enough but never quite getting there. After years of Bible studies, books, and other remedies I am now better but those feelings never totally leave, they always are hanging out at the core of me. Thanks, Elizabeth

  428. Peggy

    Elizabeth, Your words resonated with me. I was sexually abused as a small child and have spent a lifetime trying to deal with the feelings that I am too bad for God to love. And working so hard to win His approval. God has given me a beautiful life but those feeling remain down in the core of me and never totally go away. I would love to read your book. Thanks, Peggy

  429. Jane cornwell

    I hope I have the courage to read the book. God bless you.

  430. amber

    As a girl with church baggage, I’d definitely love to read someone else’s journey. Thanks for the giveaway!

  431. Elizabeth W

    So brave

  432. Heather Hubert

    Coming from my own broken childhood I love to read other stories of overcoming hardship and abuse. We have a choice. I love that you have chosen to move forward with hope and healing.

  433. Raewyn

    Oh my goodness, that was so captivating! I cannot wait to read the whole book and see how she has remained strong!!

  434. Lily

    This was an incredible piece. I am truly moved. As someone who just recently realized there’s more she has to overcome, I truly look forward to reading more!

  435. Cloe

    Thank you so much for this article. I am currently dealing with those demons from the past that only recently surfaced as I’ve been struggling with how to be a parent these last 6 years. So much of my childhood–even through college–has been supressed, as I lived my life detached and outside of my own experiences (growing up an isolated, only child of two alcoholics/work-aholics who abandoned me to finish high school alone at age 16 as they moved to another state), moving through one self destructive action to another, finally getting myself together to create a successful career, only to find myself as a 40 year old adult without the tools to deal with the relationships and everyday life around me. Your story resonates, your candor lifts me. Thank you again!

  436. DichotomyGirl

    A friend sent me a link to this blog post, as I spent 10 years in a fundamentalist cult, and we’ve talked alot about how much it can impact your whole life.

  437. Amy

    Like so many others here, I’m fighting my own internal demons! No cults but plenty of childhood baggage. A commenter above mentioned rehab for childhood trauma – actually starting something like that is on my bucket list! I’ve gotta get a better handle on myself first though. 🙂

  438. Tracie H

    Wow. This sounds very compelling! I will likely read this whether I win it or not!

  439. Steph

    I would love a copy. I am at the place the author was when she wrote this piece. Trying to hold it all together, learning to trust again, and pressing forward in hopes of healing. “Broken will, psyche, and spirit” resonated deeper than I care to admit. Thanks for sharing your story, may it bring hope to many

  440. Heather

    Sounds fascinating. As someone who has recently joined a church for the first time in my life, I am curious to read her story.

  441. laurie

    I’d love to read your story.

  442. Samuel Martin

    Best wishes from Jerusalem.

    I grew up in a cult as well.

    I admire Elizabeth Esther for dedicating her book to three children who were beaten to death by their Christian parents.

    I also admire her for taking a stand against violent parenting advocates like Michael Pearl and many others.

    Thank you Elizabeth for your courage and for speaking the truth!

  443. sandra v

    I’d love to read her book – what a life journey…

  444. Kate

    This passage had me riveted and I immediately searched out and found Elizabeth Esther’s blog, which looks great. I would love to read this book. As a cradle Catholic, I’m intrigued by other people’s paths to the Catholic Church and how their faith developed along the way.

  445. Katherine

    I like reading how people have overcome struggles.

  446. MiChal

    Whoa. I have some of the same feelings about myself. I’d love to read the rest of the sorry, as Paul Harvey used to say.

  447. Muriel

    Very inspiring, just from that short chapter. Would be very interested to read more about this person’s life and journey.

  448. Lulu

    Oh. My. Goodness.
    Those words could have been mine (not that I could have said it so well). My experience with a church, (which wasn’t exactly a cult, but which had the effect of a cult on me and others like me, because of my family background which set me up perfectly because no-one really showed me they loved me, or took interest in me). So I still can’t believe or feel that God loves me. Oh how I wish I could. That is my one longing in life really. I hope I will feel it in heaven, and I wonder if it is my life’s burden to not feel loved. But I feel so unsure i’ll even be there in heaven, because I feel like a failure as a Christian. I feel so utterly not-good-enough, in every sphere of my life (although external opinions would disagree). I raced into burnout during university, trying to keep my church happy, my uni christian group happy, the other ministry groups I got roped into to keep people happy, trying to earn enough money to get by, and trying to get good enough grades to prove I was good enough. That was 15 years ago, and several bouts of depression, anxiety, and ongoing medication and a wise counsellor later, I’m starting to do a bit better. But still, I wish I could feel loved.
    I’d desperately love to read your book – one thing I really struggle with is the alienation of the feeling that it is to be me (and you!), how isolating that is, and how exhausting that is. How tiring it is to question every little decision that I make because I’m not sure if it’s the right one. (What should I wear today, what cleaning task should I do first, am i doing it the right way, I’m probably doing it the wrong way, I haven’t got enough done today, everyone else seems to do it so much better…). It’s not something that anyone else can see, there’s no label for it, so there’s no support, but it is so very exhausting!
    Thanks for helping me to see I’m not alone in this! Will be buying your book anyway, and sharing it with some friends who have had similar experiences.

  449. Malisa Price

    I’d love to win this book!

  450. Bev

    Most of us are damaged in some way or other by the time we reach adulthood. I would love to read her story.

  451. Julie H

    I would love to win a copy of this to read! Fundamentalism has also reached into my life.

  452. Meghan

    Sounds like such an interesting read. I would love to read the whole thing.

  453. Becky

    I can relate to parts of these scenes. Excited to read the rest of the book

  454. Lynn

    I would love to read this book. I still feel unworthy. The reunion with the daughter I gave up for adoption when I was 18 has taken me back to the unloved child I felt I was. I am a pilot, have a Master’s Degree, work very hard and still feel unworthy. I am tired, tired of always pushing myself to be the best I can be.

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