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A Divorced Couple Shares Their Experience with Spiritual Abuse

Katie says that their church had “held me in such bondage, held me in such a prison—that I had to be a certain way and that women were not looked at as first-class citizens.” She constantly felt like she needed to present a certain image on the outside, while all the while, “I was dying on the inside. I was terrified every day.” She was perpetually torn between doing what she thought she needed to do to survive and so not submitting to Peter and constantly feeling guilty for going against his leadership. 

But even though she had thought Peter leaving her would be the worst thing in the world, she looks back now and is able to say, “Hitting rock bottom was such a blessing.”

She says, “I just felt tortured for a really long time, and then I felt this freedom, and I guess nobody else was feeding the demon, and I found my relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t ideology, it wasn’t theology, it wasn’t the church’s view of what I should be, who I should be, how I should be. It was Jesus. And it was like, this is what I need. And there’s so much grace and there’s so much mercy that I never experienced.”

Now she doesn’t feel like she has to put on a mask and pretend like she has it all together, nor does she judge other people like she used to. Instead, she says, “I just see broken, hurting people, and we’re all on the same footing, and there is no echelon, there is no hierarchy…Fear doesn’t rule me any more. I would say that the church really fed my fear and Jesus fixed it.”