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Authentic Faith: How To Maintain A Relationship With God When You Have Been Burnt By Churchianity.

So to be completely honest guys, this post has been a long time coming.

It's about God so yes, its faith based, but before I jump in, let me remind you that each of has our own relationship with  God and so if you don't agree with my tips that's cool. this is just what works for me, if it's not your cup of tea, kindly go find someone else that is. I can't be bothered with debating my stance on things, I rather go outside. 


As a part of our Summer of Reflection (check out insta to see what we've been upto) here's the story...

Short Version. Daisy Change has been hot mess as of late because I was.

Now in business, admitting that is not advised, but let's be real we are all human and we all go through stuff, so let's leave the business brain at the door and let's move from the head to the heart for a little bit shall we. 

Faith is a heart issue after all. 

I won't bore you with the details of my personal journey with lots of text instead I am going to employ the statement tech that we often use here to explain personal stuff without too much detail. 

So here's how my faith jounrey has gone from the moment I said yes to Jesus, to now. 

Lalalalala barbie is awesome like me, I'm only 3. Oh what this fuzzy thing in my belly? I need to get saved best go ask daddy. Jesus is my best friend, even when the other kids on the playground don't want to play with me. This church...that church...another, another....can we please just pick one already least I got my Christian School! Oh we are moving to England, guess that means we will FINALLY find stability and at 14 I couldn't be happier. I just want to make friends that will stick and get on with getting great grades and makeup...oh and clothes...and music! This girl needs lots of music. Wait what? We're homeless? How? What the hell happened? Pastor sold the house and we gotta live with THAT unstable their daughter is my age....been here for months now...I thought God would have come through for me by now? It's just got worse....maybe He's abandoned me. Shoot!Is He even real? Well my friends have different ways of thinking than me. Maybe if I open my mind, I will find peace in my heart some other way....wait...the devil's real? This dark side stuff really works. Damn it's scary..God must be real. Oh no! I've made a massive mistake....I NEED OUT!! Ok it's my birthday, this England thing hasn't worked...maybe I can convince my parents to move back home...I NEED TO GET AWAY FROM MY SO CALLED FRIENDS! They said yes...Relief. Now I can go back to Jesus and draw a line under all this. Man this was the worst mistake! We're home. We have roof over our head, I have a church family and I've got friends at school, awesome....wait the occult exists here in Wales too? Since when?? Shoot! I want the light ...but the darkness is addictive....then, he said "YOU CAN'T SERVE TWO MASTERS...CHOOSE! I Choose you Jesus.....wait what? I just got raped? How? I gave my heart to Jesus, I buy into purity,...but I still got attacked? Oh and again.....and again? Toxic relationships, confused. Am I sane? Seriously what's wrong with me? I must be broken. I need control. Food will do. Great now it's controlling me...I'm so depressed! Is life even worth it? Maybe if I try another denomination of Church I will find the truth about the bible then I can be free of this pain....and another...and another. Ok great now I'm the flippin Church hopper! Wait...What's this? Church online? Youtube...down the rabbit hole I go. End times. Conspiracies..fear, shame..genuine desire for the truth is that God speaking to me? Through them? Through me? Duped again...rinse, repeat. Jesus Help! Okay, my world is clearly fear based. JESUS RESCUE ME, I PROMISE TO DEDICATE MY LIFE TO MINISTRY IF YOU DO! ...Poetry...songs..and breath, finally I'm free. Maybe if I help others online?  Like I did in collage years ago. Gotta keep my word, so best get educated. So many church services, so many books. Wait. These doctrines contradict each other. Try them all. I'm confused as hell... So much prayer...wait is that God speaking to me?? It  wasn't.

Then...I moved to London, completely on decision I ever made, but the trauma came along with me and so since I'm finally in a safe place, I've been working with a professional team to unwire the drama.

Amazingly, I have this really cool ability to separate professional from personal, so I've been able to wear the needed masks to survive in the big city quite well.

I've learned a lot along the way, and I can honestly say that God has been faithful to me, but not in the ways I would have expected. I thought that moving to London would mean my life would turn around miraculously over night...after all I had heard all those healing testimonies. I grew up in the nation of Wales, if you don't know, it's a very spiritual land most likely because we Welshies are descendants from very spiritual people. It's in our blood. Church back home is like church in America, a big mix of denominations with a lot of different views floating around. Some comman themes between all of these denominations however, are that they all think their brand of Christianity is right and they are all sincere in this.

Sure, there are charletons, like anywhere. Jesus did warn us about wolves in sheeps clothing, but generally most of the chuch communities I have had connection with have been genuinly lovely people, just trying to get on with life best they know how, with faith included.

The thing is though.

Sheep bite. 

Maybe like me, you have experienced this and have isolated yourself like I did.

Here's what you are probably thinking...
because it's safer to "just have a personal faith, away from those kinda people...they can't be from God anyways right?? That is not how God's children are suppose to treat each other! I'm better off just me and Jesus. (Besides, I can always check in anonymously with God's people online when I need a prophetic word)

Honey I know the pain, and I know you are genuine, but let me really honest with you...Satan has you right where he wants you right now! 

The devil loves to isolate us because it means that when he lies to us, and he will....we will buy it hook line and sinker, because we have nothing else to go on and he can be damn convincing! 

Oh and don't think he won't back up his lies with scripture....look at how many denomantiations have come out of disagreements over the bible....I personally believe using the bible against the children of God is His favourite trick. He has used it on me, many, many times.

Unpopular opinion incoming! 

If God speaks to us at all, He won't use the same way to do so that broke until you are whole, and even then I'm not sure that He would ever risk it. God is a good God, He loves us and He is very, very creative and so if like me "hearing from God" in your head is how you got so darn confused, expect radio silence. 

I know that was a long introduction, but I honestly believe it was warranted.

Let me get to telling you what you can for. Without any further guiding of the lilies, here's how to Maintain a Relationship With God when you have been burnt by Chruchianity.

Step 1. Boundaries Baby! 

This may seam like contradictory advice, but if you have been burnt by the church you are going to need a little time on your own. Notice I didn't say with God. Sure Jesus is with you wherever you are anyway, but this is not about your relationship with God just yet. 

First you have to acknowledge your relationship with you. 

I highly recommend making a list of all the ways you have personally been duped or broken by the church.

Then put a big circle around the 3 biggest areas. 

Here's my top 3. 
  1. They told me that God not only speaks today, but that He speaks to us in words, and it's totes okay to believe what you hear 100% either in your head or from someone else claiming to hear from God...after all if it's God who are you to question?
  2. They told me that since we are in the age of grace, the freedom found in the liberty of God can look like chaos. People might even think your drunk! It's okay though...your just drunk in the spirit. 
  3. They told me that putting my money where my faith is, means that God won't ever let me go broke, in fact God will actually bless you because He just loves it when it when His children make crazy reckless faith decisions...even when their gut is screaming no! In fact that gut feeling is just the devil, Ignore it.You may be poor but you can't aford not to give to the kingdom of God. 
Let me tell you what actually happend as a result of believing this.

  1. I let people speak into my life and became a vessel for the lies of Satan myself...completely believing it was God and it caused nothing but pain and struggle for both me and my loved ones. 
  2. I got OBSESSED with Christian Demonology, End Times and truthing. Truely believing that it was a thirst for the truth that compeled me to spend every waking hour (when I should have been working/sleeping/actually living) serving God by searhing out the truth online, getting lost in conspirices and so freaked out by some of these "truths" that I made some really, really dumb decisions in hindsight...including getting rid of the things that bring me joy because they were "worldly" because they "contain magic" so much wasted money. As a vintage toy collector and a lady all about that joy life now, I regret this decision. 
  3. I went broke. Put serious strain on my loved ones and I'm still paying for the financial mess that was caused by this "faith move" So stupid. Quite frankly it was the biggest mistake I ever made and if anyone ever says to me now that God told them that He wants me to make a crazy faith move that means giving up everything like I did....I am inclined to tell them to go screw themselves! Nicely of-course. I am still a lady

I'm not going to go into much detail here, but one thing I need to note is that the truth about truthins is that,often times it's not a thirst for the truth that is compelling you to keep going down the rabbit hole. It's fear. The truth is you wouldn't need the rabbit hole if you truely trusted God. Rest in the arms of the Saviour and Jesus can and will make you whole. If you let go and trust Him. 

Step 2.
Okay so now you know where your problem areas are, now we are gonna tackle actually helping you deal with them. To do that we find the root cause of the issue, and then create a smart plan to start healing in that area. 

Let's use my example again,

So for number 1. The main issue here is communication.
For number 2. The main issue here is confusion caused my a lack of sound doctrine. 
For number 3. The main issue here is broken intuition. 

To be honest, these are pretty much the 3 main issues for all of us. 

Let me show you how to heal. 

1. Communication is the life blood of a relationship with God, and since your here on this post you want that. You may notice this post doesn't contain a single scripture, that's because the bible was used against me so many times that it is now triggering for me, so I can't quote from scripture right now. I can't even read scripture. I know it too well, and my naughty subconscious knows the script too well. It's scared to change, so it knows just what to do to keep me stuck. Reading the word won't heal me right now. Jesus Will.

So then if not scripture, how do I hear from/communicate with God?

I lean into love. 

In my case that looks like listening to music, even worship but I only use music from genre's that trigger me. Since I'm a brit, american and British worship is way too triggering as is right now I am listening to worship from other nations. I love music, and so for me this is a safe way to express my love for God without putting myself in a trance, or triggering myself into painful memories. 

Secondly, Prayer is out. So unless I am praying with my partner, or journeying in my art journal. I just don't. I am choosing to believe that God will take care of me even if I can't actually ask Him to do so right now. God's good character does NOT depend on our works or lack there of and that includes prayer. 

Thirdly I relate to God through His creation. I go on gratitude walks with my partner often and just appreciate this wonderful world that He has created. I look at the birds in the trees and the random cats running across the road on my street, and the people He created and I remember that the God that created all of this know me better than I know myself, He is faithful and He is taking care of me....and I can't help but thank Him for that.

Fourthly I love reading, so I have just one book that I am reading that is faith based and helping me to deal with an area of life that I need to work on right now. This enables me to fill the void left by detoxing truthin. I also use a daily devotional book, but when I've read these 2 things, and done my journal for the day. I dedicate it to God and don't do anything faith based all day...unless its a gratuitude walk day.

Finally, I have set up modes of accountability. I'm open with my theripist about my faith life, I also have a couple of good people in my life who can call me out if I seam to be slipping into old patterns. 

Bonaus tip: Worship God through your work. If you use your talents and gifts to enrich the world and people around you, but still remember to take care of yourself, then you truly get this living the joy life thing I keep going on about! 

2.Get back to basics. What is true for all of God's children is that we came to Him through His son Jesus Christ. In order to go back to our first love, we have to come to God like a little child. 

Having spent some time as a Sunday School teacher I since I was a child infaith years ago, I can tell you that little children have a very simple faith. 

The thinking goes something like this...

God is good, he created us. Sin is bad. Satan is stupid. Don't be naughty. Be good, be nice, be kind. Jesus died for us so that we can live for Him and talk to God. God is a good daddy, He want's whats best for His Children so let's all go play and if we happen to show how much we love our daddy through a little drawing, singing a little song (even on the swings in the park) or by being good for mummy and be it. 

There is no agenda with a child. They don't show they love God because they want to get something out of it, they do it because it's right. So we adults need to learn from this. Do what is right because it is right, don't expect a return on investment, just do it. 

The truth is you are the investment and God is the one who made it. His gift of salvation is free, and He has put gifts in all of us, If you put your faith and trust in Jesus, you will be with Him for eternity. He does desire that you are blessed, but that may not look like what you think. Beyond all of that....His ways our higher than ours. We just gotta trust Him, like a little child. 

So what does this look like practically? 

Love like Jesus loved, and live like He lived. 

Again, do what is right, because it is right. Release your gifts into the world and employ a rule of positive vibes only..accept in your journal or with safe people within the safe boundaries you have set up for yourself, preferably with the help of trained professional. 

3. Rebuild your intuition. The "still small voice" we hear so much about is linked to your gut.

So this one might be a little bit of tough nugget to chew on, but if you can't trust yourself, you ability to truth others and even God is incredibly limited, and yet you are going to need help from someone else in order to get up and get this thing healed. 

Vicious circle right? 

That's why I wrote this book. I got fed up of seeing so many well meaning people like myself getting broken to the point they can't even trust their own judgement anymore. 

It's a really hopeless place to be in and nothing about that life is fun. Fortunately though, as previously stated, God is faithful.

If we cry out to Him to help us, He will put the right people on our path to help us heal. I sincerely hope I am one such person on your path. Assuming that I am, just for a moment, let me point you the way to healing. 

It's in Jesus. You know that. don't trust Him right now do you? You say you do, but really, after all this hurt why would anyone in their right mind still trust God is good and that His son won't lead you up the garden path. Yet you love Him. You can't shake the feeling this is real. You have seen too much not to believe. Confusing right? 

Well have no fear my friend. God hears your cry.

This book is for you.

Here's how you trust again. 

1. Get educated. 
2.Get encouraged
3. Get energised. 

Now when I say get educated, I don't mean run to the bible. As we have already seen it can just as easily become and idol and be used by the devil as anything else. No. What you need to do to get educated is find someone to help you heal your intuition. Right before you find that special someone however, you need to be aware of a few things.

There are many, many people with agendas in all walks of life, Just because someone claims to be a Christian counsellor doesn't mean they genuinely have your best interest at heart. If people are getting paid then you can bet that to some degree that means they have certain guide lines they have to stay within in order to keep the mullah rolling in. 

Most people are generally trying  to be good people. There are however those who are either by choice or their self deception, leading people into a ditch.

Don't put your mental health and well-being in the hands of anyone, before first checking them out. I don't care if they are a pastor, a counsellor a lover, a friend that never would, or a family member. EVERYONE has to be judged by their fruits. 

Now let me make this distinction we are judging the fruit not the person. The motives, the past or why they did it doesn't matter at this stage. You're ability to see why a person does something is likely really grey right now. You can't trust it. All you have to go on is their track record. 

Here's some questions to ask yourself before you consider allowing someone you know to be a part of your safe healing team. 

1. Did this person repeatedly encourage you to trust people that turned out to be abusive in anyway?  If so their judgement may be off. You can't include anyone who thinks a snake is a friend in your healing journey. That's a disaster waiting to happen. 

2. Did this person repeatedly encourage you to do things that were destructive to your life? Trust is earned, not given freely. 

3. How do you feel after spending time with this person? Belittled? Drained? Confused about what just happend? You may well be dealing with narcissistic abuse. Run away! 

4. Does this person genuinely seem to have your best interest at heart, even if they are misguided? 

5. No matter how well meaning, when you look at it all in hindsight, are they misguided? 

God Is Not a Narcissist. He would not want you to put your trust in people who are. 

These 5 questions are the kind of things a healthy mental health professional can help you answer, but if you just answered those things for yourself, you still trust your self a little bit and  are well on the way to healing up your intuition. 

The second thing you need to know is that there are plenty of people out there who want nothing more than to wrap you around their little finger. They offer the earth. They'd steal your soul if you let them. Run away! 

So with all of this in mind, maybe you don't trust yourself enough to choose a mental health professional for yourself. Or maybe you just don't trust people enough to phyically show up. 

Definitely be careful with this next one, but in the day and age we live in there are plenty of people online that can help you, help yourself. There are also podcasts, books and training's that can be really useful. If you trust my judgement, I have a safe list over on my website, but really trial and error and checking out the person before letting them speak into your life is my best advise. Again test the fruits of everyone. That's why I've been open in showing you mine.

Next, get encouraged. You do this by finding things in your life that bring you that gushing happy feeling on the inside. I still believe that the pursuit for fulfilment is far more nourishing than the pursuit of happiness, but this girl is still all about that joy life. 

I bring joy into my life through my work, my interests, my style,  my space and yes, even my possessions. I told you earlier I am a vintage toy collector. I do this because it makes me happy and if you want to get a little deep, it keeps me connected to my child like faith, but mostly it's just fun! 

I also have a set of standards for the kind of people I let into my life and I am very careful about how much I share. I've made guarding my heart my first job when it comes to friendship, then I can be a good friend and do fun things with good, even Godly people. 

Now when I talk about getting energised I like to recommend doing that through something I call simple temple living. 

That is to take care of one's self, body soul and spirit so that one can take care of others and glorify God through keeping Christ on the throne of one's heart and using the gifts and talents God deposited within one, to care for His world and all living things in it.

Joy is Jesus others You

Yes this is true, but did you notice that you are the foundation. You are the common denominater with your relationship with Jesus, yourself and with others.

If you don't take care of your temple for the Holy Spirit, body, soul and spirt then you simply can't have a right relationship with God and you can do very little for other people. 

Believe me. I've tried to run on empty for the longest time, the result is a hot mess with very little fruit. 

Now I'm on the redemption ark. Not with God, with myself and to some extent, with my world. Running on empty means you can only give empty.

Say it with me. 

Running on empty means you can only give empty. 

No one wants you to turn up empty handed when you have promised something great. Not even you. Definitely not God. It makes Him and you look really bad. 

So all of that was just your first step to recovery. We still have two more to get through. 

So Step 2 Once you are well on you way to rebuilding yourself, and your faith you will be ready to build something. 

We've already said that God wants us to use our gifts and talents to make this world a better place. So now what? 

Well, what do you have in your hand? 

What are you good at? If you don't know, think about the things you have received compliments for or good grades, or even outside of that look at the things you do that have made people attack you. 

Most of the time, people only attack things they can't control, are jealous of or they don't understand. 

I have haters. I know my words will likely be twisted but I don't care because misunderstood is manna to me. 

You see if you are misunderstood. That's a gift. You get a head start on this because you already know what people make fun of you for. 

I know my words carry weight because I have all sorts of people try to silence me, with every trick in the book. Including that whole, Woman need to submit/ the church must submit to pastor even when He's out of line thing...I'm still healing from this, so let's just say it's between me and Jesus and since you are not my husband or my father even from a scriptural perspective, you don't have the right to tell me to submit to your brand of doctrine. If you have a problem with me pray for me, don't attack me because I will just take that as a nod to knowing I am on point, that my gut instinct is right, and God is in the thing I am doing. It's when I don't get challenged that I get worried. 

Fans are great, but yes men usually have agendas. I rather do what I know to do and leave the rest to God because ultimately this book is my love letter to Him and a testament to all that He has brought me through. He is truly faithful.

So getting back on point I ask you again what is in your hand? Where are your haters? 

Take what is in your hand, put it to work , don't look to the left or the right, head down now and work that thing! 

You got this girl, because Jesus has got you and with His help and your talent, you can't fail. 

Now here we are the final point to get your relationship with God back on track.

Step 3. 

Gradually and slowly start to get reconnected with God's people, but keep your eyes wide open. 

Let me clear hear, I know by reading this book to this point it may look like I believe church is so toxic it can't be a part of a healthy faith life. Nothing could be father from the truth! 

The church is the body and bride of Christ. I would never attack her out of malice. All I am doing here is applying a little ointment to the obvious wounds from all of the wolf bites she has encountered. 

I said at the beginning isolation is what the devil wants but this is just one of his tools. 

This next chapter is a little about some of his other tools because honestly, unless you know the enemies tactics your only going to get another wolf bite and we will be back to square one. 

Let's not do that. So here's the devils tool box. This was a blog series I wrote over on daisy change. Right at the start of my blogging life. I thought about turninig it into a book, but the devil doesn't deserve that so he barely gets a chapter. 

Hope it helps. 

Devils Tool Box goes here. 

Now we've looked at the devils tools lets look at the tools you have been given from God.