Celebrating 50 Years, Amy’s 50th Birthday, 5 people, 1 God. (Audio & Transcript)

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Amy Watson 0:00
Wednesday’s child is full of oil goes the Old English poem. This Wednesday’s child may be full of Whoa. But whoa, must have really resisted the addition of resilience, hope, faith, love, and all of its cousins. Because today, y’all, this Wednesday’s child is 50. Do you hear me 50? Remember, 150 was old. Guess what? Not not so much. Welcome to a very special episode of The Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. It is Wednesday, December 1. This is our 50th episode, randomly scheduled to drop on a Wednesday, that happens to be my 50th birthday. And I happen to have been born on a Wednesday, I don’t believe the Old English poem and a smile on I think about baby Amy, true to form waiting for hump day to make my grand entrance. You’re in for a treat today, as I have asked one person from each decade of my life to share just a few minutes with me. These are people that know it all. They’ve been there through it all at some point in my life, all the trauma, all the pain and still to this day in some form. So walk with me as I navigate PTSD. And all of its friends. Selfishly I wanted this on audio. So this podcast in some ways as a birthday present to myself. Enjoy this episode as I celebrate 50 trips around the brightest star in the universe. May the true star of all 50 be glorified because on this day, more than any other. My simple prayer is this, sir, we would see Jesus. I am honored today to introduce you to some people that God has used, I could have picked so many people that we only have a short time. It is my prayer that you will find hope and healing and what you hear today. One of the things that I am reminded of is the scripture in the Bible. And it’s found in I believe all four gospels, but it’s the parable of the seed, where Jesus is talking about how some seeds some people are used to plant the seed some people are used to maintain the seed, work the field work the harvest, and then somebody gets to reap those seeds. And so today, one person from each decade of my life, the very first person being the person that dropped some of the very first seeds, and we’ll walk through each decade of my life and how all of the seeds are now we’re able to reap the harvest of everything that was invested in me. So I hope you guys enjoy this episode. It is going to be so much fun. And I can’t wait for you to hear from some of my favorite people in the world. And so without further ado, let’s drop into these conversations. Five people five decades, one God. Children are not to be molded but are merely people to be unfolded. Light filter dimly through the spiderwebs and dirt on the prison room windows. I had convinced mama to let me go to church with a nice people from across town. I’d bounce out of bed test the door to ensure that Mama unlocked it. Race to get ready and then shuffle down the stairs to wait for that old yellow school bus. Wreck drove the bus and his wife Sharon attempted to keep a bunch of kids from downtown Jacksonville the ghetto as some would call it, who had been bribed by candy to go to church. She was just trying to keep us in order. Their young daughter sat securely in a car seat next to her dad as he drove. Week after week when the bus pulled back in front of our house. I swallowed hard, stood a little straighter and prepared to go back to the battlefield we called home. Rick and Sharon must have known something because they begin to do something after Sunday morning church that events a day gives me life when I think about it. The Bible says that many are responsible for the harvest as I mentioned some plant some so some reap Rick and Sharon were called to plant and plant they did to represent my first decade. Today. Sharon is here to answer some of my questions, as well as any birthday sentiments that she may have for me. Let’s drop into this conversation with my friend, Sharon Reynolds. Look guys, I hope that you enjoyed that story with Sharon. Sharon is married and has been for a lot of years, I think 41 years. And they were the first people to plant the seed and the Amy Watson story. So it is my pleasure to introduce today to the podcast. Sharon Sharon, thank you so much for coming on to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcasts. I’ve been so excited about this conversation.

Sharon Reynolds 4:52
You’re welcome. I’m a little nervous, but I’ll make it

Amy Watson 4:55
you’re a little nervous but you’ll make it I told you we get an edit button so no worries. Well this is a celebration of my 50th birthday and I simply would not. I would not be celebrating a half century mark. You know, Sharon when I’m when I made it to 40 I was shocked, I did not have a problem with turning 40 I am struggling a little bit with her new 50 Because I remember 150 Sounded old, but I would not be here today without you and your husband Rick. And even as I pray just a few minutes ago by proxy, little Monique who couldn’t even speak what was the first to coined the term Mamie for me which my own nieces and nephews call me this to this day. And so I’m so grateful just to spend a few minutes with you. And so I’m going to jump right in. I know that I am asking you to reach way back into the annuals of your memory when I asked you to do this. But what is one of your earliest earliest memories of little Amy because you are in the first decade of my life. And so I was 10 years old when I first came to know you and Rick and so talk to us a little bit about your first memories of little Amy. I’ve been interested in these answers so far. I’d be interested in yours.

Sharon Reynolds 6:03
Wow, that was a while back. I think the first memory of you was you were a little of course you were little blond headed girl. So blonde. Your hair was almost white. But you were one of the very few kids that as the church was pulled up, you didn’t wait for us to blow the horn. You were out of the out of that front door. Like you’ve been shot out of a cannon. Some Sundays I was afraid you guys smack into the church bus door before

Amy Watson 6:44
some things never change. Right?

Sharon Reynolds 6:46
Right. And I couldn’t my only thought process on that was either Wow, she really likes coming to church with us. And always tucked this way in the back of my mind was afraid to bring it to the forefront because I wasn’t equipped to deal with it was is there something going on that makes her want to leave? Yeah. And get out of the house. I have sensed through the years honed my body reading abilities, a gift my my grandmother and from God, mostly that I can now tell there’s something wrong if you’re not being truthful, but back then it wasn’t harmed as much. Yeah, I had been. I might have been terrified.

Amy Watson 7:26
Yeah, imagine. Yeah. Imagine you were when you hear what Gail said, and the listeners will hear her after you. Yeah, she was like we knew something was wrong, but didn’t put our finger on it. Yeah, couldn’t put a finger on it. And so

Sharon Reynolds 7:40
because you were such a good actress, it’s such a young age, we didn’t realize you were already used to hiding things.

Amy Watson 7:45
Interesting. Interesting. And yeah, I was so young, only 10 years old. That is really, really interesting. Well, let me ask you this. So it because you really it’s a really beautiful segue into what I wanted to ask you to is what was going through your mind because at some point you tried your you knew something was up you didn’t know what and I know you well enough now to know like, you just kind of put it in the back of your mind and said, well let us do what we can do. And the listeners heard what you and Rick did do. But what was going through your mind on those Sundays as you tried to protect me the best you could what what made you take a chance on that little towheaded? Amy?

Sharon Reynolds 8:23
I I don’t know how to explain it. But I do know I remember one Sunday. You were sitting in your spot on the bus next to Monique and daring anyone to bother her. You are her fierce little protector. And that kind of endeared you in our hearts right there. Because you know if you loved our daughter, and it was honest, it was a pure protective love that you’re good in our book. But one Sunday we were talking about dinner, lunch, dinner, whatever you call it. And I mentioned Did you remember the ice cream and your radar went bowling? And you said ice cream? I said yeah, we usually have ice cream or we have a dessert. But usually it’s ice cream because Mr. Rick works for an ice cream company. And you took this deep breath and went, Oh, I love to ice cream for dessert. I mean, you know, in a way that only a 10 year old can that just rips your heart out. And so we got home that afternoon and I said I wonder if Amy’s parents would let her come eat Sunday dinner with us once in a while. And so he said well ask her next Sunday. And she can ask her her mom and dad because and then if they say yeah, we’ll just bring her home until she’s tired of us. And little knowing how many Sundays.

Amy Watson 9:41
We never got tired of you.

Sharon Reynolds 9:45
I know after each meal you would offer to help clean up and you always told me you’re a great cook and I was still struggling in the kitchen because Rick was a better cook than I was. And in some ways still is. But it then, you know, we put you knew you had to eat what was on that plate? And sometimes you would eat two plates. Wow. And I think that you would want for third I think you were trying to pack it in now realize for the week. And I’d say no, don’t don’t eat any more. You’ve already had what you have to have. So you can have some ice cream. And oh, man, you could pack away the ice cream.

Amy Watson 10:25
I remember him working for the ice cream company. I have such strong memories of the ice cream priors wasn’t it? Or or? Yes, it was bright. Yeah, it was fryers. I remember the ice cream. And I was packing it and I didn’t eat until you know, and maybe this was the first time I’ve ever told you this. But often, you know, we were lucky to get two or three meals locked in that room, that you had no idea that we were locked in. And so yeah, when I came to your house, I ate because I had food. And it’s so interesting that you say that about Monique because, you know that’s so who I am today, I’m still fiercely protective of people. But I just remember that little girl and I hope that Monique will listen to this episode, I want to shout her out because she was part of she is part of the redemption story. Because I just remember the hope even as a 10 year old just looking at the innocence of that little baby in that car seat sitting next to next to me on that bus. And I remember thinking I will I will never let what’s happening to me happen to you. And so I actually remember forming that thought at 10 years old. So So that answers the my question like you took a special interest in me and and it’s interesting too, that you say that I helped clean up before I was even taught and so so so I just remember to though, after we would have those those meals, we would take these epic naps, these Sunday naps, the ones that I wish I could take to this day. But what I want to tell you too is that was the only time I could sleep when I was safe was that time between Sunday after we got done eating and we went back to church on Sunday night at your house at yours in Rick’s house was the place where I was safe when I could sleep and and I hope that Lynette and Garth Piper are listening to this too because they came in later as my youth youth directors and sometimes I would go to their house that anytime I was at your house or somebody at victories house my friends, or Lynette and Garth was the time that I probably slept the best on those Sundays and I’m I just I’m so grateful. So grateful to you. As we are talking to podcast listeners out there. And this is a celebration of my birthday and really I’m dancing with the ones that brung me I would not be here, had you guys not planted the seed of Hey Amy, we love you, but Jesus loves you. And making and sharing I have such beautiful memories of sword drills. I still confined just about every book in the Bible faster than just about anybody. Scripture memorization in the darkest times of my life, and particularly I’m thinking particularly in the domestic violence portion of my life. That Scripture memory that you guys, you guys get it now you bribed us, but you guys that I want a candy or ice cream or something which is funny because I don’t have a sweet tooth now but I just remember that the scripture memorization and the songs and the just the love that I felt in that home and I want to publicly thank you for that. And I’m not I know you’re shy and introverted. So I won’t even ask for a response on that. But I want you to hear my heart on that. And so but I do want you to encourage those other people out there that are in churches and schools and neighborhoods when they see somebody a kid like me, and you get that still small voice in the back of your brain because Gail said the same thing she said I don’t know what it was about you mama gallon said the same thing. I don’t know what it was about you. But we just bonded well. We know what it was about me. It wasn’t about me at all. It was about a God who gave you guys a burden who gave you guys a calling. And you actually listened to that calling, as I’ve mentioned in the podcast with when I was on with Mama gown, which listeners will hear after you as you are the epitome of the Isaiah six nine which by the way, you taught me that scripture memorization where God says to the prophet Isaiah, who will I send and who will go for me? And Isaiah said, Then said I, Here am I send me? Well, I remember remember memorizing that scripture under your tutelage. And so do you have anything to people out there? Who sees a kid? Or somebody it could be a domestic violence survivor or somebody actually in the thick of it? What do you say to those people who hear that still small voices help that person? Give them some ice cream, whatever that version that ice cream is? What would you have to say to them?

Sharon Reynolds 14:47
One I would say listen to that voice. It’s not a voice. It’s God urging you on it’s the Holy Spirit going nudge nudge? Yeah, and in this day and age sometimes it’s scary to invite Have yourself in anything, agreed. But I think we never know what difference that will make in someone’s life, I had no clue we were going to have this kind of influence in your life, none whatsoever. But at the same time, it’s like little things you read on the internet and you hear from time to time, be kind to that person, you don’t know what they’re going through that one smile, that hug that word of encouragement might be what keeps them from harming themselves that day, or may give them the courage to go to the next step in winning the freedom from whatever situation they’re at. And we both know, there’s just so many situations in this world that can capture you and hold you.

Amy Watson 15:47
That’s so true. And had you guys not done that? Had you held all of those things close to your you know what I’m saying? Like had you had you said, That’s too messy, I don’t want to be involved in that. And and he and even Gail said, Who is on after you? Even Gail said we just didn’t have a clue. And you just set it to like you are already amazing at hiding what was going on, which is which is really enlightening to me as I continue to, to do this work. But that Yes, listen to those voices, don’t ignore them. If it’s ice cream, a cup of coffee sitting by them in church, you know, a nice little text message a check in anything, you never know, when you’re somebody’s lifeline. And you never know I share an I don’t claim to anything of fame, whatever happens as a result of this podcast, or anything I’ve ever written or anytime I ever have gotten, or will get behind another microphone or a podium, or keyboard will happen because Rick and Sharon Reynolds, planted the seed and I talked about the parable of the seed, as Jesus talks about in all four Gospels, and you guys planted it, and other people came along the children’s home and some people from college and and on and on and cultivated those seeds. And to survivors out there, I want to say to you that I did have a take I did have a role to play in this is that I received that seed. And here we are 30. Well, gosh, a lot of years later, 45 years later, 40 years later on a podcast that will be broadcast around the world. And as my doctor always says, the things that are that that I’m able to do. He said you shouldn’t be able to do that. I should I should be dead, really. And so I wanted to just thank you so much. And so as we close out, it is my birthday. This is the time and I don’t give my mic to people very often. But I wanted to give you the mic just I keep telling people this, this podcast episode might just be for me, because it’s going to be audio gold for me to have. But do you have anything you would like to share on my birthday episode because I am 50 That means you’re you know, 51 I’m just kidding. But I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you, Rick Reynolds, I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. Monique, I want you to know, I’ve loved you since you were two years old. And to Michelle, I didn’t get to know you as much. But what a fantastic family who has made Kingdom impact. And we don’t have time, but we could talk about your parents and just Kingdom advancing people who loved that little towheaded kid who ran to the bus so much so that she almost ran into the door, which is hilarious. So that part does not surprise me about me. But I do want to give you the mic as it is my 50th birthday as I’m given to everyone for anything that you would like to share so that I could have forever and ever. Amen.

Sharon Reynolds 18:37
Alrighty, well, first, I want to say 50 is nifty. And our family we celebrate every decade. So I’m glad you’re celebrating this decade. But I got back in contact with you a while back. And you were going through the end of the rough time with the court system. Yeah. And you in one of your blobs you wrote the question, Who am I? I don’t know who I am anymore. And I sat down after that and started writing. Little known fact I write my feelings. And I wrote this about you and if it’s too long, I’ll let you decide. Now you go for girl. All right. You have been to the fire and have come out forged to steal yet you have the softness of a newborn skin. You have witnessed face to face the evil of man when he yields to the prince of darkness. You have chosen to not let it make you hardened and uncaring towards others. By yielding yourself to the King of kings, you have sunk into the abyss of darkness and acute pain created by the evil that surrounded you. Yet when the light of pure love was given to you by those that God sent you fought and clawed your way into the light of a life worth living, all the while surrounded by a cloud of seen and unseen witnesses, pulling you forward and upward in both prayer and Dede, you hid the evil being perpetrated on you, because you were led to believe that this evil was deserved. And if you shared this pain, no one would believe you. Yet when the burden of pain caused by this evil became too great, you confess to those who truly knew you. And then they amaze you with strength, courage and love beyond your understanding. You turned your back on that evil from time to time. And then the evil would try to pull you back into the abyss. Yet you stand tall as a child of the Most High. Sometimes with knees knocking and gut churning, you need must face the evil and say, Get the hence Satan. inquiry of the name of Jesus knowing that his power is supplied by the father of light, love and liberty, which causes evil to flee for darkness cannot survive in the light. Who are you? He were Amy. You are a sister to an awesome woman who loves you like no other. You are Mamie, one of the few I trusted when my precious baby girl because you loved her with a pure protecting love. You were at maybe two others that you love and protect with the same fierceness. You are the niece of a man who proved to you a man could be kind, tender and loving in a way that did not cause harm. You were a cousin that with other peasants, created safe, loving and fun memories that to this day reside in your heart. You were Watson, entrepreneur extraordinaire. That was a mouthful. You’re a friend to people who know they can count on you having their back. You are an orphan as the world sees you, you have a family that was forged together through fire. Most importantly, though, you are a child of the King, orphaned no more. Your family circles the Earth and through this family. God sends reminders that you are his. That is who you are. You are seen. You are worthy. And you are so loved. Happy birthday, Amy.

Amy Watson 22:08
All right. Thanks for making me cry.

Sharon Reynolds 22:10
You’re welcome.

Amy Watson 22:11
Wow. Oh, my word.

Thank you so much for that you’ve left me speechless. And that’s pretty hard to do. Thank you. Thank you for being here. I just love you to death. Monique and Rick manette Garth, the Ministry of victory Baptist Church, the Ministry of Victory Christian Academy. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for being here. Sharon.

Sharon Reynolds 22:36
You’re welcome. love you girl.

Amy Watson 22:38
love you more. My heart felt like it was going to explode. My breathing was too fast and too shallow. Uh, fell to the ground. The concrete semi indoor basketball court was an altered by my heart fall. In short order. I was in my cabin at the bill rice ranch in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She refreshed the cold washcloth and returned it to my head. I felt better almost instantly. But the warm sensation I felt from the care of an adult who wanted nothing more than to help me. I was excited. She was my counselor. She found her way into my heart long before that. Gail was the wife of the pastor of that same church where Rick and Sharon answered that I was every week. I honestly don’t remember my first interaction with Gail. I do have vivid memories of her pursuing me, invited me to sit with her at church. I loved when she rested her arm on the church pew behind me. It felt like a hug and she felt like a mom and knew she was different. And I pursued her right back. As it would turn out. Gail and her late husband Ray also planted seeds, but they were there too. So them too. As oft mentioned on this podcast, Gail was the person who is brave enough to call the authorities once there was enough evidence of abuse and neglect. Today I’m honored to have her here as we pick up where Sharon left off. Soon enough. They didn’t have to pick me up for church because for the first time in my life, I had my own bed, three meals and was not responsible for anything else besides myself. And how I acted not my food, not my shelter. I wasn’t responsible for any adults. I have Gail to thank for that. And today I’m so honored that she would come on to the podcast and share a little bit with you of what she remembers of teenage Amy and how her family really is the reason why I am able to turn 50 today. I love Gail so much I have not seen her in decades. And so I am so grateful that she agreed to come on to the podcast today to tell a little bit of her memory of those times and to wish me a happy birthday sent Two minutes. So let’s jump into this conversation with. Well, guys, I hope that you enjoyed that conversation with my friend Sharon Reynolds, who was one of the very first to plant a seed. And as the reason why I can be behind a microphone and tell you about the star of the story, who is Jesus? Next up, y’all I have been looking forward to this conversation more than I can really put into words, and I am so grateful that people who have listened to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast have heard me mention this family many, many times. Because they they took the seed that Rick and Sharon planted, and they planted some more seeds and cultivated the ones that were already planned. And so this is Gail Dunning, who I would not Dunning anymore, but I knew her as Dunning. And she and her late husband, Ray were my pastor and his wife and their family, and who took me on for about 18 months. And so if you’ve listened to the podcast, you know that story, if not head back to season one by Gail, I would love to welcome you to the podcast today. I can’t pronounce your new last name so so that we do that Justice what it tell us your new last name. Vandenberg Vandenberg, that’s not that difficult. So yes, we lost your late husband, Ray a couple years ago, his birthday is coming up, I always remember his birthday because it was exactly one week from mine. And so I know that he is watching down from heaven, so proud of you. And and of me, frankly, I know that he would be proud of me. And so we’re just gonna jump right into this. So I just have a couple questions for you. It’s my birthday, you said at the beginning of the when we started as your show. And so it is kind of my show. So I keep telling people, I hope everybody else enjoys this episode, because this is really for me. And so it is my 50th birthday when you’re listening to this episode. And I gotta tell you, where, right when I made it to 40 I thought hallelujah, thank you, Jesus. I didn’t I never thought I’d make it before it. But now 50 is like, wow, as we look over the faithfulness of God. And so, Gail, I have asked you to come in, I asked Sharon to come in and kind of represent for that first decade because I was 10 years old when they came and picked me up while they weren’t the original ones to come and invite me to church. They were the ones that cultivated that. And then, of course, I came to victory at first. We had a pastor there Dr. Estes, and then you and Ray came. And I can’t remember when I actually first met you. And I know it’s been a long time ago, and I’m asking you to read way back. But what are some of your very first earliest memories of a young Amy?

Gayle Dunning 27:39
sweet, lonely little girl. Beautiful. And blonde, it can be too thin, way too thin. You started speaking to me every service. And then one day, he said, Can I sit with you? And I said, sure. You can sit with us, of course. So actually, I didn’t pick you. You picked me. And you started sitting with us every service that you were at church. So I was lonely. We were new there. And I wasn’t lonely. And I felt very glad to have someone to reach out to me. And be friendly to me.

Amy Watson 28:28
Wow. So I think everybody first is going to be Amy was shy, really I keep telling people that but nobody believes me. So here’s somebody who has confirmed what I said is that I was shy. And obviously then from being malnourished and locked in rooms and all the things I do remember and you’ll you’ll get a gift from me on this episode, because I told a story at the beginning that you’ll hear when that episode drops. But one of the things I said in that story was how much it meant to me when I would sit with you guys at church. And you would put your arm on the Pew behind me. And you knew where you knew how far you could go and how far you couldn’t. And so sometimes you accept your arm a little bit about around my shoulder, and I remember my body almost physically reacting to that. And then you would move your hand back a little bit, but it still felt so much like a hug to me. And I just remember, gravitating towards you because you cared

Gayle Dunning 29:21
eventually, not at first,

Amy Watson 29:23
right. And I’m still not a huge hugger. But I’d love to have one from you right now. I’m not gonna lie. February. That’s right. That’s February coming to Florida. Yeah. So one of the things that I wanted to ask you, and I didn’t realize that I know that being you know, one of my best friends as a pastor’s wife. I tend to kind of gravitate to pastors families, for some reason. I have a couple friends that are pastors wives, and I tend to gravitate to them. I’m not sure why. So it doesn’t doesn’t surprise me that I came to you. And it’s interesting because I was about 10 or 11 when you and Ray came to victory, and so some significant trauma had happened up until that point. And so I was looking for somebody to love. And I just remember feeling very loved by you from a maternal standpoint, but you guys were new there, you had three kids of your own competing for your attention. And you just said, I chose you. And fair enough at the beginning. But at some point, you chose to continue to invest in me. And the story that I told that you’ll hear when the episode drops was at the bill rice Ranch, a very vivid memory I have at the bill rice Ranch, you are my camp counselor there. But so even Yeah, it was such a precious memory I felt so loved and safe and fed. But you still decided so even though young towheaded, Amy came to you and pursued you, and what a blessing that is to my heart to hear that, you know, you were feeling lonely. And so this gave us some something that that’s, that’s so cool. And it really is a testament to who we are, who we are at, something I would do today is come up to people and talk to them. But you still chose to invest in me. And lots of people listen to this podcast are in ministry, and they don’t know what to do with situations like mine hurting children. But what made you keep choosing me?

Gayle Dunning 31:10
Well, my mom and dad taught us from very young, that everybody needed to be loved. And everybody needed to be drawn in to not only the love of Christ, but the love of people, godly people loving godly people, or even godly people loving ungodly people. And that’s why we chose. That’s why I chose to continue loving you. Do you want me to tell the story of how you actually came to live with


Amy Watson 31:50
Yeah, I do. Because that would have been my next question. So one night, I came to church and told you some things. And I really want to hear your version of this because I only remember. Okay, very dramatically. My version of it. So I know I came to church and told you some things. And for the sake of the podcast, and to keep it PG I don’t we’re not gonna say what I told you. But yes, I’d love to hear the story of how I came to live with you and Ray, and David and Tim and Rachel. Okay.

Gayle Dunning 32:15
Okay, here we go. One Sunday evening, you came in, and you had a large paper grocery bag with you. And the top was folded, closed. And you came in and you sat down, and you put the paper bag under the pew. And, um, by that time, sometimes you were sitting next to Rachel and sometimes you were sitting between us. And anyway, I leaned forward and I said, What’s in the bag, Amy? And you said everything I need? I said, Okay, what do you mean, everything you need? And you said, Well, I’m not going back to that house. And I have everything that I need for the next couple of days. I said, Well, where are you going? Are you going to go spend the night with somebody? And you said, I don’t I don’t know where I’m going to go. But I know I’m not going back home. I said, what’s going on? And he said that things are happening to me there. And I’m just not going back to that house. And I was alarmed. I jumped up. I ran up to the lay in run, but I walked up to the platform. And I said, Ray, something’s going on with Amy. And I don’t know what it is. But I think I need to take her out of the service before it starts. So that I can talk with her and find out what’s going on. And he said, Okay, he said, I want you to have somebody with you that knows her better than you do. Because you don’t know her that well. And I said, Okay, who do you suggest? And he he thought for a few minutes. And then he said, I think Mary Lou should be the one that would go with you and Amy. And so I I went over and Mary’s daughter was there. And she wanted to come to I felt like it needed to just be me, you and Mary Lou. So, Mary Lou and I and you we went to a little room at the back, you know, at behind the pulpit area. There were some little rooms in that hall. And we went to that little room and we sat at a table and I said what’s going on? And you wouldn’t go into A lot of graphic detail. You just said there was a man that was living at your mom’s house and he was doing things to you that you that you thought were wrong and that you did not want him to do to you. A felt like we needed to know that this was sexual abuse and that we needed to do something more drastic. And so I went back out in the song service had already started, but I went ahead and got ready to sit down from the pulpit for a second while I said this sounds like sexual abuse to me. And he said, Well, it sounds like we need to call CPS. And so he he motioned to Gary and asked Gary to come and go with me. So Gary and Mary Lou, and you and I, we call CPS and we let you do most of the talking. We sat there listening. And then when the CPS officer had a question for the adults we would answer. Then, after we spoke to them, they said we agree she should not be going back to that home because it could become drastic. And in my mind, I’m thinking is drastic enough already. In any case, I’m

the CPS officers said Do not take her home with you tonight Mrs. boning, she needs to go someplace where her mom does not know where she’s at. or anything she needs to go to someone, someone else. And so Mary Lou said that she could take you home with her for the night or for the next two nights, however long needed. So that night, you went home with Mary Lou. And the next day you even came to school the next day. And after school? Well not. I think probably in the in the afternoon, CPS called and asked if we could come and bring you to an office in downtown Jacksonville. And we said yes. And so we took you out of school. We told the other children to just go to the their dad’s office and wait, when we got back. We went to downtown Jacksonville to the CPS officer office and met with a CPS official, a couple of representatives and a couple of legal aides. And they talked with you. And they asked if you could come and stay with us. And we really nice. Both said yes. And we were not we were living in that little house. I don’t know

Amy Watson 38:12
if you read on Bassett road. Yeah.

Gayle Dunning 38:15
We were living in that little house. And so you and Rachel had to share a bedroom. And somehow somewhere we got an extra bed to put in there. And so from that point on you stayed with us until they told us okay, next toward the end of the week, you’re going to be called in to meet with the judge. And so we saw okay, we’ll meet with the judge. Come to find out it wasn’t that at all. It was an actual court in the court culture mother and asked her mother to come to court that day. And so we had planned a three day family getaway. And so we packed up all our stuff and the kids and we packed up you you had all of your belongings that you could that you had with you. And so we just we didn’t know what was going to happen. And so we were prepared for the worst. In any case, we went to Jacksonville court. And the kids and I stayed out in outside and waited at the car. And you and Ray went inside into the meeting and met with the judge and it wasn’t just the judge it was court and they went in and you sat up with the the legal adviser and the judge asked to a few questions, and you answer, and then he asked great to stand and raise stood. And um, he didn’t even call Ray by the right name. He called him a totally different name, but he met Ray. So Ray stood and the judge said, you are the pastor of this church? And Ray said yes. And raised in he said, and you’ve known this child for a while, and Ray said, Yes. And he said it. And I’ve known about her her circumstances for a while, too. He didn’t mean the sexual abuse, but he meant that you were from a very poor family. And so the judge said, Well, in this case, I remand this child, any Bodenheimer to the care of you and your wife. And that was that,

Amy Watson 40:59
wow. And I remember that was after that, that core day had to have been after like, member, she agreed to take me back or to get rid of the man. And you guys took me back to the house. And then there was a note on the door, where she said, gonna get married mom. And so I remember that court hearing after that. And I remember the judge signing away my mom’s parental rights. But that story is so precious that you told to me because I don’t remember most of that. It was so traumatic. And so, so So I lived with you guys for 18 months. And during those 18 months, I that was the first time I had my own bed. That was the first birthday. I remember the birthday that I spent with you guys. You guys bought me this pink bike. And that bike was like the thing, right? It was it was everything to me. I remember you and I taking walks around the neighborhood because we moved from that smaller house to a bigger house out kind of a little bit separated, had a pool. And yeah, I remember re getting doughnuts every Wednesday night after church. And every Thursday, I remember the first time every week zoom was because you made me. And so I settled in nicely. And my counselor often says those things shouldn’t be able to happen. But I felt very loved. But certainly, and I’ve mentioned it many times on this podcast, when a child has that much trauma, there is some attention seeking behavior. And I had a bunch of it and I needed some help. And so there came a time when you guys had the made the very difficult decision to place me in faith children’s home in Tampa, Florida, for which I will always be incredibly grateful because Jacksonville in and of itself, even to this day, Gail holds nothing really nothing very, very few good memories for me. And so to get me out of Jacksonville was so smart. And to get me into the children’s home was also so wise because they were equipped as they could be to handle stories like mine. But I’ve always wondered what that felt like for you. What was that decision like for you

Gayle Dunning 43:01
before we go there? Can I tell you a little more? Sure.

Amy Watson 43:04
Yes, go ahead.

Gayle Dunning 43:06
Do you remember the day that you my mother and I went to your former home to get whatever belongings that you wanted?

Amy Watson 43:21
I do and I remember it all being gone.

Gayle Dunning 43:25
And it was heartbreaking to me and my mother to see you walking around in that place. Looking in saying I had this, I wanted this it was my dad said I wanted this and it wasn’t there yet. And I remember how heartbroken you were about that. And it just it just broke my heart. And it made us want to try to give you everything that had been taken away. As far as the decision. You the court had said that it was required for you to see a child psychologist for several sessions and so we did our best to find a Christian psychologist because we did not believe it would be in your best interest to have a secular one because they would not understand what are faithless. In any case, you saw a wonderful man who, um, I feel like helped you.

Amy Watson 44:41
I remember him I’m trying to remember his name Dr. L some big gun with an L.

Gayle Dunning 44:47
Yeah, I remember that much also. Yeah, in any case, after several months, so many sessions. He asked to see Ray and I alone And so we went in to see him and he said, I love Amy, my heart breaks for her circumstances. But I’ve done all that I can do. And she said, I need to tell you and Ray, that you are not equipped to help her. You are not equipped to deal with what she has gone through. And she needs more structure and more help than what you can give her considering you’re a pastor. And you both are working. He said, This is not going to work she needs every day all day focused attention. So we didn’t know what to do. We pray, I cry, he probably cried with me. But we would sit I would sit on the end of the bed and just saw because I felt like a failure. And it was so difficult for me to accept the fact that I had done all that I could do wasn’t enough. So we started looking, we started asking questions. We talked to other foster parents, we just searched out every avenue that we could. And finally, Dr. SDS said, you know, I think Amy needs to go to the children’s home that we support, they are prepared to help someone in her situation. They have several that have gone through this. They have focused attention and they have people that are trained. And she will get that all day one on one attention that she desperately needs. So after many tears, and much searching and prayer, we reached out to the children’s home and they at first they weren’t sure they had room. And so we just we prayed and waited and prayed and waited. And then one night they called and said we have a space. Can she come this next week? And we I mean, I was like, oh my That’s too fast. I’m not prepared. I don’t know that she’s prepared. I don’t know if this is the best thing. But we decided that for your welfare, for your maturing spiritually as well as physically and mentally and emotionally. We needed to do. So we went ahead. And we got you ready. And Ray took you down. I had to stay home with the kids, but really took you down to the home. And the whole time he was gone. I was just a basket of tears. But anyway.

Amy Watson 48:10
Well, I was gone. But I wasn’t.

Gayle Dunning 48:14
We got to bring you all in once a month. Or if we couldn’t bring you home, we got to go down and visit you once a month.

Amy Watson 48:21
Yeah. And I have to tell you that some of the life lessons that I have that I learned in those early years were on those trips when it was just you and me rushing back from from church to Tampa. And looking at it Gail from a 50 year old standpoint, and you weren’t even 40. At this point, I think that we need to highlight that right? You weren’t even 40 at this point. And so looking at that decision from my lens now as an adult who has had not official foster children in my home, but has had people that have lived in my home for a short while, and just being and my own stepson who I sent, actually to the children’s home who unfortunately died of a drug overdose a little over two years ago. And so now I know how it felt like for you. And I just want to thank you for making that decision. Because it was a very unselfish decision. Right? I know because I know that I loved ray with all of my heart and he was the first man that that that I could say that about because so many had hurt me before that. But you and I had this unbelievable special bond. And we still do even though we attempted to do this on Zoom earlier. We hadn’t seen each other for for over 35 years. And so this is just my chance to say thank you for making that unselfish, unselfish decision, and we bring up your mom for a second and let me just tell the world what a treasure Martha Googe was. I remember her at the time I think they lived up in Chattanooga or somewhere like that and and I would get packages in the mail to your house with my name and and Rachel and Tim and David didn’t get it, but I got it. And she had gone shopping for me and bought me clothes, I can still remember what those clothes look like. And so you need to know that that legacy that your mom and dad built in you as missionaries and Anguilla and and you have brothers from from that island and nieces and nephews. And so it had always been in your heart to help kids like me. But I am so incredibly grateful. And so as we, as we close out here, this is a humdinger of a question. But as I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, this is going to be for me more than anybody else. And so it is my 50th birthday, you were one of five that I chose to be on the podcast for my birthday. And so I would just like to give you a couple minutes to say anything that you would like to say, as it pertains to me. And you know, wish me a happy birthday?

Gayle Dunning 50:42
Well, Amy, I totally agree with you, there were you had some really serious medical issues. And there were times after I, we let you go to the children’s home, I worried that you were going to get what you needed. If you were going to get the medical help you needed. I should have trusted them. But I didn’t, because in my heart and my mother, but I’m grateful that you are making your 50th birthday. Yes, I want to say Happy, happy birthday, may be blessed in may be special. And may it be exciting. And may God bless you. So strong, and so much. You have a story that can impact and help so many. And I am so grateful that you are using that story, not for the negative, you focus on the positive. And I am so grateful for you telling the story in that way, because so many just focus on the negative instead of the positive and you are choosing to focus on the positive of what God can and will and does do. We can see it in you. I have to admit, I didn’t agree with every decision you made. But you know what I had given you to the Lord when I first got to you. And so I had to trust him that he was going to continue to work. I’m proud of you, and the direction God has taken you. And I pray that this birthday will be one of the best you’ve ever had. Though I believe with all my heart, the ones we have in heaven will be even better.

Amy Watson 52:45
Yeah, I can’t. Can’t disagree with you there. Well. You said my three, you said my three favorite words. And those are I’m proud of you. And so I want you to know that you guys

Gayle Dunning 52:56
May the Lord bless you and keep you and increase you and strengthen you and give you wisdom and courage and love. I love you.

Amy Watson 53:12
I love you so much. Gayle. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your investment in my life. You need to know that. As I mentioned in the beginning of the podcast, which this part you didn’t hear but the scripture that is in all four Gospels where Jesus tells the parable of the sower, some people plant some people, some people cultivate and some people are able to reap well. I want you to know that the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast Every word I’ve ever written. Every time I’ve gotten behind a microphone at a church or somewhere would not be possible without the investment of you and Ray and the Ministry of victory Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida and Victory Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. And I could name 50 People from that church and that school who are the reason why I am still here today. So thank you for being here with us today. I love you. And I can’t wait to see you in February.

Gayle Dunning 54:08
Okay, I can’t wait either.

Amy Watson 54:16
I’ve always loved mountain air. There’s something about it that promotes clear thoughts. The air is grounded and and the weather in the spring perfect. It was on one of those days I found myself sitting on the top step of a massive outdoor staircase and Front Royal Virginia at a church. I had sunglasses on this so that she couldn’t see my tears. But she merely listened. As for the first time ever I articulated some of the horrors of the first 15 years of my life. Mama gallon create a space in my heart the very first day I became a resident of faith children’s home in Tampa, Florida. And I’ve told that story on this podcast before about how she was one of the first people who ever told me that they loved me. And that’s a really cool story. So hopefully you can catch that somewhere on another podcast. But she and Dan McGowan had founded the children’s home before I was even born. At that point, they were no longer part of the day to day operations at the children’s home, but they still traveled with us and we visited supporting churches. It was those times that she would lend an ear. Give me sound advice write me pink notes. Pink notes whose words reflected sowing the seeds planted by Rick and Sharon continued cultivation by Galen Re. Mama gallon also planted more seeds, seeds, a truth that were on time, they would have fallen on lethal soil before this time in my life. I’ve always had a special bond with Mama gallon. Today she and dad McGowan are living their lives still in the Tampa Bay area. And I hope that they are embellishing and the fruit of the harvest of their work. This podcast is one of those fruits. Today in a rare interview appearances mama gallon, and I get to spend just a few minutes with her and you guys get to hear what I got to hear. And that wisdom that I got to sit under for eight years while I was at the children’s home. So let’s drop into this conversation with Mama gallon. Okay, guys, I hope that you are enjoying these conversations and a little walk down memory lane, as Sharon and Rick Reynolds planted that seed took me to church, and had Sunday afternoon dinners with me and really just served a role in my life before Galen Ray Dunning picked up that stick and that baton and kept me in their home for 18 months. And now I am so honored to bring to the microphone, and a rare rare interview appearance. I’m not sure that she would do this for many people. But she has agreed to do it for me here on my 50th birthday. One of the people that is absolutely responsible for my being alive, you heard me tell just one of many stories that I could have told in the introduction about how mama gallon has just stood in gaps and stood in gaps and stood in gaps for me since I was 14 years old. And so mom, I would just love to welcome you to the podcast.

Thank you for doing this.

Mom McGowan 57:21
You’re very welcome.

Amy Watson 57:22
I am incredibly, incredibly grateful. I know the rarity of being able to grab you. And so we’ll just jump right in. I know that it has been a long, long time. But I am very, very curious. This has been a really fun question for me to ask, what are some of your earliest memories of me?

Mom McGowan 57:39
Well, it has been a long time. But it is a day. And Amy, I will always have in my memory for when I walked into the kitchen. And I looked over and there was a girl 14 years old, over in a little corner by the refrigerator. And as I looked at her she’s saying in our heart, I’m here. And I looked over to your eyes. And I saw so much hurt once you had been through, and no words can put what came out of your eyes and want bond and instantly, I felt in my heart towards you. And I just prayed them before I even walked over to you. I prayed all dear Jesus. Let give us the wisdom to show her Jesus’s love. Not only that, but people that love her and let us be real to her. And so then I walked over to you and leaned over. And you looked at me funny. And I said, let me ask you a question. Has anyone told you today that they love you? And honestly, I don’t remember your response. I think he just looked at me. I did. But I felt that for her. So as I look back, I just have so much thankfulness in my heart for what God has done in your life and he gets all the glory. He does get

Amy Watson 59:17
all the glory. And you guys taught me that you really did. And I remember that day. And it’s been well documented on the podcast. And I did I just looked at you because I thought I mean you have such a southern accent as my listeners are hearing. But I started the podcast and this is going to be my gift to you when the episode actually drops. But I told the story about when we were at a church in Front Royal, Virginia, I will never forget it. And there were a ton of stairs and you and I sat at the top of the stairs as we waited to get ready for this service. And for the first time in my life to anybody I told you. Some of the things that had happened to me in great detail. Gail was on the podcast earlier and she said I never would tell them any details. And so I’m just wondering as an adult, I can’t even imagine Some kid coming to me telling me everything that I told you. Do you remember your thoughts on that day? And in that moment? Yes, oh,

Mom McGowan 1:00:07
I remember that day very clearly, we had to come early back to the church that day, which we didn’t always do. But I guess some of the kids had people had that will go to work or something. And then they left them at the church, and you happen to be one that was there. And so we went up to that, like you said, top stay up, and I looked at you, and we just for a few minutes, just sort of exchange things and all the sudden, but this time, you and I had formed a relationship. But I know there was so much hurt down in your heart, there was a past that you felt you could or would never share. As I listened to you, Amy, my heart was hurting for you. As we sat there on those steps, you slowly began to share those awful things that was in your past. From the day we formed a special bond, as I listened to you, and the feeling that I have was hurting for you. But God put a love in my heart instantly. And that was the bond for you. And as you deal with people, you’re gonna have that, but it doesn’t come with everyone. But you will have experiences like that. And you were you were one of them.

Amy Watson 1:01:34
Well, thank you. And I knew that God knew that I needed that. I had never been able to call anyone mom before. I will never forget, you know, you wrote me pink notes after pink note and listeners that are listening in the children’s home, everything was donated, and somebody had donated sheets and sheets of pink paper and mom would write me letters, or little notes. And I still have all of those to this day. And there was a special bond. And I just want to thank you mom on this podcast for listening to me that day, because I believe that that was the day that started so much healing because you listen to me. We were at that church because we traveled and sang and you and dad. And this is something that I’ve always wanted to know. So by the time I got to the children’s home, I got there in 1987. So the children’s home have just celebrated at least the one in Tampa, like their 20th anniversary, but you and dad like dad was a had a full career in the military and you had two children, London Cindy, who I love shout out to them, they will be listening to this. I love them, both of them also a reason why I am doing what I’m doing today. But what spurred you guys to start a children’s home in your 40s Basically,

Mom McGowan 1:02:43
well let me back up just for a minute about those steps. They will continue. The Lord gave me the verse He healed us and brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. And Amy, that is just for God did for us that day, slowly, one at a time.

Amy Watson 1:03:01
So true. So true. And it wasn’t done right. You guys walked through me. I mean, I have you in one decade, but you’ve been in four of them, including when I was going through the domestic violence and you’re right that that that is such a precious verse, but it really was, you know, my getting out of that. And my healing is so rooted in the children’s home and dad McGowan and you and the pink notes and dad saying, Dan church, stay on your knees stay in the word of what I didn’t do and made mistakes. But do you remember what the Lord has called you guys to help kids did something happened to spur that on?

Mom McGowan 1:03:40
Well, we lived in Covington, Indiana, and of course, we had a good church there. We were there 10 years. And we dad did a lot of things. He was the choir director, the music director, and he was a deacon and much more and we held Bible clubs. And for the fifth and sixth graders and then for some of the older children, we had them in the yard, they would come and we would just teach them God’s word. And this is something you would never remember. Because Cecil, that is ancient. We did flower boards for you showed the children on the flannel board.

Amy Watson 1:04:15
I actually kind of do remember that. Yeah.

Mom McGowan 1:04:18
Yes, we did that. And then the word. As dad says you get all your answers from the word. Just different things. Different verses were just coming to us and coming to us. And the main verse was in John Hart it says, So sin died you? Well, I could and that couldn’t get that verse out of our heads. And at that time, he was doing a missionary contado was acquired there. And the name of the cantata was so sand Daiyu so we really and truly took that as Okay, Lord, we’re gonna obey. We don’t know what’s out there. We don’t know what you want us to do. But we’re we’re We’re here and we’ll do whatever it is you want us to do, or wherever you want to send us. And that’s how it all began.

Amy Watson 1:05:07
Wow, I had actually never heard that part of the story. And so for those of you don’t know about the children’s home quickly, they started their first children’s home in Melbourne, Florida children’s home, and had three children’s homes ultimately, before dad retired completely by faith, never bought anything, everything was donated, I learned so many moms, so many of my friends mom, referred to me as as a prayer warrior. And I learned that from you guys from the children’s home learning that all things happen on our knees. And boy, when I have veered from that, I have paid for it dearly. But it reminds me of that verse in Isaiah six, verse nine, which I believe is true about my life, where the Lord says, who was sent and who will go for me. And then the prophet Isaiah says, Then said, I hear him I send me. And that is the prayer of my heart as I go out. And I minister and as you mentioned, you know, there will be those times when I will bond with people that I’m helping. And I have done that I’ve really experienced that. But one of the reasons why I really want to do here on my 50th birthday is because you you are teaching me to carry your torch, I want to take it from you. And I want to carry the torch to help people and obey the call to go to the Amy’s in the middle of a cabinet and a refrigerator and follow the prompting of the Lord. And so I guess that’s kind of my question to you is for those out there listening who are like I want to make that kind of difference in the lives of people you obey that call, the obedience of that call for the Lord to send you is the reason why on December the first 2021 On this day that this podcast is being broadcast that I’m celebrating a fifth my 50th birthday, because you answered that call, because dad answered that call. But there are people out there wondering, how do I know? How do I know when I should help him when I shouldn’t? Do you have any advice for people that want to invest in the lives of those around us like you did me?

Mom McGowan 1:07:10
Yes, I do. First of all, you said that you surrendered your calling that you took from me, and I’m glad you said that he makes encourages me. And that makes me even more so happy to pray for you. I know, God is usually new greatly and will continue. But there’s days to Amy that you get weary and discouraged. But the person that you’re dealing with, no matter who just love that person loved us so much for them and they can tail me Yes. And you know this because you were on the other side, if it’s real or not. Amen, we have a lot of people that go off on that. But you can tell. So let that person give your heart to that heart of the one you’re trying to reach. And they will know that you are real, and not just someone there to talk to or try to get you better, or whatever. And stay is that says stay in the word as you read His Word, and glean from it, the person you’re dealing with that day, God always gives a verse before you start to talk from your devotion that morning, or sometimes just that still small voice in your ear. And that helped me more than anything. And the children are just like you know, are desperate for someone to care and to love them. And they it’s what you’re there to do this through the problems and all but you have to first bond that love and ask God to give that love from your heart to the person that you’re helping. And sometimes I mean, they don’t respond, we know that not everyone is a success story. But that doesn’t change the fact you’re still supposed to do what God has called you to do with that person. It’s up to them to accept or to reject. But the encouraging part, I’ll share a story with you when not more than just one maybe. But we had this young man and we just managed especially that manager to administer this boy. And when he left we both just said, Oh, water laws, water laws. So we hadn’t heard from him years. And then one of our reunions that we had this man came up to me and he said, You don’t know who I am, do you? And I looked at him and I said, Well, I do and I don’t. But the one that I was thinking would never be here today. And he said, Well, it is me. Wow. And he told me his name and I looked at him I said oh my goodness first then answer. I would never in 100 years believe that you took in anything that we don’t. He said I didn’t for years it was there but I didn’t. I didn’t listen to I did my own thing. And then gradually, some things happened in my life. And I look back at the children’s home and I look back, or she won’t, and not just as a staff, and I’ll count me. And he said, acid, I’m gonna go and let them know. And I want to thank you. So I knew when you looked at the most discouraging one that you’re trying to help, don’t give up. Just keep doing it keep doing even if that person rejects you. You may not ever he may know later, they may contact you. But we don’t know the others that that remembered and obeyed God that we never know about. But that’s okay. God knows. And it’s, that is what keeps you going. And I want to share something with you about what makes you keep you going. This is from my heart to your heart. I had discouraging days to its home. And you were the one that helped me through discouraging days because I looked at you. And I saw real commitment and real love. I mean, not every day didn’t pop out on you. But basically, and I, as I said, we had a bond and when I was discouraged, you are the encourager, to me, you never knew that.

Amy Watson 1:11:19
But But wow, I didn’t know that. But it was modeled for me well with you. I didn’t know that. But you know, looking through the lens of an adult now, I see. I’m really kind of speechless. I’m so grateful to have what you just said to me on audio, because it’s just so precious to my heart. And you and dad always used to say, and this was so ingrained in my mind as when you talked about ministry, if one person, if one child, makes it out of here, and carries on the gospel, and heals and does things, it will be all worth it. I hope mom, I don’t hope I know that I’m, I’m one of those ones. But to hear that I as a child encouraged you to keep going as so is the best birthday gift that you could possibly possibly give me. And so I just want to thank you for being here today. Thank you for being here. For my birthday celebration, I will always treasure this, I will always treasure my time at the children’s home. And I think that what you’ve given the people that will listen to this podcast is just an encouraging word. And to my heart, I had no idea mom, you know, we you know, you’ve walked with me through four of the five decades that I have been alive. And you have walked with me through some dark times and the domestic violence that we’ve talked about on here. And I know that that must have been scary and discouraging and all the things for you. But you never gave up on me. You and dad drove to Jacksonville when I had major surgeries and you just never given up on me. And so it wasn’t like I left a children’s home when I graduated from college. And you guys just said, Hey, good luck with that. So you never gave up on me. And in those darkest hours, I always remembered something that you said to me. And it was taught and it talked about bitterness and resentment and anger. And you taught us and you would point and I’m pointing to my heart, what’s in here, comes out here and I’m pointing to my face. And so it’s because of you that I can get behind the microphones and keyboards and podiums at churches and stuff like that. It is because of faith children’s home and you and the call but I am so grateful to be at least one of the ones that I hope made that ministry worth it for you guys.

Unknown Speaker 1:13:38
Well, let me say this to Amy. As we look at you, we just thank the Lord for you. And for what you’re you’re doing it just makes our heart warm and we thank Jesus, that you truly are spreading the gospel and helping hundreds and hundreds of hurting people and they know it’s real. But I have to tell you this as you dad said to tell you that you were his encourager every time he needed a sip of water there was sitting on the pope

Amy Watson 1:14:14
oh my god that means the world to me. Yeah, he called me as cut beer and dad was Dad Dad was one of the ones that I was not afraid of. And he had me get him those cups of water to put on the pulpit because he knew that I that he needed to find a way to connect with me. Well, Mom, I have taken the baton from you. You may rest tell dad he may rest

Mom McGowan 1:14:37
me you know what I do? Have a morning. I don’t know if there’s your church uses this song but is out. Just say the words because you know I can’t sing every morning. In the morning. When I rise. Give me Jesus Give me

Amy Watson 1:14:53
Jesus. And you know what? You know what other song that I would I would sing if I could but I can’t so I won’t but you Thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me. Yes, yes, you’ve given me a, you’ve given me a family, a fine family is what we used to saying. Thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me and Mom, thank you for being here. And like I said, You may rest I have the baton. And I hope that people behind me will take the baton from me, but we will never stop standing up in a world in a dark world. Even if I have to stand alone. I will never stop fighting for hurting people just like you didn’t. I want you to rest mom. I want dad to rest. We got it from here. And I got one last question for you mom the gallon? Has anybody told you today?

Mom McGowan 1:15:41
Yes, they have dad McGowan. But I’ve had, and I haven’t heard it from you. But I just did. And you know, know what joy that brings to my heart.

Amy Watson 1:15:51
Well, I love you. And we got it from here. I want you to rest and knowing that all of that work, all of the toiling some of the seeds that you planted for some of the kids did land on deaf ears, but somebody cultivated that late later. But this podcast is a cultivation of the seeds that you planted in my life at 15 years old. That’s a long time ago, 30 years ago, and I don’t know 35 years ago, 35 years ago, you planted that seed and so I just want to thank you so much. And as as we end here, I just please tell dad that I love him. And I want both of you to give me the baton. I will give it to others. We got it from here.

Mom McGowan 1:16:33
Well, here it is. I mean, you have it.

Amy Watson 1:16:35
I love you so much. Mom, thank you for being here today.

Mom McGowan 1:16:38
I love you so much and so proud of looking at you and not a godly, wonderful lady of God that you are.

Amy Watson 1:16:48
Well thank you mom. It doesn’t happen without you. I love you so much. Thank you for being here.

Mom McGowan 1:16:52
I love you honey.

Amy Watson 1:16:57
I stood in the Dean Of Women’s office. I fully expected to walk out of that office dismissed from Clearwater Christian college. I was deep in the throes of grief and confusion. We had only flipped the calendar two times between that day and Mrs. Grubs office. And the day that my sister and I had to make the decision to take my mom off of life support. I was only 19 years old. I had no concept of how to grieve the loss of a mom who never was a mom, Mrs. Grubbs his office was on the third floor overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. I barely heard her come into the office. She had a reputation for being tough. So I was fully prepared to be dismissed from college. Had that happen. I don’t believe I’d be here today celebrating my 50th birthday. Of all the words spoken that day. I only remember this sentence that she said, If you attend counseling with one of our residents, advisors once a week for the rest of the year, you may stay under strict probation. About to fast forward 20 years, and Chris and I stood on a St. Augustine beach on a cold windy day. She not only saved my college career, but she remained a steadfast friend, one of 20 people at my wedding. And on that day standing on the beach, she slipped back in the counselor mode. I had not told anyone about what was going on at home or the copious amounts of pain pills I was taking that she knew something was up. She promised her prayers and I knew I had them along with her unconditional love. When I did leave that domestic violence marriage, I moved back to my college town, in large part because Chris was still there. When I landed a job teaching she bought me an alarm clock. When I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. She was there. When I had to go to court to get restraining orders. She was there. When I’m feeling unrest. I remember a verse that she taught me on walks and Philipe pork and lunches at Taco Bell. Isaiah 26 Three, I will keep him in perfect peace because as mine is stayed on the because he trusts in the when our alma mater closed after 50 years in 2015. She and I shared a stage as we paid homage to the place that built us today over 30 years later, Chris or some people call her Dr. Wit not me, is still a 2am friend. I will always mention her name when I tell my story. And I am so grateful to have her here today. And love, love love for you to drop into this conversation with my friend. Chris do it. Well, guys, we have made it to the part of the podcast episode next to last everyone’s been talking about that towheaded kid well, that towheaded kid grew up and graduated from high school and went to Clearwater Christian College. Shout out we are Clearwater on a full ride scholarship. You heard how I met Chris DeWitt and the story that I just told you. And so Chris, welcome to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast is Oh, so amazing to have you here.

Kris DeWitt 1:20:03
Thank you, Amy. It’s a privilege to be with you today.

Amy Watson 1:20:06
So I don’t know, you know, 50 use the same really old. But as I prayed for us right before the podcast, I realized that you have been involved in three of the decades of my life that does seem like wow, that is crazy. I am so grateful. So I met you, as the listeners heard when I was in college. And so I know it has been a long, long, long, long time. But I’m asking everyone this and it’s been the answers have been so much fun. But what are some of your earliest memories are your interactions that you have of me?

Kris DeWitt 1:20:38
Oh, Amy, I picture you on the campus of Clearwater Christian college like it was yesterday. My memory is not of you as a college student. But as a child singing with all the beautiful children in your matching outfits from faith children’s home, you stood out, you are a shining star with your huge smile and your outgoing personality. And I can still picture you singing little as much when God is in it. Oh,

Amy Watson 1:21:06
my word I forgot. We sang Clearwater.

Kris DeWitt 1:21:12
Year after year, and I spotted you. And then I do remember meeting you as you first began classes at Clearwater Christian College. You were one of the first kids from faith children’s home to get a full ride scholarship to attend Clearwater. When I first talked to you seem so excited for the opportunity to attend college. Yet at the same time, you appeared a bit overwhelmed, frightened, and may I say a little apprehensive. But all my all of that quickly changed as you spread your wings. You expanded your community and you enjoyed college life.

Amy Watson 1:21:50
Wow. Wow. I loved my time at Clearwater Christian College. And as as some of the listeners will know, an accordion and by the way, listeners, Chris, who I am talking to is also a CCC alum class of 1987. Correct. Wow. That’s impressive. Watson, I have to say so myself very impressive. But yeah, that’s so funny little as much when God is in it Labor not for wealth or fame. Oh, wow. I remember saying that we digress. So I had forgotten that we sang there. But I you know, I was standing in the front row with my hair jack to Jesus and probably earned and won. Well, some of my most precious memories of you. So I’m going to flip the switch for a second. We’re walks at Philippi Park. I don’t know how you did it on the Clearwater Christian College salary. But you took a bunch of us to Taco Bell all the time. I don’t even like Taco Bell, but I loved it with you. Then at then I moved on to campus and was a proctor. And so we had proctor meetings in your apartment. But probably one of the most impactful things, memories I have of you early on is that you you had created a GriefShare group. Because that semester for some reason, so many students have lost people. And to this day, some of my closest friends, I met in that group two of whom will be at my 50th birthday party and that and we remain friends this all this time. And so yeah, it really is and I and you never did that group again. And we met in your in your in your apartment on a Monday night. And we process through our grief. Well, and you kind of mentioned that a minute ago, when I got to Clearwater Christian College, I spread my wings and got community I’m super outgoing, although that some of that guests earlier today from when I was early childhood said how shy I was, which nobody believes me. But it really is true. Not seeing that sign in 30 years. But a huge component of this podcast is community. So clearly, that’s been important to me my whole life. And that is what you gave me, as the listeners heard just after my mom died. You are and just lots of we got lots of Clearwater, Christian College alumni that listen to the podcast. And so there’s this big joke among the people that were there. Among that time is you were Chris at that time. That’s what we called you, Chris. And then we were supposed to call you Mr. Wit, which I never did it that way. Yeah, that was hard. And now fast forward a whole bunch of years. You are Dr. Kristen DeWitt, a professor at Cedarville. University. And so but this question I’m asking as your friends so it’s, I know it’s gonna be difficult not for you to answer me professionally. But what spurs you to help kids like me and building that community because you are still doing it today at Cedarville 30 years later, why is that so important to you and to anybody who feels called to do it?

Kris DeWitt 1:24:39
Oh, it’s such a privilege. The Lord has been so gracious to me, just to allow me to cross paths with so many people in my lifetime. I’ve met people that really are on the same path I am on a path toward Christ’s likeness. For some people this path has been filled with potholes and bumps and loss and loneliness. hurts and detours, yet each person, each person has a story. And I’ve always wanted to hear the stories behind each face. Because behind each face is a redemptive story that only God can write. And if God in his sovereignty allows me to be a small part of someone’s story, I’ve totally thrilled. I’ve never really met anyone with wealth or fame. But I have met precious people more important than rich and famous people. I’ve met people who are chosen, bought with a price, forgiven, redeemed, treasured, and eternally loved. I’ve met people for whom God is writing a beautiful redemptive story.

Amy Watson 1:25:42
You’re a made me cry for real because I Yeah, and, and so listeners out there, what she just said is, like, be a part of the story that God is telling. And so yeah, I can imagine Chris over the 30 plus years that because you essentially graduated from Clearwater Christian College, and almost immediately got your, you know, started transitioning into getting your master’s degree from Liberty University. And as I mentioned, since then, you know, you’ve earned a PhD, and are now a professor at Cedarville University as unfortunately our alma mater close after 50 years in 2015. But I never thought of it that way. Like how it must be like to be you to all the Amy Watson out there, or as you first knew me, Amy Bowden homers out there that, that you’ve been able to speak into their lives, Shine Jesus more than anything, because that’s all you’ve ever done for me, you’ve always pointed me to him, you’ve never judged me. And so that coupled with that your decision to continue to pursue a PhD in psychology, why is mental health in general, so important to you, as a Christian and as just a human?

Kris DeWitt 1:26:55
It’s a good question. emotional and mental health affects our lives in so many ways. It impacts our thoughts, our emotions, our behaviors, our relationships. And I think unfortunately, mental health is often a topic that gets stigmatized, especially in Christian circles. And our mental health affects how we cope with everything else. And if individuals don’t get the help they need, their life can quickly unravel. And they can find themselves in an uncontrollable downward spiral. So when people are brave enough to ask for help, and seek treatment, they can learn to cope again. And before they know it, they can hope again. So we should value mental health and wellness as much as we value anything else.

Amy Watson 1:27:41
Louder for the people in the back seriously. And so guys, I have brought Chris on because she is one of my closest friends, and has been involved in my life, as you heard in the story that I told you since I was a sophomore in college. But this is a professional, talking about the importance of mental health. And I love Chris, what you just said there. So for anybody that is brave enough to seek help. And I’ve gotten a bit of a passion for mental health, because I can I see what can happen when we couple counseling, and therapy. And for some of the higher acuity things, medication. But when those things are the on the periphery, and but it’s a gospel centered approach in the middle, then, then that bravery is met with such hope. And there are still things that I struggle with, as you know, but such hope Thank you for saying that both as my friend and from a professional level, because this is what you do. This is what you teach. You’re teaching Christian college students to go out into the world and do what you just said. And so it makes my heart so happy to hear that long after we are both gone. Hopefully, the work that you did at Clearwater Christian college with not only me, but hundreds of other people. I’ve never seen anybody get so many friends on Facebook than when you got on Facebook, because of your investment in the lives of people. But there’s still people that will go it alone. And so for those out there considering going along, you watched me do this. I remember one time you came to St. Augustine, you got in your car and you came to St. Augustine, I remember it was cold because we were standing on the beach. And I was deep, deep, deep deep in the throes of that domestic violence marriage and I had not told a single soul. I was also addicted to pain medication had not told a single soul. You don’t know this, but you probably saved my life with that trip because of what you said up in the community part is that and and the counseling part you gave me some hope and as a little bit of time before I’d got that help and before I got out of that marriage, but I look at that day on the beach as a lynchpin in my healing but, but for people that don’t have a crystal wet, but are in the throes of darkness like I was, what do you have to say to them to give them hope so that they can cope so that they too can have a Joel 225 story and this is a Joel 225 day this one right here, though my story is not complete, how can other people have stories of redemption?

Kris DeWitt 1:30:14
First and foremost yet in addition to getting professional help, we all need to run to Christ. For it’s in Christ alone, that we can find peace. When our our lives seem frazzled, and our hearts are restless, we need to stay focused on Christ because when our mind our minds remain on Christ, they’ll fill us with his unimaginable peace, Isaiah 26. Three. When we feel rejected, and lonely, and we all do, and our hearts sting with pain, as it seems, no one cares, or no one even notices. That’s when we need to cling to Christ, realizing that nothing can separate us from His everlasting love, Romans 838 and 39. When Thunderbolts of regret Ignite and threaten to consume us, we need to run to Christ for it’s only then that we can experience the downpours of his forgiveness and grace. Lamentations 323, when the burden of our hearts just are so heavy, that it consumes our thoughts and depletes our energy. That’s, that’s all we need to rest in Christ, knowing he will comfort and sustain us Psalm 5522. So bottom line is run to Christ. That is where you will find peace. That is where you’ll find hope.

Amy Watson 1:31:33
Yeah, and I could not agree with you more i We call him the star of the story on this podcast, because he is he is the star of all of it. And so listeners out there, you don’t have to go it alone. Find you know, the three C’s on this podcast are church community counseling, and then highlighting the star of the story who Chris just beautifully outlined, as Jesus, He is the answer. And even if you don’t have a crystal wet in your life, who will stand on the beach with you, probably knowing what was going on, but was smart enough to not say anything about it at the time. People want to help but paramount to that. I would just recommend that people and Chris, I think you would agree if you’re seeking help you’re seeking community for for really for anything but it particularly for emotional pain, trauma, please make sure that you put yourself under the the eyes and ears and love and protection and prayers of somebody who understands that it has to be Jesus and Jesus alone. In Christ alone. Only, I know that I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be that in the lives of some people because you don’t get to be 50 without making some effect on somebody’s life. But you we get to choose what effect we get. And I’ve made some poor decisions. But Chris, you’ve been there with me through thick and thin. I know your heart just must be so happy. When you think about what you saw that day on that beach in St. Augustine. I don’t know if you remember that day as well as I do it. But it was a day I forgot that you you defended your dissertation that I asked you that question. But for those of you out there listening, there is hope. And because of that hope there is there is a way to cope. And if that includes all the things and including, or in addition to I should say, highlighting the star of the story, including medication as Chris said, We need to stop stigmatizing it. We live in a fallen broken world where trauma is going to happen. And so so that that’s just a little encouragement to those of you out there who are lonely or may not have a crystal wit or even five people like I did on this podcast where I where people just love me. And so speaking of loving me as we close it as my birthday, and I don’t give a birthday, thank you. And I don’t give my mic away very easily accurate, but I do keep telling people that I will cherish this audio. You are bringing up the rears for me as crispy as after you bet. I’ve already recorded hers. And so it’s my birthday. And I would love to just pass the mic to you and any message that you might have for me.

Kris DeWitt 1:34:04
Thank you. Yeah, so happy birthday,

When I think when I think of you and personal characteristics that you have, here are a few thoughts that come to mind. I just love that you are affable, you’re good natured, your listeners probably already have figured that out by listening to you. You’re friendly. You’re so easy to talk to so that everyone is comfortable in your presence. You You are the real deal. You are just so genuine appreciate that. I also like your good sense of humor you and I undoubtedly enjoyed some good gut laughs I’m amazed at your hard working diligence. I know you will never settle for anything less than your best and especially when it comes to your walk with the Lord. You’re never content with your spiritual journey and Christ is certainly magnified in your life. In addition to fun times we’ve had I had a close up view of In a person, Amy who has endured trauma and suffering, I would like to just give you a tiny glimpse of what I have seen as the storm of suffering has swept over your life. Whether it was the grievous abuse he suffered as a child or the domestic violence she endured as an adult. You, Amy, you have used those circumstances as a platform to exalt Jesus. Suffering has not only been an opportunity to privately place your dependence on the Lord, but suffering has also seemed to be the pressure that pushes the character of Christ to the forefront of your life, so others will clearly see Christ in you. I’ve had a very precious special time when I can sit back and quietly watch you as your life has been put on display, as if you were in the front window at Macy’s for all the passer buyers to see. And those passing by see a gleaming showcase in which to view the precious gems of God’s character that are reflected in you, Amy, just as a diamond seeks to sparkle more brilliantly, when displayed in a black velvet case, saw the radiant beauty of Christ like character seems to shine in you more splendidly against the backdrop of suffering. Thank you, Amy, for being a shining example of God’s faithfulness in the midst of the storms of life. So Amy, there’s nothing, no circumstance, no troubled no testing that even touch you until it has first gone past God and pass Christ right through to you. Passing through the one who loves you most. It has come that far, it has come with great purpose. It surely has been a process but I’m confident that you have now found the purpose for your pain. So thanks me for sharing your story behind the face or shall I say behind the microphone. Thank you for always making much of Christ through your life circumstances. God is faithful. We can trust him. Don’t ever forget that little as much when God is in it. Labor not for wealth or fame. There’s a crown and you can win it. If you go in Jesus name. Happy birthday, my dear friend. I love you dearly.

Amy Watson 1:37:21
Oh my gosh, you guys are killing me today. Thank you so much for that. I will always treasure that. And I just love you so much. And love you too. And you are the reason why I can get behind this microphone. One of many. But thank you so much for being here with us today, Chris.

Kris DeWitt 1:37:40
Thank you. It’s a privilege.

Amy Watson 1:37:46
Okay, guys, we have moved to the last person who really has now been in my life as of today when you’re listening to this. And actually, gosh, Chrissy, you’re getting ready to be in three decades of my oh my goodness, wow, that’s crazy. Obviously, everyone knew that for the last decade, I was going to pick a Krissy loft ridge. And there aren’t words for me to say how grateful I am. So Chrissy, thank you for coming on to this episode. I am not yet 50 As we’re recording this, but on the day that is reported, it will be my 50th birthday. And you came to me and said, I have something so can we do something a little bit different. So everyone else kind of got a pre story of how we met. And I was able to give them the creative gift of a story that I give you plenty of gifts you don’t need anymore. I’m just kidding. So today, while listeners are listening to me as my 50th birthday, and the Old English poem goes that Wednesday’s child is full of Whoa. And while it might seem true about my life, that is not true of particularly the last 1314 years of which you’ve been part of it. And so I would just love to know what you would love the listeners to hear anything that you would like for me to hear. And I am terrified. So let’s go.

Crissy Loughridge 1:39:06
So what what had really been pressed on my heart recently is I’ve been listening to Shannon Shane’s hymns album, and particularly Him, His mercy is more. So is the kind of key chorus line is our sins. They are many His mercy is more, and it’s sort of a jiggly tune. And so it’s sort of it’s a little bit of an ear worm, and so it stays in my head all the time. And so as I’m bumping into life, a lot of times his mercy is more keeps coming. Just coming to mine and I think you and I were talking about mom, and and I and I started to think about you know, I don’t know that our childhoods could be any different in every way. I don’t I don’t need to go through everything that has has ever happened to you but but really night and day different. And the only overlapping piece major overlapping pieces God. And so I started to see in my mind and and the Lord just impressed on me he is more hit Yes His mercy is more for our sins, but his grace is more, His love is more and, and I started to sort of change the lyrics to the song in your scars, they are many, his healing is more, our hurts, they are many his love it is more. And it just, I just kept thinking it. It doesn’t matter how bad Satan works to make your life broken and beat up he is more see never wins. And so both for you, Amy and for those out there thinking I’m too broken. He is more. His mercy is more His grace is more His love is more as healing as more his joy is more than the greatest sorrow. His justice is more, he is more. And so again, if you can download the song, it’s kind of a fun thing to change the lyrics out whatever it is our sins, they are many His mercy is more our hurts, they are many his love. It is more our pain, it is great. His His love is more. He’s just more. And there’s never, there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t recognize what we’ve been through in the past 1415 years. Easily. Anyone looking in at any point could call timeout. I give up. It’s too much. But he’s more. He’s more. He’s more. He’s more. And I want I want listeners to hear that. But I want you to hear that Amy on on our worst days on our best days. He’s more he’s more than whatever we’re going through. And I need that. I need to know that every day. I know you need to know that too. No matter what he has more. And he loves us more than than anything. And I’m so so grateful. I’m grateful for you and I’m grateful for a God who is more because we face really hard things every day.

Amy Watson 1:42:41
Sorry. I knew you’re gonna make me cry. Um yeah, yeah, I I didn’t think that I would make it to 40 I certainly didn’t know that I would make it to 50 but what a perfect way to end this podcast as some of the most special people to me in my life. And the reason why I’m able to sit behind this mic have been on this podcast today. And all of you have done life with me so closely and maybe sometimes look at me and say how how can she still be and fill in the blank breathing air and I don’t know that there’s a better way to end a birthday podcast celebrating a half century on this planet holy cow. And that he has always been enough. So Chrissy thank you for for coming on here and for celebrating with me and I know you’re you’re not big on birthdays, but I’ve made a big deal of this one and but it could you couldn’t have summed up my 50 years of life anymore. And I love that Shane and Shane song. And it is kind of catchy. And now it’s in my head. The another song on that album is I will wait for you I will wait for you and and I’m so grateful for the people that have been on this podcast and for 50 more that I could have asked to be on this podcast that have come to celebrate with us today. But Crissy what you just said just kind of sums it all up. He is more. He’s not enough. He is more. And so as I end the podcast, I literally want to read the lyrics to the song by Nicole Norodom and called I Am. And as I celebrate my 50 years of life this has been true about my God. And so I will not end this podcast the way I normally will. I’m going to read the lyrics to this song. And then after that, we will just fade off into the next thing. But this has been my god this has been the God that Chrissy has just explained to you the God who is not enough. The God who is more more than all of it. And so Nicole Nicole Nordmann writes a song that just walks walks through the faithfulness of God in the life of Human beings people. But this song has always been special to me, and has always resonated with me. And so I’d love to share the lyrics, if you would so indulge me on my 50th birthday. pencil marks on our wall. I wasn’t always this tall. You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed. You watch my team, when you watch my team lose. You watch when my bicycle went down again. And when I was weak, unable to speak, so I could call you by name. And I said, elbow, healer, superhero. Come if you can. You said I am. Only 16 Life is so mean. What kind of curfew is at 10pm You saw my mistakes and watched my heartbreak heard when I swore I’d never love again. And when I was weak, unable to speak, so I could call you by name. And I said heartache, healer, Secret Keeper, be my best friend. And you said I am. He saw me were white. By pale candlelight, as I said forever to what lies ahead. Two kids in a dream with kids that can scream too much it might seem when it’s 2am. And when I am weak, unable to speak still I will call you by name, Shepherd savior, pasture maker. Hold on to my hand. You said I am the winds of change and circumstance blowin and all around us. So we find a foothold that’s familiar. And bless the moments that we feel you near. When life had begun. I was woven and spun. And you let the angel stands around the throne. And who can say when that they’ll dance again. When I am free and finally headed home. I will be weak unable to speak. Still I will call you by name, creator, maker, licensed stainer comforter, healer, my Redeemer, Lord and King, beginning and the end? I am. Yes, I am. Thank you, Jesus for being more.

Hey guys, so a special surprise. I have Dr. Thomas Pettit here. And my question to Dr. Pettit is who I have been in counseling with since 2008. Dr. Pettit, what is your very first memory of


Dr. Thomas Petit 1:47:50
the word that comes to mind is the word together. You were surprisingly together, you were cool, calm, collected, confident. And it didn’t seem to match what I was aware of or hearing for the first time that you had been through. And, and I was more struck by there was somehow something very real and very genuine about that togetherness. So that’s my first memory.

Amy Watson 1:48:24
Interesting night. Yeah, I remember coming in and telling you everything like I was giving you directions to the bank. So well thank you for that. Well, well, you are going to actually exit us out of the podcast because you are one of the reasons why I am turning 50. And so I just wondered for for my listeners out there and it is my birthday. So I am just going to ask, Do you have any special birthday celebration words, encouragement, because it’s not just for me, it’s for everybody else

Dr. Thomas Petit 1:48:49
too. So I do the word is homeless. And that’s the thread that connected that togetherness. So there was a mismatch of that togetherness. It was more of survival. It was more of yeah, all that you had harnessed and harvested to make it through all that had happened to you. But the wholeness was the genuineness that you were hold then you are home now and so that togetherness has given way to wholeness. Amy, you are whole

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Advocating Differently, The Audrey Mabrey Prosper Story-Domestic Violence (audio & Transcript)

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READERS: This is a transcript to a podcast and is not meant to present as a completed, grammatically correct, piece of written work. We provide these transcripts for our hard of hearing community and for those of you who prefer to listen inside the blog. We would love to have you as part of the Wednesdays With Watson family! You can do that by clicking here.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 0:00
He’ll never take away my feature. You’ll never take away my happiness. You’ll never take away my character you wanted to beauty. Take it. You can have it

Amy Watson 0:17
everybody, and welcome to a very special bonus episode of The Wednesday’s with Watson podcasts. It is October of 2021. And it is both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As many of you know, I am survived for both. I do want to just say that about the first two minutes of this podcast, maybe sensitive to some listeners, it certainly is inappropriate for young ears. And if you are currently in a domestic violence situation, or early in your healing, you may want to scrub past the first two minutes. But the remainder of the episode is filled with hope of how Audrey got from such a tragic, tragic situation, to the place where she is today on TEDx talks on all kinds of shows like Dr. Phil investigation ID, where she is advocating differently. Audrey reminds us in the episode of why everybody matters, even our abusers. So I hope that you enjoy the hopeful parts of Audrey story. Regardless of how tragic it was, for her to get to where she is today.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 1:32
was the type of man that constantly accused me of cheating on him. He was a controlling man. He was a jealous man. But he never hit me. I left school that day, came home as soon as I open the door is when he bombed Rashmi stark naked with a butcher knife. He immediately took me into the garage. He laid me on the ground first and was trying to bribe me with a butcher knife to my throat. And I was saying to him, you know, what are you doing? I love you. I love you. He then struck me in the head with a hammer four times he threw gasoline at me grabbed a candle and tossed the candle at me. And I went up in flames.

News Reporter 2:16
Investigators say it appears Christopher Haney doused his wife, Audrey Mabry with some sort of flammable liquid and then litter on fire.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 2:25
I began to pray God, just let me live. Just let me live. I spun up open the garage, and ran out in this neighborhood and ran to me as I was rolling in the grass and hit me with her son’s jacket. That was it. We’ll never take away my feature. They’ll never take away my happiness. They’ll never take away my character. You want it to beauty. Take it, and you can have it.

Amy Watson 2:54
And then she told me what Jesus did. domestic violence survivors know it when they see it. So one night, I was on Facebook. And as I was just scrolling, I scrolled past it first. You know, it wasn’t the scars on her face or her neck, her arms or legs. It was like this light in her eyes and the way that they match the smile on her face. Her lips didn’t seem to want to curl up though. And in retrospect, that it was uncomfortable to smile because of the scars. But her smile guys lit up the screen. And as she spoke, pure, unadulterated joy came from her instrument. Because you see her voice box made it audible but it was the authenticity of her heart. That stopped me in my tracks. She was literally doing a Facebook Live from her closet where she was selling some of her stuff. But I couldn’t help but think this was a woman who refused to be entrapped in the prison of her pain. No closet could silence her voice. She didn’t talk about the burns in the scars that night. She only talked about how awesome life was and how it was worth living. And then she said, I believe I will find love again. I believe it will happen. So at that point, I had to know what happened. Because that day Audrey didn’t tell her story. And so I went looking for it. And you just heard part of it. But then she told me what Jesus did. And I can’t wait for you to hear it. This by far is one of the most hopeful stories I’ve ever heard in my life. enjoyed this conversation with Audrey Mabrey prosper, who is spending her life advocating differently for domestic violence. Okay, we are here with Audrey prosper. And Audrey is really guys one of my favorite people and somebody with her I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time in the trenches with So Audrey. Welcome to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcasts.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 5:08
Well, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here with you. Just to chat a little bit today.

Amy Watson 5:13
Can I just tell you how gorgeous you look?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 5:16
Oh, well, thank you very much. I thought you know, I might pull myself together for you today.

Amy Watson 5:20
Yeah, I think you might be my one podcast that I’m actually able to put on video so you look gorgeous. Well, Audrey, I don’t know if you remember this. And I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this. But I wanted to tell you and the listeners too, as just a bit of an icebreaker of how I came to know. The Audrey what was then Mabry story, and is now Audrey prosper. Spoiler alert, this ends not in a neat bow. But Audrey has a beautiful family and gorgeous if I do say so myself husband, and so she is no longer Audrey Mabry But Audrey prosper. But let me tell you how I met, you never heard this story. So one night, I am laying in bed because I don’t have a life on my iPad, and I’m scrolling through Facebook. And I see you’re doing a Facebook Live. And this was before some of the later surgeries that you had. And so it was still very obvious that something had happened to you. And so it made me stop. And you were going through your closet, and I think you were at your mom’s house in Texas. And I don’t know who was there with you. But I was watching that. And I was just like, Gosh, I wonder what happened. And then you made this comment. And you said, I truly believe that I can find and that I will find love again. And I remember laying in bed and at that time, I was only three or four years out from my own exit have my own domestic violence situation. And I remember laying there thinking she’s insane. You love doesn’t exist, especially after domestic violence, especially after a story like Audrey has, well, it doesn’t exist. But I kept watching and then I connected with you on Facebook. And then you and I did some work with a organization at that time of what you were the chair, the president of the board. And we just we just got to know each other and come to find out the story that the listeners heard prior to in the cold open, the story they heard happened just over a very scary bridge and Florida here, I’m in the Tampa Bay area. And so and this happened in the Tampa Bay area, and so I went searching and scouring for all the things and local news stations and all of that and just fell in love with you. And over the years, we’ve stayed a little bit loosely in contact, but we both kind of really found our lane, in advocacy for domestic violence survivors thrivers. If we do watch some video just raised this my shirt off, I’m wearing a shirt as a purple shirt, because Purple is the color for domestic violence. And it says survivor on it. Audrey actually made this and it says, survivor to surpass all odds with great change thoughts. And there’s another word say tenacity. So I’m trying to Yeah, I’m trying to read it upside down. And so I worthy, I wear this shirt for you today. And so So listeners did hear your story. Your horrific story happened in 2009. And now you have dedicated your life to the cause of advocate advocacy, as have I really. But you said something that caught my attention in the prep interview. And we’re going to put everywhere people can find you in the shownotes. So let’s go back. So listeners heard your story that this happened in 2009. And so you’ve dedicated your life to advocacy. But there are two words that you say in most of your branding. And those two words are advocate differently. Can you tell me what you mean by that?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 8:58
Yeah. So first and foremost, just I mean, thank you for the opportunity to sit and share time with you today. And to hear you share about you know how you came across it in the beginning was just, I was it was a gift. So thank you for sharing that part two. You know, advocating differently can mean a lot of things for a lot of different people. Right? Yeah. For me, really how this whole thing was birthed, I think, testifies to what it means to advocate differently more than anything else. And that is that. As you know, after this attack that I went through occurred, I started speaking out publicly through the media, national international media, local media. And along the way, I started to meet a lot of different survivors. I met a lot of advocates, I met a lot of survivors who were also advocates. And so for the last three years or so, a lot of these advocates who are also survivors, and myself would have these sort of discussions behind the scenes and when we would talk about advocating. And when we talk about domestic violence, when we talked about, you know, the horrors of what people experience, a lot of times, we were expressing frustration. And that frustration was really rooted in the fact that, you know, I’ve been doing this 11 years now, in 11 years, the number of people being impacted by domestic violence hasn’t declined, right? That’s only one decade, right? When we talk two and three and four decades, you start to wonder, you know, what, what is it that we need to be doing differently? Because apparently, whatever we’re doing is working in some capacity. I think even more so in the end from the intervention perspective, right? Because advocating is, there’s prevention, there’s intervention, and there’s restoration. It’s kind of like these three phases. And so I just got wondering, what do we need to do differently? Well, at the same time, myself, and these other advocates, were really afraid to openly talk about this. And the reason why is because we, we, you know, in the advocacy world, you’re you’re taught some things that are kind of like Silent lessons. And then some of them are open lessons. One of them is don’t try to change the narrative, you know, we have created a narrative that is rock solid, there is a victim, there is a villain, and that’s a, we draw the line in the sand and you’re not going to change it. Well, what we have found, just as we all banded together, and said, you know, what, if we’re not going to be popular, when this is all over, who cares? What we care about is reducing the numbers of people that are impacted daily by this thing. And so when we have have continued the conversations now around advocating differently, and what does that mean? I think first and foremost, it’s about shifting the narrative. Yeah, right. Because this is not I talked about in my TED Talk, it’ll come out soon. This is not an episode of Avengers, right? It’s not a battle of good versus evil, where you know, all we have to do is become the hero, swoop in and save the victim, and then punish the villain. And we can all live in peace and harmony, right? Because if that were the case, then you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion. Right. Yeah. So I think that that is absolutely number one, one of the most jarring experiences I’ve ever had in my life, as you mentioned, both of us being connected to another national organization in the past. And when I got to experience some someone in that organization, basically, what it came down to was this individual had started the organization was creating great impact around the messaging of breaking our silence. And we were doing it, we were breaking our silence, I think in record numbers, it was unbelievable how this this generation of survivors said, You know what, I’m just going to speak out because that’s what matters right now. But then a couple of years into it, her ex who had abused her, was now going to court again, for abusing the next person. And I thought, Wow, all the work that we did, in breaking our silence and helping people heal after abuse, more specifically, women. It didn’t stop him from abusing the next person.

Amy Watson 13:41
Wow, I have chills. So this is the work you’re doing now. Is changing the narrative. And we’re Yeah, we want it. So we are recording this episode for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’ll be evergreen, it’ll be out there forever. And so guys, if you’re listening to this, because what she just dropped on us was, as we call in the audio world, a gem is we’ve got to change the narrative. Because one of the most beautiful things Audrey that I ever witnessed is your ex husband, that the father of your children who did this horrific thing to you, is in prison, yet you a couple years ago, and this also played out on Facebook Live, had to walk through this process. And we don’t have time to talk about the whole forgiveness process and all of that. But all of that to say is that I could see that shift in you where you were like, you could look in the mirror and see what he had done to you not to mention the filmstrip that goes through your brain and look at your children and see him but yet it was still so important to you that he also was a human being that bled on somebody that didn’t hurt him. And that’s hard and if anybody has the authority to say stuff like that, or anybody has the authority to add to put advocate differently, and let’s stop making it The good guy versus the bad guy. And because my podcast preaches that you matter, I don’t care who you are, you matter, I don’t care how bad you are, you matter. And so to change the narrative to be able to help the villain and I’m err, quoting, when I say that, or the abuser is a beautiful thing, and it’s Joel 225 being played out in your life, or that where God says, I will restore the years that the locals have stolen. And so moving into that, though, so for the listeners that are listening, they did hear your story, the stats, like you said, have not changed one in four women, one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. There are good well meaning people that are listening to this podcast right now. And they want to make it better they want to fix it, they want to enter into the situation, insert themselves into the situation, and help. What is your message? And you know, because we’ve prepped for the interview, I have some specific questions for you this but your but your overall message to the one and four and one and seven, because again, they heard your story, they’re going to see pictures and promos and videos leading up to it. And so you’ve got authority here to talk to us to talk to those of us who experience violence in our home by the hands of somebody that we love, and who loves us whether or not it looked like it or not, what’s your message to those people?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 16:25
I mean, first and foremost, domestic violence doesn’t always look the same. You know, it comes in many different forms, and many different images, and experiences. our way out of that toxic environment also doesn’t always look the same. But what I do know is that when we are immersed in toxicity, we can’t be healthy ourselves. If we have children, we can’t be healthy for them, they can’t be healthy. The other thing that I would share is that while we need to find a way out, I think that the importance of healing is I mean, magnified. He talked about forgiveness and all of that. And I think that it’s an it’s imperative for us to do the internal work. Yeah. To understand where and how we got to where we were, I can tell you right now, for me, a lot of mine was ingrained in in not feeling worthy. A lot of mine was embedded in daddy issues, dare I say, you know, figuring out what is it within us? Right? It’s not it’s not a victim blaming situation. It’s just how did I get

Amy Watson 17:39
here? Yeah. And how can I start it?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 17:42
Yeah. And how did we get here? And so for the people that experience it, you’re not alone? Yeah, right. There are people who care about you, who want to help you. It’s a very dangerous situation to exit an abusive relationship, that has to be done with a lot of caution and a lot of planning. It’s not fair. And it’s not your fault. Right. Right. That there is a silver lining, if you allow it. That’s perspective, right? In healing. And also that I’m in no way saying that because I have forgiven that everyone needs to forgive. In my foundational faith belief system. Yes. I believe that. Forgiveness is a choice. I’m also not saying that, you know, I was never angry. Or I was never depressed, or I didn’t have anxiety. Were looking at my life. 11 years later, you know, it takes time. Yeah. And I am in no way saying, we need to all just have compassion for the person who is committing these acts of violence. That’s not what I’m saying.

Amy Watson 18:51
Right. Right. So you addressed one of my questions is, what do you say to the person that just left it is the most dangerous time listeners out there, it has to be planned, it has to be done what you just have to and what the a lot of lit lay people and I say that are people who have not experienced domestic violence don’t understand that all they see us. And this is my next question. Why don’t we say to people, why don’t you just leave? From your job? We say to people, yeah, why? Why is that not a good thing to say to people who are currently in? Yeah,

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 19:27
yeah. Okay. I was like, do we say that? Because I don’t say that. You know, I mean, we collect it. We don’t send it back. Because it’s like the image I always have the image of a police officer officer showing up on the scene, and them telling you you know, you’re in a dangerous situation need to get out of it, and they hand you a pamphlet that has to do with all the DV resources in your community. And you’re in a state of trauma. You don’t even really know what you’re being handed. You’re not really even present in the conversation. And quite frankly, most police officers don’t understand And that what they’re really asking you to do is risk your life.

You know, if you say you could die, and if you leave, you could

Amy Watson 20:08
die, you could die.

Yeah. And the moment the most dangerous time is after you leave. And so I know in my own story, I left the country. But I took a few more hits a few more punches, a few more of all the things, because I knew that I needed to do it, well, or I was going to die. And so I, there were three ways that I that I could potentially die, I could die by staying, I could die by leaving, but the highest potential of me actually dying in my particular situation would have been leaving without a plan, leaving without some safety measures in place. And so listeners out there, especially domestic violence survivors, and thrivers, understand that this is the most important part of the entire process is that you plan it and that you plan it well. And I speak into the lives and the ears of those of you who love survivors of domestic violence, even if they’re currently and it is just not as simple as you think it is. Because I still love my abuser who is no longer on this planet. I loved him until the day that I found out that he died of a drug overdose. And I went into a deep depression, because we just don’t unLove somebody and Andre, I watched you with a process with your husband, who was doing a life sentence for what he did to you or your ex husband, excuse me, as doing a life sentence and you co parent really well with them. And with and I think that we need to highlight the importance of co parenting. And I just want to tell you how proud I am of you for that. Because it would have been really easy for you to go to the judge and go, I don’t want these boys to have anything to do with this man that did this to me. But you didn’t do that. Because you understood the importance of your children are biracial. And so that brings in another another layer here, because you understood the importance of raising two biracial young men and the United States of America. This podcast is heard in 48 countries around this world and then this one, but we have racism issues in this country. Parents like you are telling young black boys what to do when a cop stops, and then all the things. And so it’s important also about their listeners, as Audrey does is CO parent, she manages to co parent her two boys with her abuser who is in prison. And that is admirable. And you need to know that.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 22:28
Yeah, thank

you appreciate that.

Amy Watson 22:30
One of the things that was interesting to me, Audrey, we preach community a lot on this podcast. And so I just want to give you a chance to shout out this early community and those of you in the Tampa Bay area, you can easily find this on any of the local stations. But there were a couple local organizations that helped you one of them was I believe, was hands across Tampa Bay. Who is that? Right? Or they’re the ones that purchased you the car, if I remember correctly? Yes and no, yes. But they were involved, right, a group of people got together in a car was either donated or deeply discounted or something to you. Then you had a doctor. And I want to take about three minutes for you to shout out this doctor because because he is amazing and did amazing things. Not just because using his skills, but as a human being this community came around you this Tampa Bay community came around you. What did this doctor do for you?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 23:25
Yeah, well, Dr. Gulin is a really special guy. And you are correct that the entire community rallied around me. And if there’s one thing that I wish that all survivors had, it was that level of support, because it literally changed the game for me and catapulted me into my healing journey to know that I was surrounded by so much support emotionally, financially. I mean, mentally, people went to court with me like it was unbelievable the amount of support in Tampa Bay, and I will always, always be so grateful for that entire community. But Dr. Gulin, I was connected to him through another organization that actually did my very first surgery, reconstructive surgery on my neck out of Beverly Hills. And his wife had a connection piece. And she really is the one that took the story to him and said we got to help her Aina is his wife. And basically, I know actually had gone through a fire when she was five years old. So we connected on the burn level. And then she obviously brought me in with her husband and and he I think one of my I think actually my surgery. My last surgery was one of the last surgeries he ever did. Like he was getting ready to retire. And this man literally said, come down here or two hours south in Naples. I want to see what we can do for you. Let’s try to restore and reconstruct as much as we can. We’re not charging you a dime for anything. I mean, I never advocated even beyond that. She contacted the hospital and said This girl’s going to have to pay for her hospital stay Can you guys write it off the hospital wrote that off. I mean it was The anesthesiologist everything right? It was an outpouring of generosity. And thank God also skill because he did an amazing job really deconstructing my neck. Most of the world didn’t know that only had happened. Have an ear on my left side, he reconstructed my ear for me. He even he even took some fat out of my mommy tummy for me and put it in my cheat. So I was happy that I was super


Amy Watson 25:29
Yeah, well, you You look gorgeous. And I’m sorry to hear that he doesn’t do surgery anymore. Because, like I, again, I got to watch the journey. And I’m going to put all the links particularly to the Dr. Phil episode, because and I’m going to address I’m going to talk about that episode in just a second. But, but you are kind of at the very beginnings of the surgeries. And I want my listeners to see from what it was to what I’m looking at right now. And so the one of the other things that is really big in this podcast is counseling, trauma informed counseling. This is one of the reasons why I started the podcast, it’s the reason why I’m alive to counseling play a role in your healing at all.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 26:07
Yeah, it absolutely did. And that’s actually one of the areas that we intend to advocate differently in. So shifting the narrative is only the first part of advocating differently. I actually went through counseling in the Bay Area, my counselors name is Danielle and I love her, I went through two years of trauma focused counseling. And it was incredible for me to have that safe space. Listen, the whole community in my inner circle was so afraid for me so worried for me all the time I was in the hospital. And so when I came home, I really didn’t want to worry them anymore. And they were all looking at me and telling me, they’re strong, you can do this. So I really needed that safe space, to share the most authentic parts of me, and to work through all of those processes of healing. But one of the areas that we want to advocate differently in is by shifting some of the legalities around victim’s compensation. I’d like to see the name change first and foremost, because some people don’t even want to access services that are labeled victims. But I also would love to see for survivors to be empowered to be able to choose what healing modality they want, you know, when you when you go through a program like that offers that funding and covers it, you are offered the opportunity for counseling, you’re also offered the opportunity for Western medicine, but it doesn’t give you the opportunity to maybe go to a life coach, because that’s a better fit for you. Or to pursue things like essential oils and supplements and working on your gut and getting your gut cleaned first, because that’s where, like the brain gut connection is so imperative when it comes to healing, because of that emotional connection. And if you are ever feeling highly emotional, the first thing we need to do is clean up our guts. So yeah, that’s just another way that counseling for me was amazing. I’ve also had life coaches in my life. And I definitely use all of those oils and supplements and so on and so forth.

Amy Watson 28:09
Yeah, I need to be better about my gut. But that Yes, same trauma informed counseling, I love that you love something you said there is that they get to pick their modality. So mine, the one that worked for me happened to be EMDR. But there’s internal family systems and a whole bunch of other modalities. And so some survivors out there, you guys know, I preach counseling on this podcast, every single one. And I’ve had counselors on here, I’ve had my own counselor on here. And I simply know that I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. Without that. That brings me to the faith aspect of it. And when I was watching that Facebook Live, I could tell that there was something different about you, even though in that particular Facebook Live, I don’t believe you reference your faith, or even reference god for that matter. But is Jesus the star of your story? Like he is mine?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 28:54
Yeah, no, it’s for me. It’s the Messiah. And it’s also the father. You know, my heavenly Father, you know, when I was in my most desperate hour, I reached out to him. And I literally said, just let me live. Just let me live. That’s all I want. Just let me live right before going up in points. And he is the one who got me out of that garage that day. And in fact, you know, I don’t even remember if I even prayed in the Messiah’s name during that experience. But afterwards, my experience through him being the star also is me just asking him to show me Chris through his eyes of compassion. I knew that if I looked at him only through my lenses, that I would never be able to see what the Father saw. And so he did that for me. You know, he showed me he was the one who showed me that Chris is a human being. He was the one that showed me that Chris had a past you said bleed over people who never cut you, right? He was the one who showed me that and he was the one who spoken So my spirit to open up the doors of communication between the children and their father, and that was all him. None of that was me, you know, along the way, and it’s incredible what he can do. If we let him do it,

Amy Watson 30:16
that surrender, surrender, yeah. And there’s this tension between blaming God, and letting him bind up our broken heart and our broken wounds. Because, again, I have people that listen to my podcast, but don’t believe in God. And I love how you worded that I call Jesus, the star of my story. But I believe in the Trinity. And obviously, the father, like you said, who gave Jesus to us and gave his only Son so that we could have this freedom so that people like Chris, who’s sitting in prison as we speak, if he accepts Jesus as his Savior, that what he did to you what listeners heard me,

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 30:55
and we had prayed for him for almost 18 months straight, and he gave his life. Wow, do you just lie? Well, you know, it’s if you let him, it’s amazing what he can do. If you let him his sin in the Word, the Word says that we’re supposed to pray for our enemies. And so when I began to pray for him, quite frankly, he wasn’t enemy. Enemy today, you know, but he was back then. And I’m just so grateful. I mean, especially as a parent, right, I want his soul to be safe. But also, as a parent, I need the both of us to be on the same page, in the message that we’re showing you with our kids, right? And what our foundation is in and all of that. So that was important to me for that reason, too.

Amy Watson 31:36
Yeah, I’ve got such chills, because I didn’t know that part. You know, in my research for the podcast, I ran across the news report where the cameras are in the courtroom, and he gave his apology, you know, what I’m going to call it, I’m going to call it also a victim impact statement. And what’s different, right, right, and that, and that’s going to be scandalous to people that hear that he is a victim too. Because again, you don’t just do what he did, or my ex husband just doesn’t do what they did, or my mom who abandoned me, they don’t do what they do. Because just because I mean, we know that evil happens in this world. But when Chris stood there and turned around and, and said what he said, and I can put that in the show notes, too. I was pissed. Like I even as early as last night, I was like Really dude, like, but it was still so broken. And I think we so if you referenced the director of that organization, and that whole thing, and and she gave a victim impact statement, and it just made me think Chris’s statement to the judge, and to you and to your boys who were really little at the time was also a victim impact statement, because he had been impacted by what happened to him. It doesn’t make the horrible thing that he did, right. But he too, had been so harmed. And we don’t compare traumas. I tell people that all the time. And I can’t measure it, you can’t measure it, and everybody is affected differently. And all of that. Well, Audrey, here’s what I want to do. I want to end the podcast two ways. First of all, I want to strongly encourage people to go in the show notes, click on Audrey’s information, she’s got a TEDx talk coming out, which I can’t wait to hear. And that comes out in about two or three weeks, right? About four more about four more, okay, I was praying for you through that. But I want you connecting with her, I want you connecting domestic violence survivors. So the way I do it is you’re a victim, you’re a survivor, and then you’re a thriver. That could be right or wrong. But if you’re currently in a domestic violence situation, if you just left a domestic violence situation, or if you’re like me, it’s been 15 years and you want to heal differently. And you want this freedom of going I prayed for the man who lit me on fire to be in heaven with me forever and ever. Amen. That is only the star of the story that is only Jesus as only God who could put that into your heart. Here’s something though, that you said on that Dr. Phil interview that I want. I want to remind you of you said, you can take my future you can take my beauty, but you can’t take my happiness. You can take my future. You can take my beauty, but you can’t take my happiness. And this was just right after it happened. And somebody year yeah, about a year after a choice. It is a choose we get to choose, and things that help us choose his things like community, church, God. And if we are going to change the narrative and stop the one in four, then one in seven and I would argue and I always have argued that that number is much higher than than it actually is. That then is actually reported because that’s only what’s reported. Exactly. And so I want to tell you how proud I am Have you, I want to tell you that you are making a difference in this world that you made a difference in my life that night because I was only two or three years out. And my ex husband at that time was still very much alive, and very dangerous and all the things and to hear you say, I believe I can find love again and then to watch. And maybe that’s another podcast. But to watch the love story between you and your dare I say, don’t get mad at me gorgeous husband has been remarkable. And you are the you are the epitone of Joel 225, where God is just restoring all the years that Lucas has stolen, and I want my listeners to get in contact with us. So guys, go in the show notes and do that. And connect with Audrey. And I will also connect some of the interviews she was on Investigation ID this story was on. She’s been on Dr. Phil several times as well as many other places. But we didn’t we’re not trying to re traumatize people here. You heard a little bit on the cold opening. But this is a miraculous person that I have sitting in front of me right now. And so Audrey, thank you for being here with us today,

I will be in touch with you because I want to learn how to advocate differently, and how to work the other side of it. There is no victim there is no villain, there are a bunch of hurt people. We’re all broken. We’re all in need of a Savior. We’re all a native community. We’re all in need of just understanding each other and that we bleed on people that don’t cut us. And so even if you’re out there and you’ve been abused, you’re listening to to people who have been abused and we don’t compare, but Audrey was significantly abused as you heard in the cold opening. And as you can hear in some of the links that I’ll share in the show notes that it is possible, it is possible to be on this side. Even if you never advocate for people like Audrey and I are it is possible to heal it is possible to live an abundant life. And it is possible. As you said to me that day on that Facebook Live going through your closet, there it is possible to find love again. And so Audrey, thank you for being here today. I so appreciate it, I will absolutely be back in touch with you. But I cannot stress enough listeners, please click in the show notes and get in touch with her. And then when that TEDx Hall comes out, that will be published on all of my social media the Wednesdays with Watson platform, which is everywhere, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, also now Patreon. This is a young lady who is changing the world, raising two young men who are changing the world, having loved and forgiven a man who tried to kill her and his loving and a beautiful marriage now though I’m sure not without its own problems, because life isn’t perfect. But But. But thank you for being here. And I would just like to know any parting words for for the listeners at all?

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 37:47
Yeah, I would say that if we want healthy fruits, we have to look at the roots. So whenever you hear something that comes across, always start to dig, get curious and dig and, and uncover what those roots really are. Underneath whatever it is that you’re looking at in your life. Curiosity has been tremendously amazing for me. So I’d say stay curious and look at the roots.

Amy Watson 38:15
Stay curious and look at the roots. I love that healthy fruit, you got to look at the root. And so you are absolutely a rock star in my book. And I want you to know you’re part of my healing story. And I’m going to end with you just like I do with everybody else, though. I know you know this, you are seen. You are known. You’re heard. You are loved. And you are valued by so many people, but most of all by an almighty God. So thank you so much for being here today.

Audrey Mabrey Prosper 38:45
Amen. Thank you.

Amy Watson 38:47
Well, guys, I hope that you’ve found such encouragement and Andre story and especially her heart and maybe of Paramount, her mission to advocate differently. I have to tell you, she pushed me a little bit when she reminded me that her abuser mattered too. And I can promise you that that is something that we will be addressing on this podcast in the future. You know, as Phil Baker’s SONG PLAYS us out of the podcasts that is a song called marked by you. And while Audrey is gorgeous and beautiful and unless you look really hard these days, you cannot see their scars. But I wonder if when she looks in the mirror she is reminded of the truth of the song that we’ve been playing for two seasons now. I just want to be a wife marked by you. I wonder if she looks in the mirror and sometimes thanks God for the reminder of his ever present help in trouble. She truly has a life marked by Jesus. We will be back here next week as this was a bonus drop to drop our episode on the Enneagram type three with Best Selling Author Katie dangered. I hope you will Join us back here and the healing zone as we are using the Enneagram to help us understand and process trauma and continue to read through it in a way until you come back next week and so that you know what I’m going to say. You are seen, you are known, you are heard, you are valued!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Recapping 2021: Making Much Of Jesus (audio & transcript)

Or Pick Where You Listen

READERS: This is a transcript of a podcast and is not meant to present as a complete or grammatically correct piece of written work. We provide these transcripts for our hard of hearing community and for those of you who prefer to listen within the blog. We would love for you to join the Wednesdays With Watson family, you can do that by clicking here.

Hey everyone, and welcome to the very last episode of 2021. I wanted to take this time to look back at a year, I have been amazed at what the Lord has done not only through this podcast, but in my life in general.

And knew when I started this podcast that the podcast would grow, and that it would evolve. And part of me knew that I would do the same. Sometimes I listened to that first episode. In the very, very first season season one episode one healing that doesn’t make sense. And that person is absolutely unrecognizable to me. We hit some cool milestones this year, we published our 50th episode, and also achieved an important milestone with episode downloads. We were able to provide double digit pro bono counseling sessions for those who can’t afford it. Later in the year, as of like December of 2021, we suddenly turned into a listener slash donor supported podcast. as of the recording of this podcast, we are this episode we are running a fundraiser on Facebook as well as Patreon. We only have three months three months short of support for all of the production costs for 2022. That means that all donations and merchandise moving forward will fund more pro bono counseling. As well as merchandise sales, we’ll do the same.

I will provide all of the ways you can help in the show notes including the last offering of the you are merchandise as we will be releasing new merchandise next year. So right there in your app, click on that one of those links that contact me will take you to all of them, including the Facebook fundraiser that will end on January 31. And you will be able to join our mission. So guys, what happened? And 2021

Shall we take a short trip down memory lane?

We started the year with Crissy Loughridge

In an episode that we entitled

shattering safety. Let’s listen to this clip.

She sat on the end where she could put her drink down to play the game. And hindsight I remember that he slipped behind her. And then beside her as he as he continued to chat. I was talking to the other dude, I was watching her beat me in the game, but I didn’t care. We were having fun. It seemed like the birthday celebration was going off without a hitch until I looked over.

At her blank guys. The guys disappeared and I knew something was horribly wrong.

That horribly wrong thing that we talked about still affects Crissy to this day. That episode highlighted the definition of PTSD. Her safety had been compromised in ways that she never saw coming. But just like all of the episodes on the Wednesdays with Watson podcast, there is hope and help for those who find that their safety has been shattered. Crissy candidly shares what that night did, it changed her forever to listen to that episode. In any of the episodes that we will mention in this episode. Just scroll down in your podcast app and her episode is season two episode one. We moved on from there to Lindsey Tozer who candidly shared with us her trauma, and she talked a lot and we talked a lot about how the Body Keeps the Score with trauma. The Wednesday’s with Watson microphone was the very first place where Lindsay felt the freedom to share her story publicly.

She continued to share with me how this freedom has changed her. You can hear her story also season two episode two cause of accidental death and injury just by scrolling down. This clip from her episode is so powerful.

The dark January night

and 2001 That day it was as you would expect it to be in the middle of the winter in Indiana cold and the Midwest native was in charge of three small children who sat in the backseat of her car. They were just running an errand and getting ready for something important the next day at church. The Benner car hit a patch of black ice. It spun around 45 degree stop and only when a utility called demonstrated the laws of physics.

After that episode were Lindsay shared with us her story of accidental cause of death in injury. We began moving into even deeper stories of trauma and loss and the third drop of the year was a fellow Children’s Home alum and Marie Rivera. Let’s listen to this clip from her episode when she was at her friend’s house because something was just not right. She remembers when someone finally answered the phone. She remembers the distraught person giving her the news.

suddenly made an orphan. She didn’t see it like her brothers did. She remembers

my friend and little sister trauma survivor extraordinary Marie Rivera elbers remembers that day and everyone after it and bravely wants to share her story here, because Wednesday’s with Watson is the healing zone.

So that is a clip from Anne Marie’s episode who came on to talk about the story of the day that she became an orphan along with her three brothers, as both of her parents completed suicide following her episode, who was her brother, Angel, as he shared his story. Emery as we mentioned in the episode was at a friend’s but Angel actually witnessed this tragedy. A few weeks later, after recording this episode, angel sent me a text telling me that he was seeking help for all that he had ignored. And I couldn’t help but think of the lyric to the song that he picked for his episode. There was something so powerful, and the way that he reads this lyric, they don’t know that I go running home. They don’t know who picks me up. When no one is around. I dropped my sword, and I cry for just a little while. Because deep inside this armor, the wire is a child.

Then the very next episode we dropped healing from PTSD was a special crossover event with Shay and Michelle Watson, as well as a pastor in California whose name is Marcus Watson. But this episode highlighted Shea story of redemption and healing. His clip continues to give me chills. Shea was our first and our only guests with combat PTSD, as well as many other traumas that he experienced in his life, listening to the strength of his voice, and the power of his conviction is incredibly, incredibly inspiring. Here is the clip faith, Grace are suffering, we kind of experience a little bit of what Christ went through. Well, here’s something I don’t tell a lot of people I was laying in my bed sleeping, I was given a dream of Christ being crucified, and I felt so much pain. It was like it was almost like I was experienced the pain that Christ had enough to the point where I got out of bed sobbing, and saying, what I’ve been through is nothing. And when you look at my my story, and you look at my history, it’s not that I’ve been through nothing. But in comparison to the sin that God good Christ took on on that cross, I have been through nothing. And so when I get when I get to be told by my father, who’s done this for me, who put us on on the cross, that you know what, I’m bringing you back to this image, the same image of me. And I want you to live in this image, I want you to live in this victory. I want you to live in this royal priesthood, you are a holy nation. To me, you’re my child. Somewhere in this process, I really began to go to the mat with God. Somehow, quote, trauma survivor seemed to be my only identity and where all of my good feelings came from. And I had to reckon with this. Do I even want to get well? Or is it easier to not be? Well, the warm and fuzzies that I get from all the people? Is it easier to just stay stuck in my trauma? That episode was more for me. But this episode was a chance for me to remind you of the important stuff. The mission of this podcast, let’s listen into this prayer for you is that you would desire healing, because it is for all of us. And don’t forget Jesus wins in the end. And that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.

Don’t forget that guys. Don’t forget that. Also, don’t forget that you are seeing known loved bird and valued

April’s childhood Awareness Month and I spent that entire month seeking out childish things in an attempt to capture the magic of my childhood. And if you want to go back and look at some of those funny things, they are on my Instagram highlights. But since the mission of this podcast is to educate the next episode featured licensed family therapist Erica Cooney. Erica helped us understand attachment styles and childhood as well as adverse childhood experiences. She also helps us understand the importance of early intervention. Let’s call our attachment styles are love map.

Erica Cuni  9:32  
Our love maps are created by before the age of five more closer to four years old, and some are even saying it’s solidified by the age of two. But just know your primary caregivers interactions with you from the get go are extremely important in creating your perception of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re staying stuck in this if you had a insecure attachment you can heal you can find ways to navigate through this. So next up it was an honor to bring another therapy

Amy Watson  10:00  
To the microphone to continue the discussion of childhood abuse since this was still an April childhood abuse awareness month. Jeremy Fox is a licensed EMDR therapist. Jeremy shares with us what extreme neglect does to the brains of children. Fox also discusses the off mis diagnosis of ADHD that is shrouded in trauma and is often a simple PTSD diagnosis versus an ADHD diagnosis. This episode is a must listen for parents, teachers, and anyone who works with or has children. Let’s listen to this Jeremy Fox talking about childhood neglect. And so extreme neglect can actually make children’s brains smaller, not trying to scare people here, because there are ways through that and as you can talk about with EMDR and changes in brain scans. There are certainly ways out of that. But lowered IQ cognitive delay is difficulty with inhibiting behavior. Okay, I was I was speaking with someone on other podcast earlier about ADHD and trauma mimicking each other so that inattentiveness and that scattered behavior is similar to both those diagnoses, but then some neglect can

Jeremy Fox  11:11  
appear as ADHD symptoms as you just heard the behavioral inhibition part especially. So what we’re talking about when it comes to neglect is kind of dovetail with that attachment stuff. The lack of positive interaction from caregivers, okay. Now, obviously, physical neglect in terms of not receiving your essential needs is 100%. Related to that, we’re talking about that as well. There’s different types.

Amy Watson  11:42  
Next brought to the microphone. A friend of mine, Marlena, who has a suicide survivor, I want you to hear her clip first before I continue.

If you have PTSD, at some point, your safety has been compromised.

Those words ringing in my ear, they reverb in my soul, and they help me understand the life I live as a PTSD patient.

She told me nobody ever asked, no one cared. They just threw a label on her because she wasn’t speaking. Instead of even asking or caring. They phoned in the responsibility for that day.

She kept telling me I just wanted someone ask. I just wanted someone to give me a hug.

She told me about the welts they found on her body. But that didn’t stop the nightmare in her home.

In my mind’s eye, I remember her telling me about hiding in a closet. Those words haunt me too.

So that was my friend Marlena. Like who I said as a childhood abuse survivor, a suicide survivor. She was one of the first people that

kind of proved to me that you could still be a childhood abuse survivor with two parents. The thing that haunted me the most and what you heard in that clip is that she just wanted somebody to ask, as she told us on that episode, PTSD happens when your safety or the safety of others or someone you love has been compromised. So next I brought to the microphone. My friend Rebecca millat, who did experience and watched a near death experience. This conversation was rich with aha moments and again highlighted the faithfulness of God. I think the question would become, would she become a widow?

The phone rang and she answered, he took a deep breath, and she panicked. Suddenly, she was back in 2013. And the middle of the night, she recalls I woke up and heard him struggling to breathe. Her 36 year old otherwise healthy husband struggled to fill his lungs with air. He described a heavy feeling in the middle of his chest, she recalled to me. I called 911, just like I saw them do in the movies. She then called family who had come watch her two young boys who were still sleeping. She told me she remember thinking it odd

that the ambulance left with only lights and sirens. She recalls arriving at the hospital where friends and family gathered and she received the news that her young unhealthy husband was in fact, having a heart attack. And it did not look promising. She recalls falling apart in the bathroom where she begged God to spare his life. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. And so I wanted to educate you guys on some of PTSD friends, these disorders that coexist with PTSD. I brought another therapist to the microphone to do that Dr. Patrice berry got behind the microphone to help us with this understanding. We talk a lot about safety and the importance of addressing these co occurring disorders. And she even describes some

them. Let’s listen to this clip with Dr. Patrice Berry 

 co occurring mental disorders 

Dr. Patrice Berry  15:07  
the same way for everybody. And so that’s where somebody would talk with their practitioner about how it maybe came about. Because really, it’s how were you functioning before? And then how are you functioning now, and sometimes some of the things that people pick up, it helped them survive that event. And now that they are safe, the problem is that we’re still doing a lot of those behaviors, even though we’re safe now.

Amy Watson  15:36  
So I thought that was really, really interesting from Dr. Berry talking about safety, again, that the lifespan of post traumatic stress, I wanted to continue to highlight healing. And so I brought Lindsay Tozer back to the microphone, since she shared her Her cause of accidental death and injury experience for the first time publicly earlier in the season. I wanted to know how she was doing now, this was months after the fact. And here is what she has to say to you guys. They who no matter what is always going to be there for you. If you’re not comfortable with how that feels. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, I am sorry.

But you are loved, and cared for and cherished. And, and you will always be and that that feeling is something that will always be with you for the rest of your life, no matter how hard you try and push it down. So not only is Lindsay talking about just working through things, but she is talking about the tremendous overwhelming love of God. After Lindsay’s update, I wanted to check in with Crissy she opened the season by telling us how having her drink drugged and escaping date rape shattered all she knew to be true. So I wanted to check on her. Could she accept the complex truth that God is both good, and also allows suffering? 

Crissy Loughridge  16:59  
He’s good. And what do I do with that?

The quote is, can I accept the more complex truth?

And the complex truth is, oh, we need to give credit to that. That is Becky Wade, let it be me. And it is just really powerful that that give us that quote again. could love it the character? Could he accept a more complex truth? Wow, that God is both good. And it goes on.

Amy Watson  17:31  
Yeah, so chew on that one for a second guys. Next up, I wanted to provide a resource for parents who are raising children with PTSD for this abroad Troy McLaughlin to the mic, He is a fellow podcaster he was brutally honest and offers practical advice. For those who are parenting children with trauma, he offers great wisdom and encouragement, let’s listen to what he has to say. 

Troy McLaughlin  17:54  
Remember, that this may take a very long time, this may be a road, you may see glimpses of good, and then it goes back to the other way. Hang in there.

Get make sure the here’s the other thing. I don’t think we often do this.

When we’re walking through these things, or we’re talking to others about it. Everybody needs a therapist. For now. Now it may not be quote unquote professional therapy, but but it’s a community belonging.

And we need to bounce these things off because oftentimes, like they said, this thing is going on in their head, that may not be true. 

Amy Watson  18:36  
So you notice that Troy there hits two of the CS community and counseling. And I think if you were to listen to the whole episode, as you should scroll down and your app and you will see parenting PTSD, bad trauma, golf, and he will also talk about church. It had been on my heart to cover the loss of a child on the podcast. So I invited Randy Mortensen to the mind to tell us his story, and how he is turning to his pain of losing his child into tremendous purpose. Randy took a difficult road to healing. He tells us about his faith journey, his feeling of hopelessness, his episode highlights crazy hope. But as it wasn’t always that way for him. Let’s listen to what he says here.

Randy Mortensen  19:19  
I thought I had faith but I didn’t know what I didn’t know from a faith standpoint. Sure, basically, and we can talk about that a little bit more in depth later. But it was it was just the utter hopelessness of how is my life going to have meaning going forward? Even that’s how dark it was. So that was that was an incredibly rich episode. And I strongly encourage you to go back and listen because we are not wired to lose our children and what a powerful story that Randy has. Next up by this time in the process, I had gotten plenty of shade for lack of a better word.

Amy Watson  20:00  
Some listeners on my mission here. These are names that claimant messages throw, you’ve got a problem. I’ve got a Bible verse thrown at me, and not very much, but it did spur me to record a solo episode about weaponizing. The gospel. I shared with listeners how that affected me over the years and how the misunderstanding of one single Bible verse and the MIS teaching of one single Bible verse did more harm than good. Let’s take a listen.

Just ruled me. And I didn’t even understand that it was doing that. I have paid for this thought process in spades over the years, I kept putting my hand to that plow and not looking back not getting help. And so I couldn’t anymore. And that Fallout is well documented on this podcast, season one hospitals and courtrooms.

So in that same spirit, I also wanted to discuss spiritual abuse. I brought to the mic Tiffany countryman. For this episode, I picked the millennial for this episode because I wanted to highlight the stories like Tiffany’s are still happening and 2021, both weaponizing the gospel and the mistreatment of people pushes people away from the start of the story. I asked her some some hard, hard questions, her answers were hard to hear, listen to this, anybody in that church, come into your place, regardless of whether you feel like you were wrong or not by getting pregnant, you were hurting. You were poor. You’re being maligned at this point. But not only your by your baby daddy, but by people who listen to him, did a single soul sit you down and say, Hey, I love you. Let’s let us walk you through this. What can we do that a single soul do that? 

Tiffany Countryman  21:45  
Not one person, Amy, not one person in a church. 

Amy Watson  21:49  
Whoa, even hearing that, again, just makes me sad. 

By this point in the year I became relatively introspective. And so the next episode chronicled a time when I can pinpoint where healing occurred. And it started by raising my stone of help. This episode was a moment for me and I wanted to share it with listeners listen to this clip, right cross and reminded me of the wooden cross where they killed my Jesus. He gave his life for me, so that I could have victories like I was having at that moment. On my way back, I realized I never picked up my Ebenezer after I took the picture. I fully expected the ocean to have a devoured it. And that would have kind of been perfect. Actually, a new song shuffled on my phone, this time, another lyric force more water from my eyes. So as I continued, I had this realization that at that moment, I was going down in flames by this point and the year. Part of that was a result of my all out Watson style of going into something and going into it hard as I have done with this podcast and everything that surrounds it. I got behind my microphone, in a microphone, actually, that would have me anybody that would offer a guest spot I would be on it. I wrote about all of my trauma and attempt to finish my book. I mentioned I mentored whoever DM to me, I helped clubhouse rooms that were heavy and, and triggering. And then I almost heard God say enough. If I never use any of your story, would you be okay with that. And so I recorded an episode called, these are my stories. These are my songs full on with music and my entire testimony. I told my full story publicly for the last time, at least for a while, it was time for me to remember that I mattered to I shared a little bit about how just at 19 years old, having to make a decision that I hope some of you never have to make, take a listen. She was in a coma. And I was in shock. But something deep inside of me, needed to be in that room with her. So I stayed all night with stories of how she failed to protect me and never chose me. I guess there was a part of me that wish that she would wake up and explain it all to me. But she didn’t. She was never going to wake up. And two months later, we sign those papers.

After publishing that episode, I realized I needed some more help. I needed some more support. Some in the Christian world have troubles with the Enneagram. And that’s okay, I respect that. My goal and starting that work in this series was to understand how God made me and doing that I began to simply pay attention to my own trauma and in my own body and paying attention I realized a lot about myself. My childhood trauma and the wounding messages that I received was still rolling me. I have said over and over again that knowledge is power and therefore I decided to spend time connecting, how we are made and what drives us by ways of our money.

motivations and our fears. Let’s listen into this clip as I introduce my experience with the Enneagram. more to learn, and my journey with PTSD. Today, I will share my experience with my Enneagram coach, including the jaw dropping moment that my trauma made sense. So after that episode, as I was just mentioning, I was honored that Karissa Harrison joined me as we held an in depth conversation about a gospel centered approach to the Enneagram, and how it can help us process trauma Karissa helps us understand why we think, feel and behave the way we do. What are our core motivations? What are our core fears? Let’s listen to this clip. 

Karissa Harrison  25:48  
The Enneagram is a Greek word that just stands for nine, the number nine and dry. And it really is at its simplest, a personality framework that helps us understand why we think and feel and behave the way that we do. And so the Enneagram is distinguished, the nine types are distinguished not by how we behave, not by our personality patterns, but by our internal motivations. What are the core motivations that are actually driving the way that we think and feel and behave? And this is what sets the Enneagram apart from disk or strengths finders or Myers Briggs and in my opinion, it’s what makes it that much more powerful. Because we’re not just treating the stuff on the surface, we’re getting to the root of what’s causing the stuff to happen. So after my own positive experience, as I continue to experience

Amy Watson  26:48  
my understanding of how God made through the framework of the Enneagram, and why and how I process trauma, I wanted to provide interviews with each Enneagram type and pair it with trauma and loss. So first up was our Enneagram type one author, Becky Wade, Becky had just experienced a loss. And so we wanted to know how she processed that within the framework of how God made her. And so we asked her that question, but I love, love, love what she says here, let’s listen to part of her clip.

Becky Wade  27:19  
I think what I’ve learned for myself in my own life is that I am most joyful, and most at peace.

closest to the heart of God when I am not viewing myself based on my performance, 

Amy Watson  27:34  
when she is not viewing herself based on her performance that was so powerful as is that interview. Next up I decided to represent the type twos, the helpers, you know, most would agree that I am pretty vulnerable that on this day I gave my microphone to Crissy to interview me. Earlier that day, I had experience for my first and only way too close to home COVID loss. You can hear it in my voice in this clip. This was by far the most vulnerable. I have been on the podcast, what happens when our core fears are actually realized.

I think that having realized that core fear at such a young age, being unwanted and unloved and being abandoned and harmed by those that brought me into this role. My mom, I’ve never up until about 10 years ago never knew anything different than that. It hurts a lot to know that, that my flesh and blood didn’t want me and then fast forward into my 20s my husband didn’t want me.

Katie Ganshert  28:38  
Up next I asked Katie Ganshert author Katie Gansert to represent type three the achievers Katie’s episode is a rich conversation culminating in a deep seated need and an understanding of what type threes need. Let’s listen in. I think it’s so much so much for me is about wanting to bring value into a situation or a relationship because I feel like that’s how I’m seeing.

Amy Watson  29:07  
So she understands that her value is just in being seen not again by performance is such a such a good episode. Next is a millennial who also has trauma to represent type fours. Rachel Odom brings so much value to the podcast proving to us that type fours are always enough and never too much, especially in the presence of trauma that this young lady brought it to the mic. Let’s listen to just a clip of her episode. When I think of it in that way, the terms defective and adequate emotionally fit off and the belief that there’s something inherently wrong with me. I can see how that would influence the way that I live and the way I relate to people. That’s that’s an amazing episode. You guys are not gonna want to miss that. So again to scroll down in your app. Next up was an

Another millennial Sophia Walsh, who is a thyroid cancer survivor, she represented our tight fives. This episode is full of information on how Sophia process her trauma within the framework of how God made her. And she was, as she tells us that she wishes, how she understood more about how God made her at the onset of her trauma. She helps us understand how we can do life with fives, especially when those fives have experienced trauma. Let’s listen to this clip.

Sophia Walsh  30:32  
I talked for so long about this. Um, I think this I’m gonna use the spoon analogy too, because it’s just so good. Even though I, this is gonna sound selfish to an extent, but hear me out. Okay? Even though I have all 10 of my spoons, sometimes 10 are not enough for a day for me.

Amy Watson  30:53  
So again, another good interview with our Enneagram type five and so we ended the year with Sophia Walsh. And the very first drop of 2022 will be our Enneagram type six and that will be Crissy Loughridge Now we’re gonna step out of order here a little bit, but it is important. October is both Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as well as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And so one Wednesday in October, we did a double drop. First up is Audrey Mabry, who brings fire to this episode. And she shares the story of redemption, beauty from literal ashes, because of an offense that gave her husband a life sentence and prison. She tells us if you want to look at the fruit, look at the roots. Audrey story has been covered on national platforms, and we were honored to have such hope and help. As she shared on this podcast. She talks about advocating differently and how we can continue to change the narrative. But listen to this clip that that we played before. The interview with Audrey was the type of man that constantly accused me of cheating on him. He was a controlling man. He was a jealous me, but he never hit me.

So you’re gonna want to go listen to that story. Trust me on that one. Following that episode, I had the honor of interviewing breast cancer survivor and one of my college buddies Tammy Williamson. Tammy brings tears hope and emphasizes our mission. Here she tells us the power of community and how it helped her in her in her journey with breast cancer, trauma and alleviates fears and so let’s listen to this clip from her. She told me that she thought the machine was broken. Or perhaps the technician was brand new, and just kind of learning her way. It was just after her 40th birthday. And the mom of six probably found the day spent at the doctor as a huge inconvenience annoyance. Her children ranging from ages 10 to 17 are no doubt at home, wondering where Mama was and what was for dinner.

Again, an episode that you’re going to want to go back and listen to and that is true of all the ones that I’ve shared with you here today and our 2021 recap. Finally though, we published our 50th episode, which happened to be also on my 50th birthday. For this episode, I asked five people from my five generations to come celebrate with me. This episode highlights everything I believe in the power of community and the presence of trauma, the importance of Church and the necessity of counseling. Crissy ends that podcast and one of the most powerful ways I’ve ever I’ve ever heard on any podcast anywhere. And so let’s listen to how she ended my Happy Birthday episode. 

Crissy Loughridge  33:48  
And for those out there thinking, I’m too broken.

He is more. His mercy is more His grace is more His love is more as healing as more his joy is more than the greatest sorrow. His justice is more he is more. And so again, if you can download the song, it’s kind of a fun thing to change the lyrics out whatever it is, our sins, they are many His mercy is more our hurts, they are many his love. It is more our pain. It is great. His His love is more. He’s just more and there’s never there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t recognize what we’ve been through in the past 1415 years easily.

Amy Watson  34:47  
So that was Chrissy’s admonishment to us and she was what she was saying at the end of that clip is over the last 14 or 15 years and some of the stuff that we’ve walked easily at any point we could just say time

out, uncle, we’re done. But she talks about more how his mercy is more how his grace is more how his comfort is more. So I hope that you will receive that. Well guys, here we are December the 21st 2021 is when I’m recording this. And I just love to wish all of my peeps a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, I speak over you the promises of the star of the story that promises of Jesus. And remember, like Chrissy said, he is more, I do hope that you enjoyed this 2021 recap, and maybe heard an episode that can help you or somebody you love. We will be back in two weeks, as I mentioned picking up on the Enneagram six, it has been my honor to create this content for you over the last 20 or so months. As I always say I will never ever, ever stop fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves. As I mentioned, this has turned into a listener slash donor supported podcast, you will find the link to the Facebook fundraiser fundraiser that runs through December 31 2021. In the show notes, as well as that contact Amy which has our patreon link, it gives you the opportunity to either a one time gift or an ongoing gift that would help us and our goal here to continue to produce content, as well as provide pro bono counseling for those who can’t afford it. And all the things that we need to do to get the message of hope and help out to the people. So until next time, when I’m here with you and two weeks in the healing zone, it’d be 2022 Y’all, you’re still going to be seen and known and heard and loved and valued. Because guess what? You’re never been more loved than you are.

Unknown Speaker  36:39  

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Introducing Thursday Tunes

March 24, 2022

Hey blog readers! Did you know I appreciate you? I am gonna be here a lot more now that I have the podcast on a bit of auto pilot. This is a series that I hope to keep up with all year, music is a big part of my healing and I want to share that with you!

Music is life. Did you know that Alzheimers patients often remember musical lyrics despite failure to remember their closest loved ones? Something about music speaks to every part of us. As we begin this new series on trauma in the home, I have been led down a road whereby I had to reckon with a good God that was there during my darkest hours of abuse and abandonment. Here are a few of my favorites that remind me that He is God, He was there, He too was grieved, but He is still my One and Only.

“The Warrior Is A Child”, Twila Paris

“People say that I am amazing, strong beyond my years, but they don’t see inside of me hiding all the tears. They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down, they don’t know who picks me up when no one is around. I drop my sword and cry for just awhile, because deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child”

“Wouldn’t It Be Like You”

Bryan and Katie Torwalt

This song was sent to me by my enneagram coach as she really encouraged me to go to the mat with God. I’d never really done that, somehow I just accepted that God is God and I am not and I never went down the road of “why questions”. She knew I was digging into the vastness of God and the truth that HE WAS THERE during all the bad stuff.

“Wouldn’t it be like you to be different than we thought, different than we want but better?”

This lyric got me as I walked that road of whys. And I found Him to be better, different than I thought indeed, but better.

Where Joy & Sorrow Meet


This has long been a favorite of mine. Walking down the roads of “why” reminded me of this sweet intersection of joy and sorrow. That place of Joy of knowing that God is God and He will never leave me and the my sorrow is holy ground.

“There’s a place of quiet stillness tween the light and shadows reach, where the hurting and the hopeless seek everlasting peace. Words of men and song of angels whisper comfort bittersweet mending grief and life eternal, where Joy and sorrow meet. There is a place where hope remains in crowns of thorns and crimson stains, and tears that fall on Jesus feet, where joy and sorrow meet”.

“For the wounding there is healing, strength is given to the week, broken hearts find love redeeming where joy and sorrow meet.”

I am so grateful I found that place. I am sure I will need to seek it again.

“Deeper Still”

Bebo Norman

This song was shared with me years ago by my friend Crissy.

“She turned her head as if to hide, there was just nowhere to go cuz standing tall on every side the mighty fear of letting go. She said my God I am so ashamed, 30 years of tragedy, I still believe he could change but he pulled me down like gravity, he broke my will, but you are deeper still, deeper still.”

On my journey of whys, this song immediately came to mind for me. One of my questions of God is related to why He refused to change my violent husband. I didn’t get an answer to that question, but I do find peace in this song and this is one of my favorite lyrics of the entire song.

“falling down all thick with grace heavens cloud of mystery was filling every empty space down to the depth to human need, Love that heals me is deeper still”

Look for music that soothes your soul today and consider sharing some of your faves in the comments!

For more about this ministry, visit here.

Breaking The Chains Of Generational Trauma (transcript and audio)

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READERS: This is a transcript of a podcast and is not meant to present as a completed piece of grammatically correct, written work. We provide these transcripts for our hard of hearing community and for those of you who prefer to listen inside the blog. We would love if you joined the Wednesdays With Watson family, you can do that by clicking here.

Amy Watson  0:03  
Hey, everybody, and welcome back to the now 100% donor supported Wednesdays with Watson podcast. We are so excited to announce you that we are 100% covered for production costs for the one says with Watson podcast for all of 2022. So now moving forward, all of our work, all donations, all funds will go to pro bono counseling for those that can’t afford it. I have such exciting news for you guys coming as a pertains to this. So you’re gonna want to make sure that you stay with us stay stay subscribed, stay connected, so you don’t miss some really, really cool announcements coming down the line. Because you see guys apparently, this little podcast that could, can and is, it’s a while you’re listening right there in your app. If you’re not already following the podcast, hit that button. You can also participate in this mission that I just discussed by connecting with us on Patreon. That link is also in the show notes. You could just smash that contact me button, and you can reach me and all of the places, there is bonus content on all of our Enneagram episodes there. We had so much fun during the first part of the season, highlighting the ACE and our spaces, places and aces season, I learned so much about how God makes all of us, and how we respond to trauma and the framework of how we are made. If you miss those episodes, go back and listen as we featured all nine Enneagram types. And those links are in the show notes or Wednesday’s with watson.com.

We have landed at the spaces and places portion of season three.

We will cover trauma in the home as our place and our space

will be childhood trauma. And I take a deep breath when I say that because childhood trauma as well as adverse childhood experiences absolutely colored the rest of our lives. We will explore how this trauma how these traumas and how other adverse childhood experiences affect us in adulthood, especially when new trauma happens. And as you have come to expect from this podcast, we will bring you a couple stories of hope and help in this place. And in this space, we will highlight the star of the story. And for those of you who are new here that is Jesus, and how our three C’s of community counseling and church can play a positive role in our healing, even if it’s in the home, even if it’s childhood trauma, even if you have an incredibly high adverse childhood experiences score. Because guys, spoiler alert, trauma and adverse childhood experiences is not the end of the story. It is never too late to get better. We in this series this last part of the season are going to feature professionals in the series that will discuss different treatment modalities for trauma and the home, including internal family systems EMDR repairing, we’re even even going to have a chef that uses connecting with children through cooking to help them heal their trauma. The series is not only for those of us who have had experience traumatic experiences or adverse childhood experiences inside our homes, that for parents who have children who may have experienced trauma outside of your home, we want to provide hope for us parents, I want to provide hope for those of you who are foster or adoptive parents. This series is also helpful for teachers, youth leaders and for anyone who has contact with children.

In order to stop these things. It’s gonna take all of us and I know that’s a trendy statement right now, but it’s gonna take all of us. The purpose of this series is to educate so that each one of you can reach another person. And we can see adult survivors healing instead of walking around as wounded children in an adult world.

Great Minds agree about the importance of home and family. I have my MBA, so I read a wealth of nations and in his book, which you don’t need to read unless you’re getting an MBA, but he very astutely points out and identifies the family as the most basic unit of any society. Aristotle said this about the family he said the family is nature’s and put God there established Association for the supply of every man’s wants. Now, I’m not wanting to argue with the mind like Aristotle

But I think he would probably add needs to that list. We are wired for family. We are wired to love them unconditionally.

And we are wired to be loved unconditionally.

But that quite often doesn’t happen in the home. And trauma and negative experiences, or adverse childhood experiences, as you will hear me say a lot in this episode are as old as time.

We don’t even get out of the book of Genesis before we saw the very first murder and betrayal and the family actually was the very first murder period right and it still happened inside the content of the family. We see this when Cain committed the first murder in the Bible. By killing his very own brother.

Joseph was betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers, Jacob was tricked by his own son who stole his brother’s birthright.

Trauma and adverse experiences inside the home is not new. We see that in Ecclesiastes chapter three, there’s nothing new under the sun. But the focus on it needs to be stepped up by a factor of 10 wounded children become even more wounded adults because life is surely not done with any of us until we take our last breath.

What if we first understood trauma? And then use that knowledge and understanding at our disposal to beat it? What if wounded children are presenting in the world as adults could get unstuck from that trauma? More than that? What if we could break the cycle of trauma and the home?

What if

multi generational trauma is also not a new concept? The Bible talks about the curse of the second, the third and even the fourth generation and Exodus chapter 34. Trauma tends to perpetuate from generation to generation. This phenomenon actually is not only biblical, but has scientific evidence, and it is described and a fancy term that we call epigenetics.

For example, consider a little girl who experiences multiple traumas or adverse experiences over a long period of time. We know from my favorite book, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Vander Kolk. And his well known book that is called the Body Keeps the Score that when we experience trauma, or by our body’s responding kind. So the concept of epigenetics is proof of Vander Kolk hypotheses and what many consider a scientific fact that the body does indeed, keep the score. So let’s go back to that little girl for a second, who already has all of the eggs she will carry with her entire life in utero. When her mom’s body responds to trauma. It does so at a basic cellular level, and her reproductive organs are not left on touch. Nor are those eggs and the baby. Many believe that trauma and or adverse experiences affects those eggs that she is carrying, that could one day be children. So now, three generations, and this is our generational curse. While research is relatively new and not well funded, it is found that our DNA, while not fundamentally changed from trauma is highly affected by it. Trauma changes the way the gene expresses itself. In other words, those genes don’t work like they should. The affected gene then repeats itself as DNA does, and it’s passed on to her offspring. And now we understand the multi generational trauma. Already here we’ve seen three generations affected by trauma. So this is an important place for us to park the series as we seek answers, help and most of all hope and this place of trauma and adverse childhood experiences in the home. If we don’t intervene and educate trauma is going to continue to beget trauma.

Abuse will beget abuse. And PTSD is only one of the many things that will also occur.

We must fight this repeating of the same horrific issues in our society, because the body does in fact keep the score. Not only does childhood trauma increase the possibility repeating trauma, but it weakens the physical constitution, often resulting and health issues aplenty. This proof is not only an Vander Kolk work, but of the trauma research I’ve referenced as it pertains to epigenetics. I put those articles and those in the show notes for you to read for yourself. Finally, we’re going to explore the idea of re parenting in this part of the season. This also gives us hope, that there are things that have happened to us does not have to be the end of the story. I’m excited to share these three aces inside our places and spaces section of the season and that being internal family systems EMDR and re parenting. For those of you who are new here, let’s take a few steps back and remind everyone of what trauma actually is. It’s a buzzword as the word triggers right now, and if we’re not careful, it becomes minimized. But as already noted, it is so important that we understand it from the onset. A very basic understanding of traumatic events is this this is by definition, any event that pushes our brains outside of your very own window of tolerance, your window of tolerance is different from mine. This is why we don’t compare traumas. Think of your window of tolerance as a bowling lane. Drop the ball and any outside force or lack of skill pushes that ball into the gutter. The gutter and I’m air quoting for your brain is that window of tolerance. And when that ball goes into the gutter, your brain then becomes hyper aroused, which is we see in fight or flight, or the cheetah. And the episodes in season one that I talked about the cheetah analogy, whereby it makes us anxious, anxious and hyper vigilant. Or when that bowling ball goes into the gutter or outside of your window of tolerance, you can be hypo aroused, which looks a lot like freeze, and a new term that has come which is fine, which is just kind of basically existing. There are three different types of trauma, acute trauma, or sudden onset trauma occurred, usually with a single event, or just a series of events that happen quickly. acute trauma can and does push some brains outside of the window of tolerance, then they can experience both those hyper and hypo arousal symptoms. If we can get to that acute coma treat really quickly and treated aggressively, we can mitigate some of the damage and provide for the best possible outcome. You see a lot of EMDR therapists on the scene at school shootings and things of that nature, so that they could get to those kids and get to them quickly so that we can have the best possible outcome from that traumatic event. The second type of trauma is chronic trauma. chronic trauma is usually more than one trauma, but always over a long period of time. As I mentioned, we don’t compare traumas. But it is important to note that this type of trauma will probably require more work. And early and early intervention is still really, really important. Children who experience chronic trauma or other adverse childhood experiences in the home, need intervention. And for that, we have to understand their reality left untreated, like mine, chronic trauma can and probably will turn into complex trauma. complex trauma is chronic trauma that has other layers of complexity, most notably physical manifestation, men of men certifications, complex trauma from an early age is very difficult to overcome. But if you are under the sound of my voice, right now, you know that is possible.

Again, the longer the trauma occurs, and the longer it is left untreated, the more difficult it is to begin healing. However, as we are going to highlight there is hope. There is healing, and there’s an abundance of modalities to get us there. And when the star of the story is at the helm, guys, there’s a billion reasons to hope. As I mentioned, early intervention in children is of the utmost importance as trauma actually slows brain development, literally shrinking children’s brains. Jeremy fox will talk a little more about that when we have him as a guest for this series. Children’s and adults alike will likely find a weakened physical constitution and will find themselves chasing diseases the rest of their lives. Another thing that I have learned on this podcast journey is the number of people walking around very ill with a ton of unresolved trauma. You often hear me say I will never stop fighting for people like you, because I am you. I have mentioned adverse childhood experiences a few times and I’ve done that because of the stigma of the word trauma. Adverse Childhood Experiences is a widely accepted measurement of psychological effects of trauma in the home and childhood. You can find the link to take that quiz in the show notes. The here are the 10 adverse childhood experiences emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect. physical neglect, divorce, an incarcerated parent, substance abuse in the home, domestic violence or mental illness in the home. I am confident that everyone under the sound of my voice heard some things that occurred in their homes. Does that mean that you have post traumatic stress? Certainly not. But it does mean that maybe you need to pay attention to the way the ramifications of some of these things are showing up in your life? Do they show up in your home? We’re going to have a really good episode with a parent who found this to be true. And her own parenting. Could you be the person that breaks this epigenetics? If you didn’t hear something on that list that occurred in your home? How about the people that you know? Did you know that one in four and, and one in seven women and men respectively, will report adverse childhood experiences of some kind? Was the good Dr. Seuss, right when he said that adults are just outdated children? What if you could go back and show compassion and grace and for vision for that little kid that endured the things your brain cannot metabolize, and heal yourself and live a life absent of all the ills of unresolved trauma? What if stay tuned, because we have some hope and help for you. I also love this quote by Stacy Ashutosh we worry about what children will become tomorrow. Yet we forget that he has somebody today. So let’s remember that children living within the four walls of a home that isn’t safe, is a child today that needs attention today. Because Smith and Aristotle were spot on Home Home is where it’s at home is where it’s at. So join me in this series to create a safe, safer and more healthier outlook on childhood trauma and the home, hopefully yielding healthier people who can enjoy their lives, instead of living in the gutters of their shattered window of tolerance. So I’m so excited about this season, guys. Stay tuned. For more. As we split, we’ll spend nine episodes diving deep, and to the place of the home and the space of childhood trauma. I can’t wait to bring you more information, so that we could continue our mission here. And helping people remember that they are seen that that they are known that they are heard, that they are loved, and that they are valued. And to all of you wounded adults out there, walking around with your heart and a billion pieces, I want you to know I see you.

And I want to pray for you. So please reach out to me in whatever way you want to do that. Again, just hit that contact me in the show notes. Finally, if you don’t know the story of the story of Jesus who can help you with these monsters of childhood trauma, I would also be happy to introduce you to him. Again, please reach out to me. And until we come back here and the healing zone with our first episode with our first guest, who will talk about how her childhood trauma affected her deeply in adulthood especially as it pertains to new trauma. We will be back here in two weeks. Hope to see you there. Hey, guys, and thanks for listening. I hope that we were able to teach you something today and that this upcoming series will strike a chord with someone somewhere, and that you can know that you can live an abundant life and that you’re so loved by people you don’t even know. As I mentioned, we’ll be back two weeks here in the healing zone with our first interview, and we will highlight how trauma colors how we deal with trauma in adulthood. If you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss this series. Also head to the Patreon link and go back and listen to some of those AAC chats. You’ll love those Until then, I’m gonna say it again even though I already said it. You are seen you are known. You are heard you are loved and you are valued. See you and love glorify You teach me to use my love

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Tags: #PTSD. #Anxiety #Depression #Jesus #Hope #Faith #Healing #trauma #suicide #trauma #ace #adverse #childhood #experiences #emdr #IFS #healingFacebook #Family #Faith

Trauma & The Enneagram (Solo Episode)

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Amy Watson 0:00
Hey, everybody, and welcome back to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. We have dubbed this the healing zone. And welcome to the 41st episode of the podcast. By now, you know, I am your host, Amy Watson. And while I have your attention, I would love to connect with you. Easiest way to do that is just click on that contact me link in the show notes. And it’ll give you a myriad of ways to get in touch with me. Also, if you find value here, it would absolutely mean the world to me if you share this podcast with a friend. And then finally, after many many people asked me to do so I finally created a Patreon account. So for any of you who might be interested in supporting our mission here, or our ministry here, you click on that same contact me link and I have an option for the Patreon page, where you can either make a one time donation or a reoccurring donation. These donations help continue the podcast, as well as provide pro bono counseling for those who cannot afford it. Today’s episode is a bonus episode, as technically I am on a break. But I continue to chronicle my own journey with PTSD. And I want to provide another resource for you guys as well. This is my journey with PTSD, while using the Enneagram as a tool, let me be very clear that I am very, very cognizant that the Enneagram is only a tool. But in my case, when paired with scripture, and an excellent Enneagram coach, it can and that did spur some healing, and helped me understand some things. And I hope to do the same for you. So stay tuned, because inside the show, we’re making some special announcements for the next drop. That will include some information for you guys as it pertains to trauma and the Enneagram. So today’s show is coming right after this. This is paying attention to trauma, trauma, and the Enneagram. Do you have a card with your name on it? The inflection her voice was firm, but it was kind and it told me that I had absolutely met my match. I think questions are powerful. And this one was a doozy. And honestly, I felt shell shocked that I didn’t have a prayer card with my name on it in my own traveling or room. That’s just simply a keychain with index cards with names of people who I’ve committed to praying for. I started again last summer after a young man in our church, Casey gray survived COVID after 1000s of people prayed for him literally around the clock. His survival was nothing short of miraculous. So as I prayed for Casey, I remember the keychain idea that my RA had given me in college. And so I started a 2020. And now I have a 2021 version of it. And then it held the names of families and strangers alike. But none of those cards had my name on it. And my brand spanking new Enneagram coach wanted to know why I cannot give an answer. Suddenly, I question my decision to hire an Enneagram coach. But in all seriousness, I knew that the same circumstances that led me to that moment of hiring an anagram coach would be waiting for me on the other side. Her questions weren’t judgmental, just tenderly able to bring awareness through thoughtful question. And so a new journey began. Today’s episode is a follow up episode of a season one episode called because I matter too. And I will put that link specifically to that episode in the show notes, because I will mention it a lot today. Because as I mentioned, this podcast is still a chronicle of my own journey with PTSD. And that episode, in particular, chronicled how my PTSD exhibits itself and an eating disorder and sometimes even remembering on the daily that I matter to, after spending months reminding you that you matter. It was that same issue that eating disorder issue. This spurred me on to seeking additional healing work, and I picked the Enneagram. To do that. I had done enough of my own research to know that it could help me particularly in the area of choosing myself sometimes, and ceasing to help other people at my own detriment. But there were so much more in store for me. Today’s episode begins a three part series we are calling as I mentioned, paying attention to trauma, trauma and the Enneagram. As you will learn today, I found out I had a lot more to learn and my journey with PTSD. Today, I will share my experience with my Enneagram coach, including the jaw dropping moment that my trauma made sense.

Then next time two weeks from now my Enneagram Hi, I’m coach whose name is Krista Harrison will join me for a discussion about trauma and the Enneagram. Immediately following her episode, we will release interviews with each Enneagram type. Each of those people will briefly share their trauma, as well as how our interview with Carissa resonated with them as it pertains to their trauma. When I look back at my healing, the decision to put my name on a card on a keychain would be a milestone for me, I would have I would have many milestones on this journey. And I’m still having them in real time. Today, I want to tell you a little bit about it, in hopes that it will resonate with somebody out there in podcast land. My healing still doesn’t make sense, guys. And yours might not either, or we’re going to keep fighting for you. And I’m going to keep fighting for me. But maybe try softer. For context, I am a two on the Enneagram. So if you identify as a two, you’re in for bonus content, for sure. As we will not have the time on any podcast to explore each type like we will today. For context, twos or helpers, our core fears being unwanted or unloved. We often define ourselves by relationships with others, people pleasing, and yes, helping even when people don’t want it. Most of the time, we are seeking to be loved and wanted and when unhealthy or prone to do whatever we need to do to alleviate that fear, fear. And to fill that need. Oftentimes, these behaviors come at the expense of our own well being. Twos tend to be loving, compassionate, adaptable, nurturing, generous, supportive, hospitable. And here’s one that rings really true for me, and incredibly tuned in how other people feel. I don’t know if all twos are as outgoing as I am. But I bet all twos are the majority of them anyway are gregarious. And because we are people pleasers, their blind spots aplenty. Our core sin, if you will, is pride, as we will often not ask for help, again to our own detriment. Maybe the best description of my poor core desire is to be wanted and loved, for who I am, not what I do, or what I add to the world. My journey includes understanding these things, and is brought awareness of who and how God made me. He made me just like you fearfully and wonderfully, as we’ve mentioned many times on this podcast and that precious scripture of Psalm 139. And how God knew about us before the foundations of the world, understanding his blueprint for how he made me as a game changer. And I am here to tell you about it. Maybe the episodes that follow this one, if you’re not a to, will help you on your journey, or the journey of someone you love. My work with Carissa came at the height of my own personal COVID exhaustion. My PTSD was almost always activated, and the eating disorder that I mentioned in that episode, because I matter to continue to demand my attention. And so after that session with Carissa, I simply wrote two letters on one of the cards on my traveling war room, and he, to this day, it remains sandwiched by the names of people I don’t even know most times I utter my own name to God. But it is it is a decision that is not always easy, and feels really weird. As I mentioned, I know that the Enneagram is just a tool. It’s not the holy grail of life, that I have found it as an effective tool for me, and for understanding trauma. As you all know, it is my mission to provide tools for those of you with trauma. And for those of you who love us. Because you see, I think knowledge comes with power. I think it comes with understanding and awareness of our journeys. And so my hope is that this series will do the same for you.

After engaging Carissa, as a coach, it felt good to have someone join Team Watson. My decision to work with her will always be one of those earmark moments in life where there’s a before and there’s an after, it will be the time that I will always identify as learning to capture my thoughts in my awareness in general. My awareness in general had actually increased probably by a power of 10. I already told you the first question that that Carissa asked me and My question to her was No, I don’t have a prayer card with my name on it. That question spoke or my answer to that question, spoke volumes to both her and to me to my coach, it highlighted that I was not taking care of myself because I didn’t even have a prayer card for myself. For me, it highlighted that perhaps I believed that God is able to be present in your trauma, and in your pain, but that perhaps it was without merit for me to ask him for anything for myself. After all, being alive is kind of a big deal for me. It was a moment of awareness I will never forget. And as weird as it feels, when I see that card every day, the moment two simple letters, me. I began throwing down words, as Chris Agus says, I don’t fully understand I could be talking to myself, but I don’t think I am. And so I pray for me. That Crystal was only beginning with a question jaw, beginning only beginning. Her next question to me was an interesting one. Do you remember the timing? When God the Father told Jesus that he was pleased with him? She asked. And I stopped. And I think I even kind of looked up to the ceiling. For a second I thought, my mind and the Gospels of where the baptism of Jesus fell in his ministry. And she just continued God, the Father uttered those words to Jesus. This is my son, and whom I am well pleased, before a single miracle, or even before his ministry started, we find that in Luke 321, and 22. Remember that core fear that I told you about being unwanted or unloved that Enneagram twos have, because my trauma included both of those things. And my trauma is well documented on this podcast, both in all of season one, and then an episode and season two. This is my story. These are my songs. We don’t have time to talk about it here that I’ll put those in the in the show notes so that you can you can gain access to my story. But suffice it to say that I had experienced both of those things as a young child being unwanted and unloved. And so that day, I felt the the weight of that fear as I understood it. I don’t know that I ever could have articulated it, because I feel loved. But I did begin to take inventory of the people that love me, and if they expect anything in return for their love. A few days later, Carissa sent me the song Jireh by Maverick city, and elevation worship at with a simple text that said, I think of you every time I hear the song. The song begins with I have never been more loved than I am right now. Later in the song, it continues. It doesn’t take a trophy to make you proud. But uh, never been more loved than I am right now. Chris on that same Voxer communication reminded me of a verse in Matthew chapter, chapter 11, verse 28, the passion version, I love the passion version of it. Here’s that verse are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways, and you will discover that I am gentle, humble, easy to please you will find refreshment and rest and me for all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.

So I thought nothing. That is the answer. Nothing. That is what God requires me to fill my core longing to be wanted and to be loved without giving anything in return as I had as a child, and we’ll talk more about that later. I had never really thought of it though from that perspective that I had spent and was currently my whole life and was currently performing maybe to get God to love me or at the very least not to unloved me. I wrote that verse on a piece of paper and I see it every time I choose to go to my refrigerator to hydrate myself or nourish myself, because I matter to I felt some of the PTSD activation calm down. When I envisioned a life framed by Matthew 1128 where Jesus says and another version as in maybe a more familiar one. to you is, My burden is easy. Give me yours basically. And so as I envisioned a life without burden, a life, where I was eager to ask for help, I began to feel some hope. And I remember that verse in Psalms it says, I look to the hills to find a word of my help come from, I hope comes from the Lord. We find that on Psalm 121 one. So I had a week to chew on the unattached love of God of the universe. But as was true for almost everyone on this planet, my life was defined by uncertainty, because of the pandemic. My career at the time was in jeopardy, and a host of other issues feeding into PTSD. And yes, that core fear of being unloved and unwanted, alive and well. And so I just continued to run myself into the ground for all the things and all the people. And only sometimes Remember to pay attention to what I needed. My stress levels were off the chart. And each week, I got on that Zoom meeting with Chrissa. And she encountered an exhausted client on the other side of that screen. Many, many, many times we needed to start the sessions with breath, work and prayer because the cheetah was back, y’all. I talk a lot about the cheetah analogy and season one. I wish I had more time to talk about it again here, but I was running hard and fast towards a crash. But at the same time, the things that I was learning in these sessions were like finding a missing piece to a giant puzzle of my life. I thought that to that episode again, because I matter to when Chris’s next question came? What would it look like? If you showed yourself some compassion? Now, I want to tell you the thing that I thought when she said that was the sound from Scooby Doo, or Roo. I was speechless. As I processed the question. The truth is, I had no context for self compassion. The question was another powerful one. And it got me thinking, how was I not showing compassion for myself? Was it in the way that I talked about myself or to myself? Was it the days that I struggled to get calories? Was it the inability to get out of the uncertainty trauma loop and the paralysis that uncertainty brings? Was it my inability to say no, to almost anybody for anything? And more importantly, how to Carissa. Because she’s a good Enneagram. Coach. That’s why. But as I evaluated her question, over the next six days, I began to journal my activities. And the lopsided LIS highlighted that I in fact, spent almost all of my time and effort for other people, or projects, rarely taken the time to treat myself as I would ask one of you guys to treat yourself. Many days, my list didn’t even include paying attention to basic needs, like hydration, food, and rest. I began to evaluate why the list looked like it did.

Understanding that God made me like this. And so I sat in that tension for a few weeks because I knew that I could have a both and I, we both of these things can happen. At the same time I could live my life within the blueprint of who God made me and my heart for other people and desire to help and all the things. And I could still demonstrate compassion for myself, as Jesus invited in that scripture, for all that I require a view will be pleasant and easy to bear. My trauma taught me that I didn’t matter. But understanding my blueprint through the Enneagram taught me that I was so intricately made by God more valuable than anything I can even aggress so I clung to that verse, Matthew 1128, allowing him to be my Oasis, joining my life with this. And maybe that has been the highest form of self compassion, allowing the truth of Matthew 1128 to brand my heart life and behaviors. As I worked on praying for myself and demonstrating compassion for myself each week, Chris and I would catch up on those things. But then there was a moment when my work with Carissa elicited an all inspiring jawdropping heeling moment. We’ll talk about this a little bit more on Chris’s on the podcast, but this part of my Enneagram work, bro wrote chains of shame and guilt that I thought were gone. But alas, not so much still binding. Chris is in California so that day all 3000 miles between us felt like holy ground. The topic of the week was held typically who we intrinsically are now as who we were as children. And so the topic of that week was understanding childhood patterns and how it may play into how we are today. Chris has sent me the PDF documents weeks before each session. But in true Amy Watson fashion, the first time I saw this PDF in real time, was with Carissa, on the other side of the screen. I couldn’t even look at the screen at her and I’m not sure either one of us knew what to do. So we stopped and we prayed. Chrissa then sat quietly and gently asked another one of our questions. What’s happening right now. Silence hung in the air. As I felt every bit of the emotions in my throat. I wasn’t sure I could even utter an audible word. But I think something like this came out. So as a child, I was that same outgoing, gregarious, giving, eager to please person. Is that why seven different abusers picked me just because of the way God made me. Did they prey on me because they know that I just want to be known and loved and heard and wanted and would sacrifice almost anything to get that. So those abuses really weren’t my fault. Is this why I stayed in a 12 year domestic violence marriage. Carissa didn’t say a word because she knew I knew the answer to this question. But the look on her face was that of the same enlightenment enlightenment that I was experiencing? Of course, I know for a million reasons, none of those abuses were my fault. And technically I worked out and counseling years ago, or did I because that day on that meeting, and 2002 21 I felt chains break. I felt burdens lifted. And I felt hot tears as they just flowed freely. When I close my laptop that day, the need to demonstrate compassion for myself became highlighted more than ever. I had been walking around for almost a half century blaming myself for my trauma, saying things like, if I were quiet, like the other little girls, that wouldn’t have happened. Or if I didn’t crave so much attention, that wouldn’t have happened. Because you see, the inner critic in the twos is a loud voice, probably second only to the inner critic voice of the Enneagram one.

Now I understood what she meant by that self compassion question. Self Compassion feels weird. But after that day, I knew that I needed to continue that work. And so I made an unscheduled appointment with Dr. Pettit. And we work through it even more. He also highlighted my need for self compassion. And we were back to square one, eating drinking hydration and rest. That added to that list was a release of guilt and shame. Regardless of whether or not my Enneagram type invited people to hurt me or not understanding my core fear and needs and even desires, and that I had those as a child, help frame some of the trauma as well as my responses to it. Guilt and shame lost that day. And at last for one simple reason. I was deciding to pay attention, I decided to lean into the pain, call it out and hide under the shadow of his wings. We see that verse in Psalm 91 For and let him continue to be my my Oasis, joining my life with his because all that He requires of me will be easy and pleasant. The key to Enneagram work in my opinion is simply paying attention to who God made us and framing our responses and treatment of trauma and languages that we understand. Because of the beautiful way God made our brains. Each person will no doubt respond differently to this series. But hopefully all of you will find some help for any unresolved trauma or even trauma that is resolved. And you just want to understand a little bit more and may you find hope and continuing to work it out through your life because some things just always stick around. And some of the stories you hear some of you will resonate with these days Carissa still isn’t done asking questions. Her question of Is this? How can you allow God to care for you? She and I have had a few Voxer conversations about how blank the pages when I tried to answer that question. The truth is, my trauma has also informed how I attached to God. After that holy ground session, Chris has sent me two books. One of them is called try softer by an author named andI Kobler. This book is a perfect blend of truth of Scripture, blended with the science of trauma, the science behind attachment, we talked about the four attachment styles earlier in the season with licensed mental family therapist Erica Cooney, and I’ll put that in the show links as well. But the attachment styles are heavily studied in this book that Chris has sent me, and how our attachment styles, which are hell informed by trauma, in my case, will bleed over into our relationship with God. Because of my trauma, most professionals would have labeled me as an insecure attachment, which is just one of the four attachment styles, as I mentioned, formed early in childhood. And so the lack of nurturing and care and my case, produced what what what could have been a lifelong coping mechanism of insecure attachment, that having chosen not to live in the consequences of my trauma a long time ago, this was something that I had worked on with people. And koehlers book calls this attachment style, my attachment style, and now earned secure attachment, which is music to this performers ears, yet, I still would not describe my attachment to God as an insecure attachment. While he has never failed me, it takes work to remember that he didn’t leave me. It takes work to remember that he wasn’t surprised by my trauma. It really is hard to remember that he was there, and that he is deeply grieved because of my trauma. So I said in that tension, I’m sitting in that tension now, the truth, the fact that he was there. And then he was sad, too. And so I’m not sure I trust him as much as I like, but I sure do love the lyrics. So the over the old hem. Oh, for grace to trust him more. So that’s where I am holding steady to and to answer Chris’s question as to how I can all God to care for me. My Enneagram work so far outlines that for me. So does that song Jireh. So does the truth of the father being pleased with Jesus before he had performed a single miracle? So how can I allow God to care for me today? as basic as it seems, it is to trust Him for the answer, ironically, and oh, oh, For the grace to trust him more.

I have a feeling the answer is sitting somewhere in my real war room, the closet where I spent a lot of time praying for Casey gray last summer, and every day with his name on that keychain. So I got a bigger index card. And I wrote more than the simple letters and E on it. And has specifically asked God, how I could allow him to care for me. And you know what guys, he is in real time, faithful. And doing that even today. And in the past couple of weeks. This podcast is an example of that. Today, it looks simple, I get thirsty. And instead of ignoring that signal from God, which is his care for me, I get up, stop what I’m doing, and drink some water. When I feel weak, because I still don’t feel hunger, I get up and I grab a protein shake. And when I’m tired, I feel the freedom to tell those around me that I need a minute. So for today, this is how I will allow him to care for me. And I can’t wait to see how he continues to heal me and how my healing flies continues to fly in the face of logic. My work with the Enneagram is just another tool, one that I add to the three C’s that we talked about on my podcast church, trauma informed counseling community, specifically my core for as I call them, but we can’t forget the star of the story who while I might have be while I might explain my attachment to him and secure he is still my everything he is still a star of my story. And I hope that he is of yours too. As for my listeners who have been with me from the beginning and know my story and for those of you who may go back and listen, I have a question for you. How does it feel to watch a miracle? Because that’s what I am and I have never ever been more loved than I am right now. Alright guys, thank you so much for your time the thing that we cannot create. It always means the world to me when you decide to spend just If you have your minutes with me, we will be back here and the healing zone in two weeks with Carissa on the podcast, followed by interviews from each personality type and their response to Chris’s message of the Enneagram and trauma. These episodes are still taking form, but I am confident that somebody will find some peace, like I did, and merely understanding or even just saying paying attention. So as Phil Baker SONG PLAYS us out the podcast, seek to be a life mark by him realizing that when traumas involved, that that might take some work, but as Kohler encourages in that book, try softer to let him be your oasis. Join your life with his for all that He requires of you will be pleasant, and easy to bear. And don’t forget, you’re seen. You are known. You’re heard, you’re loved, and you’re valued. I’ll see you back here in two weeks and the healing zone

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Using The Enneagram To Understand Trauma, special guest enneagram coach Karissa Harrison

Special Guest and Enneagram Coach Karissa Harrison Joins The Wednesdays With Watson Podcast

Amy Watson  0:01  
Hey everybody, and welcome back to Wednesday’s with Watson by now you know that my name is Amy Watson and I am your host. I am so excited about today’s episode, guys, today is a second, in a series of bonus episodes that we are dropping in between seasons. If you caught the last episode paying attention to trauma, trauma and the Enneagram, you heard my story with my as I walked through understanding the blueprint, the Psalm 139 ness of who God made me as I walk through and continue actually to walk through understanding who God made me in the framework of this tool that we use, sometimes called the Enneagram. Now I am a personality test junkie, but this one by far has been the most effective. As it gets to the root of my core fears and my core desires, blind spots, childhood messaging boundaries, we’re going to talk about all of those things today. If you didn’t catch the episode, I’ll put the link in the show notes of the one before this is a solo episode of my experience with Karissa Harrison. And so before we bring Karissa onto the show, I’d love to introduce you to her. She is a certified Enneagram coach. And she will tell you a little bit about that. She is also doing some part time pastor work having been called into shepherding people for many, many years, she is married, and a mom of three and just an incredible human being loves the Lord and takes a gospel centered approach to the Enneagram. And so I don’t want to waste much more time and make sure that you are listening all through the episode, as we will be talking about each of the nine Enneagram types. And we’ll be talking core fears childhood messaging boundaries, and then at the very end Karissa will have a message for those of you out there who have experienced trauma for each Enneagram type. If you do not know your Enneagram type, and you are interested in doing that both Karissa and I highly recommend just Google the Enneagram Institute or go to the Enneagram Institute calm I am not being paid to to tell you that that’s just the one that I use. And I think it’s $5 there are some free ones out there as well. So without further ado, let’s drop into this episode with my Enneagram coach who has become a friend, Karissa Harrison. Hey, Karissa, welcome to the podcast. I am so excited that you are here with us today. I have been looking forward to this so much. Thank you for doing this.

Karissa Harrison  2:30  
Oh, Amy, my pleasure. I’ve been excited to thank you for having me.

Amy Watson  2:33  
What you are welcome. I feel fortunate to have you. So for listeners who are listening, Chris, this is Carissa Harrison, as I mentioned in the intro, and gosh, I I was trying to think of when but that I engage Karissa as my own Enneagram. Coach. And if you listen to the last episode, you know, my experience as an Enneagram. Two and working with an Enneagram. Coach. And so I asked Chris, if she would come on, and help us understand that Enneagram and understand awareness. And so or understand the importance of awareness, I should say. And so we are going to just start first of all, Karissa, I have a quick question for you. I’m actually wanting to know this is one of your clients to these three questions I want I want to know is one of your clients. The first one, and perhaps the most important is what made you want to become an Enneagram coach?

Karissa Harrison  3:28  
Well, you know, here’s the short version of a long story is that I stumbled on to the Enneagram as a tool about 10 years ago, and started using it for my own personal and spiritual growth and just experienced tremendous transformation in my life. It just helped me connect puzzle pieces, and fill in blanks and connect dots that I hadn’t previously been able to do. And then from there, I started using it as a leader, and seeing how quickly it would help other people understand themselves and how quickly would help me understand the people around me and extend greater compassion to them. And so in, you know, 2020, I wound up getting certified to go ahead and become a certified Enneagram coach, and just really with the heart of I want to help people experience change and transformation. And the Enneagram in my experience is one of the best tools to make that happen.

Amy Watson  4:27  
Yeah, I have to agree with you. I am a personality test junkie. And I have done them all. And and Enneagram has been the most powerful for me too. And I think you use an important word there tool. That is not everything. And so we want to want to partner and obviously are a parrot if you will, with a gospel centered approach which sounds like you do, which leads leads me to my next question. So you are a Pastor Tony, tell me a little bit about that.

Karissa Harrison  4:54  
Yes, I am. I’ve been a pastor, you know in some way, shape or form now for over 50 years I started out as a youth pastor fresh out of college at Viola and eventually became an associate pastor teaching pastor I’m still currently serving although very part time because I’m Enneagram coaching the majority of my time, but I love the local church and the local church just absolutely changed and transformed my life in significant ways. And I have a pastor’s heart, I have a shepherd’s heart. I never knew I was going to be a pastor, to be honest, I thought I was gonna be a pastor’s wife. That was what I thought I went to college to become. And lo and behold,

Karissa Harrison  5:39  
had not been on a date or had a boyfriend. And then here I was graduating going, Okay, God, well, what are you going to do with me? So, and he just slowly has helped my heart to open up to any evolve, he’s helped my theology even evolved to go I don’t think I was called to marry a pastor. In fact, I know I wasn’t because I’ve been married now for almost 15 years, and he is not a pastor. It was me the calling was on my life. And so I am privileged to be able to weave together the Enneagram work and using that as a tool with a pastor’s heart and experience. And I also have to mention, Amy, I have a lot of clients who come and work with me, who have no desire for a faith based approach to the Enneagram. And I love those clients. And I love working with those clients and getting to be a part of their change and transformation. Because the thing that I know about God is he’s incredibly gracious to us. And so whether we understand that God is working in our life to bring about change and transformation, or we have no clue that that who’s who is who is behind it all. He somehow still manages to find ways to love people and to embrace them, and to welcome them into healing and transformation. And I was so grateful I get to be a small part of that.

Amy Watson  7:02  
Well, you are in a very effective part of it. And people who listened to my last episode know that about my experience. And so I love the pairing of it. And so those were deep questions before we dive into the Enneagram. Everyone who knows me knows, I’m going to ask this question. So you have some Alabama connections. And whether or not we continue this interview, you’re the answer to your next question. Really, highly depends on this. So roll tide, or War Eagle, Chris Harrison.

Karissa Harrison  7:30  

Amy Watson  7:33  
Nice. Well done. I

Karissa Harrison  7:34  
know, I grew up in Alabama, but I wasn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t, I wasn’t born there. My family wasn’t from there. And so everybody in my life would die hard one or the other. And I just would kind of look at people like what is the big deal? And so I never actually chose a team

Amy Watson  7:51  
that is fantastic. Or ego is the right answer for the record. So okay, guys, we have we, as you guys know, we like to dive deep. And we’d like to do it fast. And so the first thing that that I would really love for Carissa to do for those of you who have tuned in who may be like, what’s the INIA gram, you might need to be living under a rock if you don’t have if you’ve never actually heard that word. But But first a Chris. So what I would love for you to do for us, give us tell us like an overview of the Enneagram. And then we’ll go from there.

Karissa Harrison  8:25  
Yeah, so the Enneagram is a Greek word that just stands for nine, the number nine and dry. And it really is at its simplest, a personality framework that helps us understand why we think and feel and behave the way that we do. And so the Enneagram is distinguished, the nine types are distinguished not by how we behave, not by our personality patterns, but by our internal motivations. What are the core motivations that are actually driving the way that we think and feel and behave? And this is what sets the Enneagram apart from disk or strengths finders or Myers Briggs? And in my opinion, it’s what makes it that much more powerful. Because we’re not just treating the stuff on the surface. We’re getting to the root of what’s causing the stuff to happen.

Amy Watson  9:21  
Yeah, yeah. I love that. And that’s actually the most simplistic explanation I’ve ever heard. And so people are probably wondering, Hey, I thought this was a podcast on PTSD are a podcast on trauma. And it is, but I also am very adamant about providing tools for people. And I know that in my own experience, while neither one of us from a professional standpoint can speak to trauma, with the exception of my I have a fair amount of it and have studied it and have this as my 42nd episode on it. So why are we talking about the Enneagram on a podcast about trauma because of what you just said, when we get to the root of who we Er, then we can understand how we respond to trauma, why we can live in the same household with somebody that experienced the same trauma that that doesn’t, in fact, have PTSD or any of the things. And so I want to be really clear with listeners that we really are talking about emotional intelligence here. But certainly on a podcast about trauma, what you’re going to hear today as advantageous to helping you understand and maybe even process trauma, whether it’s active or not, or more importantly, taking a proactive approach. Because if you’ve not experienced trauma, and I have in the intro, given you the definition of that again, then you will, however, everybody on this planet, in the last 18 months has experienced some sort of trauma. And so this, this is one of the few podcasts that is for everybody in the world. And so, okay, so let’s start with the centers of intelligence. Talk to us a little bit more about those, there are three of them. And then there are numbers that go into each of those three. So let’s talk about the centers of intelligence first.

Karissa Harrison  11:02  
Okay, so I love working with centers of intelligence, because it helps us understand how we as individuals are processing information, and making decisions. And what we understand because of just ancient wisdom, and now what neuroscience has helped us to understand is that our brain is not just in our head, that our mind runs throughout our body that we have, you know, neurons in our brain, in our head, we have them even in our heart, and then in our gut. So now there’s all this research going on about our gut brain, which is why when we have an experience, sometimes we feel it in our gut, there’s like a gut punch, right? Or, you know, we feel it in our heart, all three of those areas, the head, the heart, and the gut, give us really important information. And depending on what Enneagram type you are, you have a primary center of intelligence, which is the one that you lead with, when you’re processing information or making a decision, you have a secondary center of intelligence, which is kind of there in a supporting role. And then you have a third center of intelligence that is either misused or overused or totally repressed. So to kind of give you a breakdown of them, you have types eight, nine and one who are in the body or gut center of intelligence. And so they are going to be intuitive. They are going to be action oriented, they are going to say things like I don’t know how I know, I just know. And it’s that unconscious level of information that we have access to quicker than the conscious information running through our mind is does that kind of explain that that first one? Well, Amy?

Amy Watson  12:51  
Very well, actually. Yes. Now, now to my favorite one, mine?

Karissa Harrison  12:57  
Yes. Okay, so now we have the heart center of intelligence, or the feeling Center, which is where types two, three and four live. And so they’re going to process information through the heart center, they’re going to be constantly aware of how do the people around them feel about the situation? And how do I feel about the situation. And so they typically are processing information and leading with the heart center, and then we move on to the head center of intelligence, which is your types, five, six, and seven. And they are accessing their strategic thinking, the planning, that analyzing in their mind of things before they are then maybe accessing body next or heart next. So that kind of gives you a picture of all three.

Amy Watson  13:46  
Yeah, and I just think it helps us understand again, the the point of this podcast is to help us understand to make us aware, so that we can, we can alter our behaviors and, and and taken a deep dive into healing, if we have in fact it experienced trauma. And so that leads us into you talked about those core motivations. And, and I think sometimes that there also, and you can correct me if I’m wrong on this, but it that is tightly connected to our core fear. And they so they are they are part and parcel. And so again, you’re on a trauma podcast, and I want to start with the core fears of each Enneagram type, because fear and trauma is a disastrous combination. And so if we can help people out there listening, particularly the nine people who have agreed to come on to the podcast behind you, behind you, if we can help them understand their core fears, I want some of them to have aha moments. And so on this first question when we talk about core fears, we’re going to start with with one and then and we’ll go all the way down to nine. But so I want to start with core fears. Let’s talk about type one, and the the core fear of the Enneagram type One, can you tell us what that is? And kind of walk us through that?

Karissa Harrison  15:04  
Yeah. So let’s start first with what the core fear actually is, before we dig into the specifics of the type one. So when we’re talking about the core fear of our Enneagram type, it’s the thing that we are each running from if the thing we’re trying to protect ourselves from the thing that we’re trying to prevent from happening. And oftentimes, this is an unconscious motivation that’s driving the way that we think and feel and behave. So when we talk about fears, think about it through the lens of this is the thing for my type that I am trying to prevent from happening, that I’m trying to keep myself from experiencing, I’m trying to protect myself from this. So for the Enneagram, type one, the core fear is of being wrong, bad, evil, inappropriate, unredeemable, or corruptible.

Amy Watson  16:00  
Interesting. Tell me more specifically about the inner critic of the Enneagram. One. So let’s dive a little bit more into that what that fear actually translates into, and we all know what those words mean. But But in particular, of particular import, I’m interested in that inner critic that I’ve read on your Instagram posts so much about.

Karissa Harrison  16:25  
Yeah, so the inner critic is something that is unique to the type one, we all experience an inner critical voice to some degree or another. With the Enneagram. type one, what we have found is that their inner critic is relentlessly mean, it never stops. And it is constantly judging the individual and the circumstances and people surrounding the individual. And so you know, sometimes with the Enneagram type one, people think the type one is looking for everything that’s wrong, that they are scanning to find the mistakes. But that’s really not what the experience is, like, what’s actually happening is the inner critic is bombarding the type one with everything that’s wrong. So when a woman walks into a room, it’s not that they go looking for what’s wrong, or when they’re reading, you know, a post, they’re not looking for the typo. It’s that the the mistakes bombard them, they they almost big jump out at them and grab their attention, so

Amy Watson  17:36  
to speak. Yeah, that that makes sense. And we’re going to talk about the twos in a second, because as everyone knows, you’re my Enneagram coach. And I think one of the most comforting things that I that you talked to me about was like, the twos are second only, and in the inner critic to the to the ones. And so as as we as we one of the things that I love that you do on Instagram, and guys, if you’re not following her on Instagram, you should do that. But this is this is something really interesting in a tool that I think we can give, that Carissa has when when this fear so we’re back to the Enneagram one, when this fear is triggered, you may find yourself hyper aware of the inner critic criticism and respond by trying to protect yourself, others and the world around you. And so I think that that as it pertains to when when we try and when I try, and I say I because courses, the Intagram coach here and I’m the one talking about trauma, but my my type one listeners who have experienced trauma, I bet that that inner voice is loud, your trauma may highlights, guilt and shame that does not belong to you. You know, I think that the lies are allowed, but but they’re definitely louder for you. And I just want to remind you guys that we have an enemy who has come to seek kill and destroy us, we see that in John 1010. And there’s a song by Josh bales, and there’s a lyric and it’s when the lies are loud, let the gospel drown them out. And we know type ones that in first Peter 319 that were handed down a legacy of being spotless because Jesus’s blood covers it. And so when I try to in my brain as little Amy Watson and the Wednesdays with Watson podcasts, connect the type one inner critic with the Enneagram I can see how the type one may be relentlessly horrible to themselves.

Karissa Harrison  19:29  
It’s tough to be a type one, it really is, it’s tough to, to experience the criticism of the inner critic, it’s tough to, to live in such a way where you have a constant demand that you are perfect, and that there’s a right way to do everything and that you have to do it the right way. And so, you know, a lot of healing for the type one is learning to manage the inner critic and To understand that the inner critic is not necessarily right, that just because we’re thinking something doesn’t make it true. And to remember, you know, I’m going to jump ahead a little bit, but to remember that you are good, because of who God created you to be as a human being as a son, as a daughter, that you are already good, and that you make mistakes. We all do. We all make poor choices, you know, sometimes multiple times throughout the day, but that does not change, that you are good that you are created in the image of God that you have inherent worth and value and dignity. And that is some of the truth that the type one works to internalize with the grace of God. Yeah,

Amy Watson  20:47  
I love that. And I love that you are providing a message for each type. Because I think that that’s what a type one needs to hear. So let’s move to type two. That is my type is very, very documented everywhere. What is the core fear of the Enneagram type two.

Karissa Harrison  21:05  
So the two is afraid of being rejected and unwanted. They’re afraid of being thought of as worthless, needy, insignificant, dispensable, or unworthy of love. And so what winds up happening is because the two is trying to prevent this from happening, they’re trying to protect themselves from it. They intuitively focus their attention on the needs of everyone around them, and trying to make sure that everyone around them is cared for and happy, oftentimes to the expense of acknowledging and focusing on their own needs.

Amy Watson  21:46  
And so I want to come back to that in a second, because I know you have more to say about that. But I want to, I want to say this is when when we know that the type two is, is triggered. When this fear is triggered, you may find yourself hiding your needs while helping and supporting others in order to earn and love their support. And so again, I’m bringing the I really want to try to help people who have been through trauma and who loved them. I’m using this podcast as a tool. And so I’m just adding my message to my listener. So for my tight to listeners, I absolutely understand you and know you. And if you you’re the lucky ones, you’ve hit the bonus, because if you want the deep dive into the anagram to the episode before, this is my experience with Carissa who were still going through Enneagram coaching and I’m still learning lots of things. But my listeners with trauma and this Enneagram type you likely don’t ask for help you could you cover your pain, often by absorbing the pain of others. I want to encourage my type two people to remember Hebrews 415. That’s the verse that we mentioned so many times on this podcast is that we do not serve a high priest who is unfamiliar with our sufferings, lean into that pain, because what Carissa just said, we intuitively pick up the pain of other people. And for me, at least as a two, I know that that is a way to not process my own trauma, you are probably struggling with feeling loved and wanted. I know this because so to why. And this is where community comes in. This is where paying attention has helped me. And this for the Enneagram too. We just want to be loved and what better verse to give you than John 316 that Jesus gave his life for you to receive that truth for that truth that John 316. And so Chris, I would ask you, what would your message to the type twos be?

Karissa Harrison  23:45  
Well, and you know, these aren’t not necessarily my messages. So I want to make that clear. Every Enneagram type has a part of their core motivations, there’s a core longing. And the core longing is the message that our heart longs to hear. And for whatever reason, the world just never quite satisfies that core longing. Our parents can never satisfy that core longing, no matter how amazing they are our spouse, our friends are teachers, the world cannot completely satisfy it. And so we’re always left kind of wanting more. And so for the two, it’s that you are wanted and loved. Whether you meet another need or not, whether someone is pleased with you or not, whether you volunteer or you say no. You as who you are, are wanted and love

Amy Watson  24:38  
already, and I’m actually on Zoom like I am normally with Chris and I just kind of felt like I was back in a coaching session. One of the things that you say to me and I’m sure this is true about all the Enneagram types I just want to highlight here is showing compassion for yourself. And in this regard, especially as an Enneagram type Because knowing that I’m already loved, and I remember Chrissa you sending me when that song Jireh came out you Vox to me that the link the YouTube link, and there’s a lyric in that song it says I’ve never been more loved than I am right now, it doesn’t take a trophy to make you proud and never been more loved than I am right now. I think that yeah, that core that that’s such a such an amazing message for the Enneagram type twos, we just want to be wanted and loved. And so that moves on to Enneagram three, which I wing very heavily into. And we don’t have time to get into wings, but you typically fall into one of the numbers on either side of you, you pull some of those those traits, and I linked strongly into a three wing. So and Chris, I think you probably can speak with some definite authority double authority on the threes. And so tell us about the core fear of the three please.

Karissa Harrison  25:57  
Yeah, so the three is afraid of being exposed as or thought of as incompetent, inefficient, or worthless. They’re afraid of failing to be or appear successful.

Amy Watson  26:15  
So what’s the biggest struggle for the Enneagram three with that fear?

Karissa Harrison  26:23  
You know, I think for the three, it’s, there’s a constant need to succeed, to achieve, to feel like in order to feel valuable and worthy, we have to be achieving, succeeding, accomplishing things we are, we’re constantly measuring and weighing our value based off of how we contribute, and show up in the world and attaching our significance to all of that. And you know, and keep in mind that with every Enneagram type there, the strength and the potential liability are both sides of the same point. So think about the Enneagram to art of what the gift is that they bring to the world is that they intuitively see what people need and what they’re feeling. And they can come alongside and help and support and encouraged. Incredibly beautiful. So that’s the gift. The flip side is that it can be to the detriment of their own well being. And they can struggle to say no, and have boundaries and express their own needs. With the Enneagram. Three, the gift that threes bring to the world is that they are motivating and driven to achieve and get things done and can work really hard and make incredible things happen. You know, the flip side of that coin is, you know, they oftentimes can do that to the detriment of their well being of their relationships of play. And, you know, some of the work for a type three is one of my favorite authors says it’s learning how to be a human being instead of a human doing.

Amy Watson  28:09  
Oh, wow, who is that author?

Karissa Harrison  28:13  
Richard war. Wow. Yeah. And so for three to sit with that, and to learn how to find contentment and experience the love of God even when they’re not accomplishing even when they’re not contributing, even when they’re not successful, whatever that standard is, to just kind of sit back and understand and here’s their message. You are loved and valued simply for being you. Simply for being you. You don’t have to achieve you don’t have to work any harder. You don’t have to do one more thing or check off one more box on a to do list. You are loved and valued simply for being you.

Amy Watson  29:03  
And that’s that’s that’s so hard for so many of us. And so as I connected in my brain and on my podcast with trauma I first want to read the when when the core so so threes out there, that this this these these little graphics have been very very helpful to me because it’s kind of like oh, that that core fear has been triggered. And so here’s for three when the core fear of the three is being triggered, you may find yourself as Chris really eloquently just just explained to us prioritizing work and success in a way that strange your well being and your relationships. And when I connect it to trauma to my listeners out there trauma as I mentioned, I wing into that three. And so I can speak to some experience to this core fear because I get thrown into performance mode naturally. But when my trauma is activated, I find myself burning all the ends of all the cases Because I need to make someone proud I need to achieve any I need something to show up to show my value. Moreover, I want to prove to the world that my trauma was not my fault. Like I want to outperform it. Like if I got that original trauma because something I did now I want to prove to the world, that is not my fault. It didn’t happen to me, because any of those things, and again, I want to remind you guys, remember, those lies are loud, let the gospel drown them out. And so as as Chris just said, if you’re out there, you are valuable just because you woke up and God decided to keep your heart beating, not because of anything you’ve done. And if you if you’ve experienced trauma, and you’re, you’re this type, you may be tempted to blame yourself for it, and to try to outperform it, and not deal with it. And so, and we’re going to talk about leaning into pain a little bit all through the season, but paying attention, guys continue to bring awareness that as a as a type three, you’re going to want to be successful. And you’re going to want to be perceived as perception as successful. And so with trauma comes into play, you’re going to be very tempted to believe that lie, that that it’s your fault. And that’s really true about all of the types. We blame ourselves, I think, but and so that’s for the Enneagram threes out there. And so what is the core fear of the Enneagram? Four?

Karissa Harrison  31:27  
So the four is afraid of being inadequate, emotionally cut off, plain, mundane, defective, flawed, or insignificant? And so for oftentimes, has this false belief that there’s something inherently wrong with them, that they are deeply flawed some. And so that that fear, the thing they’re trying to protect themselves from is, is experiencing that or allowing the world around them to to experience?

Amy Watson  32:05  
Yeah, it bores or are, yeah, but again, because they’re that they are the first and that second center of intelligence that we talked about at the beginning of the podcast, what do you think is the most difficult part for the for the for just kind of on the daily.

Karissa Harrison  32:24  
So the fours typically are going to be the most deeply connected to their emotions. So you know, we have the two, the three and the four and the heart center of intelligence. The twos are very focused on the emotions of everybody else, but they don’t often acknowledge their own feelings. Threes actually misuse and repress the feeling center. So even though they’re in the heart center, they sometimes will connect with how other people are feeling. But they typically until they begin doing work will avoid their own emotional world at all costs. So three with trauma, oftentimes the leaning into work and success and achievement in order to avoid dealing with all of the uncomfortable.

Amy Watson  33:10  
Oh, that was 100%. Me. Yeah,

Karissa Harrison  33:13  
yeah. And so a type four is deeply connected to their emotional world, and actually get stuck ruminating in the uncomfortable and negative emotions and in the trauma. And so we won’t have time to get into this for every type. But every type has a specific defense mechanism that they utilize when they are struggling and for the tight for its introduction. And so instead of blocking out negative information, they interject so they fully absorb, internalize and incorporate information into their sense of self. So instead of it being something that happened to them, sometimes they can identify themselves as the negative emotion or as the negative experience and that a tough place to be. But remember, the gift is also the potential liability. So the gift of the four that they bring to the world is they are deeply empathetic and they can sit with people and hold space with them in their suffering and in their pain and provide a ministry that I don’t know that very many others are capable of. That also gives them access to incredible creativity in the world. The potential liability is sometimes they can get stuck in that Yeah,

Amy Watson  34:41  
yeah, it’s so interesting that you say that about the creativity because my four that’s going to come on after this is a beautiful artist, just an amazing and amazing artists and so just kind of in keeping with so everyone has the same information. So when the core field when that type four, core fear is triggered you might find yourself feeling lonely and misunderstood, causing you to pull away from others and move deeper into your inner world of emotions. And so listeners that are listening to me, as Amy the trauma podcaster your trauma is probably feeling your excuse me, your traumas, probably fueling this fear, you may think your trauma happened because you were inadequate, you may you may fight too hard to prove that you are you are adequate, you may want to prove to the world that you’re not flawed, I hope that today that you will find rest that you are complete in Christ, that you are his workmanship and always enough, and we find that in Ephesians 210. And so as you are tempted to come into your especially if you have trauma to drop into that, that you know just your own world, where whereby you feel like you’re not enough out there, your your traumas going to do nothing but positively reinforced that. And so I think that, that that that this is valuable information for for those of you sitting and that type four, and I love what you said that they’re able to hold space, because that has been my experience with the fours that I’ve that I’ve had in my life. And so now for the elusive fives, which I had to beg, borrow and steal to find a guest that would come on for the Enneagram type five, let’s talk about the core fear of the type five.

Karissa Harrison  36:30  
So the type five is afraid of being annihilated, invaded, or have not existing, they’re afraid of being thought of as incapable or ignorant, or even of having obligations placed upon them or their energy depleted. And so this type is tricky for people to understand if they are not a type five, or living life in close relation to a type five. The best way I’ve heard this core fear articulated by one of my type five clients is that they are afraid of having someone suck the life out of them interested that that’s the core fear that if they spend too much time in relationship or with people that they’ll have the life sucked out of them. And part of this is because a five one of the things that differentiates them a little bit is they kind of have this false belief around their energy. So a typical person gets a great night’s sleep, they wake up in the morning, and they feel like they have 100% in their battery for the day. At five, five gets the same good night’s sleep, they wake up in the morning, they feel like their battery is only at about 30%. And so they are protecting that energy reserve, because they don’t want it to be depleted. And so part of the work with a type five is helping them to understand that instead of withdrawing and isolating to protect their energy that sometimes energy can be gained through relationship and through connection. And the right kind of relationships with the right kind of people can actually pour life into them.

Amy Watson  38:17  
Wow, yeah, this was absolutely the one that I understand the least. And so for type fives when this fear is triggered for you, you may find yourself withdrawing from others and putting up strong boundaries to protect as Krista just said, yourself from feeling invaded. And so when I was preparing for this podcast, when and in connection with with trauma as I prayed about what to say to each type, as it pertains to fear, because trauma and particularly PTSD, fear is his worst enemy. And so for type fives, literally, I wonder if you’re if you are the ones with trauma, and literally you have been invaded, and that invasion may have been played, somebody might have placed an obligation on you, that is overwhelming. And I’m thinking in the trauma world especially, they may have placed an obligation on you like forgiveness, for example, like you this is something that you didn’t ask for and now you are required to forgive or you may have been given something might have happened to you and I’m thinking medical PTSD right now, that is also impeding on your world and invading your world and invading that energy that Chris had just talked about. And so you may not speak up because of the fear of being ignorant or being embarrassed or again withholding that that that energy is Crystal was just talking about. You may think again like the other types that is your fault that you were that you were duped or manipulated as the as these things invaded your little world that you’re trying to protect so much, because that’s what trauma is by definition. So, you know, I would just encourage you guys all of you throughout the podcast to make sure that you’re following Carissa and all the places and we’ll provide that because She’s going to continue to provide way more information than we can on this podcast about all of this. I’m just interjecting little things in here, as I understand trauma, and understanding the Enneagram. And so the next up, I do life very closely with an Enneagram six. And and just one of my favorite people on the planet is an Enneagram. Six, I have benefited greatly from the strength of the Enneagram six for sure. But talk to us about the core fear of the Enneagram six.

Karissa Harrison  40:32  
Okay, so the six has a fear of Fear Itself. They’re afraid of being without support, security or guidance. They’re afraid of being blamed, or targeted, alone or physically abandoned. And so this fear of fear itself for the type six is that they are doing everything they can to avoid feeling afraid. Which is part of why the six is constantly assessing and evaluating and even projecting, and strategizing and coming up with all the different plans for things it’s because they’re protecting themselves are trying to protect themselves from feeling afraid.

Amy Watson  41:16  
Yeah. And I was I joked with you and I was telling you about. And my listeners will know Chrissy is my is the person of whom I am talking about. And when I first when we first became friends, we would go to a movie theater, and she would know every exit, know all the things. And I’ll go to her with an idea. And she’ll tell me all the reasons why everything that could go wrong. And it served me well, because sometimes she’s right. But before I give you her message, because she did give me a message today to give to listeners, and she’ll be on the podcast as well. But so this is how you know, because trauma survivors often need little graphics, like is on Chris’s Instagram to go, Oh, that’s my core fear being triggered. So for the six, this is when when you know when this fear is triggered, you may find yourself constantly questioning everything and everyone to try to predict the future. And so I went to Chrissy and I said, Look, I’m I’m talking to trauma survivors, what do you want them to hear as a six and this is almost a direct quote from her. She said, you may find yourself paralyzed. And so this is assuming trauma and trauma by its nature as our safety was compromised, particularly PTSD. Chrissy has been on the podcast, talking about her trauma, and she’ll be back on it. But something happened to her her safety was compromised. And this is what she said to me today. She said, to tell the listeners in type six who have experienced trauma, you may find yourself paralyzed as you obsess on what happened. What did you do wrong? How can you avoid it from happening again, you’re intensely afraid of the of the blind side of it happening again. All of my all of your energy is spent on the worst case scenario. But what the message she wanted was the Lord will never abandon you. You are never alone. We see that in so many scriptures. And, and as she as she walked off my back porch, I said, Hey, would the verse be Psalm 23, six for you? And she’s got it everywhere in our house. And that is where the Bible tells us Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and she just could not keep saying you’re not alone. You’re not alone. You’re not alone. Your safety is not even really your responsibility. And so that’s so So again, if you’re two or six you’re going to get you’re going to get a little bit more information from that regardless because we’ve got that experience and Christy will be on on the podcasts that follow up with this. So next up my friend Carissa is what I call the good time Charlie’s of the of the Enneagram the the sevens that talk to us about the core fear of the anagram seven.

Karissa Harrison  43:58  
Okay, so the seven is afraid of being deprived, trapped in emotional pain, limited, were bored. They really have FOMO. So there’s this real fear of missing out on something fun. And so a seven is is really responding to this fear by positivity by fun by lightheartedness. They just bring this incredible life and joy to the world. And when that’s done in a healthy way with healthy motivations, they’re just a breath of fresh air. And they’re visionaries and they are one of the quickest thinkers of all nine of the Enneagram types, just incredible. However, if they are not operating from a place of awareness, or if they’re triggered, all of that can become a potential liability and that they use those things as a way to avoid feeling negative emotions to avoid feeling it Anything that is less than positive. They don’t want to be limited by anything or or trapped by anything. And so just like with all of the types, the thing that is, our gift to the world can also be a potential liability for us.

Amy Watson  45:18  
Yes, so you you said something there, that was really, really important. They don’t want to be trapped and emotional pain. And so, so I want listeners to think about that just for a second, while I read to you, when you know that your core fear is tract is triggered. When this fear is triggered, you might find it extra difficult to focus on projects, commit to relationships, and complete task. And so you’re absolutely focusing on not wanting to be trapped, not in so let’s translate that into the Watson trauma connection. I think when you talk about being trapped in emotional pain you really are experiencing or you really are describing trauma. So because if you’ve experienced trauma, you may feel trapped or reliving the trauma, which is by definition, PTSD, over and over. Since it’s your fear, you may choose any number. And I think this is interesting about when I when I ever joked at the beginning when I called them the good time Charlie’s but they may find any number of numbing slash coping mechanisms. And that doesn’t necessarily mean substance abuse, it could be like, like you said, FOMO, I’m going out, I’m doing things, I’m not leaning into the pain, because I don’t want to be trapped in this emotional pain. But when you walk through pain, because it is hard, as as we all know, remember that Jesus came to give you this abundant life that you want, and he provides all that you ever need. But we’ve got to process that pain because you can’t step into your first Peter two, nine, notice that we’re we’re you know, co heirs with Jesus, you can’t be everything if you refuse to stay trapped in that pain. And so my listeners that are listening, you’re in tight seven, you if you’ve had trauma, you probably spend a fair amount of your time trying to not think about it. And we talk about counseling all the time on this podcast is one of the three C’s. And so I think that the and I and I even heard a relatively famous Enneagram type seven talk about how she didn’t want to go to counseling, because, you know, they this type, just by definition, does not want to be trapped by emotional pain and will do whatever they can do, to not be and so I found that really interesting as I was as I was preparing. And so that brings us to the eight and the eights get a bad rap. And so talk to us a little bit about the core fear of the Enneagram eight.

Karissa Harrison  47:37  
All right, so the fear of the eight is they are afraid of being weak. Our lists are armed, enrolled, vulnerable, they’re afraid of being manipulated and left at the mercy of injustice. And so an eight oftentimes is trying to prevent being controlled. And so they usually will go on the offensive, and kind of can have this mentality of I’m going to control everyone and everything before they try to control

Amy Watson  48:11  
me. Yeah, yeah. And, and I’m a to, as I mentioned, and again, you must, must connect with Carissa on on Instagram or any of the places because they’re places that they each Enneagram type go and and when stressed twos, what’s your mi go to eights, and I actually, I actually tested as an eight one time because it was literally in the middle of a bunch of a bunch of trauma, a bunch of reliving, particularly my domestic violence, trauma. And so I can tend to lean into that eight. And so and so the message that we that that, that you know that this core fear is triggered a fear and eight is when this core fear is triggered, you may find yourself with very little patients, this may cause you to push aside those who are too slow to move out the way and as a to who has operated in stress and unhealthy. And I’m using air quotes when I say that for a good portion of my life that so rings true to me. And so what I want to say to my listeners is because in stress I tested as an as an eight that my trauma informed that I did not and I do not want to be controlled while and I tested another time and then I was a two and eight was nowhere to be found. Because I was in a healthy place. But for those of you out there and a fair amount of my listeners who are domestic violence survivors, if you are an Enneagram, eight, type eight, you are particularly going to have some work to do in a counselor’s office or with an Enneagram coach like Carissa. Because domestic violence by definition is nothing but being controlled. And so if that’s your core fear anyway, and you’re loving it or you have loved it, I can’t stress enough the importance of professional help and understanding that you Your personality type might make living particularly that domestic violence, trauma, a little bit more difficult. And so the eight that’ll come on is not a domestic violence survivor, but I think what you’ve said here will resonate to her. Because they do get a bit of a bad rap because they just they, you know, they walk in, they put their heads down, and they get things done. And you add trauma to that, particularly that fear of being controlled. And, and it’s just a, to me, it’s kind of like, you know, a type A personality on steroids, because it’s like, I’ve, I’ve been down this road before, I’ve been controlled before. And I was hurt before. And so my fear was realized, and therefore, you know, I’m going to be the worst version of myself. And so that’s what that’s the message I want to give to my listeners on that what is the core fear of the Enneagram nine.

Karissa Harrison  50:49  
So the Enneagram nine has a core fear of being in conflict, tension, or discord, they’re afraid of feeling shut out and overlooked, or of losing connection with others. And so this fear often is motivating them to just kind of go along to get along. Nines have this incredible ability to see the world through the eyes of everyone else. So they understand all of the different perspectives. But oftentimes, because of that, and the need to kind of keep this peace, they have fallen asleep, to their own opinions, to their own dreams to their own desires. And, and part of the growth and the waking up for the nine is learning to realize that their voice matters, and that they have something significant to contribute to the world. And that the world kind of needs to hear what they think and what their opinions are,

Amy Watson  51:49  
oh, we need nines. One of my one of my closest friends is a nine and we need nines. But here is the core fear of or when you know you’re triggered on the nine is when this fear is triggered, you may find yourself beginning to merge with the opinions of what others are believing. And particularly what Chris just said is that your voice doesn’t matter. And that breaks my heart. It just It breaks my heart as as an empath that breaks my heart as an Enneagram type two. But for listeners out there who are nines with trauma, you may find yourself in unhealthy relationships, because you just desire connection at all costs you like like Chrissa just said, You are seeing all the things and so you can say all the good and all the bad. And so you probably give people a million chances. And so you know, it is likely that a lot of nines out there have experienced trauma, it might helpful, I think that it just might continue to be helpful for for type nines to remember that their voice matters. And something that I always say on this podcast. And this is especially for the nines is I say there’s there’s five of them that you’re seeing known, loved, heard, and valued, and nines out there with trauma. You probably are confused sometimes with trauma because as Krista said, you can see everybody’s perspective. And so there are probably messages that you’re telling yourself based on your ability, your superpower to see the perspective of everybody, that that your trauma is not what it is. And so you may be able to see the good and the person that that that caused, as I call them, your trauma makers. And that’s not a bad thing. But just know that as as as an Enneagram type nine, where it is so important for your voice to matter. If you’ve experienced trauma, it is oftentimes that you will have been silenced. And this fear will be realized to the nth degree. And that makes me sad. And so just remember that your voice does matter and that you matter. And so much so that that that God sent His Son to die on the cross for your sins. And that is true about obviously all of us, but I have a tender place in my heart for the nines. Because they just we need nines, we need everybody, but I have a tender spot for the nines. And so what we’re gonna move on to next, and we’re going to do this relatively quickly, because I know that everybody’s time is important. But this is going to be a part. And again, you’ve got to take the deep dive on this but it becomes in childhood messaging but but that and I’m gonna let Carissa do all of all of the explaining of this. But this is meant to close out the podcast before we connect with our three season the stories of the story to tell you tell your heart the message that not only you need to hear. But that is true based on Scripture. Chris, I guess talk to us first about childhood messaging, what is it and why it’s important and what are the pitfalls of us talking about this in this context?

Karissa Harrison  54:52  
Yeah, so the childhood message is the message that people experienced either directly or indirectly, that they interpreted from their childhood. And and there are three different types of childhood messages. There’s wounding messages that arrive with an intent to harm or there’s a perception of harm. There are injuring messages that result from something harmful that happens, but without fill, intense. And then influencing messages which arrive intending to shape or to guide. And so what the Enneagram framework helps us to do is understand that each Enneagram type has a childhood message that they picked up on, that was given to them either implicitly or explicitly. And so what I mean by that is, we’re all human beings who were raised by human parents. None of us escaped childhood without a childhood wounding message that’s just part of being human. And so for all the parents who are listening, what I don’t want you to walk away from is thinking that you have, you know, messed up your kid, or what Enneagram type they become. The bottom line is no parent, no matter how healthy no matter how incredible they are, and fulfill all of the needs of their children all of the time. It’s just impossible. And so every single one of us, grows up and becomes an adult, and carry some type of childhood messaging, wounding childhood messaging. My Enneagram teacher Beth McCord uses an example and illustration that I think is really important, and that is, timeout. Okay. So we all know that kids pay attention to everything, but they can be terrible interpreters. Right, right. And so think of a child who makes a choice and the consequences, timeout. So there can be a wounding message with that timeout, which is, you know, the parent sends the child into timeout, and just leaves them there, and never goes back to love and repair and help them understand why there was a consequence, you know, the Think of abuse stories where children are just, you know, locked away and put away because they forgot to pick up their shoes or something, then you have injuring messages, which are not intentional, but they just happen. So think of the the parent who sends the child into timeout. And then the parent gets distracted by the other kids in the house, or by work call, or by making dinner and they forget to go get the kid for 30 minutes, that child has, you know, absorbed a wounding message that was not intentional. On the behalf of the parent, in fact, probably every parent with good intentions, has forgotten to get their kid out of timeout at some point, okay. And then we have the parent who, you know, sends the kid into timeout, and the kid experiences the timeout, and then the parent goes back in and explains to the child that they are still loved. And there’s, you know, a hug, and there’s comfort, and there’s love so, so there can be an experience of timeout. And it can be experienced different ways. And it can be interpreted different ways, depending on the child, depending on the parent and the circumstances. And so, what’s helpful about the childhood message that is unique to each Enneagram type is it helps us understand why we interpreted our childhood one way, but all of our siblings interpreted it a different way, right? It’s the lens through which we interpret much of our childhood stories. And freedom comes with understanding as an adult that, okay, I’ve been interpreting my life and my story through this lens. And it’s not true. And so what do I begin to do with that? So I’ll give you one last example, is I have had an Enneagram type two client in the past, who had, for all intents and purposes, a pretty great childhood, good parents, healthy parents, good enough parents.

She had a very explicit memory of her. One of her parents, I’m trying not to be too specific here, giving her the wounding childhood message. So for the type two, it’s that it’s not okay to have needs of your own. And so this parental figure expressed directly to this child, that it’s not okay for them to have needs that impact the other parent that frustrate the other Parents, she also received implicit messages that it was, you know, kind of a big deal whenever she had a need or whenever she had big emotions or whenever she didn’t do things the way that the parents around her needed or to. So she had an explicit message that was clear and direct. And then there were lots of implicit messages over the course of her childhood. So one of the property is even those of us who are good enough parents, I think, myself included, who’s raising three kids, my kids are going to grow up, and they’re going to have an Enneagram type. And they’re going to have a childhood message and wounds regardless of how good I am, right, right, because we’re humans, and we live in a broken and fallen world. And there’s no way for any parent to always meet the needs of their child, every time they have a need. It’s impossible. And so what I want to make sure we do is that we don’t ever set anyone up to think that they’ve ruined their kids. Because this is just kind of part of being human is we’re going to have these these messages. But there’s hope, just like with the core fear and the way that we can experience healing around the core fear, we can experience healing when it comes to the messaging as well.

Amy Watson  1:01:17  
What I want each Enneagram type to know is what your heart longs to hear. And you you’ve you’ve kind of alluded to him a few times on the core fears, but in the context of trauma, what is the message, the core longing message that the Enneagram type one wants to hear? And you did mention this earlier, but let’s go ahead just for clarity sake, and do that again, please.

Karissa Harrison  1:01:43  
Yeah, so the the childhood message of the type one, the thing that they interpreted, whether their parents were healthy or not healthy, whether they experienced childhood trauma or not, somehow they interpreted the message, it’s not okay to be wrong, or to make mistakes. And so the message that their heart longs to hear and the message that we as parents can speak over our kids, whether they’re young, or we have adult kids the message we can speak over our Enneagram one spouses or our Enneagram. One friends, is you are good. You are good. I think one of my kids might be a type one, we don’t type kids, but we can allow information to inform. And every night at bedtime, with this specific kid, I will pray over them. And in the prayer, remind them that they are good.

Amy Watson  1:02:42  
I have chills, absolutely have chills. And so in the context of trauma for my listeners out there, you experienced trauma you fought you have that inner critic that we talked about. You need to hear today that you are good. Even if you never did any thing out period. You are good. One of the examples that Chris brought to me in my coaching was when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. And your question to me was, do you think about the timeline of that, and I have a minor in Bible and I’m thinking and I remember you just doing what you’re doing now just let me talk. And it was like, and you said, When did Jesus received the message from the Father. And it was before he had done his single thing. And so for both people out there who don’t have trauma, who are Enneagram, one and those that do for those that you are good. And there’s nothing else to say there, we don’t need to say enough behind that. We need to say you are good. And you are made in the likeness of God as we see in Genesis 326 You are good. And so let’s move on to the to the childhood wounding message and then our core longing.

Karissa Harrison  1:04:04  
So for the two, the message that they received is that it’s not okay to have needs of your own. And so the message that they longed to hear is you are wanted and left.

Amy Watson  1:04:18  
Yes, that is the message that we want to hear. And so for those of you out there and trauma land like me, where I was abandoned and those my listeners know that and and abused and a lot and so I both of those things were true. I wasn’t wanted or loved, right? And so it is very difficult to get into the coding of my brain. This next thing that you’re going to tell me is the truth of what my what my heart longs to hear which is what I wanted and wanted and loved and so are you out there other Enneagram twos. So that brings us to the threes to the achieved, I kind of call them the achievers because I, you know, I when they’re talk to me about the childhood wounding message and longing.

Karissa Harrison  1:05:09  
So their message is it’s not okay for you to have your own feelings and identity. And so they shape shift, and they become who they think they need to be in order to be perceived as successful. And so the message that they longed to hear kind of the antidote, so to speak, is for the three that you are loved and valued, simply for being you. And so we went out with one of my other kids who I think may have some type three tendencies. I learned this in a book a long time ago, but we’ve been doing this since they were really young child, and I would say, do I love you? Because you’re smart? And they would say, No, and I had to teach them to do this. Do I love you? Because you’re kind? No, I love you. Because you’re beautiful. No, do I love you? Because you’re a great big sister. No, do I love you? Because you’re creative? No, I would go on and on, you know, I just show you all of those things. Yes. Why do I love you? Because I’m just me. Wow. And so those are just a couple of examples of how we can begin to use those messages, the, you know, healing messages to speak life, over people, over our kids over our nieces and nephews and spouses, you know, to counteract some of the wounding messages that are just naturally going to happen, because we’re human, and we live in a broken,

Amy Watson  1:06:50  
right. And so my, my, my type three trauma survivors out there. Again, your your loved for you. And even though your trauma may have told you differently, your trauma is not God. And we know that that just as we mentioned, that we don’t have to do anything to be loved by God. He, he’s not impressed by anything that we do. And so for those type threes out there who are performing their way out of I’m thinking, in particular, some type threes that I know that has some trauma, that, you know, they just will put their head down and go full bore and want to receive, you know, they try to, they want that identity that you talked about. And so, so they they go crazy and doing that, and particularly in trauma, because their identity is often found in that trauma, it is informed by that trauma. And so again, threes out there hope you hear that healing message. And so that brings us to four. I hope everybody’s impressed to how well I can count. So so let’s talk about the type fours.

Karissa Harrison  1:07:58  
So the fours receive this message, that it’s not okay to be too much. And not enough. And so for the for what they really are craving and longing to hear is that they are seen and loved for exactly who they are. They want to be seen and understood.

Amy Watson  1:08:23  
So a little different from the three the delineation a little bit as more they want to be seen.

Karissa Harrison  1:08:31  
Seen. And for who they are.

Amy Watson  1:08:34  
Yeah. Yeah. Right. Right. Right. That makes sense. Yeah. So for the fours and out there who have experienced trauma, really, the message is the same, I think you think you’re seeing a, a pattern here, but that your your trauma may have been put may have put you into a spot where you weren’t seen that core longing that you have, but you are saying, please know that you’re saying you know that if you listen to this podcast at all, and so don’t let your trauma tell you differently, and run run towards that longing, because I think that’s really important for all of us. And so that brings us to the to the type five.

Karissa Harrison  1:09:17  
So the five really interprets this message that it’s not okay to be comfortable in the world. And so for them, the thing that they’re craving that they longed to hear is that their needs are not approachable. And so fives are often they often feel like they don’t understand the people around them. Like, like the people around them, have this social awareness that they didn’t get access to, that they have to work harder to comprehend. And so for them to understand that their needs are not oppressed. problem that they can withdraw, that they can set boundaries that they can experience, silence and solitude and those kinds of things. It’s a message that, that they want to hear that their needs are not a problem.

Amy Watson  1:10:14  
Yeah, and I know I, I grew up in the children’s home with a lot of kids that, you know, some of them I could probably ping as, as a five. And so what they what I found and what I find in my, my opportunities to work with people, and I don’t know whether they’re type fives or not, but but they will diminish their trauma, they will diminish their pain, because they don’t feel comfortable in the world and they’ve not received the message that they’re alone that their heart longs to hear is that it’s okay for you to have needs, it’s okay for you to you know, say no, I can’t go to x block because, you know, you need that downtime to decompress, and to work through things. And, and so for tight fives out there, we need you, as we’ve mentioned before, but but but we want you to feel comfortable in the world. And we want you to know that your needs matter, that that they matter to us. And so that brings us to six, what is the messages for the six.

Karissa Harrison  1:11:12  
So the six has picked up on the message that it’s not okay to trust or depend on their self. And so the message that they long to hear is that they are safe and secure or safe and secure. And, you know, here’s a bonus piece of this. So much of the work for six is learning to trust yourself, to trust their decisions to trust in their ability to, to not feel like they have to go to you know, every source or committee or person in their life to talk through the possibilities that they can stressed their ability to make a decision. And at the end of the day that they are safe and secure.

Amy Watson  1:12:00  
Yeah, and that’s a tough one. And so you’re speaking to, we are speaking to primarily survivors of trauma. And so this issue of safety nets and trusting yourself, survivors will blame themselves because they didn’t you know, they didn’t make the right decision. They didn’t put themselves in the right spot. They didn’t make sure everything was safe, kind of like Chrissy said they will absolutely obsess on is my fault. And what do I do to make it not happen again. And so trauma for the six, informing them that they cannot trust themselves, because they put themselves in a situation and their mind, they put themselves in the situation for the traumatic event to happen. And therefore they must spend all of their energy for the rest of their days, finding a way to not do that again. But the truth is, you are safe, and you are loved. And doing life with a six, as I mentioned, who loves to do it by committee, you got the best committee at all with access to the throne, or the book of Hebrews says that we can come boldly before the throne of grace. And so for the sixes of the world, you are safe viewer. And even though your trauma may tell you differently, you are safe. And so that brings us to our sevens are good time Charlie’s what is their messaging.

Karissa Harrison  1:13:15  
So the seven has picked up on this message that it’s not okay to depend on others for anything. And so the message that they long to hear is you will be taken care

Amy Watson  1:13:30  
you will be taken care of is the message they longed to hear. And so I can’t think of any other scripture then then and I will put the the the reference in the show notes and you may know it, but I will never leave you or forsake you is a promise that we have from God and so so for trauma survivors. I think that that’s important messaging for us, for us to remember as sevens is that that truth is there regardless of your trauma and and your personality did not cause that trauma, that’s always my concern with sevens is is that you know they’re out there. Right? And so maybe perhaps people have prayed on on that that type of personality that FOMO that fear of missing out the fear of going out and doing things and things of that nature and so your trauma informed in you but tell us again what the core longing again of the seven is because I have some important people listening that are sevens

Karissa Harrison  1:14:29  
you will be taking care of you will be

Amy Watson  1:14:31  
taken care of and so even though your trauma has told you differently, that maybe you weren’t taken care of. Or it appears as though you weren’t taken care of because I I know that one day we’re going to stand before God and it’s all gonna make sense that you will be taken care of you are being taken care of. And ultimately you were taken care of because of the work of Jesus on the cross. And so, so that’s my my seven peeps. Talk to us about dates.

Karissa Harrison  1:14:59  
So The eights interpreted that it’s not okay to trust or be vulnerable with anyone. And so the thing that they really want to hear is that you will not be betrayed.

Amy Watson  1:15:16  
And I wanted that debrief for a minute. Because, again, we’re talking, the majority of my audience are trauma survivors and said that your core desire, your core longing, the thing you need to hear is that you will not be betrayed. If you are a trauma survivor, you have been betrayed. And so it might be difficult for you to believe us, when we tell you and that’s true of all this, by the way, trauma survivors, it’s hard for me to know that I’m wanted and loved. And it’s hard for Christy to know that she’s safe, it’s, it’s, you know, she will be safe, it’s hard for all, you know, Enneagram it’s all of his hard when you’re when your trauma is informing it and that’s the point of the podcast. And so if you’re in Enneagram, eight, and and you and that core, that core longing is to not be betrayed, and you have been betrayed, know that I that we understand that and, and just know, the truth, you know, Bebo Norman has a song called if your faith is hard to find, you can borrow mine, and borrow ours on this number eight is that you will not be betrayed, God will always be there with you.

Karissa Harrison  1:16:24  
Well, and here’s the thing, I’ve two things on that one. I’m a pastor. And I don’t believe that you have to believe all of the right things about God, in order to experience His love and His goodness, I just don’t because if that was the case, none of us would get to experience. The world knows all of the right things about that. So there’s that piece. The other piece is these core longings. They’re really meant to help us gain understanding of where some of our pain and our wounding comes from. Because at the end of the day, living in this world is broken and fallen worlds. Am I ever going to perfectly experience and trust that I am loved and valued simply for being me? Is it is it is it possible for me every moment of every day to believe the message that I will never be betrayed, right? And so so when we’re able to kind of step back from that and go, Well, that’s the message that my heart most longs to hear. But I’m not going to get to experience that perfectly right now. And so there’s a disconnect there. And sometimes what that draws us into is some awareness and some understanding of why we have some of the responses and reactions and defense mechanisms that we do for sure. And part of it might be releasing some expectations of there’s no human being in my life that’s going to be able to satisfy this core longing. There’s no structure, no job, no sense of security, really, in my opinion outside of God that’s able to satisfy this longing, and even with God, it requires a lot of faith. Yeah, and trusting and what I cannot see, and what I cannot fully comprehend or explain

Amy Watson  1:18:13  
100%. And that’s, you know, that reminds me of Romans 818. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed, in essence. So we’re not going to feel all of these things as we move into the nine. You’re not, I’m not always going to feel wanted and loved. Both of us teared off, when we talked about that part. We’ve been working together for months now. And you had to go into your coaching voice and go, You are wanted in love, because you’re looking at me knowing she still doesn’t quite believe it. And guys, I’ve been in church since I was 10 years old. And I know and love and believe in the sovereignty of God. But I don’t always believe that. And so don’t feel discouraged if you’re we’re just providing what your heart needs to hear, and hopes that it will help you seek those things and help you understand I can’t, I can’t stress the word awareness enough in Enneagram work. So let’s move to the nine quickly. What is the messaging for the nine?

Karissa Harrison  1:19:09  
So the nine interpreted that it’s not okay to assert yourself or think much of yourself. And so the message that the nine needs to hear is your presence matters. You know, this core longing, what regardless of what type we’re talking about, you know that you are good? Well, not all the time, right? If we’re basing it off of our behavior and our actions, but there is a core part of us that has inherent worth and value that God says is good. You know that you are loved and valuable simply for being you. Not according to everyone. Right? Right. And so I think for me, and I am a PTSD survivor, the thing that’s been important for me to understand Then my healing process is the only one that can satisfy this core longing for me, is God. Yeah. And the trauma that I have experienced or that we have experienced was a human hands. And that I am safe with God, I am loved by God, I am valued by God, I will never be betrayed by God. And and I don’t want to simplify those things, because that can do more harm than good. Some of us felt betrayed by God, some of us have felt rejected by God, unloved and unwanted by God. And so part of the work part of the healing that we do in therapy, is learning to distinguish those things that I might have felt like God didn’t protect me like he didn’t keep me safe. And that’s a valid feeling. And some of it, I’ll never have answers for completely. What I’m learning is to trust that he is still with me that he was there that he’s with me now that he is healing that he is restoring that he is redeeming, that I can see that. And so what I don’t ever want to do with these things is over simplify them. Because so much of this is complex. So much of it is mysterious. And the only reason I think I even feel like I can speak to this is because I’ve experienced it personally, I know what it’s like to feel like God, where were you when I came face to face with the most horrific evil? And how do I reconcile that with what I think is true about you. But at the end of the day, these core longings are only satisfied by God. Right. And some days, I believe it more than others, right. And I think that’s part of being human too. And so you know, if you’re listening, and you’re going well, that sounds good. But I don’t know that I believe it to be true, I want you to know that you’re not alone. And I want you to know that it’s okay to take that question to God, it’s okay to take that doubt to God. And to be really brutally honest with him. My heart longs to hear that I am safe and secure, but I don’t feel safe and secure. So help me experienced that as truth. God, my core longing is that I will not be betrayed, but I feel betrayed. That has been my experience. And so God helped me reconcile that. And, and my personal experience, and what I have seen in the lives of the people that I’ve been privileged to minister to, is that God always meets us in those questions, never leaves us hanging. He doesn’t always answer when we want him to when he doesn’t usually answer the way that we want him to. But I keep coming back to this place of God is good. He is good to me and to everyone that he has created. His grace is good to all of us. And so God helped me to trust. And you know, the other thing with these core longings Amy and we kind of touched on this already is we, we can’t control whether or not we experience the poor longing, and we can’t control whether or not other people experience it. But we can be conduits of this in the lives of the people around us. And so to say to the type nine in your life, through your words and your actions, your presence matters, is how we love them well, to say to the eight in your life, through your words, and through your actions, most especially that you will not be betrayed is so good, and go on and on. So there’s this you know, there’s community hear that, that here’s the message I want to hear. And and I longed to hear and God’s satisfies that, but but we can also be a part of satisfying that for one another

Amy Watson  1:24:06  
do hit on something that we talk about all the time community. And so the three C’s trauma informed counseling, of which we’ve talked about here today, community what you just talked about, so that we can come alongside whether you’re a trauma survivor, or not understanding what each other needs to know and hear and doing life with them. That’s the kindest thing that we can do for each other. And then and then and then finally, the Church, which we don’t have time to talk about, but then the star of the story who we’ve been talking about this entire time, Jesus, who is not unfamiliar with our sufferings, and so I hope that this has been helpful to those of you who are interested in the Enneagram. I did ask Carissa, because many of you are going to send me messages. I’m going to try to try to thwart that here. So don’t get 1000s of messages. If you’re interested in knowing what type you may identify as Carissa has has recommended to us at this point. and this will change at some point because she’s going to have her own tests, but the Enneagram institute.com, you can go there and take a test and then come back. And listen, we will be back in two weeks with each type, and they will have the opportunity to listen to Carissa. And they will respond in real time as it pertains to their trauma or just their everyday life. And so Carissa, I adore you, thank you so much for this, this has meant everything to me. And I just, you’re just amazing. You’re out there doing God’s work. And, and, and that’s, that’s not the to, over overly complimenting you, I am so grateful for you, in so many ways. And, and I hope that it’s fun for you to watch a miracle in front of your eyes as we’re doing twice a month, these days. And so thank you for being here today. And I will provide on the show links everywhere everybody can find you. I know that you’re booked out a little bit right now. But I highly recommend any of you guys who want some deep, deeply meaningful healing work as it pertains to the Enneagram trauma or not to consider Enneagram coach and particularly Carissa, or Beth McCourt, those are the only two that I would recommend you to and I only know Beth McCord because I see her on Instagram. But Chris is the real deal. And I just wanted to thank you for being here today.

Karissa Harrison  1:26:23  
It’s a great honor. Amy, thank you so much for having

Amy Watson  1:26:28  
Well, guys, thank you so much. I know that this was a little bit more of your time that you spent with me than usual. I hope that each of you that listen to this found value in this episode that Carissa brought to us, it is so important to understand who God made us and how he made us what we are afraid of what we fear, what we long for, and ultimately, who can provide that for us. I do hope that you saw the thread of community through these podcasts as we cannot do this live. So as I mentioned before, the easiest way to find Carissa is Carissa harrison.com, you can also head to all of her socials, I will provide those in the show links as well. And then also, you can always reach me by hitting that contact. Amy link right in the show notes. Coming up next in two weeks. We have a lot of work to do before we get there that we will have interviews with each Enneagram type and how this episode. Both of these episodes resonated with them, regardless of whether they have gone on or not. I’m excited to bring those to you. Some of my favorite people in the world are going to be on those podcasts. And so and so I’ll see you again here in the healing zone in two weeks. Remember, you’re seeing love heard you teach me to accuse my life

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Tags: #enneagram #enneagram1 #enneagram2 #enneagram3 #enneagram4 #enneagram5 #enneagram6 #enneagram7 #enneagram8 #enneagram9 #trauma #PTSD #corefear #coremotivation #childhoodmessaging

Raising My Ebeneezer (audio & transcript)

READERS this is a transcript to a podcast and is not meant to present as a completed, grammatically correct piece of written work. We provide these transcripts for our hard of hearing community or for those of you who prefer to listen through the blog. We would love to have you as part of the Wednesdays With Watson family, you can do that by entering here.

Amy Watson 0:04
Hey guys, and welcome to a bonus episode of The Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. First of all, you’re listening to this after the season finale of PTSD Jesus in you. And again, I just want to thank you for your listenership, and for the huge milestone that we hit that we will be announcing later. Today’s episode is some bonus content that was originally posted only on my friend Stephanie Baker’s podcast called The faithful podcast. This was part two of a very popular show that I dropped with my personal testimony, this is my story. These are my songs, we left that episode off on a bit of a cliffhanger. And this what you will hear today is actually some very cool content of what happened, as I began to reckon with all of the trauma and the pain and all of the things. So I hope you enjoy this, this is a bonus drop, and will be a preview of some of the things we’ll be doing next season for my Patreon subscribers. And if you don’t know what Patreon is, that’s just an opportunity for you to support this ministry monthly. You can do that by $1 A month or 50 cents a month. But whatever you give, will help us continue the mission of providing hope and help to those who are walking or have walked or who love someone who has walked the crooked roads of despair and trauma. So I hope that you enjoy this second part of this as my story. These are my songs. If you’ve not heard the first part, you do not need to listen to them in order, but I would love for you to go back and listen to that one as well. Again, as I mentioned before, I would love to stay in contact with you connection with you as my favorite part of podcasting. And so below is my ends and the shownotes is my link tree, including that patreon link where you can support this ministry should you so desire. But content like this will be content that will be provided for Patreon supporters so that we can continue our mission going into next season. So sit back and relax. And listen to the last part of my story. This is my story. These are my songs. Today, I am so grateful to tell you have a time when God met me on a beach and I was able to lay some things down. I hope that it will serve some encouragement to anyone out there who is looking for hope and help and just a life that is abundant and free, even in the midst of so much trauma. So it is with great pleasure and honor that Stephanie has given me the microphone today to tell you a little bit about the rest of the story after we recorded on Wednesdays with Watson podcast. So thank you for your for your time, and I hope that you find Jesus and the story.

The bright white building outlined in red hasn’t changed much in 40 years. I could see it from my beachfront hotel room. Even though it was a couple miles down the beach, I could easily recognize that red cross on this side of the building. That cross is internationally known to symbolize help, and by proxy, hope I knew that building well. I sought it often as a towheaded kid who clearly was born with an unadulterated love for the ocean. We often hung around the LifeCard Red Cross building as young kids having saved every penny from the week’s odd jobs. We jumped on the city bus with little more than our swimsuits and maybe an extra t shirt. When we weren’t in the ocean or playing on the sand dunes. We were hanging around that bright white building with a cross painted on the side. We played for hours on the boardwalk enjoyed the food vendors and street performers. No one really knew where we were nor did they care. So we’d often stay until the last bus picked us up to take us to the warzone that we call it home. The buses were always colder than they needed to be and often elicited chill bumps on our sunkissed skin. I stood somewhat paralyzed on that same beach a few years ago. And those memories flooded my mind and overtook my senses. For a minute. I was that towheaded kid again. The ocean was turbulent that day. As a storm off the coast of Jacksonville decided to hang out for a bit. The waves crashed into the Earth’s crust with an energy that I understood. I decided to walk towards that white building, the one that signified help and hope. I scan the grounds for shells or rocks. My phone was shuffling some pretty amazing songs and it turned into a sweet Jesus Send me time that I will never forget. I was in Jacksonville for reasons that were far from fun. And I was telling Jesus about it. Come Thou Fount shuffled on my phone. And just like every other time I hear that song, I was intrigued about a single lyric. Here I raise my Ebenezer Heather by thy help Icom. Because this part of the song always stops me in my tracks. I had learned the story behind Ebenezer. And on this day, I wanted to raise and Ebenezer, the word, and as original Tex means stone of help. I turned the stone around between my fingers. I didn’t even remember picking it up. Because Jesus and I were having a talk, I continued towards the Red Cross building. I can’t be sure if the memories drew me there, or the symbolism of that building drew me there. Either way, I was on a mission to get there, or replayed that song. And listen intensely to that lyric, I knelt down and wrote victory. And the same with my rock, took a picture and left my stone there. I was determined to leave some other things on the beach that day. I needed to. So I raised my Ebenezer, and thank God for the victory that He has given me over armies of darkness, groups of trauma, and multiple health issues. God and His kindness and sovereignty, healed my brain, enough for me to face and when battles and wars, because you see, trauma is stubborn, it is greedy, and it will left unchecked. absolutely destroy its tenant. I fully understand what a miracle my life is. I wanted to lay my mom on the beach that day, and all the trauma that she caused. I thought of her a lot on that Jesus me walk. I remember seeing a picture of her and my sister Libby sitting somewhere where I was walking. I wanted to leave my abusive ex husband on the beach that day, I had so many memories with him out there. Those memories reminded me that he wasn’t all bad, and neither was my marriage. So I kept walking, and the building of help and hope got closer. So did real hope. As I just begged Jesus to take all those things from my heart and from my mind and truly give me victory. I begged him to help me. I had been trying to wish my trauma away. Trauma doesn’t go away, because we want it to leave. And the Body Keeps the Score. And this is why I was in Jacksonville in the first place. My body had kept impeccable score over the years.

By the time I made it to that Red Cross building, quiet tears dripped. And I remember that little kid escaping the life of pain, running on the boardwalk, and hanging around that bright white building across on the side. On this day, that grown up little girl was walking on the beach and searched for some help and some hope. The bright cross stared back at me and I wanted to kneel in front of it and lay it all down there. Because it had ceased to be a symbol of the American Red Cross and reminded me of the wooden cross where they killed my Jesus. He gave his life for me, so that I could have victories like I was having at that moment. On my way back, I realized I never picked up my Ebenezer after I took the picture. I fully expected the ocean to have a devoured it. And that would have kind of been perfect, actually. A new song shuffled on my phone, this time, another lyric force more water from my eyes. Behold the Lamb. The story of redemption written on his hands, Jesus your reign forevermore. The victory is yours. We sing your praise endless hallelujah is to your holy name. Jesus, you will reign forever more because the victory is yours. We thank you for the cross. I had heard that song at the church the week before the story of redemption written on his hands. It has my story. It is your story. I turned around and took one last look at the building and then down at the ground. And there it was the rock I had used to proclaim, proclaim victory and the sand said exactly where I left it. My heart burst with gratitude that Jesus always has been and will continue to be my stone of help and nothing could separate me from the love of the cross. It is my hope that listeners will find hope and the power of the cross. It is my hope that listeners would find hope and trauma, hope and pain. Hope when we know where Hope comes from. I am so grateful to Stephanie and the faithful podcast for this platform. And it is my desire that today, wherever you are, that you will know that redemption is written on the hands of the one who died for you. Because we do not serve a high priest who is unfamiliar with our sufferings. My name is Amy Watson, and I am a precious daughter of the Most High God, I should not be here and I understand that responsibility. So my heart is stirred by a noble theme, is I recite verses for my king, may my tongue be the pen of a skull for writer. Jesus loves you guys in a few need to know how to have a personal relationship with Him so that you can find hope and unimaginable pain. Please reach out again, thank you so much for your time, because I know that it’s not something we’re making more of. May you find hope, and the power of the cross and the faithfulness of His Word, and all that he does for us. Jesus loves you, my friend. And I hope on this day, you will remember that Hey, guys, thanks again for listening to this bonus episode of The Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. I hope that you enjoyed the part of my story where I was able to raise my Ebenezer. I would love to stay in contact with you, as I mentioned, that as we always say here on the Wednesday for the Watson podcast, you are seen known, loved, heard and valued, I hope to connect with you on any of the places and again you can find that link in the show notes. And so I will see you again here and two weeks. Let the healing interview

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

PTSD, Jesus & You: Spiritual Abuse, Tiffany Countryman

Or listen here

READERS: This is a transcript to a podcast and is not meant to present as a grammatically correct piece of written work. We provide these transcripts for our hard of hearing community as well as those of you who prefer to listen inside the blog. We would love to have you as part of the Wednesdays With Watson family! To do that click here.

Amy Watson 0:04
Hey guys, and welcome to the season finale that Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. Wow, guys, we’ve been everywhere man. Look for a recap episode of this season in the coming weeks. It has been my honor. Really, it really has been my honor to bring you stories of the crooked, crooked roads of hope and healing from trauma. We have had a strong group of brave people that have come on to this podcast and told stories and how they got off of that crooked road. Not all of our guests noted Jesus as the reason, but an overwhelming majority named him as a star of the story. He is the star of mine, and he keeps shining. I went back and listened to the pilot episode the other day healing that doesn’t make sense. And oh, from once we’ve come and I can’t wait to tell you where we’re going. But first, I want you to enjoy this very first unscripted freestyle conversation, which ushers us in nicely to the next season. Today we are talking about spiritual trauma. My guest, Tiffany countrymen. Gosh, she’s gonna bring it today. I promise you that. This is a Gen X meets a millennial conversation. And if you know me, you know my heart for this generation. So I invite you to enjoy this conversation with my friend, Tiffany countryman. Before we do that, I’d like to tell you a little bit about her. Tiffany is the founder and CEO of ministry is mi ministries LLC. She’s also a Crohn’s awareness advocate, a global influencer. She is an accomplished playwright, a writing coach and a member of many many boards. She is the CO CO hosts of her own podcast titled millennial motherhood uncensored and the delighted wife of Terence countrymen. Together they parent two children, Terrell and Gabrielle. It is her primary goal guys, I get chills this reading this to lead souls to Christ to assist others in fulfilling their destinies and to creatively contribute to her community until her mission is complete. And so today guys, it is with great pleasure that I welcome my friend to the homie countryman. Hey TIFF. Welcome to the Wednesday’s with watts. Cast my friend.

Tiffany Countryman 2:25
What’s up, Amy? How’s it goes it? How goes it?

Amy Watson 2:29
Hey, I actually understood that there were two which makes it makes it even more interesting. So Tiffany and I and it’s feel so weird, by the way to call you that because we met on an audio app that if you don’t know about now, you have to be living under a rock called clubhouse. And TIFF is got quite the presence on clubhouse and in her her mom, her moniker is tiff the homie of which is how I know her. So calling her Tiffany is really really strange for me. So tell me tell us really quickly where did that name originate?

Tiffany Countryman 2:57
The homie. I’m just, this is just my personality growing up in high school. College just my friends like I’m just I’m always the homie. I’m the one that’s always there. I’m the one that always brings the life to the party. I’m the one that always makes it better. So I’m just I’m everybody’s hoping.

Amy Watson 3:18
And I’m here to say that is true. I love love love doing clubhouse rooms with you and I was on your own podcast. And that was amazing. So yeah, I think homie is a great, great way to call it now here. I you are dialing into me from Ohio. I’m in Florida. And for the listeners If you hear thunder, I’m sorry. That’s the one thing that my microphone cannot out. We’re having bad storms here. Well, let me ask you this. I read your bio, but just in a couple of quick sentences. Tell us who you are. And then I listened to other podcasts. And this is usually when I fast forward. I don’t want to know I was born in Covington, Indiana. But who are you?

Tiffany Countryman 3:54
Okay, um, well, I am the middle child of three. Um, I’m a mother myself. I have one daughter. I’m a wife. I’m a business owner. I’m the homie. I’m a friend. I’m a tribe member. I remember. Amy, when you were on my podcast, you talked about your for your group of four. I also I have a group of three. And you know, there’s always one that comes a little bit closer to us, depending on what season we’re in. But there’s definitely two that I call my tribe tribe, my tribe members. I’m a playwright. I’m a public speaker. I’m a preacher. I’m I’m a lot of things. I’m all things to all men, as Jesus said.

Amy Watson 4:41
And our precious precious daughter of the Most High God, I just I just love you to death. Well, here’s the deal. Oh, here is the deal I want to do on the season finale. And the reason why I did that is because I just sent you like this random text like hey, Tiff. Do you know anybody that could come on? My podcasts and speak to spiritual trauma and you sent the little emoji with a hand up to me. And I was like, Yes, I mean, not that you would been through spiritual trauma, but that you were willing to come on to the episode. And so for for those of you who are listening, you know that we have four C’s on this podcast, we have trauma informed counseling. And we have covered that in both seasons with both with my own story. And we brought professionals on to the to the podcast. The second C is community and the importance of community and Tiff you just mentioned that so eloquently with your tribe. And as I call my core four of people. So my last episode, yeah, yeah, core for that last episode that I just dropped a called weaponizing. The gospel was an exhortation to the community. But I believe strongly that you have to have a community regardless of what your faith is to survive trauma. And today, I want to talk about that third C that we always talk about, which is church. And I and I have been so under conviction to begin to talk about spiritual trauma, and you quite frankly, are going to usher us in to next season as we began to talk about spiritual trauma. And so this is going on putting my remarkable away. Now this is going to be a freestyle conversation, because I know you’re going to bring it, but you just told us all the things that you were and so listeners understand that she’s going to tell us a story of spiritual trauma, and I want you to learn something from it. But look at what she has done with it. She has turned all of that pain into purpose, and all of the things that she just told her that she did, and we’ll drop all of those links in the show notes. So let’s start at the beginning. When did you first start going to church?

Tiffany Countryman 6:47
I’m a Pew baby. I’ve been in church ever since I was born, I’ll probably was in church while I was in my mother’s womb. My grandmother, my maternal grandmother. She was what the black Church calls a church mother. She was a mother of the church. She was the one responsible for cooking food after service. She was one of the ones responsible for taking care of the baptismal pool and a candidate she was that, that that backbone of the black church and consequently, my family was ingrained into the church. My mother currently is not a chronic churchgoer. She loves God, she’s a Christian, she loves the Lord. But I’m probably the only one in my family that still attends church. Talking about church drama, but yeah, so I’ve I’ve been in church all my life, Amy Oh, my

Amy Watson 7:39
girl, same same every time the doors are open. And I think it was like four or five times a week between youth group and soul winning and and two times on Sunday on Wednesday. And you know what, it didn’t do me that that badly, even though one of my abusers was at church, and I’ve never covered that on my podcast. But um, so talk to me. So you grew up in church, and you are a millennial. And I’m going to ask you a question right now, that’s gonna make us make a lot of sense to the listeners here in just a second. How old is your daughter?

Tiffany Countryman 8:10
My daughter is seven.

Amy Watson 8:11
Okay, guys, so

I want you for perspective to understand that we are talking about eight years ago that this happened. And the 2000s we are talking about that this happen. Not in 1995 Not old school thinking not just Gen X, but we’re talking about eight years ago to story happen. So talk, walk us through that. So you’re going to church, you’re doing your thing, and all at the mic is yours, my friend.

Tiffany Countryman 8:41
Oh, Amy. Well, you know, I have a love hate relationship for the church. Even now. I have a love hate relationship for the church. There are certain aspects about the church, church, people, church leadership, the different denominations, the the rules, the dogmatic is there’s just different things about the church that I absolutely just hate. I loathe I disgust It makes me sick, whatever term resonates with you the most but on the other side, there are there’s beauty in the church because that’s all that I know, is the church. My first public speaking opportunity was in the church. My first opportunity to memorize a speech was in the church, my first opportunity to have a friend or a boyfriend or or adopted family member was from the church. So I have this love hate relationship. And I really hate the church because of some of the things that I’ve been through. And one of those things is that I was I don’t want to use were ostracized, but I was pretty much ostracized because I became pregnant outside of marriage. I was a minister in the church. So quick backstory. I’ve been I’m 33 years old. Currently, I’m at the time of this recording, and I been ordained a minute Since 21 years old, 21 years old, didn’t really know who I was. First of all, I don’t want to say I grew up shelter because I did have freedom and exposure. But I was it. I grew up sheltered. I didn’t know anything. I know that I was called to preach clearly because I’m still doing it. But in that moment, I feel like I didn’t have the proper covering or teaching that a minister needs because there’s so much spiritual warfare that comes with the mantle that’s not really talked about. So I was ordained at 21 years old and became endowed in the church. I mean, I was a part of huge movements and organizations that held conventions and stuff yearly. And I would travel all around the country preaching. I was invited into large pulpit store, front churches, local churches, churches down the road, I was always invited specially during the summer, because that was the youth, you know, all of the youth revivals and youth camps and youth lists and youth that. So I landed at a church around 25, around 25. And I became a member of that church and I started serving on the ministerial alliance. There was a guy there who was a deacon of the church, a deacon of the church, he took care of the church, he was pretty much like the pastor’s right hand, man, I remember he would go up during the week and take the trash out. And he cut the grass and drive the church van I keep was this upstanding guy. Long story short, we became involved. We were dated, we were dating. For a while we actually dated for about three years. So we dated for a while. But anybody that knows anything about church miss, his family became heavily involved in our relationship more than more particularly his sister, oh, his sister. So what I can gather from their situation is that they lost their mother young. And there’s his sister pretty much assumed that motherly role, even though she was younger than him. And she really didn’t have much authority or power, wisdom or guidance. But he really leaned on her in that motherly role. And it was toxic. And that is how our relationship ended. So although our relationship ended, weak continue to have sexual encounters, because first of all, we were known in this community in the church world, I wasn’t a whole stuff wasn’t out here, just having sex with me and everybody, we had a strong sexual connection. And I can honestly say that I loved him. I loved him. It was his family, and just him not, in my opinion, standing up and being a man about life that caused us not to be together. So the very last time and I never told you this, the very last time that we had six is when I became pregnant. Wow, the very last time we had fill out what happened was he came over that day, there was something wrong with my car. He came over my that day to fix the car. And one thing led to another and we had six. But afterwards, I asked him to leave. He wanted to like, you know, take a nap and chill out like he was my man. No, no, no, you’re gonna have to leave circles. I actually I really don’t like you like it was crazy. How toxic This was because it will be at church, it wouldn’t speak to each other will be me mugging each other. But whenever we wanted to get it on, it was something that was automatic. And I’m sure people listening have had a situation ship or entanglement like that once or twice in their lives where you just can’t really explain it. It just is what it is. It doesn’t even make sense to you. So I asked him to leave. He got upset. And we did not talk for months, three months. Exactly. We didn’t talk. We didn’t have sex anymore. In my mind. I said I was not having sex with him anymore. And I’m pretty sure in his mind, he was done as well. So I missed my cycle. And the very first time I missed my cycle, I knew I was pregnant. I knew I was but I waited and waited, took a test a little Walgreens test nothing, you know, substantial at first, and it came up positive. So I said okay, go. So I told a couple of friends friends that are not even a part of my life. That’s a whole nother podcast. That whole world and RAM. I’m not even connected to those people anymore. Um, and I told a couple of them just weighing my options, because at this point, I’m 26 I’m gonna be honest, me I thought about getting an abortion. Wow. Not to play at it. 100% I will

Amy Watson 14:47
be there for a second. Absolutely. was the emphasis of you contemplating getting an abortion, your fear of how the church would react or you weren’t ready?

Tiffany Countryman 14:57
Absolutely. No, I was right. I mean, it was and this the thing, I’m a tomboy. So I never was like, I want three kids of picket fence, a Cinderella wedding. Like that was never me, I just life just happened the way that it did. So it wasn’t that I didn’t want a child. But it 100% Was the church because at this time, Amy, I’m going up in my in my ministerial career, and I could be honest, my at that point at 2526, my number one goal in life was to become a bishop in the church. I know, it’s hard to believe now. But back then I wore skirts all the time. I wore stockings all the time, I was very religious, I was very church. My mom even talks about that now. And I remember when you went through that phase that, you know, they called the apostolic phase, because I was in an apostolic denominational church. Um, so. So I yeah, I contemplated abortion strongly, because I knew that my I was traveling everywhere, all of that will come to an end because you hear it often. And now I’m in this situation, where it’s like, you already know how the church is going to react. But my spirit just wouldn’t allow me to do it. For whatever reason, personally, I cannot reconcile within myself, to abort my child. So I called him up. My child’s father, I called him up. And he did not believe me, he thought that I was lying. He thought that I was saying that to get back in his good graces to get back connected with him. And this is how I knew that we were both done like we were done it because he will, he wasn’t even entertaining, it was entertaining me was a response to any texts or anything. So I set up an appointment at a local center here to go and get an ultrasound. And I invited him to the ultrasound, he was like, Yeah, I’m coming. Because this is the only proof that because I don’t believe nothing that you’re saying, like at this point, we’re our arch enemies. And even to this day, Amy, I can’t even tell you why we’re enemies, we have this disgust for one another. And I can’t pinpoint the root of it. But it’s just there even eight years later, we cannot have a civilized conversation concerning our child. So we went to the ultrasound. And sure enough, there was the sack that they saw the sack and the heartbeat. I was about four months at this time. Because I remember I didn’t know I was three months because I want to tell my mom and everybody else until I was four months do that first trimester. So I was pregnant,

Amy Watson 17:36
and you consider it an abortion because and here’s where I want to, I want to hone in the fact that you thought about aborting your child because you were afraid of the backlash of the church is the point of the podcast in the spiritual trauma. So tell us a little bit so so so you so fast forward to when you had to tell somebody in church leadership, or somewhere where you were supposed to go preach or something? Hey, guys, I’m pregnant, because I want to talk about the how the church got it wrong. And then I want you to tell us how the church could have gotten it right as we usher in spiritual trauma. So you go and tell leadership that I’m pregnant.

Tiffany Countryman 18:14
Yep, happened. Interesting story for that, because he forced me to tell our pastor, because Okay, so go back to the ultrasound. I’m three months pregnant. And I have about three gigs. Like the that’s what we call preaching opportunities. Yeah, about three gigs lined up where I’m getting money, like, this is money coming in. And, and I don’t and I don’t want to say that, like, I’m preaching for money. But I’m saying that I had these. Yeah, I had these gigs lined up. And from the beginning, he came through, and he said, You’re not going to these preaching gigs. You’re not doing anything. We’re going to the past. And I was like, No, can we please just wait cuz I didn’t, I didn’t have anything booked. After the next month. I was like, let’s please just wait. I need to go on here to get this money because I knew I was gonna be sat down. And he was like, no. So he went and scheduled a meeting with my pet. And now who I am now. I’m mad at who I was seven years ago. I don’t hate her. But unlike girl you didn’t have. I felt like I had to show up to this meeting. I felt like I had to sit in the shame and expose myself. While these two men literally looked down on me. During the meeting. They were standing up while I was sitting down. Like they literally looked down on me why I had to say to my pastor that I was pregnant. So he forced me he scheduled this meeting with our pastor was a random Tuesday. In the middle of the day. I pull up first to the church, and I’m parked one way he pulls up and he literally parks on the other side of the lot. So it’s like this tension and this war between us. That didn’t actually be there. So the pastor pulls up, we go in, we go in the office, and so the pastor is like okay, so Why are we here because he has no idea. So my child’s father is looking all goofy looking all simple. He’s standing at the door, my past my ex pastor standing at his desk, and I’m sitting like at this chair in between the two of them. So I’m looking at him, like you call this meeting. So what you gonna say? So after about five or seven min, literally, he is laboring to say this, he’s all. We’ll do all of these things. And I’m just looking at him because you brought us here, so you’re going to be the one say it. So then he finally says, Tiffany’s pregnant. He didn’t say I got Tiffany pregnant, or me and Tiffany are pregnant, or we’re having a baby. He said, Tiffany is pregnant. So I Amelie turned my head, look at the pastor. And I see the disappointment has failed. Ace, because at this point, I’m the star preacher. I’m a young preacher, that’s going here going there. When I preach your whole services, bringing people to the church, and I’m not saying this to boast, I’m saying this to expose that there are people in leadership doing things that have issues have idiosyncrasies. I was sexing it up. But I was preaching praying for people people’s falling out all those good things. So the disappoint me his face. So he’s like, Well, you’re gonna have to cancel because he knew of a gig particularly in Cincinnati because he actually booked it for me. So he said, You’re going to have to cancel that you can’t go out preaching, you know, like to set you down. And so big daddy. Gabrielle’s father was like, well, she also has this going on at this Gordo to like basically like, wow, that like like it was like an attack. And I looked at like, why would you do that? You know, so ever since then, we never got along. So that happens. So fast forward three months later. So now I’m six months pregnant. I have talked with him. We’re saying that we’re going to go to these classes at this point, Amy, I am broke, like broke, broke, broke. Like I said in another interview, I didn’t even have money to park in the parking garage at the hospital to go get my checkups. I had to park down the street and walk up the hill to the hospital. That’s how broke I was, you know, some people say they broke, but they could still pay bills. No, I was broke. And so we had decided that we were going to go to these classes at this Elizabeth place is the organization here where they help pregnant women, you go to these classes, educational classes, they give you baby books. And then you’re able to go and buy cribs and diapers, I have like a whole store where people have donated things, and bring those baby bugs that you earn from your classes this and you go and buy things for your baby because you don’t have money. So you go to the classes and go get these. So we had a disagreement. Because as the Father comes, you’ll get triple the amount if I just came myself, and we’re like, we don’t have the money for nothing we need to create, we need to stay. So I need you to come to these classes. So he came the first couple of months. But then when I was six months pregnant, he says me that he wants to get married.

He was dead serious. He looked at me and said we need to go ahead and get married. We’re not talking we hadn’t had sex again. Since the last time we had said even though I was pregnant, we don’t like each other. And then six months in you want to say let’s go get married. He was like yeah, because you know, not thinking about me. I’m a deacon in the church. And once this really hits because I’m heavyset. So I really wasn’t showing showing until like my last two months of pregnancy. So before this hits the fan, I want to go ahead and get married. So nobody has nothing to say yada yada yada blah, blah, blah, blah, the tradition that that traditional church mindset like, well, let’s just marry to cover it up. Even though we’re not meant to be together. We don’t really love each other. Let’s just made a cover up. So I told him no. Once I told him no, all wore let loose. He started spreading my name around the church, saying that I was a hole that we were dating and I cheated on him that now I’m pregnant and the baby’s not his. I was at this church but like I said, My family doesn’t go to church anymore. So I was at this church by myself. He had full fledge family. Yeah, his sister, his auntie, his nephews, his cousins, his uncle came sometimes. And so they were beginning to weaponize the church around against me. So I’m already set down and I’m pregnant out of wedlock, and now I’m being labeled as a church. Whoa. And this star Deacon, he never got set down. Never he still assumed his duties was still was taken up offering, still working on altar call, still passing out communion. Still do a hospital visits, still serving, never got sat down, never got reprimanded, and now he’s saying that this is not even his child. So for nine months, I’m walking in this shame that I have a child that does that. I don’t even know who the father is. Because of what him and his family spread about. out me around the church and because I was who I was in the church community, in my local and in some national communities, because I was the woman in the situation.

Amy Watson 25:11
Wow. So did anybody, because we talked about how important churches on my podcast so much. Yeah. Now, those of you who who are listening to this episode and perhaps have not seen any graphics Tiffany is a person of color. And I am, I am not, as you all know. And I know that the the black church environment is way cooler than Rs A, B, B and B. And there may be just some different thought processes. But But I want to know, because one of the reasons why we talk about spiritual one of the reasons why I want to talk about spiritual trauma is because it’s there, regardless of where the listener is, whether they’re on where you think that spiritual purity means abstinence before the the altar, or whether you’re like me, where I think that we are to save sex for marriage, which I didn’t do, and it did not go well for me as well documented on this podcast. But but the church regardless, should not have let you sit and shame and I and I’m going to get a little preachy here for a second, because shame tells us that we are the mistake, not that we made a mistake. And so as we assure end to spiritual trauma, and the things that are happening in church are not happening. And I’ll have you on again next season to talk about mental health in the church and how we can do that. But I want to know something. Yeah. Because my only experience with a with a with a, like a an air quoting listeners can’t hear me a black church was the coolest experience ever. Yeah, here’s where my heart my friends heart wants to know, and where I believe some of the trauma came in for you, and how amazing it is that you still love a God that these people claim to represent? Did anybody, anybody and that church, or anybody that you had been underneath them as a preacher or a Sunday school teacher or a just some little old lady in the church? Did anybody pull you aside and say, you, Tiffany, are the precious daughter of the Most High God? What can we do to help? Did they throw your book baby shower? Did they help you financially? Did anybody in that church, come into your place, regardless of whether you feel like you were wrong or not by getting pregnant, you were hurting? You were poor. You’re being maligned at this point, but only your by, by by your baby daddy, but by people who listen to him, did a single soul sit you down and say, Hey, I love you. Let’s let us walk you through this. What can we do that a single soul do that?

Tiffany Countryman 28:01
Not one person, Amy, not one person in that church. Now I went my mother threw me a baby shower. And some people that I invited from the church, they did come to the baby shower, and they did by my daughter a gift. But that was a select few. But as far as covering me, helping me holding me, checking on me, it’s putting some money in my hand taking me up on the air wing, prepare me for motherhood, like I wasn’t prepared for life. I’ve seen married couples when they’re pregnant is other you know, older mothers in the church that come in, you know, give some sort of advice like you know, this is what you’re going to do nothing. I was sight like, I was experiencing silent treatment. People were not speaking to me. There were in the past No, I had to come sit in church sit down and dust it when you’re sat down and you actually

Amy Watson 29:04
did that because I wouldn’t have yes and that’s why it

Tiffany Countryman 29:07
is crazy now that I’m I’m free is crazy now talking about this because I would literally a me I was living by my I was a single woman. I don’t have any kids or anything. I will get up on a Sunday. Get dressed, to go sit in shame. Why? Because I felt like that’s what I had to do. It was a cultish type situation. They call it a denomination a way of life and I’m speaking particularly of the apostolic denomination. This was an apostolic church, hail and fire brimstone. You have to speak in tongues to get into heaven, which I don’t believe it was. It was a very it was a very violent church in the sense of mentally and emotionally and they made you feel like and I have to Take some responsibility as well, because I was a broken person. My family was absolutely dysfunctional. I had nobody to lean on. So when I came into this church, this group, they became my church family. They became the people I hung out with. I get as a matter of fact, before I got pregnant, I was roommates with the pastor’s daughter. We were roommates for like two years. And then I moved out to my own place. And that’s when I got prayed out, but we like I was a part of I spent Christmases with the pastor’s family, I felt like I was family, in my mind, they were thought that there I was a daughter. So if I make a mistake, or if I do something wrong, I thought that I will be loved, but not one person, not one person from that, from that church, or that community, particularly, but there were some people that are Christians, that are pastors that have helped me or reached out to me that are not of the apostolic denomination. So it’s not church as a whole. But this particular situation and environment, not one person,

Amy Watson 31:08
which just breaks my heart. And as opposite of the gospel, we see, we see Jesus hanging out with broken people. In fact, he picked hanging out with broken people, above all else, one of my favorite stories, and you can find it in all four Gospels is when he ran into the Samaritan woman at the well. And she was like, I’m not even worthy for you to be talking to me. He’s like, I want to hang out with you. And by the way, can you give me some water? And so I think we, you know, I can’t imagine what your heart must have been feeling and how lonely you must have been. So let’s fast forward you have your beautiful daughter Gabrielle somehow you got from where you from where you were broken and hurt word NO ONE and the and I’m err, quoting when I say church, because I’m so grateful for the Christians, the real Christians that came along after you and did not judge you based on their based on on, on how they feel like you should be living your life. And again, this is this was a whole nother podcast on sexual purity. And I’m not here to have that conversation. But the reality is, is that you’re a human being, who was having a human being who loved Jesus and a church and nobody helped. And so before I ask you that the next question, tell us what would have been helpful. So I, this is for my listeners out there who are either Well, if you go to church, and you look at another human being on either side of you at any time, who is perhaps going through something like this, whether they’ve gotten pregnant out of wedlock, or like me, they stayed in a domestic violence marriage for 12 years, what would you have liked and what would have been helpful and less damaging? When so after that meeting with the pastor, which is a whole that’s terrible, just makes my heart break. But But But what could have the church done to not traumatize you, as you were pregnant with your child? What are some practical things that people out there listening?

Tiffany Countryman 33:05
Who just go? Let’s go all the way to the beginning, I think that we should tell our youth why they should not have sex before marriage? Yeah, because I like I said, I grew up in the church, I grew up in the youth group, I sat through all the lessons, but it never was a why it was don’t have sex before marriage, because God says so. Yeah, well, why not? I have all these hormones raging through me. I’m going to dances, I’m watching videos on TV, my other friends are doing whatever. And so I am a very analytical person. And I’m sure a lot of people that are like, Okay, why you’re telling me this, but why I think that we should be transparent and vulnerable enough to sit down and say why so now that I have opportunity to youth pastor, I’m going to tell my kids, you shouldn’t have said before marriage because of the emotional issues, because you could potentially become attached to someone for the rest of your life that you hate. You don’t want to do this because of the consequences that after faith, that’s the first thing is to actually tell us why you should not have sex before marriage. The second thing is there should be some sort of programming some sort of ministry for single mothers, or for mothers that are having children outside of wedlock because it’s 2021 is the thing is what happened. No, you can’t. Yeah, you can’t cover it up. You can’t shame people or sit them down or just act like they don’t exist because they’re not married. There should be a ministry in place. There should be auxilary something to for that are focused on single mothers, because just like being single in the church is a whole nother ballgame. Being a single mother in the church. Being a single mother in this world is a it’s an experience that only single mothers can attest to. Mothers can’t even relate to what is like to be A single mother. So I think that there should be some sort of ministry classes, life skill classes, breakout groups, small groups, whatever your church holds that ministers to the single, the single parent or the or the woman, or even the man that has to raise a child alone, because we can harp on the fact that it’s a sin all day. Yes, but the baby, it happens, but it hadn’t been but the baby is a blessing. I have had sex before and have not gotten pregnant. And I’m sure a lot of people listening have, but I have sex this one time and I got pregnant. Why? Because God allowed it. He controls everything. My daughter was supposed to be here before the very foundations of the world. She was my story. Before my my before my fingerprints were crafted on my hands. She was supposed to be here. So now that she’s here, or now that she’s quote, unquote, on the way, how can we help this mother be the best mother that she can possibly be? In her situation in her environment? I think that’s what needs to be the focus. And it’s just like any other ministry, we have a single’s ministry, marriage ministry, Men’s Ministry, women’s ministry, there should be a ministry that ministers to the soul of that vessel that is experiencing this, this this, you know, situation,

Amy Watson 36:25
I could not agree with you more, because it is going in, you know, getting pregnant out of wedlock has happened since the beginning of time. And it’s not going to end until the trumpets, you know, until we’re all looking east already in heaven, it’s not going to end and so I could not agree with you more. I know that if I were in that situation I taught, I taught your age of so this is why I love your generation so much is because in between. When I left my domestic domestic violence marriage, I went back into the classroom and I taught kids that graduated in 2007 2008 2009. So your age group, and I just really feel like those kids. I mean, I had kids coming in that were cutting and doing all the things that weren’t mainstream in church, and I and had I not been given the the wisdom from the Lord, to just love those kids first, and and meet them where they were, then then then they would be on the other side of a podcast like this saying, I really wish somebody would have just given me a hug. You know, because you were bringing a life into the world, you were bringing a precious life into the world. And all you got was judged instead of loved and that in and of itself. Withholding love is trauma, particularly in a church situation. And then people on the outside look at stories like yours, and they go, why would I want your Jesus, Ben, you guys are a bunch of judgmental people. Because the fact of the matter is, is by the grace of God there go I, by the grace of God, there go I and I don’t care if we’re talking about getting pregnant out of wedlock, or any number of things. When somebody is hurting, and they’re broken in their bruise. We are commanded to come along and walk side alongside of them, and shine them to what my podcast calls the star of the story. And so as we end the podcast, I want to ask you a very, because and again, you guys heard her bio, yes, all going to be in the show notes. This woman deeply, deeply loves Jesus spends copious amounts of her own time helping people get the word of God out. And that very well could not have happened. And I want to know, how did you turn that into? Not bitterness and not anger? Because there are people listening right now that are bitter, and they are angry, and they’re not pursuing Jesus or anybody have anything to do with Jesus? How did you get from ostracized sat down, looked down upon probably not even physically hugged? And inside your church? How did you not blame God? And how did you get from there? To here seven years later?

Tiffany Countryman 39:11
Let me be honest, I was mad for a long time. Bitter for a long time, probably about as my daughter seven, probably about five years. Just angry, bitter. And how I got to a point of freedom is by doing the work, I went to therapy. I wrote a show on my first stage play was called I Wish I had a daddy. And it speaks to my personal experience of fatherlessness. But I also put that whole situation in there because the pastor at the time, I consider him to be a spiritual father. So I wrote a show where that was absolutely therapeutic for me because I was able to tell my side in an artistic way. I surrounded my self with people who are new loved me and cared For me, I stopped going in voluntarily going into those toxic situations. So I would say to anybody that’s dealing with the bitterness and the anger is to do the work. What I did for a long time, Amy was I sat there, and I was angry, and I blamed other people. I blamed my misery, I blame my disgust on other people, because what they did 7543 years ago, but there comes a point where you have to literally take up your bed and walk, people can bring you to Jesus. People can pray you to Jesus. And you can even pray yourself to Jesus. But the Bible is emphatically clear when it says that faith without works is dead. And your happiness is your responsibility. Yes, what somebody did to you is absolutely wrong. But your healing is in your hands. And you literally have to do the work. Is it painful? Absolutely. Is it tough, you are absolutely correct. It’s tough. I cry sometimes now, because I still have to deal with my child’s father is my child here. And that’s her father, I’m not going to keep her from him, or anything like that. But because he’s still because I’ve gotten over it. But he is still so angry, that he keeps dragging me to court, I’m dealing with a court battle right now, I’m surrounded my daughter, he still throws my name through the dirt, because I have left that side of religion, but I’m still doing work in the community. So any chance he gets he throws my name under the dust is just some things that you I have to take, and I have to process through it, I have to do the work to let it go. And keep the main thing, the main thing. And I said all that to say for those who are dealing with this situation in particular, or any situation, because any blessing that you have any ministry, any product of God’s spirit that you have is a birthing process. So although you may not have birth, a physical child, you have birth something into this world that is precious to you, that has been attacked. And that takes time. And I want to say to those people, to put on your armor, put on your armor, and to understand that no weapon, no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper. The same God that allow this situation to happen is the same God that gives you breath every day, is the same God that allows his son the shine on you is the same guy that allows you to hear the laughter of your child that allows you to hug your child that allows you to experience this dispensation of time. And although that one thing happened that God did allow, it made you the person that you are today. So I will say to that person to do the work, take up your bed and walk and understand that faith without works is dead.

Amy Watson 42:50
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we like to call a mic drop around these parts. And and so yeah, I have one more question for you. I know the answer. Is Jesus, the star of the Tiffany Countryman story. He is

Tiffany Countryman 43:06
the star I follow Christ. Christ is my path to God. I will never denounce that no matter what I am convinced for so many other things. You have to bring me back that the blood of Jesus is what works for me. So yes, Christ is the star. He’s the bride and morning star actually.

Amy Watson 43:26
Amen. Amen. And I just I’m looking across this, this, this the Zoom call, and we have we’re not we’re not been in as many clubhouse rooms as we need to be. Together. But but we like to take some left turns and but but I wanted to have you here on the on the series, season finale, because I knew that Jesus is the star of your story. I wanted a different perspective. I wanted a different generational perspective, I want those of you listening out there to know that these kinds of things have been happening since I was 25 years old. And so we are and certainly happen when somebody before me was 25 years old, where we we turned what the church has deemed, and many times even even scripture, but that is not Jesus. That is not the story of the story. As if you’re under the sound of my voice, we have spent a season talking about how people get from these crooked roads of pain, how Tiffani got from a room where she’s literally sitting down and three men are looking down on her. And then she spends six or seven months in a church where nobody even gave her a hug, even offer prayers, even any of those things. And that’s a special kind of hurt that you will take to your grave with you. But I am so proud of you. I’m so grateful for you. I’m so grateful that you’re still using your voice that like me, you get behind microphones and you get behind podiums, and you get behind keyboards, and you do your thing because let me tell you that note no matter what, Nothing but the blood, Nothing but the blood can can free us from bitterness from anger and from resentment from any sense And that we do nothing but the blood. But when we are having these encounters with people inside of places of worship, particularly in 2021, we need to love on them be their tribe be their community. And, and, and not, I love that you brought up that Scripture because nothing, neither life nor death nor principalities nor anything can separate us from the love of God that is Romans eight, and the last two verses of Romans eight read that whole chapter guys because it is so rich and so powerful when it comes to armoring ourselves for for moving through these hurts and these pains. And so Tiffany, we are going to have you back you you’re going to you’re taking us out with a BAM, my listeners are going to be so excited to hear you I want to thank you for being here today. And as we move into the next season of of dealing with it, which has not yet titled and we’ll be dropping that soon. But as we move into the next season, I will have you on as we continue to talk about this because one of the things I like you, I like that you do, it’s going to keep me young is is pushing me. And so I want to have some of these other conversations as it as it pertains to inside the church. And so, but what you’ve done here today is you’ve given people hope that when you are so enthralled and and really like I think you said it best in a cult like attendance of a church where you would walk in there willingly dressed up dressed to the nines, and let people literally ignore you, which is the worst thing you can do to people. That is that is so admirable, but also so that actually no, it’s not admirable, it’s scary. And it tells us that we were we’re still and 2021 coming from a posture of fear and judgment in our churches, and they’re getting that from somewhere. They’re either getting it from their own dogma, or they’re getting it from the pulpit. And wherever they’re getting it from. I don’t care guys, whether this is an affair, I don’t care if it’s a baby out of wedlock, I don’t care if it’s like me, where you’re addicted to pain pills. You gotta love people where they are, you don’t get to decide whether or not they deserve your hugs, your prayers, your prayers, your your your voice in their life, we are called to do life and community, Jesus sat with a woman at the well who had like five husbands. And he said, and by the way, the one you’re with now, it’s not even your husband, not even yours, not even yours. And so if you’re under the sound of my voice, and you are feeling conviction, because you have treated somebody like this, please know that I’m staring across the screen at somebody who is a miracle that just sitting here is a miracle because she could have walked away from the church completely, she could have walked away from Jesus completely. She did not do that. And you didn’t do that. Because greater, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. That’s why you didn’t do that. That is why you didn’t do that. I love you, girl.

I love I love your story. I’d love I don’t even know your daughter. But I’ve seen beautiful pictures of her on Facebook and can’t imagine a world without Gabrielle hand. And so that, you know that that this leads me back and it’s a great verse to end on. And this in this season on is Joel 225 Where God promises I will restore all the years that the locusts have stolen, and he is doing that in your life to beneath the tip the homie. And he’s doing that in my life. And he’s doing that in the lives of people who have been who have experienced spiritual trauma. And going into next season. We’re going to talk about that. So thank you for being here today. Thank you listeners for listening. And as we end this podcast, and as Phil Baker’s SONG PLAYS us out of the podcast marked by you, be marked by him, look for hurting people in your church. And until we come back in the middle of September. We’ll be back here on the healing zone and the Wednesdays with Watson podcast be looking on all the social media for the for the title the next season and all the things but I am so grateful that Tiffany you have spent your time here with me today. And you’re going to take us out into the sunset much love my friend and I will see you on those clubhouse streets.

Tiffany Countryman 49:27
I see you in these clubhouse streets. Bye bye.

Amy Watson 49:33
So guys, that was a fun interview with Tiff the homie thank you so much for hanging out with me for a little bit of a longer episode. This is an important topic and one we will explore a little bit more going into season three. I would love to just thank you the listeners for this ride two seasons, we’ve done this and we hit a milestone during the season of which I will be announcing at the beginning of season three. But it is a very, very Whole milestone and I’m so grateful to you. Special thanks to all of my guests, the professionals, the people that were brave enough to come on and tell their stories. We couldn’t have done that without you. Special thanks to my editor, Amy, Highland, and producer as well of the podcast as well as my website. Thank you to Brittany night for the podcast cover and Anna Roberts for the original logo design. Most of all, thank you, Jesus, the star of the story, you are simply everything to me. Immediately following this episode as a special drop, part two of a podcast that I dropped a couple episodes ago. This is my story. These are my songs. This was originally only heard on my friend Stephanie Baker’s that fateful podcast. And so I wanted to provide it for those of you who did not hear part two of my story, this was my story. These are my songs. I would love to connect with you part of my favorite part of podcasting is the connection with you the listener, and so I provided my link tree and the show notes and you can reach me of various and sundry ways. As for me, I’ll be back here and two weeks in the healing zone with some in between episodes before we start next season, but until then, you know what I’m going to say as I always do in the healing zones, your scene you are known, you are loved, you are heard and you are valued. And so until two weeks, let the healing continue to teach me to live my life

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

PTSD, Jesus & You: Weaponizing The Gospel (solo episode)

READERS: This is a transcript of a podcast and is not meant to present as a completed, grammatically correct piece of written work. We provide these transcripts for those who are hard of hearing or prefer to listen to the podcast inside the blog. We would love for you to join the Wednesdays With Watson podcast family, you can do that by clicking here.

Amy Watson 0:06
Hey guys, before we get started, today’s podcast is privately sponsored by a friend of mine who sent me the donation with a note that said, Just keep doing what you’re doing. And so that’s what we’re gonna do today, we’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing, which is providing hope and help for those of you with trauma and PTSD diagnosed or not. And those of you who love us, if you’re interested in sponsoring a podcast, either privately or have a business that could benefit from our listenership, please reach out to me, it is people like you that will help this mission, keep going. And now for today’s show. And her 2020 song my weapon, Natalie grant beautifully sings about the presence of God being her weapon. I believe it, guys, I believe it with my whole heart, the presence of God as a weapon. And this has demonstrated all throughout the Gospels. Here’s one of my favorite lyrics from the chorus. Your presence is my greatest weapon, pushing back the darkness, breaking every chain. My worship opens up the heavens crushing every stronghold when I speak your name, because your presence is my weapon. And Mark’s Gospel, Jesus repeatedly lives in community with people who appear to be mentally ill, to name a few. The man in the Senate synagogue that was possessed by a demon, we see that in Mark 121, through 28, the jerris same demonic we see that and Mark five, one through 20 and Bartimaeus, who was literally screaming at Jesus on the side of the road, we see that in Mark 1046 through 52. We can imagine jeez interacting with other people, including the apostles, who may have been suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and all of their friends. And each of the cases though we see Jesus, and then we see how he responds to them and how he treats them with dignity. He refreshes their souls. He simply provides his presence first, and then whatever else they need. No Name at claimant stuff from Jesus. Lifeway Christian recently conducted a poll that demonstrated that almost half of evangelical Christians believe that they can overcome their mental illness with Bible study and prayer alone. I am so excited when God chooses to deliver a person from depression and its friends. But we all know it doesn’t always work out that way. That healing may not always be on this side of heaven. I was at church the other day and as a woman was being baptized, she declared her depression gone. And part of me cringe because I knew that there were people whose internal dialogue told them. But that didn’t happen for you. As I stood there, my internal voice was probably the loudest. Just a few months ago, a pastor, author and mental health advocate Steve Austin, who championed mental health, being highlighted in the church, completed suicide. I didn’t know him, but it’s set in motion thoughts of we have got to do better, repeated over and over in my mind, I thought about how we get it wrong. This is not a podcast to chastise anybody, rather, to exhort a community of people who are either hurting or live among those of us who are I want to exhort you to use scripture responsibly, understanding that there is an enemy out there, who is the greatest of all times, at using scripture against us, as we see in the temptation of Jesus and all four gospels. Buckle up, guys, we worked hard on this episode, and know that I am speaking to you community, those of you who do life with others like me, this is Wednesdays with Watson podcast, PTSD, Jesus and you weaponizing the gospel to the title gets your attention. Good, because if you click play, you are my people. Before we get too far into the podcast, I want to encourage you to do something so that we can continue this conversation on Instagram for the next 10 days. While you’re listening, open your app and click on the first link you see, that is my Instagram account. We are going to keep talking about this and short 32nd videos, and I will provide some real life examples of when the greatest scripture Twister of All Times has harmed real people. I’m looking forward to interaction there as we continue this important conversation. This will especially be advantageous as we move into the season finale, where we begin to dive into faith and trauma.

Okay, you guys, you got it. All right. So make sure you’re following me there. Before I proceed Though I want to be very clear that I believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and that the authority by which I attempt to live my life, we know that the Bible tells us in Second Timothy, 316, and 17, that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. So the purpose of this podcast is not to take away from the authority of the Scripture, but rather to attempt to shed some insight on how we often use scripture, our context, in an untimely manner. And, dare I say, almost use it against those who struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and all of its friends. Scripture is a weapon, all right. But it is to be used against the ruler of this world, removing his ability to seek, kill, and destroy us. He will use scripture to destroy us if we let him. And this is why it’s so important to be careful about when we use scripture for hurting people. Did you notice I did not say if we use scripture to minister to hurting people. I said when, when I was in the children’s home, we traveled almost all year and sang in churches to raise support for the home. During the summertime, it was not unusual for us to have sung eight times in seven days. You can also understand how many sermons I’ve heard and my day, and for the most part, I am grateful for that experience. But there was one wounding message from the pulpit, where Luke 962 was preached completely our context. And the decades that follow are driven by my misunderstanding of this scripture, that was taken completely out of context. As the years went, by my understanding of that scripture would be reinforced. And I would also see it on cute little posters on youth room walls. And so I began to take the scripture to heart, especially as it had been preached. I do not remember hearing the entire story of that passage, not one verse before, not went after it. I just locked down on the not looking back part. The verse says this, no man who puts his hand to the plow, and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. That is in Luke 962. You see, the preacher man told us not to look back, or we would have not been good enough for the kingdom of God. He didn’t preach that verse in context, or explain that these red letter words of Jesus and Luke nine are meant for those who had excuse after excuse after excuse as to why they cannot drop everything and follow Jesus. And so the production monster of Amy Watson commenced at the tender age of 15, or 16. Trauma wasn’t done with me just because I was at the children’s home. And the years that followed, found me not looking back, not looking back, and definitely not seeking help. I wanted to be good enough to fit into the kingdom of God. As I look back now, with every trauma, gut punch, and the boxing ring of my life, I kept my hand on that plow, I did not look back. And with each layer trauma came a distance between God and me. And somewhere along the way, I lost who I was. And by then I was deeply in the throes of domestic violence marriage. I wondered, I often wondered if God even existed. There were plenty of reasons for my crisis of faith, including my own standoff with God. But that scripture just ruled me. And I didn’t even understand that it was doing that. I have paid for this thought process in spades over the years, I kept putting my hand to that plow and not looking back not getting help. And so I couldn’t anymore. And that Fallout is well documented on this podcast, season one, hospitals and courtrooms.

As I’ve been processing the completed suicide of Steve Austin, I feel now more than ever, that my voice must be among those that begs a community of well meaning believers to simply proceed with caution with us. As I mentioned, I believe that the Bible was absolute truth. And so as I wrestled with the loss of a mental health advocate, and the memory of the Scripture, creating the performance monster, I knew I knew I had to get behind this microphone and talk about it. And not like any other episode, I went to the Scriptures. Because really, really, I want you to know the power of the presence of God that is living an active in you, and sometimes sometimes guys in the triage state of helping us that is what we need. And so I landed on one of my favorite scriptures in the entire Bible, and probably my favorite gospel, the gospel of John, he wept guys. Jesus wept. The tears of Jesus are documented in the shortest verse in the Bible, which is John 1135. Some have different speculations about why Jesus wept. But one thing for certain, Jesus heard both Mary and Martha, when they said this, Lord, if you’d have been here, like we asked, our brother would not have died. Jesus did not. Let me repeat, he did not throw down more red letter words at them. Not like he could have let that breathe for a second. Instead, he seemingly absorbed the pain of those around him. And he responded like I hope you and I do, when there are those among us who are hurting. He joined them in their sorrow, as he was either sad that they didn’t have the faith in him that he could come and heal Lazarus. Or he was simply sad because they were sad. My point is, he didn’t throw any number of scriptures or even chastisements at them, he certainly could add. Instead, guys, instead, he wept. He got in the trenches with his community. And he wept. Jesus’s response to Mary and Martha is a beautiful example for us to follow. As we do life with the hurting the ProCon and the bruised. 100% of your community falls into that category at any given time. So as we do life together, what is the responsibility to our tribe? Remember that Natalie grant song. Certainly, Mary and Martha were comforted by the very presence of Jesus, albeit they would argue a few days to wait for it to be exact. So Mary, and Martha had a weapon in the presence of Jesus, who got in the trenches and cried with them. And so I ask again, what is our responsibility when walk with those who are hurting, broken and bruised? Our responsibility is to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. So often, we want to fix people. And so we use our perceived expertise to help solve a problem. Instead of jumping in the trenches with hurting people who are sometimes sometimes in the war of their lives, because you see, wars need weapons, and so we wield these weapons freely, with cute little cliches like God is good all the time, all the time. God has good motivational quotes. And yes, Scripture. It is this you got a problem. I got a Bible verse thought process that harms people, and aligns the very Gospel we say we love. Of course, there’s a problem.

And of course, there’s a Bible verse for every problem. But when doing life in the trenches with trauma victims, often you are the Bible verse, your life, where the word of God is living and active, you may be the only Bible verse they can handle at their greatest moments of pain. The first chapter of that same gospel, John talks about how Jesus is the Word and how he was there from the beginning. But that Scripture also says that the darkness cannot see the light because it cannot understand it. I think that is often the case with people in pain. The depths of their darkness is so intense, that they can’t receive scripture, they can’t understand it. So we’re kind of having a talk here. What do I mean by the weaponization of Scripture? Today, it’s just my mic, a few 100 friends and me, so let’s chat about it. Let’s chat about how, instead of using the Bible as a weapon against our real enemy, we pick and choose verses that have somehow been badly passed down through the ages, and at time serves her her harm a trauma victim, particularly a PTSD patient. I can’t tell you how many times well meaning people quoted Philippians four, six and seven to me. Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be known under God. I can’t explain the shame I felt before I understood PTSD, depression and anxiety. I finally took my own deep dive into that verse. And the Greek connotation of that word anxiety. is more to meditate or ruminate on something that is a much different description of what it feels like to have a panic attack, or to live in the deepest parts of depression. So then we just throw that particular verse out at people like me, and we feel gut punched by the Holy Bible. Because you see, it was never the cliches or the cute memes, or the locker room scripture posters that led me towards healing. Instead, God us people who just did life with me. They were his presence. And that was my weapon. These people did not judge me. I remember a time when I must have taken too much Xanax that was frequent in the days before the hospital stay. It was the middle of the day, I was texting one friend, who called another. And before I knew it, there was a knock at my door, and there stood both of them, ready to settle in and watch me until the meds got out of my system. Their response to one of my darkest hours is the reason I am alive behind this microphone. Just like Jesus could have said 1 million things to Mary and Martha that shows compassion. So did my friends. Instead of throwing down red letter words at me, they demonstrated the love of Jesus by their actions. And to this day, neither of them have ever spoken of the time they dragged me to a Mexican restaurant, or we were waiting for the Xanax to wear off. I already said it. I’m looking at you today community. We preach it all the time on this podcast. We have encouraged community that we have never exhorted you or given you something tangible to do when you’re doing life with us. So today, I’m here to do that. I want to encourage you as you love those among us, like me who have suffered or survived or is surviving the fallout from the decisions of another. I have made my position clear that I believe that the whole Bible is absolute truth. And as appropriate for every situation, we should use it as such to. It is a gift. It is a good gift, and I am so thankful for it. But just like all gifts, it matters how you deliver it. And it matters how you treat it. The good news of the gospel is the only answer. I believe that. But I also stand with those among my trauma trauma tribe, as we love a mysterious God, who for some reason has allowed us to survive trauma. Delivery of the good news matters. And my friend said more with that taco downer than anything else. They demonstrated the gospel by their actions. They reminded me why I love Jesus. Because I could see it and I’m

so still talking to you community. Your involvement with us can’t be shallow. We need you in the trenches with us. You will get dirty, you will get hurt. So decide before you dive deep with us if you really want to fight with us. I’ll tell you this, when you are constantly in the trenches with somebody, you won’t be there long before you have earned the right to begin using scripture, because you have remained a steadfast trench mate. This is true of another friend who picked me up for work that day after I totaled my car. During the darkest time of my life. It was literally the final straw. I remember it like it was yesterday. She turned on the light and her van on one dark October morning and held up her own copy of Ken gyres book The North Face of God. She simply said, for when you’re ready, I was ready. And that book, which is steeped in Scripture, changed my life forever, and is still one of my favorite books on my bookshelf. I have my own copy and have given away countless copies of it. It is still so often picked up when it gets dark. I know what you’re thinking, hey, I click play on this podcast because the title weaponizing the gospel? What does that even mean? I’m kind of glad Yes. weaponizing the gospel was completely opposite of what my friends did. You might also be asking yourself, Who weaponizes The gospel, even though I want to raise my own hand because it is it really is easier to send someone a quick text with a Bible verse or a card. We don’t get dirty that way. But the reality is I don’t have the power to weaponize the Scripture against people neither do you. But there is one One that is the greatest of all time of using scripture against us. And he has been given dominion over this earth, and using scripture against us, like the anxiety verse that I stated earlier, is not new to Satan. As we read in the gospels and the Temptation of Christ, what did Satan use? You guessed it, Scripture. So I’m looking at you again community. Let me encourage you that as you compassionately began to use scripture, make sure you’re using in context, don’t cause a cautionary tale that I explained, living decades of my life thinking I couldn’t get help or even revisit the past trauma, or I wouldn’t be good enough for God. Remember that darkness. Remember guys, remember, it can’t understand the light. So be patient when you utilize scripture to help us. And finally, finally, remember that Scripture is living and active in you, as I’ve mentioned so many times already. And as you do life with us, you’re ushering in that presence of Jesus, star of the story. Just like that song, His presence is our greatest weapon. And so many of you can be the person that ushers in or hurting people to Jesus. We just have to be responsible with the greatest gift of all time, the Absolute Truth, the authority by which I live. So what am I saying, I’m begging, I am begging those of you who love people like me to remember that compassion leads the way. Living in the trenches with us gives you the right to bring scripture and God into our pain. And we will receive it because you’ve demonstrated your desire for us to get better, just by your steadfast role, as a trench May. Also, remember the way you deliver the gospel matters. It doesn’t look like cute memes and name it claim it Bible verses. Finally, we need to remember the power of our words when we get on public platforms. And so when we do use Scripture, we need to use it properly. I am still tearing down walls, getting back to that little girl who thought that she could never look back, much less ask for help. I am so grateful for my community and given the proper time. None of them these days, are afraid to throw rare little words at me.

If you are under the sound of my voice, and without a community, I urge you to find it somewhere. It only takes one trench mate. And once you’re there with us as a white divides the darkness, Scripture will come alive in us to it has been my hope that you feel encouraged as a community. And then we all realize that the power of the gospel and not ignore the greatest liar of all times who cannot stand against the gospel, but he sure can weaponize it and he often does sometimes through us without us even knowing that. I went to the streets while writing this episode. And I asked a group of people to share with me wounding messages they received from some well meaning people that all went through a Bible verse at their problem. There were so many, but about 10 verses were mentioned to me over and over and over. And this is where the conversation will continue on my Instagram account. I will post one verse a day for the next 10 days. And those posts will be in the highlight portion of my Instagram. For those of you listening to this later, you will learn how often missed Bible verses are wounding to those of us living with trauma. And for that matter, some of you who aren’t. So make sure you’re following us there. And I can’t wait to dialogue with you. As we post daily for the next 10 days on Instagram. Guys, the word of God is divisive and sharper than any two edged sword. use it responsibly, lead with compassion. Don’t let the best news ever get twisted. And then never reach the hearts of people that need it the most. do life with people, then they will want your Jesus your greatest weapon. As Phil’s SONG PLAYS us out of the podcast. I want to encourage you today to think about those who are living in darkness. Pray, pray about jumping in the trenches with someone. Get ready to get dirty, get ready to cry, get ready to get your heart broken, but be marked by Jesus star of the story. Only one you can turn unimaginable into something beautiful. You maybe the first Bible verse, somebody believes. As for me, we’re back here in Two weeks for the season finale, as we are leading to addressing trauma in the church. I’m excited to bring guests Tiffany Countryman to the show. Trauma abuse and the church is a place we will park the first part of next season at Tiffany will usher us into that beautifully. So I’ll see you back here. Two weeks. You’re in the healing zone. And you know what I’m going to say. You matter and you are seen, known, loved, heard and valued. Don’t forget that today guys. Teach me to

Unknown Speaker 25:45
lead my life.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai