It’s Called Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome and Yes, It’s Real

Reba Glamour Shot

If there’s one thing I know the power of, it’s a name.For the better part of a decade I suffered from a chronic mystery illness that was attacking me from the inside out. Countless doctors and specialists couldn’t diagnose me, couldn’t give me a name for what was happening. They told me it was all in my head — that I could pull myself out of it if I just tried harder.I believed them.Debilitating fatigue and pain became a way of life. My physical distress was second only to the mental … [Read more...]

Martha Beck & Lissa Rankin Jam Session: 3 Spiritual Practices That Ease Suffering & Tune You to Peace

martha and lissa

Click below to listen to my interview with Martha Beck and Lissa Rankin!I don't mind admitting I have stars my eyes. Two stars, to be exact: life coach extraordinaire Martha Beck and doctor/soul-healer Lissa Rankin.  Yesterday I interviewed these two inspirational, bestselling authors--and personal heroes of mine-- about spiritual health & healing, miracles, recovery from Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome (they both have experienced it!), spiritual practices for peace, and their upc … [Read more...]

Why I call God “Sam”


I call God "Sam".A little scandalous? Maybe. Unorthodox? Absolutely.But it works for me, and that’s more than I can say for the word “God” sometimes—a loaded term under the best of circumstances. Especially for people dealing with Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.For me, the word God evoked the decidedly male Trinity I grew up with. It meant betrayal and pain and a portion of my life I never wanted to go back to. God was a figure who might, say, facilitate a horrific car accident to giv … [Read more...]

What is Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome? Part Two

Let go of what you know 1

In Part One, we established that PTCS is a spiritual health condition that acts as a name, a frame of reference, common ground for shared experience, and a bridge. What else is Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome?PTCS is a loss of gravity.For those of us who, by choice or chance, placed God or religion as center of our personal universes, losing or leaving faith is akin to the sun ceasing to exist. The thing that exerted gravitational pull over our every decision, action, thought, and … [Read more...]

What is Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome? Part One

Art by David Hayward

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome (PTCS) is a spiritual injury that is every bit as real and painful--sometimes more so!—as physical injury or mental illness. Instead of referring to a broken body or mind, PTCS signals a broken, battered, or bruised spirit. A much harder thing to see than a crushed spine, sure—but just as capable of paralyzing you.PTCS is a name for a shared experience of spiritual woundedness.Many of us experienced or are experiencing PTCS, but we lacked a way to talk abo … [Read more...]

Dear College Freshmen: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known My First Week of College


Dear Sweet, Starry-Eyed (and quite possibly hung-over) Freshmen Everywhere:Today you’re leaving your dorm room, throwing a backpack over one shoulder, and walking into your first college class. You’re imagining that in four or five years--- armed with a barely-dry diploma-- you'll be ready to conquer the world.You won’t be.A college degree is like a very expensive train ticket: you absolutely need it to board the train….but then you can basically wad it up and throw it in the bottom o … [Read more...]