Frozen December 27, 2014

Hans telling Anna that he's been using her. CC Screencap from the Disney movie "Frozen"
Hans telling Anna that he’s been using her. CC Screencap from the Disney movie “Frozen” from

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church Hurts

Has anyone else seen the parallels between Elsa and their own experience with spiritual abuse?

I first saw the movie just days after being tossed out of our church and I sat there in tears and in awe as I watched Elsa make the “mistake” of hurting her sister while she was using her incredible gift to create joy and delight.

She then is shut up, not allowed to use her gift any longer and she is told she cannot tell anyone what is happening to her.

When she finally unleashes what must be years of pent up anguish, the townsfolk and dignitaries are horrified, frightened, and even though she flees the kingdom, they want more than that. They want her killed. Destroyed. Elsa’s absence means the kingdom will remain frozen and struggling to survive.

Elsa’s sister, Anna, has a love interest in the story who appears to be a wonderful, loving, devoted prince, but when Anna is about to die, he reveals his true self by telling the dying Anna that his whole plan was to take over the kingdom.

It’s been almost a year, but as I watched the movie again last night, I was still struck. I had been using my gifts to bless and delight. Somewhere along the way, my efforts for good were seen as threatening and so I was told I could not use them any longer. I was “shut up” – not allowed to tell anyone what they were forcing upon me. And when I finally “let it go” by telling my story, I was banished from the kingdom. And not only banished, but there are many indications that efforts have been made to destroy me – my character – and to treat me as dead by the way that I have been shunned.

The “prince”/pastor whom I thought cared and would care enough to help me, to rescue me, to set everything right, instead has abandoned me – probably thinking that I would “die” and he would be free to rule and reign over the kingdom.

But in the end, love wins. No, I didn’t win the kingdom, as Elsa did. But I won my freedom. I won back my joy. I won my ability to use my gifts again without reservation or worry that by doing so I would risk being judged again.

Yesterday, my son gave me the movie Frozen for Christmas. I watched it for the first time since a year ago last night. Only this time there were no tears. Only enjoyment knowing that in the end, Elsa wins.


Ellen is a member of the SASBN and she blogs at When Church Hurts

More about Ellen:

Several years ago I was the victim of a most heinous form of abuse unlike anything I had ever thought possible. Not having been raised in a Christian home, my first experience with Christians and pastors had been one of joy, grace, fellowship, love, and delight. When faced with the horrors of having the very essence of who I was as a woman of faith stripped from me in what I can only describe as spiritual rape, I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. This was church, after all, and I believed that everything works together for good for those who love God. Somehow, it didn’t make sense that everything was not working together for good. When I was finally able to resign myself to the fact that God was not going to “work this out,” I made my escape and sought a safe haven. 
Little did I realize that I was going from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. Oh, how I tried to beat back the flames! Oh, how I prayed and pleaded for mercy, for grace, for a chance. “But hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will toward” Ellen. 
He who began a good work . . . had forsaken me . . . and the silence was more than deafening . . . it was defeating. So intertwined were we, that as God went missing, so did Ellen. But I am nothing, if not tenacious.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

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