New Book – Evolving from Religious Trauma

New Book – Evolving from Religious Trauma May 21, 2024

Evolving from Religious Trauma

Hello! We are Karl and Laura Forehand!

For the last 8-10 years, we have found our way outside organized religion. We were in ministry for about 20 years, serving upstart and struggling churches and helping them get on their feet. When we realized our beliefs were evolving, we stepped down from our Evangelical church assignment and started on an adventure.

At first, we tried to harbor at a “better” church, but after a couple of years, we realized something else—our trauma!

Because organized religion was triggering to us, we couldn’t heal effectively without taking a break from it all and pursuing truth, healing, and authenticity.

Here we are about five years after leaving organized religion with the good news that we are getting better! We have experienced effective healing, and we have been able to establish and explore what it means to be where we are (presence) and who we are (authenticity). We have listened to over 300 stories from experts and survivors of religious abuse.

Who is this book for? It is for all of you who have stepped out on your journey and realized some work is involved, and there isn’t much of a well-worn path. Sometimes, people want to argue theology instead of appropriating mind/body healing, which is simple but not easy.

As we have continued to record our journey into this uncharted territory, certain things have become distilled and more straightforward than before. This book attempts to present this information in a readable, understandable format.

So, whether you are a broken-hearted ex-pastor who feels some guilt and shame about the past or a single mother who lost relationships and support when you shared your changing beliefs, this book can be a roadmap to addressing the trauma you carry in your body. Whether you consider yourself an atheist, agnostic, struggling Christian, or a spiritual nomad, you are all welcome to explore here and find your way.

You don’t need to organize, start something new, or contribute money. Just sit back and consider the information we have gathered to make your journey more effective. It won’t give you an iron-clad manifesto or creed to follow, but it may save you some time as your path reveals itself.

Before we start, please accept the challenge of trusting yourself more, even if it’s only a little initially. Your developing intuition is as essential as trusted guides that will be there when you need them.

Be where you are, be who you are, and be at peace,

Karl and Laura Forehand

The Four Existential Concerns

What is Trauma?

It’s Going to be Okay


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Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Out into the Desert, Leaning Forward,  Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart, The Tea Shop and Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity.  He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast and community.  He is married to his wife Laura of 35 years and has one dog named Winston.  His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply! You can read more about the author here.


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