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Hello! I'm Ashley.

I’m a Christian feminist, writer, speaker, TV producer, news pundit, ordained reverend, and abuse-victim advocate who educates churches and secular communities on abuse. I’m the founder of The Courage Conference, for survivors of abuse—and those who love them.

Jesus Is An Abuse Survivor Too

Jesus Is An Abuse Survivor Too

I have written in detail about how I have been hurt by the Church, how spiritual leaders have let me down, and how experiences and teachings have given me a warped view of God as an angry dictator. Spiritual abuse is real, and so is spiritual PTSD.

In my journey to freedom, I have found that one of the most healing things is to recognize the humanity of Jesus, that he has experienced suffering and that he can identify with my pain.

It is a beautiful thing when someone who has never been abused comes alongside a victim to offer comfort and empathy, but when two survivors of abuse meet, there is a special connection that takes place. It is a connection that cannot be described with words. It is something akin to falling in love, an invisible connection between two individuals who understand each other on an inexplicably deep level.

I felt this connection the day I realized that Jesus is an abuse survivor too.

Jesus suffered physical, spiritual, sexual, & emotional abuse at the cross (see note 1). He understands our pain. He also rose again from that dark place of abuse and oppression, and you too can rise in healing.

I believe the Bible means it when it says, “by his stripes we are healed”(2). Yes, this is first and foremost a spiritual healing, but I believe Jesus wants to walk us through emotional and mental healing as well. And who better to walk by our side than Someone who truly “gets” it? This has been a healing realization in my journey. 

If you are an abuse survivor, I want to invite you to join me at The Courage Conference this October 28th and 29th, 2016, for an evening and morning of healing conversation. Don’t worry. You won't be pressured to get back in church or disillusioned to think that prayer and the Bible is all you need to be relieved from your traumatic side effects. 

We will offer inspiring stories from those who experienced abuse in the Church and how they are finding healing. There will be introductions to free community resources, a licensed counselor, and the opportunity to connect with fellow survivors and abuse victim advocates in a safe, judgment-free environment. The Courage Conference will also be for pastors and church leaders who care about the abuse happening in the Church. We will offer them information from trained professionals who can help them to prevent abuse from happening in their church, and teach them how to address it when it does happen.

Maybe you can’t make it to Lynchburg, VA or maybe you aren’t at a point in your healing where you would be comfortable attending an event. Don’t worry. We have an online viewing option, so you can watch The Courage Conference from the comfort of your own home.

Perhaps you would really like to be able to experience The Courage Conference, but money is an issue for you. We have a scholarship program available, where a limited amount of people can receive a free ticket. We simply want to provide a healing experience, and we hope you will come and join us.

Find more information here.

-Ashley Easter

Notes and Sources: 

(1a) "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him." -Matthew 27:27-30 {NASB}

(1b) According to the NSPCC, Sexual abuse is not limited to rape or sexual touching but includes any non-consensual exposure or "making a [person] take their clothes off".

Sexual abuse does not necessarily include sexual arousal or stimulation but is for the purpose of power, control, and humiliation. Jesus was forcibly stripped naked and publically exposed for the purpose of power, control, and humiliation fitting the definition of sexual abuse.

(2) "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." -Isaiah 53:5 {KJV}

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should liv"e unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." -1 Peter 2:24 {KJV}


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