When God Is A Weapon

Healing from Spiritual Abuse

Was there a time when your faith felt certain?  Do you find your deeply held beliefs doesn’t quite fit the way they once did? Are you feeling isolated and alone; afraid to say aloud what you’re feeling? Does it seem disloyal to ask your deepest questions about faith and God? Have you hit a spiritual or emotional brick wall? 
This event for anyone who has endured spiritual abuse, whose faith is transforming, or is feeling alone on their journey of recovery.


Many have experienced spiritual abuse but don’t know what to call it.

It may be covert or overt, but always leaves us feeling isolated.

In spiritual abuse, fear is used to manage our hearts into compliance. When God is used as a weapon of control, we learn not to trust ourselves. Our ability to trust our own inner voice gets scrambled with the voice of authority. 

The sense of being alone in the confusion becomes paralyzing. The fear of not being believed or having pain minimized keeps us silent. The damage goes deep and is often hard to name. There are many others who feel isolated, solitary, and confused. You are not alone. 

There is hope. Authentic healing is available. We believe that true acceptance, gentleness, and community are keys to healing.

We know and understand the pain of spiritual abuse, transformed faith, and the beauty of healing.

We’ve put together an amazing group to share their journeys of genuine healing with you and support you on yours. We are thrilled to bring two essential events to the front range community to demystify the nature of spiritual abuse and provide hope.

Speakers and Panelist 

Reba Riley

Reba Riley is the author of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing.  Reba is a survivor of a decade of chronic illness and a champion for the power of spiritual healing.  She is a former evangelical poster-child and provides hope to doubters, misfits and the broken hearted. Reba demonstrates the power of what it means to ask the hard questions and lean into life.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward when Everything is Coming Apart.  She is a dynamic speaker, educator, mother, wife and spiritual director.  She is an advocate for friends in hard places and loves being in the trenches with people.  Her personal journey of spiritual transformation after abuse is all about love.  

Jud & Maggie Jusell

Jud and Maggie Jusell have been married for 29 years. They have fierce hearts for those who don’t fit into the church behavior code. They survived highly controlling spiritual abuse at the hands of a pastor. Although they have had very different healing paths, the journey has strengthened their marriage and transformed their faith.

Cindy Harrell

Cindy is a trauma-sensitive yoga instructor at Hedman Counseling Center. Cindy is passionate about helping the broken hearted find wholeness.  She has a powerful story of healing in both mind and body.  She was married to a pastor for 30 years and in ministry for 20 before finding the courage to build an authentic life of freedom for herself. 


Tara Hedman

Tara is owner and founder of Hedman Counseling Center. She is a therapist, writer, speaker, and recovering coward. Tara is passionate about helping heal those devastated by trauma and walking alongside the brokenhearted. Her personal story of abuse, loss, and finding the courage to heal allows others to believe they too can find a way out of despair and pain into a life of joy and peace. 

Come and Discover You Are Not Alone

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t sure what to call your experience, or if you have had a long season of recovery. You are welcome here. Spiritual abuse and the shift that often comes after doesn’t have to be isolating any longer. 

Join us exactly as you are, where you are.

We know stepping out into something new can be hard. Special effort has gone into making the event comfortable and safe for all. We understand triggers of past abuse can be close to the surface. We want to honor each person exactly where they are on their journey.

There will be counselors on hand should the need arise for support.

Two Separate Events

Please note: You must register for each event you want to attend. If you plan to attend both events, please register for each event individually.

Friday 9/22/17

Dynamic Speakers and Open Panel Discussion 

Come for an evening of acceptance and truth telling on Friday, September 22nd at the historic Cliff House in Manitou Springs.

Hear survivors' empowering stories, the differing journeys taken, and be supported on your personal path to recovery. 

Keynote speaker, Reba Riley, author of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing, will share her experience of being a former evangelical poster child and her powerful journey of spiritual healing.

An open panel discussion, including audience questions, will follow.

The panel will include Kathy Escobar, author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything is Coming Apart, along with other survivors to share their healing paths and answer your questions.

Jud and Maggie Jusell, a couple in Christian ministry for over 20 years will share their story and answer questions regarding a marriage in turmoil, and what it means to walk out of abuse and into restoration.

Cindy Harrell will share her story of being a pastor’s wife, learning to have her insides and outsides match, walking away from everything she knew, and finding a new kind of freedom.

The evening will include speakers, open panel discussion, heavy hor d’oeuvres, dessert buffet and a safe place to just be you. Bring a friend.


Friday, September 22nd   |   6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Cliff House, Manitou Springs 

Heavy Hor' d'oeuvres and Dessert Buffet   



Saturday 9/23/17

Dinner and Lively Conversation with Reba

Join author and speaker Reba Riley for an evening of dinner and intimate conversation on Saturday, September 23rd. In a private room at Biaggi’s Italian Restaurant, a small group will have rich, casual conversation around the dinner table.

Reba will share more of her amazing journey and you’ll have opportunity to interact more personally with her and other attendees.

The evening will include dinner, book signing, and lively discussion.

If you want to better understand your own journey, have questions for Reba, or simply loved her book and want to dig in further to the story, join us for dinner.

You’ll walk away with much more than a full belly.

Our hope is you leave feeling connected, encouraged, and filled with desire for all life can hold. Your story is still being written.


Saturday, September 23   |   6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano

Dinner / Small Group Book Discussion




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