If I could choose just one podcast for every person in a small church to hear, it’s this one.
Speaker and author, Janyne McConnaughey, shares truth about trauma that has the potential to deepen your ministry whether you lead the women, volunteer with kids, or serve as the senior pastor.
Your church is filled with unhealed trauma, whether it sits silently in the pews or shows up in church conflict.
And the sad reality is that people with unhealed trauma rarely find help within the church.
Most healing journeys are not only started outside the church but remain there. Let’s change this!
Join us as we dive into a difficult conversation that’s both messy and beautiful.
Listen in for steps to welcome, receive, and journey with those recovering from trauma, including:
Connect with Janyne McConnaughey:
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Hey, this is Laurie Acker. Welcome to the small church ministry podcast. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the small church ministry podcast where we talk about ministry skills and strategies and what is specific to small churches because we really believe that small church ministry is not less. You can't do the same things in big churches, but it's very different. So it's not less ministry, but it's very different. And I have a super special guest on the podcast with me today. And we're not talking about ministry skills today, or ministry strategies, or anything like super practical boots on the ground like we usually do. But we're talking about something that's deeper and more foundational, and something that we all need to get a hold on, if we want to do ministry in a way that is healing and deep and just wonderful and whole that leads to freedom. And so I'm super excited to have Janine McClanahan. She is the author of trauma in the pews, and many other things, and a website and a blog. And she's on podcast all the time. And we were so fortunate and blessed to have her as a speaker at our married to the pastors conference that just happened in July. And so, so excited when she said she would come back on and be part of our podcast. So hi, Janine, how are you?Janyne McConnaughey:
Hello, hello, I'm excited to have this conversation with you today.Laurie Acker:
Well, I think I am super excited. So let's jump in. And you know, trauma is a conversation I think that some people are very uncomfortable with, but some people are just getting a little more aware of in our culture, as we're talking more and more about it, some people avoid it. Some people race to it. Some people love the drama of the trauma. And some people just try to pretend it's not there. But as as we just get into our conversation today, what can you tell us about your story that led you to write trauma in the pews?Janyne McConnaughey:
So interestingly enough, if if I had, if you would have told me 10 years ago, by the way, you're going to be on a podcast talking about trauma, I would have been like, what is trauma? What are you know, I That will never happen? I don't even know I, I would have been just flat footed, right? Because because I didn't fully understand what trauma was. I didn't understand how it impacted my life. And I was a Bible college professor, and an education teacher educator in a Bible college. So So I was preparing people for ministry related schools or ministries, and I did a lot of the children's courses, the psychology that which is interesting, okay, yeah, just say, Okay. And so I was preparing people for ministry. And I, I did not know why I had a dark cloud that had followed me around since I was a little girl. Just some days, it would just consume me. And I had been, I'd taken antidepressants as I raised my children, because I couldn't, I couldn't stop crying one day, and the doctor thought, help. And I did it did actually, we should never condemned people who need medication, but it didn't heal me. So so I'm 61 years old. And I literally God prompts me to go see a therapist. And that's that's a whole nother a whole nother story. But I walked into therapy at the age of 61. And, and unfolded, sexual abuse that began at the age of three, and continued until I was 23. And so that surfaced over the span of like, three entire years of really pretty intensive therapy, I retired. And I of course, I thought I'd lost my career. And I told my therapist, I don't I don't have any future. I've lost everything. And and she said, you do you just can't see it right now. But I'll hold it for you till you get there. Which was beautiful, beautiful, hopeful thing. So, as part of the end of my healing, I wrote my first book brave. And in in that book, i i It's partially journaling. It's partially the story. It's partially my therapeutic relationship with my therapist, and is partially how God helped me heal in the midst of all and so that's, that's my first book and it had a bicycle on the front of it. And so the blue bicycle got connected with me and healing and nobody had any idea when I published that book, my closest friends, my therapist, my husband, and I just like tell the whole world I do not necessarily recommend it. But it was the path I took So, so then that first book actually was the thickness of two books. And so then I published the second one to finish. So that one is genies brave childhood. And it tells the bow about behaviors and children and understanding children who had been traumatized and how they how to heal as adults and children how to heal. And then I wrote the third one, which is a brave, brave life, which is my faith journey as an adult. And that was really in that is the seed for trauma and abuse. Wow. And so I was actually writing an entirely different book. And I got connected with Barry Pell press, who the owner is, was a friend of mine in high school, and we went to college, the same college and, and she had started a publishing company. And so she, which I was also starting to talk about religious trauma and these types of things. And she heard one of my speaking, she said, that's a book Janine. That that's a book. And that's where trauma in the pews came from, was the fact that I had been sitting in the pew, a for in a lifetime. I had served in the church for a lifetime, but had never been able to heal from the impact of the trauma. Yeah. And so that's a very long answer to a very short question. But it kind of it because everyone, because trauma in the pews has been so successful and reach such a wide audience. Everything you just assumes it's like my first book. Yeah, yeah. Where did she come from? But actually, there were three books before that, that are, are the backstory to trauma in the pews.Laurie Acker:
So trauma in the pews is not a book about church hurt specifically or church abuses. Specifically, it's about people who have trauma who are coming into the church.Janyne McConnaughey:
Correct? Yeah, correct. And, interestingly enough, because I'm, I just finished the fifth book, I sent the manuscript off last week. So we're gonna start working on that. And in that one, I explained the fact that, that I had so many people that were like, Oh, you're writing about religious trauma, you're writing about what is happening with the church? I might wait a minute. Wait a minute. I wasn't what I intended. Right. I, I don't leave it out, because that is part of so many people's stories, but I don't, it wasn't the focus, focus. The book was written to ministry leaders, to understand the people sitting in the pews, and are themselves who were impacted by childhood trauma, and how that is affecting their spiritual practices and their life. And so and I do not bash the church. Right? I mean, a lot of people that's what people who would I guess, they I just read it, and you somehow you do not bash the church, you hold it accountable, which you do not. And I don't, because my dad was a pastor, my my son is a pastor. He's also a Bible teacher at a Christian school. My uncle, my favorite uncle was, I mean, why would I bash the good people who are really trying to do the work? So yeah,Laurie Acker:
I think for some people, when they hear church hurt these days, there's almost like a defensiveness of No, the church is good. And I think I think we can hold intention that the what is good, and what is still, you know, growing, what is still developing and where we still have room to grow. So, you know, when you said earlier, you know, this book can really help people, like, understand and help make space and for people who have childhood trauma, like that seems like such a worthy cause. And like, oh my gosh, like, how awesome if if you have somebody in your midst who's had childhood trauma, like how beautiful to be able to help children, people who are still healing, but what would you say to a small church who says, Oh, we don't have anybody like that in our church?Janyne McConnaughey:
You do? It. I almost I almost answered before you got the sentence out of your mouth. Editing that because you do because there's statistically 25% of in a roomful of 100 women. There 25 of them experienced childhoodLaurie Acker:
sexual abuse. And that's just sexual abuse.Janyne McConnaughey:
That's just sexual abuse that does not cover any other type of trauma. And so in the third chapter of the book, I because we we don't realize just the fact that we all lived in we're here because we did live through a pandemic, but the pandemic was a collective trauma. It was a worldwide collective trauma. The I think, because of the fire in Hawaii, and because because that was such a beloved place for so many people. It's it's more than affecting, of course. It's affecting the people who live there. The people who whose relatives died the people who are definitely traumatized, but it is a it's a worldwide collective that we've lost a piece of our beauty of our of our world. Yeah. So there's there's many things that are, that are collective wars are collective trauma, racial, racial problems are a collective trauma. But then, and then there's individual trauma. And there's also there's so many categories such as birth trauma, we're understanding more and more about how birth trauma, and prenatal trauma affects the attachment relationship with children. And so there's just so many areas. And you're right, sometimes we shy away from the word trauma. And so, um, so I like to define trauma as anything, anything that overwhelms your ability to cope.Laurie Acker:
okay, so, so you, let's say, you're on staff at a church, you you go to church and something, something happens, okay? Some days, you can come home and go ha, seriously. And you, you can just move on. Yeah. And sometimes something happens and you get you can't function for the rest of the day, it affects you for weeks, you just can't seem to get over it. Okay, that's a difference between just being hurt having your, you know, having your feelings hurt. You know, I hate that term. Actually, it sounds so diminishing, but, but, and something that continues to affect you something that every time you walk back into that room where that incident happened, you remember what happened, you feel like it's happening again, and that that is trauma. And it can happen many, many, many different ways. And it's subjective. Yeah. So maybe, maybe you were with your close friend, and they walked out into well, that was That was wild. Just move on. And you can't get over it in there. Why don't you just get over it? Yeah. Well, it has a lot to do with maybe your prior experiences. Maybe it reminded you of a situation where you felt powerless before maybe, you know, so there's a lot to when we say trauma, and the word doesn't uncapped, and trauma is not just the event, there's a traumatic event, but it's also how it affects you and your nervous system and how it continues to affect the way you think about yourself, the way you interact with the world what you believe about,Laurie Acker:
you know, I, I wanted you to kind of share about the widespread widespread Ness. I know that's not a word, but the widespread pneus of trauma, because so many times we make it out to be Oh, that's about them. Not me. And, and I don't have that. But you know, one of the things you've said that I've heard you say that has impacted me so much is when you said when I went into church, I had to leave my story in the car. When I went into church, I had to leave my story in the car. And I thought, oh, my gosh, I I do that a lot. Like how many people who are either on staff or volunteers or just people coming in to worship Jesus, right? We're all leaving our stories in the car. And I thought, wow, like, how sad because so many people who I know who found healing or are in a journey of healing for trauma. They're finding that journey outside of the church, they're not finding a place for it in the church. Like, have you seen that too?Janyne McConnaughey:
So, so let me let me shareLaurie Acker:
I just want our churches to be a place like I just really felt like so much of what Jesus has called us to do, whether it's feeding the poor or he'll helping people heal is found like out out in the, the outside the church walls, and I just wish we could bring more of that intoJanyne McConnaughey:
and actually, that's what my next book is in. Like the whole end of it kind of is is about that but it's it's addressed to the survivor. And it's it's how, how to recognize the kind of community in which you will be safe. But, but for those who are reading over the survivor shoulders, it gives them the picture of what a community would look like, where they could bring their stories in where they could be acknowledged. And, and the truth is, when we leave our stories in the car, we leave, we leave especially those of us who've been on a healing journey. We leave our posts I call it post traumatic spiritual growth. In the car. Oh, that's a good term memory. Yeah. So So I, I even have acronyms for it in the book, right. So so that's what I address at the end of my book is that what healing does, especially if we don't have to separate and what you're talking about is separating the spiritual from healing, which we would say, Well, if you're healing trauma that isn't a spiritual, that's not a spiritual practice. Yes, it is a spiritual practice, because anything, anything that you do that draws you closer to God is a spiritual practice. And so we have a box that maybe that doesn't fit in, but we need to expand the box, not kick the healing out. Oh, so So my first experience with a community where I felt, I felt like I didn't have to leave my story behind was actually a writing an online writing class. And it was, it was by Jeff Brown, it was not it, it was not a he's a very spiritual person he is is not what we would put in the box of a Christian. But he's very, any he was, at one time, he was a therapist, and, and the course was about writing your story and finding your way home through writing your story, which is exactly what I did when I wrote my book. Okay. And in that, in that class, I found a group of men and women who, who I could write about any part of my story, and it was unconditionally accepted, it was believed I was supported I was they were the ones who said, Wow, you, you know how to express emotions in your writing. You really, and they, so they recognize my gifts that had never been recognize in my, my therapist did too, but, but it was this supportive community where I felt like I could say whatever I needed to say, and no one was going to judge me and no one was going to see it as, as a spiritual problem. And they were going to understand that I was on a healing journey. And that part of healing is to be able to express things that you've kept inside for so long. And so I did have to go outside the church to find that community. You know, and, and so I think that we shouldn't have to, and that I think that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to. And then I also I I've been I just stepped down as board president, but I, I've been on the board for the attachment and trauma network. This is my fifth year on the board. As as an two years as president, and it is an organization that helps communities and schools and parents and foster and adoptive all understand how how to help the children who have been impacted by trauma. And so that that was the other community that I found. Yeah. And they, they said, as when they asked me to be on the board, I was still healing and I want to show you healing is super messy. Is is super messy, I can hear that. And so if we're looking for just, you know, I said it in the in the book in this book, I said, everybody wants it to be swirling heart emojis around you know, it's not, it's swirling, but it's not hard emojis. Okay. And so, um, so I, I in the, in the now I lost my place. Okay, all right. We'll edit that.Laurie Acker:
We don't even have to edit that if you listen to my podcasts. I'm gonna tell you, we go on tangents all the time. Like, that's what we do. And we're just gonna, because Jean Jeanine, this is a place where you are unconditionallyJanyne McConnaughey:
accepted. And then going back, you don't have to edit that out. It's kind of funny. If you believe it, you can leave it okay. I, I part of healing was it's a shame that I lived with when I would do something like that publicly, and just myself up for weeks and weeks and weeks. And now I'm just like, wow, how human how very, very human. Okay, on. So um, no, I lost it again. Oh, so when I was asked me to be on the board, I said, I'm really messy sometimes. Like I do things like that. And they said, This is what we do we with people who have experienced trauma, and and if you need help, or you can't do something, just tell us Yeah, and we're here for you. I mean, whoa, I've waited my whole life to have somebody tell me that in the church. Yeah.Laurie Acker:
Yeah, right. And many people are waiting. You know, I love what you said when you said we should not have to go out inside the church, to to be on a healing journey to be accepted to be loved to be, you know, just this unconditional space, you know, we should not have to go outside the church. That's one of the things. I believe that has been one of the reasons our conferences have been so successful at small church ministry because we do this conference in the summer for pastors used to be pastors wives, and this year it was for married to the pastor, so for pastors spouses, but as a pastor's wife, myself, who's never felt like a pastor's wife, and I don't even like being called a pastor's wife, you know, we have created a space where people come in and say what you can say that from the stage, you can say that your marriage is hard, you can say that you've been hurt, you can say that you, you know, this is hard. Because I think people in ministry, oftentimes, we've been taught, we need to be the strong person, we need to, you know, have this we should have it together because of, you know, this Bible verse or whatever. And so to have a space, where we have people just being real, and say, Hey, this is my journey. There's my journey I'm on, it's created just a little bit. Not, you know, not full space, you know, but a little bit of some freedom that, yeah, we may have some stuff to go through. So when you talk about our church, you know, we shouldn't have to go outside the church for this. What can we do? So you're a PhD, you're award winning author, you're a trauma informed advocate, you have done your own healing journey, what can we do in small churches, to have a space where to help people on their journeys?Janyne McConnaughey:
I, I actually, I pulled up a list. There's 10 points that I put in the next book. And, and I'm, I'm, and I'm writing it to survivors to say, this is in order for you to continue healing, this is the kind of community that you need to look for. I'm taking notes, whether that happens in the church, or whether that happens outside the church. And honestly, in many ways, it's important to build some relationships outside the church, too. So I was in such a silo and bubble, you know, I went to church I bought taught at a Bible college, all my friends were Christians, you know, I was in such a bubble that, that I didn't have. I didn't have the freedom to heal. And I did need I joined book clubs I joined. And honestly, I'm just like, oh, I became like Jesus, who wandered around in the world and talk to people, you know, just being in my little silo and just talking to everybody who agrees with me. So anyway, yeah. So so when I say we should be able to find healing in the church, yes, we should be able to do that. But it doesn't mean that we aren't supposed to be walking around the world like Jesus to okay, you just happened to be the one that was healing at that point. And so, so one thing is, is that your story is believed and accepted. Okay, one of the most difficult things for survivors of trauma. And I just want to stop here for a second, because I think that many, many, many I taught in an in ministry preparation colleges for 33 years. And the people who came, especially to adult, the adults who surrendered to ministry, you know, we would say, many of them came from very, very strong, strongly traumatized backgrounds. Because they came to faith and they wanted to go help other people. But they, many of them had not done the healing work. And they and they were they were impacted by that through all their ministry and some of them morally fail, some of them collapse, some of them because they didn't do the healing work. So when I talk about from the survivors perspective, I'm, I'm talking about what you if you have trauma in your background, which everybody kind of does. You need, you need this to this is not in Atlanta in education. We talk about the fact that when we do trauma informed methods in the classroom, it doesn't just benefit the kids who've been experienced severe trauma. It benefits everyone. It's kind of like being Jesus to the world. Yeah. Right. So when I say your story is believed and accepted, Jesus never said, you know, I don't think you're being I don't think that's true. I don't think that has happened to you, you know, the woman at the well. He said, Yeah, you're right. That is your story. And there's more to it isn't there, right? And, and it was just accepted without judgment and so forth. Conformity is not a criterion for belonging and differences are celebrated. And that's a tough one. That's a really tough one for the church. Because because we have an idea what a sermon I mean, Christian looks like. And we put a lot of pressure on people to fit that. And that survivor. I say God Cutler's outside the box for survivors. Because Because when I watch how they heal many times, it's so unique and so different. And so they're, they're amazing. Their post dramatic spiritual growth is so. So interesting because it isn't inside a box. Right? So conformity. Oh, and your story adds value to the community? In other words, oh, wow, that happened to you. And look, and, and I don't I don't think everything has a lesson to learn. I don't think being abused as a child serves any purpose, or has a lesson you're supposed to learn or there are things that happen. And they are, everything doesn't happen for a purpose. Say that one, right? Because that's so that's so harmful to tell her to tell me who was abused at the age of three, that that had a purpose, right? No, right. It was just evil. It was evil. And so um, that so the but that's seen my post traumatic spiritual growth is seen as strength. I'm not looked down on because I have the story. I'm valued, because I have the story. And I, and I have, I can do what I do today, because of my story. I could have done something else wonderful without it.Laurie Acker:
So I kind of want to interrupt your train of thought. Because if you don't mind, because when I hear you saying like, my story adds value, and I can do what I do today because of my story. I know so many people in the church who say this, but honestly, they're not healed. Like, we walk around, like, oh, I had this tough life, but I'm really I'm great now. And I'm serving Jesus. And I'm like, for me, I had quite a break a couple years ago, going whoa, I thought I wasn't one of those people who needed that help or needed that healing. Or, you know, and I would have looked at my life, like you had said earlier, like, Oh, my life was mine. My childhood was fine. I have no trauma. You know, I find more people who don't know they have trauma who are serving, trying to help people who have trauma. Does that make sense?Janyne McConnaughey:
Yeah, yeah, we're like, we're like, drowning. We were starving for water in the desert and offering what little water we have to somebody else. So they can live but we don't know it. But we don't. But we are not. We feel like that is Oh, look how we're serving out of this. Alright, so.Laurie Acker:
And Jamie. I mean, I just want to say like, I served in ministry for decades, helping other people and really feeling like I have a lot of compassion. I have a lot of leadership to give. And I did. But now, I am so different. When I hear stories, when I sit with people when I listen, because I have, I don't know, a little bit of healing. I think I have a lot to go. But that little bit of healing has opened my eyes in a way that I'm like, Oh, I didn't realize how impactful neglect or these words, are these things? Am I making sense? Does this make sense to you? Well, you areJanyne McConnaughey:
absolutely. And and I, it's so hard. Okay, so if somebody has never, if somebody has never seen an elephant, and you try to describe it to them.Laurie Acker:
Yes, thank you makes exactly where I'm going.Janyne McConnaughey:
And so but once you've seen an elephant, you're like, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh. There I'll never see an elephant and not know what's an elephant? Giraffes the same thing, right? Yeah. When you're when you try to explain it to people. And the problem is, is we don't understand we don't have enough knowledge about what the impact of trauma looks like. So we can't see it in our own life. And we can't see it in someone else's life. Well, we can kinda, you know, we're like, oh, they need help. I don't need help. I don't need a therapist, but I'm gonna send them. Right. So I think it's the very hardest, it's like, We are the elephant. And we, we don't even recognize that, that were the elephant.Laurie Acker:
And how do we know? Like, how do we know? Like, how could I have done this 30 years earlier? And I know my story is my story. My life is my life. But how do we know?Janyne McConnaughey:
Right? And really, honestly, so the writing trauma in the pews it was really interesting, because my publishers were like, ministry leaders need to know this. And I'm like, okay, but I really think it's the survivors who are gonna latch on to it. Right. And, and I was right and so It's not been the ministry years that have propelled this book to the place where it's been people in the pews. A lot of it has been women ministry leaders. Because as they read it, they they recognize things that that patterns that are that grow out of trauma that sometimes the church actually puts a badge of honor on. Yeah, okay.Laurie Acker:
Oh, hello, being overly responsible, being the one who takes care of everyone else.Janyne McConnaughey:
Yes. Okay. Being there every time the church door opens, they, but then feeling like it's never enough. You're never enough. There's never, you know, you're probably not I call it feeling. It's like a spiritual failure. Because, because you just don't feel like you can ever do enough to be worthy of God. And we actually, in a lot of our theology, we teach that no, you can't ever be enough to be worthy of God. Right? But in reality, why why would God create something that then he felt couldn't ever be worthy? I mean, that's discouraging faith to have, right. Yeah. And so, um, so in the end trauma and abuse, and that's why I hesitate, because I'm like, Oh, my gosh, it's a whole book. Yeah. I don't know how to fit it in. But that's what I do is I go through, I go through each of the spiritual practices, and I talk about and I do it in a more condensed form in the next book, and not an address to survivors, but to be able to recognize patterns in your life. That, that, without an understanding of the way trauma impacts you, you don't recognize it even as a negative. But there's an underlying I call it the knowing and knowing of trauma, just this underlying sense that all is not well in your inner world. And that, and maybe it's that you have to be active all the time. And you can't sit quietly in prayer, because your mind is just buzzing, you know. And people say, Well, I'm ADHD or, you know, you might be I'm not discounting that. But that inability to be silent, the the need to constantly be busy. The you know, I mean, I can go down my whole litany of things that I did, you know, I collected things I, I, I was I was super dependent on friends, just for emotional support. And I was, of course, I taught in Bible colleges. Yeah, for 30 years. Right. That was a trauma response. Honestly, I don't regret that I did it. But, but that I, that I never felt joy while I was doing it. Yeah, and maybe, maybe that is the litmus test, because without healing trauma, it's your nervous system cannot be regulated enough for you to really experience joy. So a lot of times I hear survivors, all I want to do is feel joy. You know, and I remember that. And so, yeah, and I would say,Laurie Acker:
you know, for me, I would have I would say throughout my life, I felt a lot of joy. But it was a lot of excitement. A lot of you know that, but it's different. Now for me, there's like a freedom. There's, it's it's very different. But like when you say if you if you haven't felt joy, I just don't want people thinking, Oh, I'm a joyful person. I must not have trauma. But right. Mine is it's very different now. But I would have been seen as the joyful excited person. Probably. Because life. Right? Yeah, yeah, IJanyne McConnaughey:
would have to everybody would have said, Oh, Janine, she loves life. She loves serving. She did so much joy. Yeah. Right. And I'm like, Oh, my darkest day when I would be honest with myself. I knew that I knew that I required. I required all sorts of external things. To have that joy, that that I could not just sit quietly in a chair isolated, totally been with myself. And feel like I had joy. Yeah. In between the two. I don't know.Laurie Acker:
Yeah, yeah, that's for sure. You know, I think bottom line as I talk to you as I learn more about trauma, I just feel like we all need to understand it more. And, you know, I I'm in connection with 1000s of small churches, you know, all the time and what I've noticed, and I'd love for you to push back or tell me if this is untrue from what you've seen. What I've noticed is churches who are go During their churches who are kind of opening up the conversation, there's always I want to say always really careful about saying always, but from what I've seen, there's always one person who has walked a journey of healing. That is bringing in the conversation like I've never seen somebody preaching or teaching or a church culture change based on we're going to help the people with trauma. It's always been somebody who says, I've walked this, and I want to welcome it. Do you think that's accurate?Janyne McConnaughey:
I think that I think it it always starts somewhere. Yeah. Right. And it, I think it can happen that way. And it can also happen, when it can happen when people see trauma in themselves, and they go on a healing journey, it can also help them happen when ministry leaders realize, Oh, my goodness, that is what this big conflict in the church has actually been. Yeah, it's based in a trauma. A, so So I have people that are fighting each other, and what and there's, there's internal family systems as a type of therapy. And in it, there's protectors, right, that are guarding your wounded part inside of you this. And believe me, you can bury that wounded part so deeply that you don't even know it exists. I'm the poster child for it. Okay, so, um, so but when they actually see that, that they're beings, they're defending themselves with these attack modes. And that's what the conflict actually is. I do a workshop where I talk about this between parents and teachers. And they each have a wounded inner child inside of them. And they're trying to, they're trying to protect themselves in the in data at war with each other. And so, so, so it can happen two ways. Okay. Right. But either way, it's recognizing what what the elephant looks like. Yeah, yeah. Whether you whether you come to it because because I don't, you're right. I don't want to say always, sometimes, but sometimes. Sometimes the person who has actually gone on the healing journey, people have seen them at their very messiest. And they are not good ones to try to lead the movement. Yeah, because it's very true. Because you're like, you want us to do what? You just did that really messy, awful thing that you just went through. You want us to, you know, and they're just No, we're not. We're not going there. So it's kind of funny, because because, I mean, if you read my first book, brave, you see, I mean, I'm just so messy in that. And survivors are very happy with that. But I realized that that, that my book Brave is never going to sit on a pasture shelf was never going to read. Right? I mean, a rare, rare supportive. We say always again, I said it, okay. It's never, you know, that's a trauma, think talking. Yeah. Okay. So yes, I have, I have wonderful, wonderful supportive men in my life, who have read my book and have acknowledged and entered under working to understand trauma. But for the most part, I was never going to make inroads with understanding this without writing a different book. And that's what Trollman Wow. And so I was gonna say, and I know that one of the things is teaching, teachings and sermons distinguish between the impact of trauma and sin. Okay. So, one of the hardest things that the church has is to, is to realize that trauma responses often disguise themselves as what we would call sin, because they are damaging. Okay, so addiction, I can just say, in general, that addiction is rooted in unmet childhood needs and the inability to self regulate. And so you're trying to solve a problem and it turns into a bigger problem. Yeah. And so, so, um, but you without knowledge, and that's where you've said, without the leaders of a church, or someone in the church or in the women's ministry, I mean, I see women leading, leading this amazing without the women, having group studies and reading books and learning about trauma and how it's impacting and I have so many women that said, I wish I had understood this before I raised my children in the States, I would have been so much and I would have been so much more present for my children if I had healed younger. So I think it's that it's that gaining of knowledge and you know, I have, I have a in my I think I sent you my link tree And, and on that are my podcasts. There's dozens of them. And I always talk about something a little bit different in each one, you know, it never goes to the same. That's the fun of doing them. But there are ways to learn. And when you learn what the elephant looks like, then you can heal yourself. And you get the help you need to heal, which is in my mind professional help. And you can help others heal, and you can provide the safe spaces for them to heal.Laurie Acker:
Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm Janine, we're almost out of time. I can't believe it. I can talk to you for like three hours, I think. But we're gonna make sure to put your link below and you all you can check out Janine XLink tree and see all these podcasts. She's been on everywhere. And truly, it's not the same thing over and over again, it's like a different look a different take a different exploration. In bottom line is, if we're going to be Jesus for people on the planet. I think understanding trauma is like the least we can do. Just learning about it, understanding it. Is there anything else like you would say as as you know, to close our time together? What would you say to anyone listening?Janyne McConnaughey:
I think that, um, I think that you have to develop, you have to get in circles with people who, honestly, I sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in those circles because my whole life is yesterday, I just was like, I told my husband take me take me to see a movie cuz I just because I just can't, I can't talk about you know, I'm gonna do a podcast is more I need a break from trauma. But most people are not in that situation. And they need to get they need to find friends. And they need to find people and, and they need to find podcasts and they need to find ways that help them to understand themselves veteran help them to understand the people they're serving better. And, and that but to, to have a companion on the journey, because it's a lonely journey in the church where you feel like you're the only one who's trying to understand this. So, you know, I have I have, you know, write to me, I, I until I'm not able to I'm always responsive to people who writes me, because because I never I sat on the therapy couch and I said I never want anyone to feel as lonely as I do in this moment. And that's why I do a lot that I do is because I do not want people to feel lonely in this journey. And so you cannot walk it alone. And, and Jesus isn't enough. I'm sorry. Right? Yeah, just you need you need. We're made for connection. Yeah. And if your connections do not understand trauma, then it's going to be a really lonely journey to try to heal or to try to to move into trauma informed practices. Yeah. SoLaurie Acker:
So which books should they read first trauma in the pews are your next one. Oh, the next one isn't quite out yetJanyne McConnaughey:
is it? It's not out yet. It's not out yet. And I I would still say trauma in the pews. Okay. And and one thing that if you want the backstory if you are it's a gentler approach, like sometimes people who are survivors and have a lot of childhood abuse in their story. Sometimes brave can be a difficult entryway Brave is your first book. My first book, right? Yeah. And so um, so I think I just start with trauma in the pews and understand it wasn't it was written to minister there but you know, we're on it. Small parish. Ministry. Yes. Right. So everybody is connected to ministry in some way. So that's really the book to start with.Laurie Acker:
Alright, so start with trauma in the pews by Janine makan, hey, go out, get it, order it online, whatever it is, like, go grab that book, you know, whether you are in a place where you're considering your own trauma or responses, or you just want to have an understanding. So we all can kind of change the church culture to be a place where people really do, you know, can receive that unconditional, you know, that accepted that supportive environment? Because I think that is I think that's just so huge. We've shut down so much. When we when people are leaving their stories in the car, whether we're making them do it because we're not receiving it or they just feel like they have to, or they feel like they have to I just I would love it. You know, could we just even put a sign outside that says don't leave your story in the car. Your story is welcome here.Janyne McConnaughey:
Right? And then when we put the sign out, then we need to we need to understand that people who carry their stories into church are messy. Yeah. And we need to love each They're in our messiness. And not I had a friend once it said and I know I had a friend once that said, don't talk about that part. Just talk about the healing how wonderful it is. And I'm like, no, because without the messiness we we are giving unconditional, our love is unconditional. We love the messiness in each other.Laurie Acker:
Yeah. Yep. All right, come find us everybody. I just don't even have a good close. So I'm just going to tell everybody to go out and be a light this week. I got all teary when I was talking. They're like about leaving your stories in the car. Like I think we just have to stop doing it y'all like let's just stop doing it. Quit quit leaving your story in the car, find a safe place. Let's start creating safe places and one of the best places to start is just becoming more aware. Read this book trauma and abuse. Have some conversations. And let's open up to a little bit of you know, more acceptance, more supportive communities. So, love you all be light.