FreedHearts

FreedHearts

Changing the human conversation of love and inclusion. Susan Cottrell is the Mom of two LGBTQ children; the founder of FreedHearts; an international speaker with a viral TEDx talk; a pastor and theologian; an acclaimed author; and a fierce advocate and ally. In her unique tender, relatable style, Susan is a prominent voice of unconditional love and lavish inclusion. Powerful, authentic, and relevant in today’s society, Susan has a lot to say. The Advocate calls her their “Favorite Affirming Matriarch.” OutSmart magazine calls her "The Mother of all MamaBears!" Reverend Ashley Harness from Auburn Seminary says, “Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.” If you have been excluded, or if someone close to you has been excluded because of who they are or who they love - or maybe you have been the one doing the excluding - the FreedHearts podcast is for you. Join Susan, along with her husband Rob, on the journey. You are not alone. Welcome home!

Episodes

May 25, 2022 30 min

A phrase we hear a lot is codependence.

Many of us are probably in a codependent relationship – which is not healthy – not the ideal – and we don’t even know what that looks like. What that means.

Codependence can be a slippery term, and it can be tough to define.

Today we talk about if we more codependent than we think, and how we can set ourselves, our hearts free. 

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There’ve always been absurd ideas, and those who believe absurd ideas. And no amount of counterevidence will make any difference.
 
‘Absurd’ comes from the word for out of tune, dull, irrational
 
Religion, political groups, subcultures, continue to maintain and endorse many absurd ideas. So much so, that they have become normal! So, let’s take a look at a few. 

This is going to be fun!

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Have you heard the term intersex? Do you know what it means? You might, or maybe you are not sure.

Have you met an intersex person? You probably have and you didn’t even know it.

For all of us, it’s time to be quiet and listen, It’s time to learn.

In this special episode, we want to give up the mic so-to-speak, and share with you the stories and insights of intersex people about everything from common misconceptions to what they wish...
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May 4, 2022 20 min

Ever wonder what God REALLY thinks of your LGBTQ+ child, friend or family member... or what God really thinks of YOU??

We want to address the ultimate question today. The big one.
 
Often we are so scared of the answer, we don’t even want to go there.
 
But hear me now… you have NOTHING to be afraid of. Nothing!
 
Beloved, You really need to hear and take in the answer to the question: “What Does God Really Think of Me?”

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When someone comes out – it often changes everything in relationships.  
 
Sometimes for the better as they get deeper, richer, more authentic, more inclusive and accepting.  But sometimes not, and these relationships - parent-child, friends, family – that we considered a given – may now seem unsure and shaky. And at times, they are unsafe.
 
But how do we know? 

How can we tell if a relationship is safe??

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April 13, 2022 40 min

How do you think people feel about the IRS? I can tell you the answer: People don’t love the IRS. It’s intimating—it wields unrestrained power, and you have no recourse—it’s virtually impossible to fight back.
 
Let’s be honest, a lot of us have the same experience with religion. Hurt so badly by manipulative false teaching given with unrestrained power, and then told it’s just the way it is.

We feel like we have no recourse, like ...

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April 6, 2022 19 min

Sometimes we feel like if we take care of ourselves, focus on ourselves, love ourselves – it means that we are NOT doing that for others. Wrong!

But, we often feel guilty for taking care of ourselves. So we don’t!  It can even make us resent serving others, especially compared to false expectations placed on us.

So, we want to talk today about if we can please ourselves AND please others.

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Every day via email, social media, comments we get questions from non-affirming Christians that are supposed to stop us in our tracks.  Stump us.  Be unanswerable

Recently, someone shared two questions from their pastor.  Did they stump us? Nah. Are they unanswerable? Nope. 

Does this sounds familiar?? Religious leaders approached Jesus with questions they thought would undo all his teaching – but what it really did was reveal thei...

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March 23, 2022 24 min

Many of you came out of the church - out of nonaffirming religion.  The evangelical church, denominations.  
 
And many of you are now deconstructing your faith. Discovering what the Bible does and does not say about a lot of things including LGBTQ.  God has gotten bigger.  The universe, spirit has gotten more personal. It is beautiful! As we have said: When we open the box we have God in, all heaven breaks loose.
 
But now what? Espec...

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What do you do when you and your spouse disagree about your LGBTQ+ child?
 
This is such a tough situation because the issues that divide are often deeply-held beliefs. You know the ones.

I am pretty sure it has cost you relationships – but what happens the relationship at stake is your marriage?
 
Big, difficult, scary. Yeah.

A special, important episode. 

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What does and does not work when talking to non-affirming evangelical Christians? 
 
It can certainly be tough and frustrating. 
 
We are dealing with patriarchal, moral-majority driven false teaching. All taught with God’s name attached to it – and grave consequences if you don’t just fall in line.
 
But we, like a growing number of people, were surprised when we opened that box we had God in. 
 
In this episode, we will talk about how we...

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February 23, 2022 24 min

We visit the FreedHearts Inbox and answer three tough questions that affirming people often wrestle with. 
 
We are gaslighted with these. Manipulated. But they are false at their very core and they DO have answers that bring us peace and clarity.

In this episode, we talk about these three questions you have certainly heard and may have yourself… and we answer them!

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February 16, 2022 23 min

We hear from so many people who have been deeply wounded by parents, by family, by friends, by those in the church who claim to speak with God’s voice.  
 
Deep wounds. Physical, spiritual, emotional.
 
Sometimes there is an apology from the person who did the wounding, but sometimes that is just not enough. Does an apology mean we have to reconcile?? Absolutely not! 
 
We’re often made to feel guilty—but we know that sometimes, an apolo...

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February 2, 2022 24 min

Selfcare is so important, now more than ever. 

A listener wrote us about being triggered by something and going into a full blown panic attack. Scary. Things like that, and even the rapid pace of deconstruction, can cause a lot of stress. And we often forget to take care of ourselves. 

So, in this episode, we want to talk about what effective selfcare looks like.

Beloved, you deserve it! 

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January 26, 2022 20 min

In this very special episode, we’re going to share something that came from the mom of a transgender daughter. (With her permission, of course.)

She wrote it to share with her pastor, with anyone, who is trying to sort out transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary—trying to understand what that community, and their families, go through.

This is an incredibly powerful story.

It is beautifully written and conveys so well the heart ...

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Our transgender children and family members and friends are beautiful. And beloved. Living their authentic lives.

What an amazing truth. Amazing stories. Amazing beauty. 

False teachings, binary thinking, denial can cause us to miss it all – and cause great harm to those we love.

Don’t deny the beauty of being transgender! 

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Some Christians mistakenly suggest that if you take the Bible seriously, you must stand against the existence – as well as the health and even humanity of transgender people.

Actually, the OPPOSITE is true!

In this episode, we are going to talk about how the Bible AFFIRMS transgender and gender non-conforming people.  And, how misinterpretations and binary thinking cause people to follow harmful false teachings.

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In this episode, we are going to get a little crazy and talk about cults!   :-)

Big word. Scary word. But maybe a little closer to our lives, a little closer to home than we think.

So, what makes something a cult? We give you 25 attributes of a cult. You may be surprised, and some may be a little too familiar.

Let’s talk. 

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December 15, 2021 22 min

So, how are you doing?  Any family issues?? We have some... we have family holding events, celebrating and we were not invited.  We have celebrations with part of our chosen family.

When family is at odds over core beliefs and major heart issues, it can certainly get tricky.  

So, we thought it might be an ideal time to ask… What in the world IS family anymore. 

And… Is this even still my family???

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“What if you’re wrong?”  People ask us this all the time, and then usually follow up with “Aren’t you afraid of leading people astray?”  This seems to be the underlying fear for so many Christians.

We have addressed this on an individual level but, today, we want to talk to the church!

It has so consumed the Church, with this fear being spoonfed to people for decades, it hardly thinks to turn the question around on itself.

So we are a...

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