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Aug. 24, 2022

Thrive Outside Organized Religion Featuring Karl and Laura Forehand

Thrive Outside Organized Religion Featuring Karl and Laura Forehand

If you too are on the deconstruction or deconversion journey, tune in for a deeply held conversation about walking this road and the incredible discovery that the point is not to become something else, but to become who you are. I’m joined by Karl and Laura Forehand, authors of the new book, Out Into The Desert all about thriving outside organized religion.

Deconstruction is a personal journey.

It's a personal journey of reconciliation, sorting truth, from manmade BS. Your deconstruction process might result in deconversion. Or it might not. It might result in choosing a new religion or no religion at all. It might result in atheism, agnosticism, or or spirituality that does not require a manmade structure. It's only scary because you've been conditioned to doubt your choice making. But I'm here to tell you, it's empowering AF.

You know why?

Because you know what's best for you. Inside, you've always known and you get to examine the components of your life and sort what belongs to you, and what does not, you get to become who you really are. 

Last season former pastor Karl Forehand joined me for a conversation about his deconstruction journey. We got real about religious trauma, spiritual bypassing, and re-learning how to trust yourself. If you haven't caught that episode yet - be sure to circle back: https://www.grittymystic.com/ep25/

Karl and his wife Laura just released a new book, Out Into The Desert: Thriving Outside Organized Religion, offering personal stories of processing and healing on the way to finding wholeness after leaving the ministry. And in this episode, they both join me for a candid conversation about how leaving the church has impacted them, their relationship, and their work now.

It is heartfelt. It's authentic. And wonderfully hopeful.

In this conversation we touch on

  • what factored into the decision to leave the church
  • how did they each navigate deconstruction in their own way
  • the unique loneliness of pastors' wives 
  • the role of shadow work in the deconstruction process
  • an honest look at organized religion in the 21st century
  • how deconstruction work impacts intimate relationships
  • finding community outside organized religion

Oh yea, we cover some ground in this conversation!

You can also catch Karl and Laura on their podcast The Desert Sanctuary. And recordings of the Leaning Forward Conference (including mine!) are available on YouTube for more great insights.

Let us know what you found insightful - and what questions you'd like to address next.


Karl J Forehand (he/him)Profile Photo

Karl J Forehand (he/him)


Karl Forehand is a former pastor, author, speaker, and podcaster. He and his wife, Laura, founded The Desert Sanctuary, a resting place for spiritual nomads, and the Being Journey, which serves as a companion to this book. His books include: Out Into The Desert, Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father's Heart and The Tea Shop.

Laura Forehand (she/her)Profile Photo

Laura Forehand (she/her)

Wife, Mom, Educator

Laura Forehand is a woman of continual mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. In her ever evolving world, she is a proud wife to Karl Forehand and together they have 3 adult children and 3 amazing grandchildren. Her greatest priviledge is to continually learn to love deeper through her children and grandchildren. She prides herself as an elementary teacher who utilizes the Whole Brain Teaching style of teaching and has achieved the position of Executive Board Member of Whole Brain Teachers of America. In addition to her utilization of brain research in her classroom, she continues to educate herself in the area of trauma informed education. In her spare time, Laura is a podcaster on both The Desert Sanctuary Podcast with her husband Karl, and with Whole Brain Teaching the Podcast which is a podcast based on the Whole Brain Teaching strategy.