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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Sep 27, 2023

Today we’re celebrating seven – yes seven! – years of producing this podcast and want to take a quick second to thank YOU for being a part of the show, reaching out, listening, and giving us the motivation to keep producing new shows.

We are excited to welcome on Ike Miller, a pastor who helped start Bright City Church along with his wife, Sharon, back in 2018. Ike has written about the intersection of theology, mental health, and family of origin issues. He’s developed a passion for helping others who grew up in difficult circumstances after confronting his own family history of substance abuse disorders.

He’s a great friend to our family and we wanted to bring him on to share this message about understanding how difficult childhoods prepare us for healthy relationships, which he writes about in his new book Good Baggage. We don’t hold back when it comes to childhood trauma, how we can move forward, and why everything doesn’t necessarily happen for a reason.

6:29 – Ike 101

  • Celebrating five years at the church on Sept 30
  • What fueled the book
  • How the pandemic brought a lot to the surface

15:31 –  Defining Co-Dependency

  • Differentiating the definition from symptoms
  • Trauma related loss of self
  • Plays out in different types of situations

17:55 –  Sorting through your baggage

  • Learning to identify and disarm our baggage
  • Ability to read emotions
  • Figuring out what context to use that

25:45 – Improving theology to provide support

  • Creating space in our theology for the impact of trauma
  • Building a theology around redemption
  • Being okay with people angry at God

38:17 – Parenting

  • Recognizing when you’re screwing up
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Realizing our parents are people with lives of their own

58:48 – Good Baggage

  • Reflect on your pain points
  • Dig up that pain an deal with it
  • Connecting with Ike


“We typically think of codependency as people pleasing, but really, it's fundamentally about a loss of self. That, in that context, whatever we went through, in some trauma, it forced us to be someone other than ourselves in order to survive, in order to appease someone else to protect ourselves mentally, emotionally, or physically. And so you just kind of become whoever you think others need you to be because you've lost your sense of self of who you are.”

“We need to create more space in the church just for being able to say that not all sin is just strictly about my sheer disobedience to God, but that as a broken human being, I'm acting out of that because of brokenness that was done to me.”

“I think that's kind of a bit of it for me is that ability to say, I don't know that I can explain all of why it happened, but where do I want to go from here? What kind of life do I want from here?”

Learn more about Bright City Church:

Get Ike’s Book Good Baggage: