Friday, December 14, 2012

The Moment I Knew This Was Toxic

When you choose to part ways with American Evangelical Culture, those that remain in it often speculate what is going on with you. Usually it is assumed that you are backsliding away from your faith or that you are simply bitter about some personal hurt imposed upon you by the church. I know that people have often assumed the latter about me. And while I won't deny that I have indeed been hurt by the actions of people within the church, it was something else that was a large part of my realization of just how toxic that culture had become for me...

I can clearly remember hearing the breaking news alert sound coming from the TV. I looked up to see what was so important to break into the 6pm newscast and disrupt their other stories. What I saw left me wondering if I was dreaming. It was August 1, 2007 and the I-35W bridge leading into downtown Minneapolis had just collapsed and fallen into the Mississippi River during rush hour. It was one of the most surreal scenes that was playing out in front of me. "What in the world? How does a major freeway bridge just collapse?" I thought to myself. I heard the helicopters overhead, rushing to the scene and wondered how many victims their were.

In the days to come, the scene continued to unfold. Questions would be raised about inspections, numbers of those still missing would be reported, and divers were shown searching the murky river waters to recover victims. Eventually, they came to the conclusion that thirteen people had been killed in this tragedy. Their pictures and stories greeted me from every newscast, but one stood out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Been Awhile...

So I haven't posted anything in quite awhile. I didn't realize anyone had noticed until the emails started arriving. :) I'm glad that what I write resonates with some of you and that you have found value in it. I think that this virtual sounding board is valuable for my own personal, emotional, and spiritual growth, so I plan to continue it. Yet I wrestle, knowing that what I write has an audience, with ensuring that it is worthy of posting. That is one reason why I've never committed myself to daily posting. I'm an extremely contemplative person and I only want to share what I believe is beneficial and worth sharing. I'm also a rather guarded person, so at times the idea of bearing my deepest thoughts, pain, struggles, and beliefs is daunting, particularly knowing how harshly those have been judged in some of my previous religious circles. But, as with many others who've left spiritually abusive situations/communities, I understand that these thoughts and beliefs cannot remain within me for fear that they will overwhelm me. I also know that people in these situations are often led to believe that they are alone in their doubts and struggles with those faith communities. When people take the time to write to me and tell me that they are relieved to finally find someone expressing what seem to be their own thoughts, I know that I need to continue. So I will. I'll try to post more regularly in spite of my busy schedule. My hope is that you find the same strength and healing in reading this, as I have been finding through writing it.