“Continue to share your heart with people even if it’s been broken.” – Amy Poehler
I have to be honest, apologetic even. I often forget who clicks on my facebook, checks my twitter, or watches my life on social media. I’m aware of who I interact with but I don’t always realize what everyone else sees.
Regardless of what is shown to us on social media – we only get a part of the story. And the part we get is often a dressed up, much prettier version of the actual story. So we’re never getting any real truth.
That’s why I don’t take social media so seriously. I use it as outlet for art sometimes, humor other times, and sometimes to stalk my favorite celebrities (you know you do it too). I very rarely take what other people post seriously because social media is easy. It’s easy to post a tweet in anger, a picture in distress, or a face book rant. Social media is quick, not always thought out, and very accessible.
This means that not everyone is ignorant or maybe intelligent (lol) as they seem on facebook, as happy as they as seem on instagram, or as depressed as they might be on twitter.
I’m saying all this because more people than I would like seem to care what’s going on in my life. And while I am honored to have your thoughts, very often it feels much more like gossip and much less like empathy. If you are the latter, forgive me. I’m posting this blog to be honest with the world today. As honest as I can be. Words are my thing. I’m a processor. It’s taken me months to realize that I needed to write this. So…bear with me.
First of all – these past 6 months have been an insane journey for me. In the most beautiful & heartbreaking way. I’ve been a Christian my entire life. I’ve gone up and down in what I believed and theology and I’ve questioned. But in October, I really started to question. I never questioned Jesus because for me, I trusted that part of Christianity. I knew Christ was real and I felt His compelling love in every moment of my life. But I began to struggle with the way that the church treats so many people. The marginalized have always been near and dear to me. People who are forgotten – orphans, widows, people in poverty – those people are MY people. I love them. But then it went even further. The more the marginalized, the more my heart beat for them. In america this looks like women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. I wanted to scoop every single person up and hug them like they’ve never been hugged before. I saw so many “Christians” treating these people with cruelty and I truly didn’t understand how people could love God but hate His creations?
It was a tough road…that lead to me questioning almost everything. It was foggy. It was confusing. And it was just..sad. Everything that I had always loved, trusted, and put my hope in…was really starting to feel like a ghost. Songs lost their meaning and I started to drift off during sermons. I wasn’t trying to find an excuse to walk away from Christianity, I wasn’t trying to find an excuse to “sin”, and I sure as heck wasn’t trying to find a “feel good faith.”
I was just trying to understand how loving people could be the cause of so much destruction. It was incredibly painful. I didn’t know what to do.
And in my questioning came other Christians. Some of them, my best friends – were truly the most loving & caring & supporting people I have ever known. My sister, Genna, Nicole, Morgan, & Heather – you guys deserve actual medals for the way that you loved me. I’m sure I was annoying but I have never felt so much grace, patience, and love, than I did through that time.
But then there was the gossip & assumptions. Man that sucked. There is truly no other word. I wasn’t trying to walk away from Jesus EVER – I was trying to find Him. In every moment of that faith shift, I was just asking questions. But I was treated much worse.
Lately there’s been an article circulating about why “progressive/liberal Christianity” is twisting the gospel.
The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. That Christ himself came and died on the cross so that we might have ever lasting life. The gospel is the news of CHRIST’S LOVE for us.
If that’s true, then the liberals must be saying something different.
But THEY’RE NOT. Every “liberal” or progressive Christian I know would never doubt Christ’s love. They love Him & worship Him & they are trying to honor him like everyone else. They are not trying to give people a “feel good” Christianity. Most liberals I know are actually much more conservative than me, like WAYYYYYYY more traditional than I am. But they push for gender equality & gay people so they must be going straight to hell.
Do we understand the narrative that we’re telling here, Christians?
We are telling people that if they think differently than we do, that if they interpret parts of Scripture differently – that they are not worthy of respect, love, or grace.
Why would anyone who doesn’t believe in God…trust us? LOOK HOW WE TREAT OUR OWN PEOPLE.
I included this part because I think people are doubting who I am because I started to research my faith and what I believed. I think people don’t think I’m worthy anymore. I think people don’t think I love Jesus anymore.
Quite the opposite actually. I worship my Savior more than before now. Yes, church is still scary and stressful for me but I’m working my way through those waters. I’m finding a safe place, a place that welcomes questions with grace and love.
Yes, I questioned the God of the universe. I think God has questions under control. I researched, I read books, blogs, etc. I listened to sermons, podcasts, TEDtalks, everything. I talked to people on both sides of every argument. I soaked up everything I could to calm my fears. But you want to know what calmed my heart the most?
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Sometimes you just need to take it old school. I still have questions and I might have those forever. That’s okay. Grace will lead me home.
I want you to know that I love Jesus. But I also understand that if you’re going through a faith shift or questioning, it’s okay if you don’t. It’s okay if you think this whole blog is stupid and that faith is stupid and why would anyone go to church.
I want you to know that I love Jesus. But I also understand if you don’t agree with me. If you are very conservative and you don’t think that my opinions matter. That’s okay too.
You know why? Because if I want people to have grace for me, I must have grace for them.
The past 6 months were so scary for me. I was worried a lot. But I found myself in them too. I found my purpose, my truth, and my hope in those months. My story was written in those few months.
I have so many friends from so many different walks of life now. Thanks to social media (vine shoutout), I have Jewish friends, athiest friends, Muslim friends, agnostic friends, conservative friends, liberal friends, LGBTQ friends, friends from literally all walks of life. And they all have beautiful stories to tell. I hope I never let what I believe get in the way of loving people different from me and I hope that you won’t either.
This is the longest blog I’ve ever posted. If you made it this far, good job. Haha. If you have any questions about me or my life, I’m a very open book – feel free to message me or meet me for coffee. Trust me when I say, that’s much better than assuming something on the internet.
Stalking is creepy & weird – let’s not do that anymore.
Loving is hard & beautiful – let’s do that a lot more.
This period taught me to love more fiercely than I ever have before. Regardless if you agree with me or not, I don’t care who you are…I love you and I’m going to keep telling you that until you believe it.
Thanks for reading,