I was raised half and half growing up. I spent my younger years living with my mom and step-dad in an unreligious home. We didn’t pray, we didn’t go to church, we really didn’t talk about religion at all. Then, when I was almost 13, I moved to live with my dad and step-mom and things changed drastically. We prayed before every meal, went to church every Saturday (Seventh-Day Adventists), and I even went to a Seventh-Day Adventist school. I ended up spending my Junior and Senior years of high school at a Seventh-Day Adventist boarding school in Washington. It was a lot to take in though. I instantly felt like there was a mold that I had to fit into (and let’s be honest, most teenagers feel that way) but I wasn’t doing a very good job.
I went to school and studied in Bible class. I went to church and sung the hymns. I went to Youth Group and tried to say all the right things. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that were said and taught that made sense and I still believe in. But, I had issues with a lot of it. I tried. I tried so stinking hard to be a “good Christian girl” (though others may disagree with that statement). I prayed, I read my Bible, excelled in Bible class, and asked God to take over in my life. I asked over and over and over and over and over again. I never felt any different, I never felt a “change” in my heart, or anything even remotely close. I didn’t have a peace wash over me or a stillness surround me. Nothing. Nada. Zip. So I got angry. I became very angry. I felt like I was being forced to do something and be someone I obviously wasn’t. And
as time went on, I saw things I didn’t like in sermons, in class, and around the fellow Christians around me.
Let’s start with school. I went to a VERY small academy for my 8th, 9th, and 10th grade years. Let me tell you, some of the meanest people I’ve met went to that school. I was best friends with one girl for a year or so, then all of a sudden, I was hated. Her mom hated me, she hated me, and I never figured out why. To this day I have no idea what I did to make them so mean towards me. There was another girl who I swear thought that because she was raised in the church, she was better than me. At least that’s how she acted. She thought that because she went to church every Saturday, played varsity basketball, and her
father was a teacher at the school, she was something pretty special. I can tell you right now, she did NOT have God in her life, and if she did, that’s definitely not something I want to be a part of. EVER.
Boarding school brought new life to me. I was living away from home, had a new set of friends that didn’t talk behind my back or make me feel inadequate. I fit in. Kinda. I was the only girl in my group of friends that wore pink (they all wore black for the most part), but they didn’t hold that against me. They got to know me first. These were some of the first people I remember meeting and thinking, ”Whether they believe in God or not, they are more Christian than most Christians I know.” I’m still friends with some of them to this day.
I also met one of the best teachers in the entire world. He was a Pastor, but you would never know it. He was the Senior Bible teacher at the boarding school, and he understood that everyone was going to have varying opinions about everything. And I mean everything. And he respected it. He valued it. He loved
it. He didn’t take things at face value. He would dig deeper. I always looked forward to his class. Then he had to go get sick, though, appendicitis is a pretty good reason to be sick. We had a sub for a few weeks, right smack dab of the marriage portion of our school year. Things went downhill, and once again I was reminded how many Christians are so close-minded, un-sensitive, and just plain mean. This sub, had the entire class start chanting, quite loudly I may add, that, “Divorce is not an option!” Uh, I come from a divorced family, and while I didn’t understand it at first, I realized as I got older that divorce needed to be an option. And it was a damn good one at that. I walked out of the class.
Church. Oh my goodness. You’ve got to be joking. Church is not for me. I’m sorry. No thank you. I’ve heard some of the most sadistic, twisted, judgmental, and obnoxious things in church, whether it be during the sermon, during youth group, or just over hearing conversations in the lobby. Church is not somewhere I want to be. I’ve heard Pastors preach about how if you don’t get baptized, you don’t go to heaven. I’ve heard people gossip more in the church lobby than in a high school girls bathroom. I’ve heard youth group leaders tell me that because I held hands with my boyfriend, I was living in sin, or at least, more than usual. I’ve heard people talk about people they know coming out as gay like they died. Seriously? You have no idea if I’ll go to heaven or not. You have no right to be talking behind someone’s back. I’m not “extra” sinful because I touched a boy. You have no right to judge someone by their sexual orientation, or at all for that matter. You shush your mouth!
it I will. Until then, you have your own relationship to worry about.
I also believe that modern day Christians are in desperate need of help. I believe that they have twisted things to fit there own narrow way of thinking, and so conveniently have some Bible verses ready to try and back that up by using them out of context. I believe that God is the ONLY one who can judge any of us. God is about freedom of choice, right? He’s about loving each other right? Then why are so many Christians blocking abortion, same sex-marriages, and pork? God gave you the freedom to choose Him, so you, as a puny human, need to let other people choose for themselves. If that means they want to abort a baby, alright. If that means they want to eat bacon all day, every day, cool. If a man wants to marry another man because they fell in LOVE, awesome sauce. Seriously though. God is a God of love. You find love in this crazy, messed up, twisted world, more power to you. You are a lucky one. I’m not
going to stand in their way, though, because God didn’t stand in mine. God let me choose to be a wild and crazy teenager. He let me have sex when I was 16. He let me explore my own sexuality and wherever that led (and if you’re wondering, yes. I have kissed girls before and for awhile considered myself bi-sexual). He let me choose whether or not I smoke, drank, and cussed (which I still do). He let me try and commit suicide. He let me move out of my mom’s house after dropping out of college, twice. He let me do all of these things that some think are horrible, sinful, and worthy of a one-way ticket to hell.
But here’s the crazy thing. He let me have my own way of thinking. He let me come to my own conclusions. He let me have two beautiful children who I love. He let me marry a wonderful man. He let me be me, which is more than I can say for a lot of people I’ve interacted with over the years. He’s the one person, thing, entity, whatever, to not judge me. He doesn’t care what I’ve done, what I’m doing, or what I will do. He loves me no matter what. He loves my family no matter what. He loves my straight AND gay friends who are married (because let’s face it. True love is hard to come by). He loves those that have abortions. Some of you may think to yourself, “But to choose to live in sin isn’t following God. That’s not living a life honoring God.” And here’s my response…
No matter how hard we try to live a life honoring God, you’ll never get there. EVER. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, you are an awful living thing no matter what. If you believe in the Bible and in sin, you’re screwed anyway. I’m also not going to try and put God into that tiny little bottle. I’m not going to decide for Him what he thinks is a “good life” or “bad life.”
“But the Bible clearly tells us what’s right and what’s wrong.” Then pick up a stone and throw it at me people. Bring it on. Cause I can throw them right back. But do you really think that’s what God wants? I don’t. I think he wants us to get along. He wants us to stop fighting, stop judging, stop saying what He
thinks is right and wrong (Bible or not, I don’t care), and just love. That’s it. Love. I’m not going to tell anyone they are living in sin, that if they prayed things would get better (cause sometimes they don’t), that if they would just trust God, their lives would just be better, clearer, more fulfilled, whatever. I’m going to stick to my relationship, you stick to yours. But like I said, if you’re still wanting to throw that first stone, cool. But I’d check to see if your hands are dirty first, cause I can promise you they are.
Whew! Wow. Who’s still with me? Anyone? I’m sorry I ranted and raved. But this is something I feel strongly about, though I try really hard not to throw it in people’s faces. I hope everyone understands that this is just how I feel. It’s in no way an attack, a mass blaming on someone, or anything like that. I
just had to get that out in the world. Do what you want with it. But remember one thing for me, pretty please with a cherry on top? Just Love…