In all of the years I’ve been blogging and using social media, I haven’t made it a practice to share intimate stories.
I do share personally but I don’t share everything, and there are boundaries I don’t cross. Personal things about my kids and my marriage are off limits. I do share my own personal experiences about my life journey, faith, and observations. Lately, I’ve been shaking up the acquaintance trees pretty good with my posts. I’m not sure why some people feel that they have input and that they MUST tell me how they feel I’m wrong, but they have come out of the woodwork recently, since I started sharing about my deconstruction and deconversion.
In the past couple of months I’ve heard from four Christian homeschool blogger friends, one old friend from church who moved away and I haven’t heard from in 7 years, and a family member, all of whom are coming at me with “concerned” questions, indignant attitudes, and plenty of Christian platitudes. I already talked about a reader from my homeschool blog who felt she needed to correct me via Facebook message. Since then, I’ve had comment discussion on IG and FB with these others whom I haven’t talked with in YEARS who are suddenly wanting to give input to my life.
Where were they when we left church in the first place?
Where were they when, after losing that community, we were feeling uprooted and unstable?
And why now should I be obligated to give explanations for the way I feel, my process of deconversion, to people who have not felt the need to stay in my life? Communication goes both ways on the internet, too. But so do boundaries.
I’ve also had some wonderful, supportive messages from other blogger friends and even strangers who said, “Hey, me too. I’m going through this same process right now!” Thank you. I know that YOU KNOW how important it is for me to know you’re there, that you’re doing the work, too. Because this is WORK. Questioning everything we’ve been taught, recognizing unhealthy attitudes and patterns, and drawing our own conclusions, when we’ve been taught not to question anything, is work! And it’s how we start to become whole, healthy human beings.
In the past 7 years, my life has changed drastically.
I was a dedicated Christ-follower who studied the Bible daily and deeply, with a community of like-minded believers around me all the time. We had friends, activities for the family and us as a couple, and a concrete (so we thought) set of beliefs that we lived by. When we left, we lost that community, the friends, the availability of activities for ourselves and our kids. We have had to find new friends.
I haven’t read the Bible in 4 years. I no longer pray to God, but I am learning mindful meditation and find it calming and centering. It makes more sense to me than praying to an entity who has no actual intervention in my life. Under the influence of evangelical Christianity, I behaved terribly towards LGBTQ people, even those whom I loved. Now, I welcome friends from all backgrounds and orientations BECAUSE THEY ARE PEOPLE and I love people.
“Logic can be happily tossed out the window.”
Faith and Logic are not compatible. When I write about my journey of deconstructing faith and my relationship to it, I’m expressing my own thoughts and feelings. They aren’t up for debate. I don’t owe you an explanation and I’m not looking for you to try to change my mind. Logic and kindess are the only languages I will abide.
How about this: Own your own crap. Don’t blame anything on holy or unholy entities. Be kind. Take care of your responsibilities, love the ones around you, apologize and make amends, and make choices based on reason. Don’t try to reconvert a deconvert. If you consider that person a friend, then alienating them is probably not something you want to do. Unless you do.
But then, on my social media and on my blog, it IS all about me. Is that selfish? Maybe. But after 20 years in evangelical Christianity, I think I need to be a little bit selfish. We all do.