Wayward: The Introduction
I have to be honest. I don’t want to write about my life. I actually have been encouraged to write my personal story before and I really couldn’t understand why. When I was in graduate school one of my professors encouraged me to write it because he thought it could help others. I can hardly imagine how my life could possibly help anyone. I’ve struggled with that encouragement for years. I’ve even tried to start only to stop lost as to what would even be relevant and non-cynical sounding.
I don’t want to write about my life, my Jesus journey, or really anything at all related to Christianity which is a part of my story. In fact, it’s a rather large part of my story. It’s not that I’m ashamed of Jesus. It’s just that I have to admit to some real long term struggles with Christianity that I haven’t exactly shared with a ton of people. I certainly haven’t shared how far it goes back and why. It’s not that I don’t spend countless hours and days discussing Jesus, seeking out Jesus, or praying, worshipping, or living what probably most Christians would call a normal Christian life [honestly - whatever that is], it is that I don’t want to really discuss my long standing disillusionment with Christianity as a general people movement. When I refer to Christianity, I’m talking about American Christianity specifically, hitherto referred to by the abbreviation AC. I’m going to use another abbreviation - IC. IC stands for the institutionalized church which is basically what comprises American Christianity. I do know there is a home church aspect of Christianity and for the most part, that abbreviation is HM.
It begs the question. If I don’t want to write it, why on earth am I doing it? Well…have you ever felt so compelled to do something that it just burns in your chest or in your bones until you do it? You probably have in some sense either in a good way or a bad way. I largely feel compelled and I largely believe it is the Lord asking it of me. To be abrupt, I don’t care what anyone thinks about that being even being remotely possible. I’m one of the many who is quite weary of small God or “God in a box belief.” I want to let Him out so I am.
Why would it be a big deal to write about my disillusionment? Well, I don’t want to be hurtful, overly critical, and I don’t especially want to stare at other people’s navels. I don’t want to share my own life because I’m exceptionally exhausted and weary from watching other Christians making it their sole lifetime mission to tear down other Christians over particular or peculiar variances in theology, usually non-pivotal stuff. Still, it gets old seeing it in general. I know Christianity as a highly critical force in society. I can’t say I have often been blessed by Christianity as that critical force even as a Christian. I find this thing called “Christianity” bludgeons people inside as often as it does so outside its walls. It isn’t my general tendency to be super critical but I’ve become cynical over the years of watching and experiencing Christianity. The more I dig into theology, the more disillusioned and cynical I have become. In my normal state of life I’m an encourager and someone who chooses to spend her time finding creative ways of empowering other people to soar on the wing’s of eagles. I actually, deep down, very deep down, to my core, believe in humanity and our propensity [with the Holy Spirit] to do the right thing. But this writing isn’t about that belief per se. It is about admitting that I’ve long, since before the beginning of my “official” conversion, been disillusioned and not much has changed that notion. I write to receive redemption and restoration of the true gospel. That is actually the point of why I write - redemption and restoration.
If you would like to read more, check out the Introduction to Wayward here. In the meantime, I pray that as I write my story, it turns out to be the blessing I think the Lord intends it to be.