sorry… I am NOT sorry.

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You may have liked me better before, but what you didn’t know is that was when I was the most dishonest I have been in my entire life.

You may have thought I was the perfect Christian from the perfect family in the perfect pew, but I wasn’t caring one bit about the perfection I was and only cared about the perfection you thought you saw.

You may have sat there and admired my lack of profanity, my sincerity as I raised my hands during praise and worship, my lack of public display of affection with the perfectly Christian boyfriend I had.

You had no idea.

I was a liar. I loved the attention and I wasn’t going to stop. I loved hearing praises from you and others about how much of a good example I was to the youth. I was hungover nearly every single Sunday morning. You were oblivious. I was sleeping with my boyfriend and you thought my purity ring meant something. My boyfriend would drink and party with me and later rape me… but now he sings on your stage and denies everything. You wanted me to lead others by example… but you never took two seconds to find out if I was dying on the inside. You only cared that I was perfect on the outside. You only cared that the children who wanted to grow up to be like me someday never found out the real truth. You didn’t care about my heart. You never asked, because you were afraid of the answer.

I got caught and apologized, I said everything you all wanted to hear

I will never do it again

I learned so much from my mistakes

We broke up

I’m done drinking

God replaced that in my life

…only to never change and continue whatever it was I was doing and not feeling any remorse for that.

So here I am now. An adult. A wife. A mother.

I use profanity.

I drink.

I am not perfect.

But you know what… I’m not a liar. I never pretend to be the person I am the furthest from. I don’t look you in the eye and tell you I believe one thing when in my mind I know it is laughable.

I love people, yes – even you dear church. I am in love with humans. All the humans. More than you know. My heart aches for the innocent and the guilty. I don’t care about their past, their “criminal record”, their shortcomings… I don’t even care that you hurt so many people so that you can feel more righteous. I care that you are a breathing human being with a beating heart and I care that you, just like me, have power. Power to heal or power to steal.

You don’t call me now that I don’t attend. You unfollow me on Facebook because the word “shit” appeared one too many times. You blocked me because I shared my opinion on bullies in the White House. You even go so far as to call my Christian parents to tell them how disappointed you are in who I have turned out to be.

But here is the ironic part. You loved me so much when I was a liar. You bragged about me when I was a thief. You showed me off on a stage when I was abusing your trust. Now that I am nothing but honest and loving to myself and others, it’s too much for you. You hate me. You cast me down into the pit. You call me names and tell me where my spirit will go when life here on this earth is done. Am I hurt? A little… it stings. Some of you, I thought, were good friends. It turns out you are just as much of a liar as I used to be, if not more. Am I sorry? Hell no. I am not sorry that for the first time in my life I have gotten rid of the poison that is hypocrisy. I am not sorry that I am more confident in who I am as a human than who I was as a “believer”. I am not sorry that I will do nothing but tell you the truth. Not sorry.

Church, you hurt me. You hurt me by only loving me when I was a liar. You hurt me for hating me when I became my truest self. You hurt me for telling me you love me only to stab me in the back when I turned the other way. You hurt me when you talked about me as soon as I left. You didn’t call to seek truth for yourself. You just unfriended me. On social media and in life.

Christ didn’t do that. Christ still loves me and now more than ever I am receiving of that love because I know that he knows my true self. I’m not hiding from him anymore. Or you.

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why I no longer am a part of the Christian church

 

My family and I joined the church when I was 9 years old after a divorce between my parents. My dad needed more Jesus so off to Grammy’s church we went. I started in children’s church and was an avid attendee throughout college.

When I got married, things started to look real. No more rose colored youth retreats where God is always ever present and answering every prayer. Things were harder than I ever thought they would be.

My husband suffers from depression. Most people do not know this and it’s not something I tell freely, however I feel it is necessary to be real with you for a minute.

He is now taking antidepressants which has changed our marriage incredibly. The decision to finally take them is another post entirely. We were exhausting ourselves trying to find an all natural alternative and also felt as though agreeing to take a man-made pill would somehow take us further away from God. -this is a lie.

But when we were in our first year of marriage, my husband was incredibly depressed and we didn’t realize that it was an actual chemical imbalance in his brain that caused the depression, we just thought he needed a better outlook on life. -this is a lie. It caused endless fights, sleepless nights, and our faith in God began to dwindle. Suddenly God was nowhere to be found. Clint was selling insurance during our first year of marriage and was still taking seminary classes online . This was exhausting, y’all. Insurance sales meant that if you didn’t sell anything that month, bills weren’t getting paid. I was a waitress and I ended up making more money on the rough months. We would have negative $3.00 in our bank account and rent would be due in the morning. We had no idea what we were going to do. Our birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – were all spent either working or just trying to have enough money to cook a meal for dinner. It was a rough time. We were constantly told to rely on God and to never stop giving our tithes and offering. We were told that you cannot out-give God – according to this, the more money we give to our offering and tithe, the more we would get back in return. But at the end of the day, our accounts were still negative and we completely regret putting that last $20 bill in the silver bucket. We weren’t being provided for, we weren’t happy, and we weren’t thriving at all.

This all would have been worth it had God done “what He always does” and provided for us or came in at the last minute, or always made sure that our lights were never shut off… but none of those things happened. Yes, I can sit here and tell you that we did not starve to death and although we had to spend months at both of our parents’ homes, we were never truly homeless. But why would I sit here and prove to you that we were “provided for” when that’s a completely different definition to everyone?

I still sat there with my eyes shut tight and my fists clenched forcing myself to have faith. Faith that was shoved into my soul since I was nine years old. Faith that is supposed to define me as a person. Faith that is supposed to move mountains but somehow wasn’t making my husband have a good day.

All through that to get fired from two different churches and find ourselves right where we were in our first year over and over again. We thought we were doing something wrong. Like God was our genie and we weren’t using our wishes wisely. So many people instilled in both of us that the reason things weren’t going our way was because we didn’t have enough faith. It was a vicious cycle that only ever exhausted us.

I say all this to show you the anger I have towards the lies that the Christian culture is constantly shoving down my throat.

Be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.

Don’t get drunk.

Don’t watch that.

Pay tithe.

Vote Republican.

Watch those god forsaken horribly produced Christian movies to show support.

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray.

I’m exhausted. I’m tired of living a forced lie. This isn’t God. Not a loving God. These are rules… that the church extracted from an ancient book. Yes… the Bible is legitimate. I’m not going to say that I don’t believe the Bible to be true…. what I am saying is that too many people are constantly showing these scriptures on memes, facebook statuses, or the holier than thou instagram screenshots of your damn Bible app and they’re not showing the context. The Bible is being abused at every corner.

I am no Bible enthusiast, I can’t “decode” most of it. You will win an argument against me in the authenticity of scriptures. I will never claim to be SO RIGHT. All I’m trying to do is live out God’s love.

Above all else, the only thing I am clinging to is God’s love. He loves us. All day, everyday…. all of us. gay, black, white, democrat, liberal, murderer….. the only thing I know to be clear as day in the Bible is that He has unconditional and unfailing love for every single human and creature. That’s it. Why aren’t the Christians in these churches loving people like this?? You can tell me all day that you’re Christian but you don’t love me. You don’t check up on me and take me out to coffee, you bail when I ask for help, you blast me on facebook when I have an opposing view, you remove me from facebook because I put a damn rainbow on my profile picture. JESUS DID NONE OF THESE THINGS. You know what Jesus did? He broke bread and shared wine with people he loved, people he knew were about to betray him… people who were undeserving. He still treasured them enough to have a meal and communion with them. That’s amazing.

So what is my “religion”?

I love people.

I help people.

I will sooner give a homeless man $100 than go into a mega church and give them my 10%.

I will help my friend by watching her kids as she goes through as terrible divorce and even do her laundry while I’m at it.

I will stay up late talking to my friend who is depressed and just needed to cry.

I will send a card to my friend who just went through a miscarriage. (the card does not say that I am praying for her… just that I love her and she’s not alone)

I will love my husband unconditionally and do everything in my abilities to be his teammate and cheerleader.

I will be honest with my children and never withhold the truth from them when they have questions.

I will open my messy home to a couple of new friends on a holiday just because they don’t have any plans and we want to get to know them.

I will meditate and find peace in the quiet moments.

Maybe someday I will pray again. Maybe I’ll be one of those people with an amazing “I am Second” video…. who knows. I’m open to it. But as for right now, I am no Christian. I am a lover of Christ and all of His people. That’s it.

Judge away oh holy Christians. Judge away.

 

 

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no one wants to talk about sex.

All I’m sayin is… most of this world has such a warped and terrible view of sex.

Growing up in a Christian culture the later part of my adolescence has pretty much screwed up my view of sex.

If you were in a youth group in the early 2000’s, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

They made it sound like sex was going to KILL us.

If you have sex. you will get pregnant. and die. Right?

The sex speaker came into my youth group with a wrapped Christmas gift. He explained that our sex lives were like this Christmas gift. We DO NOT want to open it before Christmas morning. We might get tempted and peak…. or maybe even tare some of the paper off and ruin the wrapping. But full blown opening the present before it was meant to be opened is just plain detrimental to our Christmas morning. And we may or may not go to hell for that.

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At the time I was listening to this message, I was sitting next to my boyfriend, to whom I had lost my virginity to only a few months prior. He felt the conviction and felt awful about what we had done. We RUINED Christmas, y’all.

At the end of the guilt trip, the speaker then passed out little pieces of paper with a few survey questions.

Have you decided to stay pure until marriage because of this message?

Do you already have an active sex life?

If so, do you plan to continue this lifestyle after hearing this message?

I answered these questions bluntly and honestly. It was anonymous, otherwise I would have lied. My boyfriend completely lied and said that he wasn’t active, nor was he ever ever ever planning on it until he was married. I said straight up, I was active, and this message didn’t change it for me. I did feel convicted a little…. I mean I love Christmas presents and the guy had a good point. But I wasn’t going to flat out lie about it. I knew that we would be tempted and I would soon forget the illustration in the moment and it would be done. I might feel guilt but I was so far into my ridiculously rebellious teen years, I didn’t let it phase me for long.

You know what would have been effective? If someone was real and honest with me. I needed someone not much older than myself to look me in the eye and tell me why having sex or not having sex has effected her life.

Despite the recent allegations against Mark Driscoll, I still fully believe that his sermon series on marriage is by far the best. He and his wife get so real and talk bluntly about their struggles. I have always identified best with pastors who pull from their own struggles. I’m sure this is the case for most church-goers.

Mark explains in his sermon on sex in marriage that there are three different ways that people view sex.

  1. sex is god
  2. sex is gross
  3. sex is a gift

 

Without all the descriptions and without preaching at you, simply put:

You are either obsessed with sex and crave it constantly, putting your unhealthy lustful desire above the feelings of other people involved; think that s-e-x should NEVER be talked about, NEVER be mentioned in public, and DO NOT look at the girl’s deep v-neck sweater for she is SINNING; or that sex was simply made for the purpose of wonderful awesomeness between two people madly in love.

Obviously I was stuck between the hard awful thinking that sex was gross and a god. I knew it was terrible and yucky, but I felt like it was the only thing I could do to make me feel like an “adult” with “adult feelings”….. eh.

If I were to look at the girl sitting in that youth group, I would first of all – grab that stupid Christmas present analogy and throw it out the window…. everyone wants to open their presents before Christmas. A present now is ALWAYS better than a present later…. and then I would look at the girl sitting next to her perv boyfriend and tell her THE TRUTH.

Someday, you’re going to have to explain to the love of your life who and what… and that conversation is going to suck. I don’t care who you are – this is FACT. I’ve heard the argument, “well if that person loves me then he/she shouldn’t care about my sexual past….” WRONG. If that person loves you…. they should value your body as a treasure… a gift. Maybe jealousy is a little bit of a strong word to use here but I would be disappointed if my husband didn’t care about my sexual past… like it’s just not a big deal. Sex is a big deal. It is always a big deal. I don’t care who you are.

My husband waited for me and I did not wait for him. I regret that so much! I do have a loving, forgiving husband who was able to completely accept the fact that he would be giving me his virginity and I would not be giving him mine. But it was still a tough pill to swallow. I had to show to him that he was different from my previous boyfriends. I honored his wish to wait until marriage and on our wedding night, it was the first time we had sex. It was amazing and romantic and wonderful… not nearly as awkward as everyone told me it would be. I am so proud of us for waiting and I wouldn’t have changed that for anything.

Bottom line is, figure out how you’re viewing sex. Stop lying to yourself about how casual it is… you know the truth. Sex is never casual or pointless. There is something about being that intimate with someone that will put a lasting imprint on your life even if you have put it so far back in your mind that you have forced yourself to forget it ever happened.

You know the people who keep talking about? The magazines, the billboards, porn…. all the wrong people!

We need to be more vocal about sex! We’re married…. guess what…. WE HAVE SEX. And it’s way more freeing and liberating than when I wasn’t married. There is no stress attached… in fact… it’s a stress reliever!!

Why are the married people ashamed to brag about it?? I’m not. I love sex. And we do it. It’s fantastic.  (sorry dad… if you even were so bold to click on this after seeing the title)

Let’s talk about it! Show the kids how wonderful it can be… don’t just throw condoms at them and hope for the best. It’s way more than the risk of babies or STD’s… it’s about the risk of our emotions, too.