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.
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.