Friday, 6 June 2014

Don't let them know.....well now they know

I'm sure you are all thoroughly sick and tired of the song, "Let it Go" sung by Elsa (and kids EVERYWHERE), in the movie' Frozen'. I know I am! I love this image I found of 'Burn" as I connect with fire, so much more than I do with ice. I connect with the lyrics of "Let it Go", and see many parallels in my own life  since leaving the traditional church. I call myself a free-range Christian - a term coined by a FB group with the same name.Which fits well with our homeschooling lifestyle and my free-range kids.

We have moved more into a natural learning, child directed lifestyle in our homeschooling. Which basically means, whatever the child is interested in, I let them pursue that. With the exception of learning to read, write and basic maths skills, the boys are free to pursue their interests at their leisure. There is no set curriculum. No teacher up the front teaching them. Sometimes I get nervous that I am doing the wrong thing and want to run back to safe. I want to buy and follow the set curriculum. Not because it's better, but because it is safe. 

It is no coincidence that this moving towards natural learning (or unschooling as some people call it), happened at the same time I left the traditional church setting. For my own spirituality, there is nothing I "should" be doing or have to do. There is no pastor up the front delivering a message. It's just me and God, being led by Holy Spirit. I meet with other Christians from time to time as peers for prayer and bible discussion, and just to hang out. I have become more attuned to listening to that still small voice inside. So many times I have wanted to run back to the traditional; Sunday church because it is safe. But I don't believe God designed human beings to be safe. He designed us to be wild. We are made in His image. He dwells in the mystery and uncertainty. Maybe this is what living by the Spirit is?
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.  
Couldn't keep it in; Heaven knows I've tried.
I have sat down so many times to blog over the past few months and have't been able to complete one blog post. I didn't know how to write without the typical mainstream Christian slant I have written with over the past 7 years. And I didn't know if I told you that my beliefs don't necessarily line up with the beliefs I have held for that past 20 years as 'truths', if you would want to read what I wrote.

I guess the reason  why I have had such difficulty in writing is I have been hiding behind fear. I have been thinking, "What if I tell the blogging world that my faith has changed and they reject me?" And you know what? Some of you will. But I need to be brave and true to myself. And that means admitting that what I have held as true for years, I don't necessarily believe anymore. 
Don't let them in,
don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel,
don't let them know.
Well now they know.
You see,  I have been going through a time of questioning. A time of deconstructing of what it is I believe. A time of sometimes confusion, frustration and even anger, but mostly freedom, as I dissect my faith. I no longer hold tightly to doctrines and theologies that I once held on to. My faith looks very different these days. But as a result, I feel the most freedom I have ever felt in my life. I feel so much peace, and so much connection with the Divine. People that I haven't seen for a while and bump into are commenting on how great I look. I think this is a reflection of what is happening inside. 
Let it go, let it go.  
Can't hold it back anymore.  
Let it go, let it go. 
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on. 
The heat never bothered me anyway.
Some distance from going to a traditional church every Sunday has allowed me to see the world through new eyes. It has given me a new perspective. A world of no "them" and "us" divided into church goers and non-church goers. Just "us". Everyone is a child of God. Everyone is created in His image. There is no favouritism, or "favour" on believers. God gives the sun and sends the rain to the good, the bad the nice and the nasty.  I see the world through the eyes of love and know that everyone is my brother and sister.
It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all. 
Cheesy Christian chiches and speaking 'Christianese" now makes me cringe. I am embarrassed that I ever talked like that.  I can now see why all those people that I have invited to church over the years didn't accept my invites! Or if they did, never came back.  As I thrash about with doctrines and theology, sometimes I don't get the answers I seek. I must accept that sometimes there is no black and white answer. Just shades of grey. But when it all comes down to it, God is love. And love is what we should show ourselves and others. Everything else is just window dressing. I no longer believe that the bible is necessarily to be taken literally in every book. There is a lot of allegory in there. I no longer have a quiet time every day. I can go days, sometimes weeks without reading the Bible, and yet He still speaks to me through songs, books, movies, other people, nature, visions or just a deep down 'gut' feeling.
It's time to see what I can do.
To test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I'm free!
My new found courage and freedom was found by completing an online course called BRAVE. This course, ran with a small intimate group of 8 participants and one facilitator. This group of women helped support me, encourage me, listen to me, and inspire me. It was authentic church. And for this I will be forever grateful. Thank you to all of you. You know who you are! Because of you, I am brave. 

Still taking lessons from the King,

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  1. YOU DID IT!!! So proud of your brave. You nailed it!

    1. Beth, sharing your own 'thrashing with your faith' story has given me strength. Thank you. I DID IT!! xo

  2. Well that didn't change my perspective of you. Just for the record! I think dissecting our faith into what it really means without all the "fluff" we put around it is probably a good thing we all could do!

    1. Thanks lovely! I think it is healthy to dissect our faith too.

  3. "I feel so much peace, and so much connection with the Divine. People that I haven't seen for a while and bump into are commenting on how great I look. I think this is a reflection of what is happening inside."
    I'm SO SO SO happy for you. It's the truth. When you are at peace within and happy with where you are at in your life… it's just kind of like an inner glow. A city on a hill cannot be hid ;) Also…

    "Cheesy Christian chiches and speaking 'Christianese" now makes me cringe. I am embarrassed that I ever talked like that."
    RIGHT?! Oh man, I so resonate with that! Augh… I'm cringing even now, just at the memories! LOL. Oy vey…

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you have lost none of my respect at all. In fact, you have *gained* respect from me for your willingness to not only confront your fears and live through them, but to share the story where criticism may come and in fact is likely to. If our faith cannot stand up to scrutiny and dissection by our eyes and our hearts, what good is it? How can it get us through difficult times if, in times of peace it makes no sense to us and causes mental confusion when we *really* look it in the face? No, it's no good to us that way. I'm really proud of you for taking the hard step of stripping away all the nonessentials. It's tough. I've been there, done that. Studied hard for a year or more and made decisions for myself that weren't popular, and still aren't… but I believe what I believe, because I've done the math for myself, you know? It's not secondhand word from the man on the stage or my friend or anyone. So good for you. Keep it up, brave princess warrior :)

    1. Thank you Cassandra!! Your words have encouraged me so much.


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Jo Princess Warrior xo