The last paragraph

The last paragraph

Since leaving the church in 2011, and fully accepting my Agnosticism in 2015 (give or take), I’ve left Christianity.  Yet even while being out I find I still go on what I call “Christianity kicks”.  I start seeking it out again looking for anything redeemable.  Searching to see if perhaps I missed a key point.  Oh lets just say it; I’m looking for acceptance from a deity, if one exists, who has spent my entire lifetime ignoring me.   Having celebrated Easter yesterday (ham – yes, church – no), I suppose all the “He is Risen!” posts trigger my indoctrination to kick into high gear for a bit.

Now when I say I get on a kick, I do not mean reading the bible.  I’m not sure I own one anymore.  No, I read stories and experiences in hopes that maybe Jesus simply hasn’t gotten around to me yet, and in these people’s journeys I might find something new.  There are many Christian blogs around where people delve into some deep and heartbreaking shit.  There are people expressing doubt and searching.  There are some that walk dangerously close to the edge of not believing.

So close.  Eight, nine, ten paragraphs worthy of Job screaming out to the heavens.  “Why have you forsaken me?”  “Where are you?”  “Help!”  They justifiably sob about loss and hopelessness.  They swear, fight and flip off the universe.

Until the last paragraph.

In that last paragraph everything gets quickly wrapped up in a sparkling Jesus bow.  I wish I could say they give enough of their story that you are able to understand what occurred that their God suddenly made everything OK; or is about to make everything OK, as they pray, believe, have faith, lean in, etc… Nope.  Pain, suffering, shit, torment, heartache….yeah, Jesus!  I follow along hanging on their every word, believing I’ve found someone that gets it, yet the ending is always the same.

So was it that simple?  God/Jesus made the wrongs right?  The Holy Spirit wrapped its loving arms around them?  Enough faith and belief reconciled the atrocities done to them?  I do have many theories as to what occurs here and I won’t share them as they aren’t kind or helpful.  And really, I’m not trying to take away people’s faith, even if I consider it an illusion.  The truth is that last paragraph feels like an emotional slap.  “Works for me and it sucks to be you!”

So what’s my last paragraph?  My answer to just about everything: I don’t know. Head in my hands, a deep sigh and back to it.

km turned back 2

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The Unredeemed

The Unredeemed

Searching for God has been my side hobby my entire life.  Even growing up as a pastor’s daughter, will hell and damnation shoved down my throat on a daily basis, I never felt God’s presence.  Prayed the “Sinner’s prayer” at age 6, though I didn’t understand what awful crime I could have committed with less than a decade alive; diligently memorized my Bible Memory Association verses (and spanked if I missed any); and got baptized with two ex-hookers and my brother in the swimming pool of one of the wealthy in the church at age 8.  Yet I felt nothing.

From then on out the search was on.  Crying to youth pastors; attending Christian concerts and trying to suppress how much I hated the music; visiting one church after another in hopes of finding something I could hold onto; endless studies, workbooks and prayers, all in hopes of feeling what everyone else felt.  I felt nothing.

One of my many escapades led me to a church in Houston who was having a “Forgiveness Conference”.  I’d somehow became friends with the pastor’s wife who was advertising it on Facebook.  As always, this was my answer!  So I booked a ticket from Minnesota to Texas, because clearly this was the sign from God I’d been looking for, and flew down without knowing a soul.  Well the “conference” was about 10 people from this small church and one crazy ass lady who decided to crash the party.  In Christian circles they love looking for signs from God, so for me to have the balls to fly thousands of miles to be there, they felt surely that God was going to move in big ways.  I cried a lot, as I always did at these events, and overshared to the point of making people uncomfortable.  Talking about being raped, and staying with the guy because your Christian upbringing said you should, makes the church ladies squirm quite a bit.

A song was sung by a group called Selah called, “Unredeemed” and the lyrics are as follows:

The cruelest word, the coldest heart
The deepest wound, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered
Is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every life that gave up hope

We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered
Is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

Oh, He will wipe every tear
Will not be, be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see, it will not be
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

“Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed.”  I banked on this for a few more years before it all crumbled.  No reconciliation with my father (now dead), no righting the wrongs, no peace that passes all understanding, no redemption.

I used to believe that if I saw my favorite color, hot pink, in a sunrise that it meant God had not left me.  Sure I made this up, but it’s certainly no different than all the other odd ways people chose to believe.  Seeing a hot pink sunrise now is bittersweet; I find joy when I see that color yet there is pain as I know it’s only the earth’s atmosphere and not a special message to me…the unredeemed.

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