I Can't Unsee What I've SeenJul 01, 2022
I was sitting at the café of Parker Adventist Hospital. Across from me sat a man who was trying to understand my complex journey. My face was downcast; his was confused. I could not even look at him. I know that he could not step off of the cliff and into the world of de-construction with me. The painful grid of conservative dogma and theology . . . those cutting, sharp edges of the cut-out into which I had forced myself for years . . . was not good news for me. It suited and served him, but not me. I could no longer adhere to what felt like a prison-sentence of submission and sweetness. I missed the dancing, singing, fun girl inside of me. Also, I wanted to be KNOWN apart from the roles. All of the roles . . . the guilt, the emotional labor.
I know that is not who you married. I know that you wanted someone who is pretty and blonde and quiet and sweet and servile. I know you say you love this new, strong me. But, I know you don't and I know you can't.
It wasn't fair that I would change. The Gospel was supposed to be good news. And it does not feel good to me. It feels painful and constraining and I cannot feel like a hollow, empty used-up and exhausted woman, anymore. I miss myself.
As soon as the relationship ended, I began the process of de-constructing. Like many, I didn't want to give up my faith. So much has been taken from so many of us -- I am not willing for my own treasured, private and personal spirituality to dissolve because of poor dogma.
It didn't feel right or good to reject people.
It didn't feel right or good to judge.
It didn't feel right or good to be anything less than merciful and loving and leaning toward justice for the sake of restoration.
So, as a seminary grad, a chaplain and ordained minister, I began my studies.
And, wow . . . . all of a sudden, I felt life flooding my brain, veins and breath. I was connecting more to myself, others and God. It was happening -- a quickening. I was voracious and I took a beautiful group of sojourners with me (now, some of my very best friends) as we explored and asked questions. Indeed, just knowing we could question everything was freeing!
And now, my passion is even greater. Watching all of us become free, taking or leaving whatever we discuss, has become rivers of living water in my life and in theirs. The invisible walls of judgement, condescension and masks are completely collapsed when we meet each week. And the electricity in the air is palpable as we listen and reflect with each other.
I'm so excited that we can offer the Spiritual Processing Groups again (through tears) and I hope that, as you all join us on our journeys for the second year in a row, you find you again. In fact, I cannot WAIT to see you open up and grow and be who you were always supposed to be!
And . . .
Because I cannot unsee what I have seen . . . I will never abandon this girl again.
Sign up here . . . can't wait to see you.