They Tell Me I Am Broken.

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Today in church,

They tell me I am “unclean.”

Unclean?

Yes, they said. “Unclean.” “Dirty.” “Broken.”

I said, “But how?

My legs carry me to quiet gardens. My nose catches the scent the honeysuckle. My eyes soak in the colors of the sunset. My arms lift heavy boxes and my hands stroke soft kitties. My feet keep me balanced and tap to contagious rhythms. My mind reasons, imagines, and creates. My spirit is always shifting, processing, feeling, listening to the undercurrent of words, movements and actions. My soul leaps when it comes across the Divine.

 

So “Why?” I ask, do you say that I am unclean?
You want me to feel guilty and grateful.

You want to control my feelings and actions.

You want to guide me into a certain way of thinking, feeling, living.

Always indebted, always broken, always failing, never enough, never enough never enough.

 

You tell me there is something inherently broken, something inherently wrong with me.

Yet I am supposed to love myself? To see my worth? To live in this body and soul and love them for what they are?

 

Then something is wrong. Something is wrong with the method and something is wrong with the reason. Because this, this is not what I am.

 

I am whole and always have been. I am human. I fail, yes.

But I am more than my failures, my alleged broken and “sinfulness.”

 

I am human and therefore,

 

I am also Love.

 

And isn’t that what’s the most important of all?

I’m a Mess…But It’s OK.

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Also, what’s up with this church/God thing? I’m losing it.

Came back to school. Went to college ministry that I went to for all of last year, and I left frustrated. I left angry. I left feeling like I was being fed BS and everyone else seemed to be OK with it, but I just wasn’t buying it anymore.
I don’t know why it is that the changes in me have led me to look at the service differently. But I can’t sing the songs anymore. The words feel false. I can’t listen uncriticially to the message because I can’t help but wondering Where does he stand on gay marriage, sexual orientation in general, on women as pastors and in leadership, on evangelism, creation, feminism, social justice?

I know this guy is a good man. But in the meeting I attended beforehand about a ministry area there, I just kept hearing over and over “We’re hear to keep you accountable, through worship and by the truth the pastor teaches.” They just kept saying the truth he teaches the truth he shares the truth he receives from God.

We have these small group type things with one leader who’s a bit older than us. They said “The leaders will help keep you accountable. If you miss a couple services, they’ll follow up with you and ask what’s up. If you’re questioning if you’re struggling with your faith, you can be honest about it with them, in fact this IS the place to be honest with them and they will share truth with you. Truth about what God and the Bible says.”

But I just can’t help but wonder how it is that their truth is THE truth? It made it seem like the struggles we present to them are things that they will have the TRUE answer for and will FIX for us. They’ll help us see where we’ve erred in our thinking and tell us what God’s Word REALLY says about that and then we’ll be fixed and be back on track.

What about the TRUTH I believe God is teaching me? How can you so confidently tell me that what the pastor and people 1-2 years older than me, have to say is THE truth. You cannot make those kind of guarantees or blanket statements.

All this to say,

I just can’t do it anymore.

I’m worried about what my friends will think. I don’t know how to explain this.

It’s like something in me has shifted and changed and I cannot keep doing that (going to this service) to my soul. It’s not good for me anymore.

I don’t feel You anymore. I don’t know what to read in the Bible or what to trust. How do I know what I’m even reading is me interpreting it right or wrong?
I’m still so passionate about LGBT rights and transgender acceptance, and women and how feminism and how faith CAN intersect with social justice for those who ID as LGBT. I’m tired of feeling that WHO I AM and WHAT I SUPPORT is not only not accepted by the majority but I WANT THESE THINGS/FEELINGS/BELIEFS/VIEWS TO BE SHARED by others.

I want to be in a community that accepts my beliefs…selfish? Yeah maybe, but I want a place where it is SAFE for me to say “Ok I don’t think the Bible really says this about homosexuality, and I don’t believe in the gender roles the church so avidly prescribes to, I don’t see why we rally and protest so much about being pro-life or pro-choice, why can’t we talk about BOTH sides? Why are we so set in our ways of bashing the liberals and the evil mothers that want to kill their babies as they say?, why can’t I say I want to talk about what and why people are pro-choice and why they aren’t all evil monsters? I want to talk about that fact that we DON’T TALK ABOUT WHAT WHITE PRIVILEGE IS and ask WHY AREN’T WE MAD THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING UNJUSTLY AND WHY WE DON’T CARE WE DON’T CARE WE DON’T CARE. Why don’t we see their rioting and protesting as their way of saying, WHY DON’T YOU SEE US, CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING?????

Why can’t we talk about feminism, how girls are circumcised, how we lift football stars above rape accusations, how I have to fell like I have to buy my sister mace because she’s coming to college, that I now understand why people hate Christans because we essentially preach hate and hypocrisy from the patriarchal pulipts. Where all the world hears is you can’t be gay you can’t be female and preach, you can’t be a wife and have an equal and identical role, you can’t ask questions, you can’t be a sexual being (unless you’re married), you can’t wear tight clothes or short shorts or own your sexuality because God forbid you LOVE your body. God forbid you EMBRACE the power and the beauty that is your body. God forbid you LOVE yourself, every inch. Because God forbid you start to ask WHY you believe what they preach.

SO why do I have trouble going back to this service?

I’ve changed. This ministry isn’t bad. They are good. It’s just that I see things differently now, and however much it would be easier to simply go back to the way it was, I can’t go back. It sounds dramatic. But it’s the truth. I literally cannot change how I see things now for better or for worse. But I’d rather it be this way, than safe and comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with this ministry or what they want to do. I belive they are genuine, I believe they love people. I believe they want good things for people and I KNOW the people there are kind and good and well-intentioned.

It’s me that’s changed and it’s not their fault. I simply must find a place where my doubts and my questions and my thoughts are heard and validated and held. Where these feelings and beliefs I have are not “heretical” or “unbiblical” but understood and accepted. Where I can see women in leadership and pastoring positions, where people of every sexual orientation and identity are not only welcomed and accepted but supported and upheld. Where those who are messy and broken and falling apart are told YES there IS a place for you’re here, with all your sharp edges. Where we are able to examine our doubts, where we are able to admit we don’t understand, don’t agree, don’t feel anything anymore. Where we can die and come back to life.

I just need some place or some people that are in the same place.