It has been exactly 44 days since I wrote to you last. I have not had much to say in these last weeks. Silence has been an important piece in my process of sorting out.
I had to reflect on what I had written thus far.
I went through a series of emotions. Did I say too much? Am I being authentic to my words? Or am I just writing to write?
AND the truth I have come to understand is that I have probably not have said enough. I have kept stories hidden and things that I have learned close because MOSTLY I hate being vulnerable.
I was taught from a very early age to be quiet. Do not say what you really feel or think. For it is too loud. Too much and NOT right.
Then I found myself in two churches that reiterated that message.
Kara, you are A LOT.
Kara, you do not understand.
Kara, you need to learn the fine art of being quiet and still.
AND the truth is to some degree this was true. I have never really been one to sit and wait. I have never been one to stop and assess how I am feeling. I just keep moving.
BUT they were wrong about why.
I did not need to be still so that I could take on their assessment – I needed to sit and be still so I can trust myself. My gut and my own thoughts.
Church is kind of a shit thing sometimes.
It rarely teaches you to trust yourself. In fact, so many messages center around NOT trusting yourself.
Do not believe your thoughts.
Do not trust your feelings.
AND for heaven sakes DO NOT think for one minute it is ok to question what I am telling you FOR God has ordained me to tell you these things.
I want you to know I have been a terrible Christian. I have taken on EVERY single judgement the church has and projected it out into the world.
I have judged people for drinking too much.
I have judged people for being gay.
I have judged people for having an abortion.
YOU name it I have done it.
I am OK with telling you all this because I refuse to be that person.
I refuse to not trust myself.
I refuse to think that church has all the answers.
It does not.
In fact, I think so much of the church is just afraid.
Afraid of messiness.
Afraid of differences.
Afraid that maybe their own doctrine no longer fits. So, they cling to it like a badge of honor and call everyone else “bad” who does not subscribe to their view of the world.
I know this because I have been afraid.
Yet, I still believe in God. I know He exists. I know He has guided me through so many things in my life. I have made some really hard decisions and I would not have been able to do that unless He showed me the way.
I just think the God who I know – the God who loves me no matter what does not exist in a lot of our churches today.
I have sat in two churches now where that God I know is not present. Maybe that is a harsh assessment BUT that is my experience.
I walked away from both of those churches far more broken than when I came in. I left both churches questioning myself. Questioning my thoughts. My feelings.
I left not trusting myself.
BUT mostly I left confused. I was taught about God from an early age and the God who I know, the God who loves me and created me this way was not there.
Instead, I found a God who wanted me to lose my identity to conform to a crowd.
I do not like that version. He is not my God.
AND I am finally ok telling you that because the truth is I like my God better. He loves people. Period. There is no “but” to His love. AND I so desperately want to be that person.
It has taken me a long time to get here. AND maybe that is just a part of my story. Maybe I had to be all the things I did not want to be in order to be who I am now.
Trial by error, I guess.
I hope by sharing this you see that is ok to trust yourself. Trust your thoughts and feelings.
May we be brave enough today to live in a world where we trust ourselves.
Until next time,