7/03/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Wolfdreamer ~
I've been lurking on this site for four years. For four years I've been taking comfort in the wisdom and the stories that all of you have shared. Now it is my turn, for I can't take the silence any longer. My own story is long, but I hope to make a start here:
Four years ago I left our very modern evangelical minded church. I thought I was taking a break, a sabbatical of sorts. I was overworked, under-slept, and completely burned out from serving in various forms of ministry. At the time of my exodus I was serving in no less than 3 different ministries, one of them in a leadership capacity. I was spending my weeks at home caring for my children, and my weekends (in their entirety sometimes) serving in the church.
When I left, I had planned to take a few weeks or maybe a month to pray and seek God's guidance. I was going to use the time to figure out which specific ministries God wanted me involved in and/or whether we should switch to a church closer to home. This particular one was a 45 min. drive away, and the drive itself was part of the problem.
Since part of the point of the sabbatical was to sort out the questions that had been accumulating in my own head, I used that whole first summer as an opportunity to research. I haunted libraries and bookstores, voraciously reading all the books that were "forbidden" by my faith, but which I thought might help me sort out what was going on in my head. I read up on the history of Christianity, the church, Gnosticism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Shinto, Native American spirituality, Tarot, Wicca, Atheism, and the history of how religion evolved in the first place. I became a sponge for the soaking up of knowledge of all things religiously minded. My hope and my plan was that at the end of all this research I would have some sort of intellectual basis for making my decision.
I am no longer a Christian in the traditional sense of the word, but no other label fits me either.Four years later, I find myself very well read and knowledgeable, but no closer to figuring out where I belong. I am no longer a Christian in the traditional sense of the word, but no other label fits me either. I have become a sort of "woman without a country". I am like a child playing Twister - with all my limbs splayed crazily in several different directions. One hand on the red dot of my Christian women's prayer group, one foot on the green dot of the Unitarian church we found, one hand on the blue dot of meditation and Tarot, one foot on the yellow dot of scientific knowledge.
I know too much to simply insert myself back in my safe little Christian bubble. And yet I have a very human craving for ritual and social belonging. I realized in the midst of my research that it would be foolish and counterproductive to simply exchange one ancient mythology for another. And yet, after reading both Joseph Campbell and Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I saw that mythology will follow wherever human beings find themselves gathering. We create stories both to explain things and to entertain ourselves, as a part of being human.
And so four years after I set out on this path, I am still trying to figure out where I will land. I am learning the lesson of living with uncertainty. It is an odd place to be - living in limbo. I am hoping that the process of sharing my journey will help me to find the place where I belong.
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