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I turned and walked away

by Jody ~

I wasn't looking for it. In fact, it caught me blindsided. After "losing my religion" and leaving my 27-year marriage, I was pretty much labeled a heretic and loser by former Christian friends. Occasionally, I was met with a friendly hello in the grocery store, but mostly, people didn't want much to do with me. That's OK. I realize what I did rocked their tiny little world a bit too much.

I managed to move to another part of town and become involved in community events to fill the social gap left in my once full calendar. But, never in a million years could I have been ready for what came next. One night, while I was on Facebook, a longtime Christian friend sent me a shout out from the chat box. Sweet! That didn't happen often. It started out OK, the expected, "How are the kids? the job? your new life?" etc., and then his tone changed. He called me beautiful and wanted to encourage me as a newly single woman. OK. I think. I managed to end the conversation rather abruptly, not really sure what had just happened. Then, it happened again the next night. And the next. Each message got more personal. I am not stupid. I finally asked him to leave me alone. I would have been flattered, if not for one little detail. He is the husband of one of my former best friends, and a former pastor as well. I, the lost lamb from the fold, was being "hit on" by a man of the cloth.

Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. I should have seen it coming. But it shook the former underpinnings a bit further, and I lost even more respect for the organization and faith I so firmly clung to for most of my life. It was one of those "it won't happen with my friends" kind of moments.

But, it had happened. And in that moment of emotional infidelity on the part of this "man of god," my roots in freethinking grew a bit deeper. With self respect in tact, I turned and walked the other away.