I’m exploring the months leading up to my deconversion. This is from my post written on December 4, 2014 on my previous blog, quixotic faith.
Jesus spoke to me once, through a dream.
He met me in a biblically themed pub. Let me just say that I find this really amusing. I feel like Jesus was simultaneously making fun of himself and his culture and making fun of us and our culture and, through it, telling me that he transcends culture.
Jesus looked…plain. Much plainer than I would have ever imagined him. He wasn’t ugly per se, but he could be any man. He’d blend in anywhere. Like a wallflower, like a shadow. But then I looked into his eyes. Those eyes. I can’t even remember the color anymore, but I remember it was him.
What did he say to me? He said…
“You are okay.”
“You are okay” means so much more than those three simple words. What did it mean to me? Acceptance. Complete acceptance. And an instant calming of the raging sea in my soul. Breathing in life and truly relaxing. I was high off those words for weeks. For months every time I’d feel strife I’d just remember those words and I instantly feel rest in my soul.
It’s been years since the dream and sometimes I will get it; it will resonate in my soul.
A few years back as I was looking through my high school yearbooks I saw that a boy in my choir class had written the Bible verse Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” He went on to say how I should stay meek.
I never liked that boy. He was flamboyant and obnoxious and had a bad temper. It surprised me when I found out he was a Christian. I didn’t know much about Christianity at the time, but I knew that Jesus was meek. So he was telling me that I was like Jesus.
I felt sincerely flattered that he was comparing me to Jesus. But I also thought, “I’m not really like that…” Perhaps I was because the irony is that people who are truly humble don’t know it.
With everyone telling me how humble, submissive, teachable, kind, sensitive, and “meek” I was I ended up taking that into my identity. It sounds really great, but the problem with that is that there are predators in this world who seek out that type of person. Even excluding predators it is in our human nature to use other people to get whatever we want. Me included.
I grew up feeling invisible like I was a part of others’ shadow without an identity of my own. I’ve never been physically abused, but, boy have I been used and emotionally manipulated! That is not healthy.
I’d say about 15 years ago I declared, “No! I am a person and will not be abused!” During the birth of my son 6 years ago is when this whole thing became a monumental thing in my life. I decided to be myself, but have had trouble doing so without pissing people off. Not because I’m confrontational (I hate conflict) but because I’m not that meek person they thought I was. I’m just being the more authentic me.
I may have rebellion in my heart, but the bottom line is that I don’t want to be used and abused. I am not equipped to deal with people questioning me because I am constantly questioning myself. So I have withdrawn, more and more. I’m sinking into an anti-social black hole of which I must escape if I am to live in this world.
A few years back something happened that triggered something in my mind and heart. I was struggling with a certain issue and decided to stop striving and just give up. I just wanted to be the “real” me, warts and all. My thoughts and my heart, which I had previously done my best to submit to God, I allowed free-range. I decided anything goes. I’ve even encouraged sinful thoughts and feelings in an exploration to find out who I am. I wanted to figure out what I truly thought and felt about things without that “meek” label on me.