If I stay up late enough, I lose my filter. Almost like being drunk, probably.
I actually wouldn’t know.
So, I had an epiphany as to why I am terrified of tension (besides me being an introvert and an HSP and INFJ and middle child and whatever classifications and labels I fit under). The thought of conflict – specifically between Christians – paralyzes me.
Because I have a history of becoming excommunicated by churches and by religious people.
I’ll start by saying that our family unit consisted of a mom and three girls. We didn’t have any other close family. Actually, that’s a massive understatement, but we’ll leave that for another time.
From the time I was old enough to remember, we have basically been excommunicated from every church/religious group we have been in. And ALL of these groups were the closest thing to family. I can remember the ominous feeling of knowing it was coming and inevitable.
I remember leaving a church at 12, knowing that was it. I was so upset and confused. There would be no more interacting with any of my friends. Ever. I had seen other people walk and had done it to them myself. That was the culture.
I was 15 and got voted out of my circle of friends. The year before had been my favorite year that I could remember. Then the parents came together one day and decided that my family was too much drama and wouldn’t be able to socialize with the rest of them anymore. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it. It was decided, and we were ousted again.
I was almost 17 was when we ended up having to live in the facility that was the Gothard/IBLP/Duggar family cult and was almost 20 was when we found a way to finally get out.
A few years later my family was again ousted from our former home church after mom committed the most unpardonable of all sins, remarriage after 15 years of raising her girls alone.
Somewhere along the line my sisters and I (mainly my sisters) were forced to carry the majority of the blame for why the youth at our current church didn’t quite turn out the way that the parents were promised they would by Gothard and his 7 Basic Life Principles. Because, you know, that’s the fault of your peers.
So the childhood swearing to my best friend that we would be each other’s maids of honor resulted in her being my maid of honor and me not realizing she was getting married.
So when I hear Christian people give me the old, “we still love you, we just…”
I know. I know what you mean. It’s coming again.
We ‘love’ you, we just don’t want to see you again.
But, I mean, we’ll pray for you.
We just don’t think we can talk with you.
We care, we just don’t really.
After feeding you the kryptonite line about some sort of “divine leading” or “following conscience” or whatever, people will walk and never look back and feel confident they have done God’s will.
Because this is how Jesus does relationships.
Gracious, Christians. We are appalling sometimes.