I’ve been committed to the church since birth.
Actually, it goes back even further that that. My mom - who had some difficulty getting pregnant - seemingly made a deal with god in the same vein as Hanna and basically gave me over to temple service in exchange for existence. So I really had no choice in this, it was all somewhat inevitable.
All I have known is the church. A model sunday school student, baptized in grade 6, a church-member at 16, I even attended three different youth groups in high school. Before I knew what was happening I was an intern, on my way to a full time career in youth ministry and enrolled in bible college. Then it was 12 years of working in the local church before moving into a senior leadership position at a faith based charity while pursuing a masters of divinity.
That is one way of telling my story. There are others.
A month ago I quit full time ministry work for the first time in 15 years. Somewhere along the way I also stopped attending church. If you were to ask me if I still believe in god, depending on the day, I’ll either wax poetic about metaphysics or shrug and say, “maybe, depends what you mean”. It’s all a bit disorienting.
Imagine what my mother thinks…
I’m in my thirties, a father, a husband, and everything else feels up in the air. I’m also in one of the healthiest spaces I think I’ve ever been in. Maybe it’s the season, but I feel like I’m coming out of a long winter and experiencing new life. Mentally, physically, even spiritually - I’m in a great space.
I like it here.
I always feel a bit awkward introducing a new writing project. Maybe because I’ve done it so many times. Maybe it’s because I usually fail to maintain any semblance of consistency. Maybe it’s because I have no plans to tell anyone about this and so I’m currently speaking to myself - in public.
Either way, I feel the need to walk backwards through my life and pull some things out in no particular order. As I said, there are other ways of telling my story and I do my best thinking by coming at something from multiple angles.
Warning, it might get personal.