I feel guilty, sometimes, for not being a Christian anymore. So many people invested in me so that i would believe ‘the right things’ my whole life.
I feel bad for the Ss, who took me on a mission trip to Bogota, and for Mrs. C, who was always kind. I feel bad for my Sunday School teachers who did their best, and I feel especially guilty when i think of Miss R. She used to do things with us junior high girls from church, one Saturday a month. She taught me how to sew a little, how to bake bread, how to decorate cakes and how to plant flower bulbs. She brought in someone to teach us how to do makeup, she took us hiking, she got someone to teach us how to knit and crochet and cross stitch. She even took us on an overnight shopping trip to Tulsa one time! Nobody paid her, she just did it out of love. Her husband told us once it was so that someday we would pass it on and minister to girls ourselves.
When I craft something, i often think of her, and how much time she put into loving me and the other girls, and I feel really bad that I didn’t turn out how she hoped.
I would hope she could see that I am an artistic person capable of many things, thanks to her, but I’m afraid all she would see is that I’m not a christian any more. I feel like that’s what my parents would see, if we were around them. Because I know that’s why they raised me the way they did – they said it all the time. So I would grow up to ‘serve the lord’. that’s all that mattered. So now I am, as Libby Anne wrote, ‘a living disappointment‘
I am a good christian mother’s greatest fear.
But I wish people could see me for real. I’m artistic, i’m kind and empathetic. I’m a pretty decent mother and wife. I’m getting treatment for mental illness and discovering that I’m still the same happy and creative person that I was as a child. My life is full of learning and love and growth.
When I’m not mentally ill, i’m happy. I’m fulfilled. I help people when I can. I’m fairly generous. I’m an encourager and a listener. I’m smart! I’m still all these positive things.
I know it sounds like I’m full of myself to say all this, i just wish everyone knew that I turned out pretty well. Except for that one thing. Except for faith. And because of that one thing, I will always be a disappointment. But I can’t make myself believe something I don’t. And I have no real wish to go back. I just wish i weren’t a disappointment. I wish my ‘success’ as a person didn’t hinge on my belief.
I wish I were judged by my actions and not my profession of faith.