Farm and Family, Musings

Pieces: What Was That?

We throw tantrums like parties
We’re not happy ’til everyone knows we’re sick
And that’s just how we like it
We’ve hurt bad enough, right, we’ve earned it ~ Get Well, Icon for Hire

It’s taken me a long time to figure this out. I’ve been thinking about it for months. I haven’t been able to write anything because it’s been in the forefront of my mind, taking up all of the space. I hate writing about things that aren’t resolved. You write what you know, not what you don’t know. But sometimes we don’t know what the thesis statement is for a period of our lives.

I want to start out by saying that I love my parents. They were tricked by people who they viewed as authorities, who themselves had been tricked. But I can’t let that love keep me from telling my story.

Illusion_by_nondani

I read a website called Homeschoolers Anonymous. I would say I enjoy reading it, but that sounds wrong. It is full of stories of former homeschool students who have escaped the fundamentalist environment where they were abused, and how transitioning to life on the outside has been. It’s sick. It’s demented. The things that have been done in the name of Christ are abhorrent.

I read it for the same reason they write it. To validate our past experiences. Sometimes the stories are almost identical to my own, but not usually. They are usually much more abusive and extreme. There are aspects that I can relate to, but the intensity of it makes my empathy ache.

For a time this contrast made me question my analysis of my childhood. Was it really that bad? Was that really abuse? I mean, I only remember one short period of time when any of my siblings were bruised from spanking. I was only hit a handful of times because I was older when we started following a fundamentalist lifestyle. But then, if it wasn’t abuse, why do I still show signs of an abuse survivor? Why do I feel so validated by songs like Get Well by Icon for Hire or Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling? Why do I still have such a hard time letting myself have platonic relationships, let alone harbor the thought of a long term romantic relationship? Trust issues and self harm don’t just happen without a reason.

A dear friend told me the other day, “Just because someone else had it worse doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to hurt.” This is hard to believe sometimes. I don’t want to marginalize the experience of others. But I have to remind myself that it’s not a contest. Just because I was never beaten doesn’t mean I wasn’t abused. Emotional abuse can be very invisible, but have the same results as a belt. My parents didn’t hit me, but the way they made me feel lead me to hit myself.

Don’t tell the others but it’s all getting old
I mean how many more times must our stories be told?
And being lonely’s only fun in a group
It sort of loses it’s charm when it’s true ~ Get Well, Icon for Hire

Musings, Short

To My Brothers And Sisters

A while back I posted on Facebook asking our friends for suggestions about blog topics. Someone said I should talk about purity. I don’t think I have ever addressed this subject that so many are obsessed with.

I don’t like the “purity” movement. I don’t think it leaves room for openness and honesty with our brothers and sisters. And, I think it has a lot of ramifications that go unnoticed.

I have noticed an alarming number of unwed 20-somethings. When found in the secular culture everyone assumes it is because they are avoiding commitment etc, but why are there so many in the Christian homeschooling community? Shouldn’t we be marrying and “taking dominion of the earth”? There is at least one issue with this. Guys and girls aren’t allowed to talk to each other much. In the immortal words of Widow Paroo,

“It’s a well-known principle that if you keep the flint in one drawer and the steel in the other, you’ll never strike much of a fire.”

The main reason is that in the quest to keep from thinking “impure” thoughts, guys and girls neglect 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters.

Since we only view a member of the opposite sex as someone’s future mate, girls and guys usually end up just, well, avoiding each other. This is so wrong! We are both created in the image of God, and are told by Him to treat each other like siblings!  

The worst part that it takes the focus away. Instead of focusing on walking with God as a family, we avoid each other and talk about how fantastic it is to do so! How about be open and humble with each other. We all have struggles, we all need grace, we all long for support. As children of the Most High King, we are not only princes and princesses, but brothers and sisters. Not all princes are Prince Charming, most of them are our brothers. Let’s treat them that way.

Musings, Short

Kindness vs Arrogance

I’ve been notice something recently that is very alarming. Kindness is rare. And, it’s often replaced with arrogance.

The most alarming thing about this, though, is it’s prominence in the “Christian” community. I’m sure you heard about the big issue with a billboard that a certain creation ministry is putting up in NYC. It says it is to “Our Atheist friends; Thank God you’re wrong”. This is just wrong. On so many levels. It is not kind at all. It is not loving at all. It isn’t even convincing. It’s just contradiction. It’s just telling someone they’re wrong. “They will know we are Christians by our love”, “God is love”, “Remember now faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” This billboard doesn’t give hope, it isn’t a message with a loving attitude, and it isn’t going to bring people to faith.

Titus 3:3

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Excuse me, but you used to be wrong too. Is someone simply telling you you’re wrong going to make you think you are actually wrong?

4-7

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…

That is just the beginning of one very long sentence, but I think it is enough to convey my point.

I have pretty much gotten to the point where I can’t stand this ministry. Adam and Hannah were watching one of their videos this evening and I could only watch for a little while. The speaker is so haughty and shaming, even in a kids presentation. We are supposed to love and be kind.

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies… for [God] is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

You can’t have both kindness and arrogance at the same time.  Arrogance cancels out kindness.

Oh, look, you’re here too? I didn’t realize anyone else was reading. It’s rude to read someone’s journal.  😉

Musings

When the Future May Be Different

What infertility can mean to a conservative Christian girl.

A few months ago I was told I have poly-cystic ovary syndrome and that it can be difficult to have children naturally.

I had done my research and suspected it for months, but to hear the words come out of the doctor’s mouth and not my own hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like the judge’s final statement, finding you guilty of some heinous crime and sentencing you to death, when you had done nothing wrong.

But why is it such a big deal? A little medical assistance and you can start your family, right? If nothing else, you can adopt.

That one line is very presumptuous.

The reason possible infertility feels so much like the black spot is not just because you can’t have children. That is a large part of your womanhood and worth grief. But also because of the role of the woman in the conservative Christian culture.

Girls are trained and brought up to be help meets. We spend our whole lives preparing for that special day when we seal our lives together with our fantastic, but as of yet, unknown husband. We learn to cook and to clean and keep a house in proper running order. We save our kisses and hearts for him, forsaking all others, and waiting only, patiently for him. In our endeavor to protect our precious hearts from being given freely away, we often end up avoiding young men all together. We ofttimes end up not thinking of them as brothers, but as potential husbands, and not necessarily our own. They are someone else’s future husband. I saw a quote the other day that basically said “I’m loving my husband that I haven’t met, and keeping pure just for him.” How much can you assume in one phrase? 1)You are assuming that you will get married. 2) You are assuming you have not met the man you will marry. 3) You, a fallible human being are assuming that you are “pure”.

Wow. You are perfect? You alone? You are made into a perfect, brand new creation through Christ. But on your own you can’t keep that up. Are you keeping pure only for your future husband? What about the one who makes you pure? The one who casts your sins as far as the east is from the west?

But all that aside (That is a whole other can of worms), what about those of us who aren’t so pure and perfect? What about us damaged goods?

And that is where infertility ties in. If you can’t have children, you can’t hold up that role of wife and mother that we all want, and are trained to have. Even if you have never even had a crush, you are now damaged goods. You feel unwanted and unlovable. A man who wants to have as many blessings as the Lord allows is not going to want to knowingly get into a situation where those blessings are unlikely.

What if instead of being loved because of the future you can have together, you are loved because you are smart, funny, beautiful, unlike anyone else? What if even above all that, you were loved because you are a perfect child of the King? What if instead of looking down on you, people empathized with you?

I’m not saying this out of bitterness, please don’t take it that way, I’m saying it because I think it needs to be said.