The exact moment that broke my faith

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Photo by Jessica Delp on Unsplash

The church I grew up in was small. We had a hard time attracting new people. We had a harder time getting them to come back the following Sunday. We could only achieve growth in our small flock at a snails pace over the years, and we never understood why.

Despite how tiny we were, among the kids in this church, there was an in-crowd, and an out-crowd. …


I never saw the truth behind his smiling mask

I have folders on my computer containing logs of old messages. Some are funny, and some are just interesting to read again years later. Each one offers a peek into a past version of myself. This excerpt is from an AOL instant messenger chat from when I was in my early 20's. (I know, I’m revealing my age here!) A friend and I were discussing how a recent phone conversation had ended abruptly. Names have been removed for anonymity.

him (5:01:52 PM): sorry bout that
me (5:01:59 PM): no I’m sorry
him (5:02:26 PM): uh, for what?
me (5:02:26 PM): I had pulled up to the church and [my boyfriend’s] dad was there talking to him
me (5:02:57 PM): and I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and didn’t hear a word you were saying
him (5:03:17 PM): oh, it’s…


We can’t start celebrating… yet.

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Photo by 丁亦然 on Unsplash

Trump’s America is a runaway train. It feels as though we’re hurtling toward the edge of a cliff. Most of us see the broken trestle and the coming plunge into the abyss. Inexplicably, however, many of us see a strong, great, beautiful bridge (which Mexico or perhaps China paid for) and no worries everyone, trust the leadership of the orange man — he’s making America great again!

In the second week of October, there was a glorious bump in the polls, peaking with Biden having more than a 10-point lead nationally over Trump. It inspired an article — titled “Biden Will Win”. I wound up changing my subtitle before publishing it, because it didn’t match the overall tone of the article. But the “working” subtitle was a bit more accurate to our situation than my final version. …


I can’t think about alternatives… for now.

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Photo by Saneej Kallingal on Unsplash

I miss my friends. I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of progressive politics, and if only we were able to hang out right now, we’d have so much to share!

I want to exchange ideas in the no-holds-barred way that’s only possible with in-person discussions. I want to see their faces, read their body language. I want them to laugh at me when I’m so excited at a point I’m making that I’m starting to resemble a boiling teapot.

But we have close relationships with too many people. Just getting our inner circle of friends together can quickly turn into a gathering of 20. This number includes a household of three, with one that’s severely immunocompromised. She’s my best friend, and she hasn’t been able to leave her house all summer. The baseline for her severe asthma barely allows her to breathe. A single breath of air laced with cigarette smoke will make her sick for weeks, and could land her in the hospital. …


Goal-setting in uncertain times

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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

I’m waiting for results on a coronavirus test. My youngest was sent home from school on Wednesday for a runny nose. We’re pretty sure it’s just his seasonal allergies acting up (as they often do this time of year). His allergies are pretty mild, so it’s an undiagnosed condition. We spoke with his doctor. To get a child diagnosed with seasonal allergies (so that the school won’t send them home each and every time their nose needs blowing), one must first rule out Covid 19. So he took the test, and we’re waiting on the results.

I’m expecting the test to come back negative. I mean, it’s the same runny nose he gets each and every year when the fall leaves start messing with his sinuses. I’m expecting to be able to send both my kids back to school on Tuesday, and be able to continue my current batch of sewing for my home business. I expect to be able to ship the wedding dresses I’ve promised to people on time. …


Why I left the Christian faith (Part 2)

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Image credits: Pixabay, author

My last post was a simplified account. It did contain the primary reasons that my faith broke, why it could not survive the experience of the real world. But my journey away was very gradual. It has to be, when your faith is so intricately woven into your very identity as a human being.

At 19, I started to doubt. At 22, I knew my faith was shaken to its core, and I knew I could not find my way back to that innocent, unwavering belief no matter how hard I prayed, or read the Bible, or searched my soul, or sought help from other Christians. The more I searched, the more the foundations of my faith seemed to crack. At 23, I stopped attending church regularly, but continued to attend sporadically. I had moved far away from where I grew up, and made the excuse that I was still searching for my new “church home”. I still considered myself a Christian, albeit a struggling one. I thought maybe I could just try really hard to trust, to stop thinking, to accept what I was told by the still-faithful ones. At 25, I started realizing that I couldn’t follow the fundamental version of Christianity I was taught as a child. …


I got out… Mostly.

(Heads up — there is cussing in this story. And it’s a bit of a rant. You have been warned.)

Imagine… You’re at a fancy restaurant. Crystal chandeliers overhead, real linens, sparkling flatware, soft music playing in the background. Creeping in comes a distinct aroma of… dog shit?

You wonder, wait, why do I smell shit? Oh my god, is it me? Two quick lifts of a heel later, and you realize the worst.

I HAVE SHIT ON THE BOTTOM OF MY SHOE.

Hi, I’m Kristi. Most of the people in my family are Trumpists. And although I’ve found my way to the nice-restaurant setting of leftist intellectualism, I don’t really feel like I belong there. …


Why I left the Christian faith (Part 1)

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Image credits: Pixabay, author

What is perfection?
Is it something you can strive for
Something to strive for

It was 2003. I was 21, still chock full of hormones, and completely lacking in worldly wisdom. This poem was for the boy that, according to purity culture, should have been the one for me.

I thought you were perfect
at least for me
And you were
I thought we had perfect love
in this imperfect world
I thought nothing else matters

Have you ever written something that completely captures an emotion you’re feeling at the time? It’s quite cathartic. And there is something weird that occurs (or at least occurred for me). That stanza, that paragraph, becomes something you’ll go back to again and again. When you’re again feeling an emotion similar to the one you felt when you poured yourself onto the page — you can read what you wrote, and feel a similar release. …

About

Kristina Callaway

Artist, mother, and seeker of unique places and experiences.

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