I’ve been out of the evangelical church for a few years now. Until recently I’ve spent most of this time being happy, hiding under the radar and mostly keeping to myself. It’s been my goal to mostly be “stealth,” and just stay out of the way.
So what changed?
I, like a lot of people, watched in horror in November 2016 to see the shift this country made in leadership. (I’m not saying names here so Google doesn’t find me!) It was really hard to watch. I cried a lot that night.
It was horrific to know that the very people that helped form my moral character were behind it. I watched people that help make me be the compassionate person I am today cheer in glee at what they had done. We’d gone from “love your neighbor” to cheering as my rights as a person could now to be taken away, and they were overjoyed about it.
In the weeks and months that followed I watched people in my community be stricken with fear. We were all terrified of what might be coming next. I openly wondered if I’d be allowed to use the restroom in public places. Other friends wondered if their marriage was about to be annulled.
And the thing is, all of this could be true. It still might be true. We don’t know yet, and that’s the really scary part.
It was Justice Kennedy retiring that was the final straw for me, knowing that we’d just lost the Supreme Court. That was the galvanizing moment that made me go “I need to help fix this,” and I realized that my time of staying hidden needed to draw to a close.
It was around this time that I started finding the Exvie community online, too. It’s pretty clear, now, that a bunch of us had thought the same thing, and we’ve been finding each other, and doing our best to help each other out.
Once I had a community of folks to talk to, I learned that I wasn’t the only person trapped in a cycle of fear, shame, and guilt the way I was. I learned there’s lots of others.
Knowing that I wasn’t alone, my attitude shifted. I wanted to help other people that may be trapped, too. Yeah, it was the politics that got me to open my eyes, but what I saw wasn’t what I expected. I saw that I wasn’t alone, and there were other people that needed help.
My fear turned into compassion. I decided the best way I could help is to tell other people my story, and hope that it inspires and encourages them, and lets them know that they definitely are not alone. 💜