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I was adopted at birth by evangelical Christians from Kentucky. I have spent my adult life unlearning something so fundamental to my being that I was unable to identify it until almost a decade into therapy … [Thread] #ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
My mother and father are, to this day, deeply entrenched in the Reformed Presbyterian church & school I grew up attending. My father designed the building, my mother led groups, and I was supposed to be their shining example.
This church's doctrine hinges in part on the concept of Predestination, which is "the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others.”
The message was: we have been chosen already as god’s children and, as such, we can live out our days under his grace. Not so horrific under that lens.
But I never could figure out how to believe like my parents did. I spent 6 days a week at our church & at home it was the center of our lives. I resented god deeply starting in 2nd grade, saying I couldn't believe it because none of it made sense.
I figured I must be broken. I was assured that I could learn to believe if only I did x y & z. I remember being promised that if I read my bible before school every morning for 30 days, I would come to believe in the power of the lord. I tried so hard. Didn’t pan out.
As I got a bit older, Predestination started to be part of religious discussions. It became clear to me that I must not be one of those who had been chosen by god to be saved, like all of my friends and family had. Something was fundamentally wrong with my *soul.*
I grew towards adulthood feeling isolated & unconsciously believing that I wasn't meant for the good parts of life. For years I went through many traumatic events that I felt I deserved. I believed if I loved someone, I would only bring them down into the darkness with me.
This line of thinking was so thoroughly wrapped up in my budding individuality that I never once thought to question it. I had rejected everything about the bible and the church but had allowed this - that I was not "chosen" - to dictate and undermine my entire concept of self.
Surprisingly it took someone from within the church - a counselor I met years down the road that I love and respect - to help me pinpoint & break free from this. Turns out I’m neither defective nor unlovable.
I am still fairly church-averse and quite wary of anyone who claims to be religious. I am furious that I spent my formative years believing such horrible things about myself. These groups can be insidious in ways many members cannot fathom.
Reading all of these experiences on #Exvangelical and #ExposeChristianSchools has been fascinating & painful. Writing this has been fairly cleansing. Glad to be free of the church, glad to be out of the south
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