Profile picture
, 49 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Even more, there exists within a system more than one Belief, and the way these different Beliefs rub and press and pull against each other creates the Culture.
I certainly don't fault those who find the above Belief comforting. Life is a big and scary thing, and looking up to the night sky, we get a glimpse at just how small and insignificant we are.
The night is dark and full of terrors, and it's comforting to know that the Lord of Light that banishes the shadows and shades knows MY name and gives MY life meaning and worth.
Look, I've shared before a bit of my childhood. I grew up in a loving family, benefited from white and solid middle-class privilege. And, I wasn't the easiest child.
I was hyper and very energetic. My mom would joke that she had to "take Erik out for a walk", which largely consisted with her walking quickly and me literally running circles around her.
I was loud. One time, I was in a store, and an adult looked over and said, "when we're indoors, we use our Inside Voice." And I looked up at them and said, "this is my Inside Voice." And, before my mom could stop them, they asked, "then what's your Outside Voice?"

I was rather curious about everything and asked questions all the time. I was persistent about answers. I made lists about questions I had and took them to the library to research them.
My brother and I were the reason they put a limit on how many books kids could check-out at a time, but we read them all.
And, I was desperate for attention. I'm the second oldest of four, my parents both work in the medical profession and were very busy. They were on call a lot, and when they got a beep or a call, they dropped everything and went. They had to.
My mom went to school for a few years when I was in middle school, and that was rough, too.
I didn't have many friends my own age, and I got the sense that those who were my friends didn't really like me. I can't remember a friend before high school that, at one point, didn't tell me that they didn't like me.
Teachers really didn't like me. My 7th-8th grade teacher hated me. I realize now that she was probably abusive - but I never knew it then, because I knew I was Difficult. I knew I was Unlikeable.
I was, after all, human. All my righteousness and good deeds were like dirty rags before the Lord. He looked at me with disgust whenever He saw uncovered, raw and exposed, me.

"You're unlikeable!"

"I know," I'd snap back, "but I'm saved."

And I really internalized it.
Somehow, and I honestly don't know how, I must've projected confidence. Because the adults around me took it as arrogance. I always KNEW that my life's struggle would be against Pride.

The greatest sin. Lucifer, the Morning Star, fell because of this sin.
Every time I would try and assert myself, I'd be reminded of this sin. And counseled to look inside myself and be frank. Did I really think I was that special?

Did I?

If I were really super honest?
My people skills started out… rocky. So I learned. And I figured out that people aren't really interested in me. They're interested in talking about themselves, or other interests. I've always been curious, so I get people talking about that.

And about Jesus.
Here's where we add another Belief into the mix: God wants a Personal Relationship with You.

I took that seriously. After all, I was starved for a mentor or a role model, desperate for someone to pay attention to me, but I was starting to accept that no one would.
Why would they bother with me? After all, they could see me, right? Dirty rags. Nakedness. Disgusting.
It's like when in sixth grade I stood up to answer a question, and I might've been arguing with the teacher, and the kid behind me yanked down my sweat pants to reveal my Batman briefs. Everyone laughed. A lot.

I never wore sweatpants again. I switched to tight black jeans.
But I remember that feeling of standing there, feeling exposed against my will, and knowing that the best I could hope for was mockery. That's what standing before God felt like.
I pursued Him earnestly. Eagerly. And when He didn't show, never answered a prayer, never sent that still small voice or that special sense of reassurance, I was crushed.

But not surprised.
Because I had looked deeply into myself, and I knew I was just standing there in less than my underwear. None of us can earn or deserve God's love; we're loved IN SPITE of who and what we are.
All stand in awe at the mercy and love of God, for He, in His saving grace, has pity on a wretch like me.

Whenever I was sad about this, or told anyone, they'd tell me that my sins weren't "that special". I wasn't especially hard to love, God's bigger than that.
Not even my sins were special. They were bland and boring. It was arrogant and prideful of me to think I, out of everyone, would be hard for God to love and forgive.

Look deep, Erik. Can't you see they're right? The most important thing about you isn't yours.
I felt lucky whenever someone showed a specific interest in me.

Lucky when I got a girlfriend, even when she was horrifically emotionally abusive and would call me a "robot incapable of emotions".
Lucky when I got to college and made friends, and destroyed when those friends told me that I loved the Darkness more than the Light and that God, who spoke to THEM personally, told them to surrender me to Satan for a season to see if that would save me.
Lucky when a woman approached me and told me that God had made us meet, even when she was emotionally abusive and manipulative and consumed my energy.
What are boundaries? How can I be arrogant enough to say that there's the need for a fence around me, as if I had "rights" or anything inside worth protecting?
I felt worthless, unloved, and so very alone. It felt like anyone who got close enough to me to actually see me left. That closeness drove them away, but I was desperate to be close to someone, anyone.
And, at the end of the day, when everything settled and everyone had gone, when I was alone with myself, I knew that there was nothing special about me.
The most important thing about me was that I'd killed God's Son, and if I clung to his robes enough, he'd drag me to Heaven because that was a promise He'd made in spite of me.
Now, there are leaders who would say that I misunderstood the Belief. They never said all of that (though, there have been some who have), but they didn't have to. The personal Culture I existed within said it loud and clear.
And whenever doubt gripped me, I fought against it with everything I had, because I had ONE FUCKING THING inside of me that was special and worthwhile, and that was Jesus, and if that ever got taken away from me, I'd be an empty husk.
My entire being hinged in the correct Belief. And friends, it might've been a house of cards, but you'd better believe I didn't spare the duct tape to make sure it stayed up.
Do you want to know my #ExvangelicalHealing?

I think I might be kinda cool?
It felt raw and painful to type that, and look at how many qualifiers I put in! How many weak words. And still, I have this instinct to walk it back.
I've realized that I'm still afraid of there being nothing inside. Of people getting too close and leaving me because there's nothing within me to keep them.
That if I put up too many boundaries, I won't be worth the work of respecting. That I need to make people work to know things, otherwise I'll bore them with my passion and interests.
I'm a writer. I tell stories. I've published novels. And I have a hard time talking about them, because they're special to me, and it's intensely painful for something meaningful to be boring to someone else.
And I've realized that I'm scared to write. Because look, I realized that I could tell stories that Baby!Erik would've wanted to read. Stories about boys and men who were passionate, and kind, and saw people truly and loved them for what they saw there.
Stories about people who choose their loved ones and show up, day after day, because it's a joy to be there. Stories where people are complicated and broken, but there's hope because people are also kind.
It scares me so deeply to write any of these stories, because they can only come out of the well deep inside of me. What if I reach deep only to find that there's nothing there?
That the only thing of value, of worth, of interest, has dried up and blown away? That I'm an empty husk?

It truly deeply scares me.
My #ExvangelicalHealing is that I can be brave, but I don't have to be brave alone. I have people who love me, who see me, who show up every day because of what they see inside of me, who will support me if I let them.
I can tell stories, I can tell my story, and it matters.

It has meaning.

And so does yours.

So do you.

Because of who you are, and what you are, and what's deep inside of you.

We can make new Beliefs, craft a new Culture, one that focuses on healing and moving forward.
And I want you to know that all human life - YOUR life - has value because we are incredible creatures capable of so much. The most special thing about you is what lies inside of you, and how you, personally, use your potential.
You are worthy of love, respect, dignity, and being seen for who you truly are.

We're more than our damage, the things people have done to us. That's the least interesting part of us. What's of value is moving forward, growing and healing and fighting for what's important to us.
We're stronger together. We've got each other's backs. And if you feel alone, or scared, or weak, or ugly, or unimportant, then you don't have to be brave by yourself. I'll tell you what I see and how splendid you are, and maybe you can do the same for me when I'm scared too.
For me, that's what gives me hope.

What about you?
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Erik Kort
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!