I don’t believe in Jesus. I believe in LOVE.

Do you know what a polemicist is without looking it up in the dictionary? I didn’t when I read in my astrological Gemini traits of a potential career. That word popped out at me as i read and it made even more sense when I read the definition. I further went on to read about famous polemicist writers like George Orwell, Karl Marx, and Jonathan Swift. Although, I have not read any of their writings, I have heard of them. Why? Because they were controversial.

My girlfriend and I have begun re-reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  The timing of reading this again now is heavy for me. As he writes, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” In this part of my journey, I have so many desires fulfilled. Desires that I have suppressed for 20+ years because I cared too much what others thought, AND I was brainwashed. The life I am living is a dream come true for me. Imagine creating your ideal life in your head and journals for 20+ years and then the season unfolds where it all falls into place. That part of my journey is going into a book, but all that to say, I am abundant in my life now.

However, there has been this growing agitation that I’m missing something. Lately, I wake up fearful, frustrated, and discontent on the inside. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. My partner has been patient to help me try to weather this internal struggle, but her attempts have fallen short on my actual getting out of this struggle. At moments, I am triggered by something and somehow it leads to tears and emotions that I haven’t experienced before nor should the actual triggering event evoke such an emotional reaction. I feel crazy sometimes. I just want to escape my head. And yet, I am fully aware that the only way for me to move through this spiritual growth is to walk through it…sit with the tears, sit with the pain, the unresolve, the triggers…I will not deny it’s there and just go shopping or find some other thing to fill the discomfort.

So, as we have picked up this book and began stewing over the truth he writes of resistance, I have but only one conclusion. I must write. I must write without filters. I must tell of my experiences in growing up in the church. I must fight through my lack of articulation and try to explain the deep mind fuck that happened to me. Happened to me is relative. I take responsibility that I chose to stay in it until I was 36 years old.

The deep brainwashing that occurs in the church at large is so insidious. Even today, when I write anything about my church experiences on social media, all the responses have the same language. Jesus is the answer. Turn your cares over to him. He makes all things new. Just trust in Jesus.

Well, I don’t believe in Jesus. I believe in LOVE. Jesus was not portrayed very lovingly or accurately in all the years I went to church and had church friends. Seriously, that is just where I am at right now. Jesus didn’t come into my room when I was crying from some fucked up thing that happened in my church. Love was there. The very people who were Christ followers, preaching his love, were the very ones that were talking behind my back, exposing my “sins” to others. Those same people, the leaders in my church, were telling us to be like Jesus but we couldn’t question anything.

I could now write for a few paragraphs about how there were also so many lovely things in those challenging years, but I don’t want to. I want the ugliness of those times to be all out there. I want to quit denying that there was so many wrongs done. I know without a doubt that there are thousands that have suffered similar injustices that I have. Can we just sit in the fact that there were grave injustices…all in the name of Jesus?

With all the shit that happened in my old church, Christ Church Kirkland, I am grateful this is part of my journey. It’s my life and my story. I came out of that clusterfuck and found my true self. Am still finding my true self. The self that LOVE made. Some people might think, “Oh NO! Jill doesn’t believe in Jesus. She’s not going to be with me in eternity. I have to talk to her and help her come back to believing in Jesus.” This is all based in fear. Love has no fear. So, if we believe in love, we have nothing to fear. I don’t care about what happens after this life. Why? Because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENS! We all have our belief in what we think will happen, but we don’t know. I feel more compelled to live in the now. Learning how to love. Learning how to be authentic.

photocredit Cristian Newman

photocredit Cristian Newman