This is a guest post by "24," who is sharing her journey with us:
Today is Sunday—my first Sunday in which I chose to not attend church. I publicly left the OALC on March 13, 2013. Having worked every-other weekend for many years now, it is understood that--due to my job—I'm not able to attend as diligently as most (meaning every Sunday, without fail). This being the first Sunday in which I CHOSE to not attend was a different matter entirely, and I heard about it from my mom via text message. Always the warmest, most kind-hearted person I know, her inner "mama bear" came out and I saw a side of her that I do not at all like. Directed towards me was guilt, guilt, guilt, but she also threw in some choice words regarding my school, work, teachers, and the devil. That was rough. It has been surprisingly smooth sailing up to today, and though I knew that the waters would be troubled at some point, it is still not an easy thing hearing these things from my mom. Even though I am certain that my beliefs are correct and true to me, being confronted (attacked) brings out weakness in each of us. Through my tears I composed a loong reply, which I then deleted. The response I gave was a simple reminder that I could have taken the easy way out and left without a backwards glance (which I did consider for some time), but that it was love for my family that impacted the way in which I was carrying out my decison, truthfully and openly. I received no response.
Today has opened my eyes in new ways. I realized that I need to start making plans on my Sundays, as that is typically a day surrounded by family. I also think I will be taking some time off from family until they cool their engines and learn to accept who I am. Some of the activities I'm going to start looking into are: find a great restaurant that sells crepes (I've just been craving), visit art galleries and museums, go shopping, meet friends for coffee, find 'walks for causes', some type of fundraiser, find somewhere to volunteer. Any input, advice, or ideas will be greatly appreciated, as well as similar stories. I know that I am not alone, and it has been greatly beneficial to hear from others who have walked in similar shoes.
Strong, brave, and just getting started—