Welcome to the tale of yet another young, white, cisgendered, middle class male who knows the struggle.
Many of you may be familiar with my story from the Inglorious Pasterds podcast, where I was featured in episode 47: What It Looks Like To Get Screwed By The Church w/ Josh Casey. If you haven’t listened to Michael, Matt, and Brad’s podcast or joined the pub, you should.
Like seriously, bookmark this page, download their stuff, listen, and come back later. (FYI; For those of you related to me or Baptist [sorry Jordan, I had to]. . . language alert!)
For those of you who have listened, you may be wondering why I’m taking the time to write if I’ve already gone through a two hour podcast talking it out. Well as with any story, there is always much more to tell surrounding the events in question: details, conversations, parallel storylines, and deeper movements of the heart which it was neither practical nor appropriate to tell there.
Plus, I’m addicted to context.
Here however, we can turn over each agonizing – and beautiful – piece of the story, fitting it into a larger narrative that, if I’m doing my job properly, sounds more like you or your friends’ lives and experiences than you might be comfortable admitting.
So here’s the deal, the plan is to start a ways back: before I decided to go to a Bible college, or went to a campus ministry. Before I questioned my tradition and discovered contemplative spirituality.
Before I failed as a husband and father and tried to leave my faith.
Before I rediscovered genuine Christlike hope and my vocation in a new pastoral setting, then watched it be destroyed by fearful men.
Before I floated back to a state to which I promised never to return and stumbled my way toward an uncertain future.
I want to begin with my awakening to a spiritual tradition. Then journey through the fracture as I carried my oar into waterless lands, ultimately finding the River I sought, but quickly discovering that it opened into a wider horizon than I had first believed possible.
With that, I want to make a few goals and promises to you, the reader:
- I will try to post twice a week, but will always post at least once.
- I will keep these short (around 600 words), even if that means cheating and breaking up posts.
- I will respond to all comments as soon as possible (trolls will be slain by my glowing elf blade, Sting).
- I will not present myself as the hero. This is my story, but it’s as much a catalogue of my mistakes, misconceptions, and neuroses as anything. I am not, nor have I ever been, enlightened. If I thought a particular way – even a year ago – which now brings shame to me, I will share it.
- I will be as forthcoming with details as I and my faithful story editor, my wife, think is appropriate. Note: any spelling/grammatical mistakes are mine. Mikala may be fantastic at helping me know which words (paragraphs more likely) to cut, but she’s rubbish at grammar. (Love you, hon!)
Alright, let’s get going shall we?