Monday, January 18, 2010

That is Just NOT Me

I really would have thought by my thirties I would know who I was a little better but here I am, rapidly approaching 32, still wondering about all those things.

A few years ago I "found God" again. I was struggling with depression after losing Kai, my marriage was rocky (mostly because I was batshit crazy), and I found solace in faith. So, I joined an online group, Above Rubies. And I tried. I really tried to fit in. But I failed, I found myself screaming at my computer screen at the blind stupidity of some of the women in the Rubies group. There many times I was involved in emotionally draining arguments with women from the site, on topics as volatile as gay marriage and abortion all the way to topics as lame as "Harry Potter is Devil worship". The final nail in the coffin of my rubidom came with the last presidential election. I was committing the HUGE sin of voting for a democrat (you know, the baby killing party). I was shocked and saddened to realize many of these "christian" women were racist as hell (thank God most of them never saw my family pics). I was also surprised at the unfounded, absolute vile, hatred they spewed. Eventually it was suggested I leave the group, I wasn't "christian" enough and clearly not ruby material. So I packed up my denim jumpers and moved on. I kid, I kid. I never actually bought those.

Later that month, I was also asked to leave a democratic message board for being too conservative. I was winning all around the interweb.

I stopped talking about politics and religion all together. It just was not worth the pain and frustration.

When I first found Rubies I read tons of material, among the many books I read, the book called, "Destined to be his Help-meet" stood out the most. I will say that a FEW of the principles in the book saved my marriage, but the rest of it was utter bullshit. I learned to let Neil parent his own way, to trust him more, to lean on him when I needed it. I spent the first part of my marriage trying to be the man and the woman and ignoring his thoughts and opinions. Let me tell you, that doesn't work out well. That is all I gleaned from the book. The rest terrified me. The books was written by the Pearls who run a freaky cult ministry. *Don't click on that unless you want your head to explode or unless you think whipping kids with a leather paddle is great parenting.* The more I read into the the thinking of of the group I belonged too, the more I realized I just didn't belong, but I still tried. I tried because I wanted so badly to belong.

Even after all that, I didn't lose faith in God. I still had faith and held on to it tightly through all my miscarriages, troubles with Noah's autism, and financial struggles. Now? I am struggling. I don't really fit in with any particular organized religion and I don't know where that leaves me.

So to make a long story short (too late!). I am not evangelical christian material. Also I am not liberal enough for most liberals. I am awesome like that.

13 comments:

Tiffany said...

I have been going through the same thing lately! I really don't know where I fit in. A year ago I would have told you I was a hard core Republican. Today? Possibly a conservative Democrat? I don't know. I'm also having problems with the church lately. Mostly this has to do with gay marriage, which I fully support. Who am I to tell someone they can't marry the person they love? I like to think of Christians as people who love and don't judge. Unfortunately that is not how it is most of the time. I would love to find a church that welcomes and respects everyone.

mom2nji said...

I have been looking for the same thing. I really thought Christianity was about love and support, some where along the line it turned into judgment and condemnation.

thepsychobabble said...

Above Rubies, im(somewhat)ho, is sort of like a gateway drug to the more hardcore patriarchal/fundamental sects. And the Pearls are freaky scary crazy.
If you're interested, http://nolongerquivering.com has stories from women who have lived, and escaped from, the Quiverfull movement, and other patriarch-based religions. Can be heavy stuff at times, but also so revealing.

mom2nji said...

I have heard of that site and several friends who left rubies went on to there. I still do not use birth control, but that is a personal choice. Our "quiver" will be complete at four, if we ever have a forth. But I think even groups like Rubies go beyond the patriarchal family model. It's like a zombie cult.

tasha said...

As an Above Rubies fan (who despises the Pearls' child-rearing methods), I'll say this: AR is comprised of more conservative, evangelical Christians (like myself). There are other groups out there that are more liberal in the minors but still agree in the majors. A favorite site of mine is GCM (www.gentlechristianmothers.com/community)--you can read some of this as an unregistered member but other subgroups are reserved for members only. This is a natural/gentle parenting, non-spanking site. If you've ever checked out the Mothering.com forums, they are very similar except that Mothering doesn't take a specific religious stance.

FTR, NLQ (no longer quivering)is NOT a site I'd recommend. There's a difference between coming out of a patriarchal movement and being a pure atheist. (Again, we are evangelical Christians in our home...) Vicki's story in particular is sad, as she no longer believes in God at all, by her own admission (and I can find the link to where she says just that, if you need).

As someone who has known you for years, I could tell you, without you even telling me LOL, exactly what, amongst evangelicals, you'd disagree with. That's neither here nor there, except to say that it wouldn't surprise me that the Rubies website wasn't your cuppa joe. ;)

Sarah R said...

I do consider myself an evangelical Christian, Jenni, and I couldn't even fit in with the Rubies. As soon as I mentioned that I worked full time (although from home so I could be an on-site mom), I didn't fit their mold.
I think you should just take comfort in that God made you, Jenni, exactly as He wanted you.

tasha said...

Sarah, I work from home (full-time usually), too. Now, I have never caught any flack from Rubies about that, but I also don't remember the last time I posted it. In any case, any time I have sensed "disagreement" with this, I ALWAYS point out that I do this because my husband *wants me* to do so. He LIKES that we have money to pay off our debts and save into an emergency fund, as well as save for big purchases and avoid debt--ALL of which are things that most AR's and evangelicals are always talking about. :-) For them to discredit that is shooting themselves in the foot. So, it's basically, "Um, I'm submitting to my HUSBAND--not you." Funny...I don't think I've ever had anyone come back and say anything to that one! (and I don't say that facetiously either; I truly do believe in submission and truly am submitting in that manner)

Woo222 said...

You are awesome just the way you are. I think this post shows that you possess some wonderful and rare qualities. You play well with others, but you aren't willing to sell out. You're open-minded and still true to yourself. That's truly fantastic. You should be proud of you. Much love, S
And PS. I am SOOO glad you don't whip your kids with a leather paddle..as someone who was whipped with belts and extension cords regularly as a kid, I can honestly tell you I think about it several times a day and my stomach knots up each time. And I've worked through it in therapy, what would it be like if I hadn't? ;)

Sarah R said...

I agree with you, Tasha. I have days when I'd love to quit and homeschool my kids, but it's not a practical option for us, especially considering that I hold the health insurance for our family.
Also, Jenni, I never got a vibe of racism from anyone...and it makes me sick in my stomach to think that you did. Especially since the creators of Above Rubies (Nancy and Colin) have adopted children from Liberia...it's clearly not them.

mom2nji said...

Sarah,
I know Nancy and Colin are not racists. And there are many other Ruby families that have adopted from Liberia as well. For everyone one of those families in that group there are just as many backwoods rednecks who were livid a "Colored" would be in power. Though most of them kept the total nastiness for private emails to me (I even had a HUSBAND email me on the subject).

Amanda in BC said...

Hi Jenni!
I don't know if you remember me, we used to chat through the AR group. You gave me advice and encouragement when I was facing my c-section and we prayed for each other, when you lost your sweet baby and when mine was born sick and in the NICU. Anyway, I missed you when you left! I have popped into your blog a few times and just happened to read this one today. I know what you mean...I don't really fit into the group either. I'm not QF, we have used BC, I may or may not homeschool in the future, I don't wear skirts or cover my head etc etc. I have gleaned lots of wisdom and support from the group but I stay out of debates and skip over stuff I don't agree with. I'm not very active in the group anymore but I'm still there.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I miss your posts! I always liked them :-) I thought you were the sweetest thing ever! I liked emailing with you and felt like you were a "friend" haha. Anyway, it's good that you are still thinking about God and figuring out where you are with Him. It's a journey, right? Take care!

mom2nji said...

Hey Amanda! I do remember you! So awesome to see you on my blog. I did get reeled into debates and then attacked. It just wasnt worth it. Please email me or comment on here more! mom2nji@gmail.com

Amy said...

Hi. I was just randomly blog-surfing and I came upon your page. I don't know anything about the groups you mentioned (never heard of them before), but I love Jesus with all of my heart and that is what made me want to comment. I just want to encourage you to never base your thoughts on the Bible or Jesus on those who call themselves Christians. Unfortunately we are not always as good a reflection of Him as we should be.I have also been disappointed in others who I just expected to be a little more...well..Christ-like. Through that, though, I feel that God has shown me to just focus on Him. I am to follow Christ, not "Christians". People will fall short every time--God never will! I will add, though, that I believe that Christians are often criticized for standing up for God's word. This is inevitable. Jesus said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19 God's word will not always be popular. It remains the same through every generation, every culture, every changing era. I know this has been wordy, but I just want to encourage you with this: "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 Keep seeking!