I Rise – a Poem on Leaving Fundamentalism Behind

In what may appear to be an abrupt left turn, I will be sharing my personal experiences on being a part of a movement that is controversial to some, entertaining (sadly) to others. It is my hope that this blog series will find its way to those who are likewise looking to leave, heal, and begin living their own lives – not the lives others have thrust upon them.

To be clear, leaving fundamental Evangelical Christianity does not necessarily mean leaving Christianity altogether. This subject is complicated, complex, emotional and a decision unique to every single ex-“fundagelical” who leaves this way of life behind. To those who embrace this movement, it is not seen as religion; it is viewed and lived as a way of life.

For those looking for Aspie pieces, they’re still in the pipeline and as always you can utilize the drop down menu to find your way to them.

Why are you writing about this?

As I write in my book, we best take care of our families when we also take care of ourselves. Being honest about something raw and real is one way to do that. In fact, it was my Aspie who suggested I write about all this as a path to healing. She also believes what I have to share may very well help others, too. In many ways this series is dedicated to her.

How often will you be writing on this?

Honestly, I am not sure how much I will cover on this blog. However, I do plan to talk about it regularly over on Patreon and have already set up a page over there. And, yes, much of it is accessible by Patrons, only, as this is a subject best kept among those who have an honest interest in discussing it.

Why did you release this Thanksgiving week, of all times?

Because as difficult as this has been, it’s also been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m in a much better place emotionally and (ironically) physically. I’m thankful for a supportive husband and daughter who are “allowing” (not really the right word to use here…) me to truly be true to myself. I have a lot to be thankful for in spite of the pain. I am thankful that I am finally free.

For now, I’d like to share with you a poem I wrote several months ago. It demonstrates, in artistic voice, a small part of this journey.

I Rise, a Poem

This morning I woke up with the usual unwelcome voices inside my head. For as far back as I can remember they’re taunted and tormented me. Echoes of old monologues, telling me my worth is questionable as well as my direction in life.

But it’s not just the voices I hear, it’s the faces of those who uttered them that also race across my mind’s eye. People who through frustration (I wasn’t an easy child), anger (patience was an elusive virtue among my elders), or endless scriptures and attempts to channel god broke me.

This destruction took decades, with the final structural collapse occurring shortly after I turned fifty. As much as they worked like hell to make me into their image, as much as I fasted and prayed to take that very “holy” form, my soul knew better. Eventually, it regained voice lost and emerged battered, scarred and gasping. But it emerged, nonetheless.

Still, their voices echo like an earworm, repeating worn phrases and dogma that once worked to destroy me. One resurfaced this morning, telling me there was no point in doing anything today. Why get out of bed, even? Then again, there are “wifely duties” to fulfill, baskets of laundry toward the top of that list. Isn’t fulfilling your ordained duty as a female enough to rise?

But the inner warrior within me refused to fall again. No, there was value beyond the home. Somewhere. I grabbed my quiver from the ether and pulled the bow taught. Drawing strength from those who have gone before me, I let my fingers release, silencing the souls whose words wound.

It’s over. Yes, there are more voices that will stir, their choruses winding down in the distance. Those who speak are few in number but their voices remain shrill and hard to shake. As each emergent memory falls, I rise. Arrow after arrow, my aim is deadly.

No longer will I restrain choices in an effort to appease them. I now embrace self-care and self-worth. I’d rather keep company with dragons and the fickle fae then those who thirst for spiritual blood with no end.

By Julie Clark

“I Rise” ©2018 Julie Clark

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