I don’t want to go back to church.

I know I’ve said in the past that I did.  Or at least, that I wanted to want to.  But I don’t, not really.

My younger self would not have understood my present self in the slightest.  In fact, I think it is a remnant of my younger self that is the problem here.  You who know me or who have read my blog for any amount of time know that I was raised as a conservative Christian, that I went to Bible College and Seminary.  That I made faith my life until the last few years.  I never expected to not have faith be a full-time priority.  I mean, I used to teach Sunday School and a adult’s class for new believers.  I was basically the poster child for evangelical Christianity.

Except that I never quite fit in.  My feminist self was certainly not part of the deal.  Nor was my lesbian self (which, admittedly, did not come out until much after my abandonment of church).  I was not quiet or timid or submissive enough.  I never felt incomplete by myself (let alone without a man, ha).  For a time, I wanted and tried, desperately, to fit into the mold that was given to me based on the fact I was born with a vagina.  But it’s been a long time since I’ve tried to fit that mold.

I resented being told I had to live a certain way based on gender.  And I hated that I wasn’t supposed to question things.  I hated that I wasn’t allowed to hate certain parts of the Bible, that I was supposed to just accept them as a good thing, even though there is no way they could be good.  Genocide?  Bigotry?  Misogyny? Patriarchal bullshit?  And so much more.  Theological points were sticky for me at times, too.  Early on in my academic career, I decided that I’d align myself more closely with neo-orthodoxy.  But even that isn’t where I am today.

I don’t miss going to church.  I miss the community, having easy access to friends.  I’m trying to find that in the queer community, and I think I’ll get there eventually.  But I don’t think I’m going to go back to church to find it.

I’m still not saying I don’t have some sort of faith.  I do.  It just looks so very different than I ever expected that I don’t know how to define it, or if it even needs to be defined.  Maybe it is okay that I don’t know where I am in regard to faith or where I’m going.

My life is not at all what I thought it would be.  But you know what?  It’s so much better than I could have ever dreamed.