It wasn’t true, you know. I did care what the Bible said. But I had believed for so long - and verbally espoused - certain views about homosexuality and now they were being challenged.
Because when my dear friend told me he was gay, I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t his choice.
And if I didn’t believe that one thing about my faith, what else didn’t I believe? The girl from another denomination who told me I was going to hell, the boyfriend who tried to pray my personality into more submission, the Christian boss who tried to enforce a bedtime...it was too much. Once I started I couldn’t stop giving voice to the hundreds of doubts and inconsistencies I saw in my religion.
And so I pressed pause.
A year or so went by. I didn’t think about the hard stuff. I decided that no part of me believed that my friend who was born gay and my friend who was born Jewish was doomed to burn in eternal hell. Now that that was out of the way, I pressed pause again.
I married the kindest and most generous man I’ve ever met, something that most people find hard to believe because everyone knows Jesus doesn’t approve of potty humor.
When I was early married, I tried a church in my neighborhood that was known to be fairly liberal in its teachings, but a young-ish guy came up and tried to welcome me. I hated that so I never went back.
If it seems like I’m skimming over years here, it’s because I am. “Pause” lasted for a long time.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I realized that some of the sadness I was feeling wasn’t just hormonal, but part of the ache of missing my faith. My spiritual pause hadn’t been barren, I never felt separate from my God. I still prayed a little. But I was no longer sure of how realistic it was to have a personal relationship with the Creator. A Lord who granted parking spaces and favored certain nations and sports teams seemed ludicrous to me now.
Then a couple of things happened. One of the most beautifully faithful people I know told me that she believed our friend was born gay, too. Another friend of seemingly unshakable beliefs told me that she thought women were meant to teach in the Church. I stumbled across a few blogs and then whole books written by people about my age who loved Jesus, but were having a hard time reconciling what we know in 2012 with the intricacies of an infallible Bible. I wasn’t alone.
Hiding my head in the sand about my doubts had made me think that everyone else was still operating with their youth group faith. I hadn’t give people enough credit to see that everyone, by my age, had experienced doubts and hurts. It was freeing, finally, to see the gray.