Saturday, November 10, 2007
But it was the right decision
Mostly it was surreal because when I got to the church this morning and had a quiet moment to walk around by myself.... it looked old. But such memories! I had my first crush there, I was the youth group president, dances, choir, summer camp, dressing up like Wacky the Duck for the bible study program (wish I had pictures of that!), sitting with dear friends during Christmas Eve services..... I loved church, and at some point I knew I wanted to be a minister. To do good, to help, to lead. That was the plan at least....
But this is the church that broke my heart as well. I remember so clearly the day that the youth group leaders pulled me into the parking lot to dress me down over things people claimed about me.... Mean things someone said about me that the the youth leaders latched onto and attacked me about. When I was just a kid! And the 'adults' who were supposed to provide us a good, safe environment pulled me into a parking lot and made me feel the worst I can ever remember feeling. I was so confused and hurt. So I left because I felt clearly that's what they wanted. And you know what? I think they were relieved that I left, which hurt even more.
Sure I tried another church, but it wasn't ever the same. Even though I had many friends there, I didn't fit in like I fit in at my church. So I left 'the church'.
I don't hold any ill will towards the church though because I really had such a wonderful, grounded upbringing there. I have the best memories and I feel blessed to have had the experiences I did. But I know I made the right decision by leaving.
I have never talked specifically about religion here because its such a touchy subject, but man, the memories just got me today.
And maybe I'll feel regret over writing this tomorrow because even 12 years after that day in the parking lot, it still hurts.
I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.