I was already a bit suspicious of this fellowship leader,
because a female friend of mine who was slated to be the next
president of our Christian organization had been asked to step
aside due to her gender. This was uncomfortable for me, but
not a new concept since my own childhood church did not and
still does not allow women to hold most leadership roles. I
can’t remember if I signed the statement, but I am afraid I did.
I was a small group leader for a few years, and I am pretty sure
that would not have been allowed if I hadn’t put my signature
on that piece of paper.
At the same time, I moved down a path that became a
pursuit and passion for years to come. I began taking
psychology and religion classes, and to this day, I am working
to integrate these two disciplines into a healthy pursuit of
living. In religion classes, I was exposed to different ideas about
the Bible, how it was written and formed, and a putting on the
table of all things problematic to my inquisitive mind. I learned
I wasn’t the only one with faith questions and a desire to pursue
answers with both head and heart. In psychology courses, I
was introduced to new ideas around human thought, emotion,
and behavior. These concepts were not emphasized in my
family of origin.
This was an invigorating pursuit, yet it bumped up
against so much that I was taught as a child. The tapes of my
childhood discipline and religion blared inside my mind. Fear
would often lead to panic and then to a shutdown of just how
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