Last week the first part of our episode on the Losing Our Religion podcast with Zac Gandara aired. I listened to it on the way to work before sharing it with anyone. I was nervous. The night we recorded the episode, Mat and I got home close to midnight - we had so much fun talking with and getting to know Zac, we didn't want to say goodbye - and I tossed and turned in bed, restless. I moved to the couch to avoid waking Mat but continued to lose myself inside my analytical brain.
I've been told on occasion I think too much, to which I respond, "Thank you." I am, after all, a thinking introvert.
I kept replaying our discussion on an endless loop. I wasn't sure how I felt about our conversation being public because I was worried - even though, in the moment, I felt more freedom than I have in months.
What would people think?
I am a slave to outside opinion; I want to manage reactions and make sure I am well-rounded enough to please everyone. I know this is an impossible feat, and yet, I give in to this fear often. I was tempted to ask Zac if we could scrap the entire thing and do it again.
My husband assured me it would be okay.
And then Zac texted us, "I'm going to air Part 1 of your episode tonight at midnight!"
Being in our seventh month as "leavers of church and ministry", we've moved between extreme nausea and hands-free-screaming on this roller coaster. Aside from the varying personal emotions overwhelming us separately and together - he left the role he thought he'd be in forever, I'm not sure if I want to be Christian, and we both feel church might never be something we attend again - Mat and I are saddened by some of the Christian responses to this season we find ourselves in.
I didn't know not having an answer - a solve, with hope a major theme and a happy ending - made so many people who have followed our journey uncomfortable to associate with us.
Until the podcast, it was, "Poor Mat, look at what his wife is doing to him."
Now? It's, "Oh, they both have issues. We need to steer clear until they come out on the other side of this."
"God led his chosen people out into the desert to wander around for 40 years. I believe God is just leading us to wander."
Mat von Ehrenkrook
We are people. We don't have everything figured out. We're not afraid to say it, but we just happened to say it into microphones recording every word; our tone and inflections raw. If we were sitting in your living room with you, we'd say the same things so we could have our own conversation about it. But we weren't in your living room, we were in Zac's.
We don't want our Christian friends and family to run the other way because this is an advertised hard thing; we want to interact and hear alternate perspectives and stories. We don't want to hole up in our own reality and be the kind of people who seem angry all the time and make blanket statements about Christians. But this is the truth of where we're at right now.
We are two people who need space to reconsider our beliefs and reignite our faith outside of corporate Christianity. Losing [our religion] ain't easy, and we'd love nothing more than to talk to you about it.
In the meantime...
If you are sensitive to swearing, this is your warning - but if you can tune it out, you might find a piece of yourself inside our conversation.