Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Red Phone: Part Two

Truth be told, I have been avoiding writing this post since posting Part One.

So, you know that scene in a scary movie (where I totally close my eyes b/c I HATE scary movies) where the beautiful blond is running from the uber scary dude and sees the phone as her saving grace and runs to it only to find--in complete horror-- that the phone is disconnected and then she proceeds to get slashed to death by the bad guy?

Well, that would be a perfect description of my spiritual life during my freshman year of college--minus the bad makeup and adding the freshman 15...25... Oh, and that I am a brunette and not a blond.. you get the point.

I recently discovered that many of my issues with social and spiritual tensions are kind of wound around this particular event... an event that shook me to my core. It feels weird to even call it an event. Because really, it was just a change...

My phone went dead folks.

God fell silent.

And I was left singing "Ya picked a fine time to leave me Lucille" as I watched the bad guy slash my Christian bubble all to pieces and in the process, my faith took a beating.

Ya see, I grew up in the newly formed/solidified Christian sub-culture. Where we had our own music (Rock on DC Talk), our own books, our own phone directories, our own trusted businesses, our own world... except everything in our world had a nice shiny fish stamped on it that "made it ok" to enjoy.  A Christian bubble so to speak.

Now, my parents were never a fan of this "not in/ not of" world... and they warned me all the time that the world didn't work in "Christian-only" mode and that Jesus called us to be a light in this world, not create our own world.  But, I had found my world-- a place I flourished in...and what did GOODe Ole mom and dad know anyhow? Part of the attraction of the bubble was its safety... I would be fine...

Enter a college prof with a major chip on his shoulder... who just so happened to teach my freshman Religion course. He prided himself in having good little Christian boys and girls like me for dinner. And dinner he had.

He used my bubble ignorance against me. He would teach about my childhood Bible story heroes in ways that definitely never made it on the felt boards back in Sunday School.

He had sources that didn't come from the Bible book store--heck he even had a bible I had never heard of...

He twisted things in ways I can't even describe... and for a while I was fine... but then I began to have questions. Not about my faith, but more about specifics...

When I began to dig in and ask my fellow bubble people about it, all I got was a lot of sugar coated answers... if that.

Sometimes I got annoyance or condescension.

There were a few that truly tried to help, but for the most part, I felt my bubble deflating rapidly and no one was overly concerned... except me.

I was devastated. And, worst of all...when I would pray to God... all I got was the dial tone.

I knew in my heart of hearts what was true. I am blessed to have felt the presence of God in my life for YEARS. But, this attack on my faith coupled with the loss of my community was a lot to take in as a freshman. Then to lose my red phone connection--despite my desperate pleas with God was almost too much to take.

I became scared.

In high school, one of my ways of coping socially was the security of my church youth group. It was one of my few safe havens during a very rough social time.

When I sought out this sanctuary in college, I didn't fit like I once did. I had so many questions and an ever growing set of baggage as this religion class and its fallout messed with me.

In return, I discovered a different side of the bubble.

The outcast.

It wasn't pretty.

And, if I am being honest, that is when I became jaded and began to fall out of love with God's people.

And-- at the same time--I retreated so far into myself socially that I am still finding my way out today...

To be continued...

Has God ever went silent on you? Have you ever been disappointed or hurt by God's people? Did it effect your faith or your relationship with Him?


  1. I actually had a different experience, but with the same result...I went to a Christian college. And it made me become disenchanted with Christians- b/c there were so many cookie-cutter, judgemental people there that it made me question things.

  2. Our family had a very bad experience at our last church. When we left my son said "if I wasn't already a Christian, I wouldn't want to be one". That hurt my heart..but because of that experience we didn't go back to church for 3 years! It took me a while (hardheaded!) to realize that God didn't pull away..we did! We've found Him again and life is good again!

  3. Shell- I think that was my problem when I had questions. It is like the curtain being pulled back on the Wizard of Oz.

    Tina- That is tough. Some of the most painful times in my life came at the hands of other believers. I can say though, in every case, God has turned it into something beautiful.

  4. I think I skipped "part 1" in my life and my whole life has been "part 2." Does that make sense?