Soooo, we are having some growing pains right now.
Superteen was completely dumped by a best friend she has had since kindergarten. In a pretty brutal way. The girl asked if she believed in God. Superteen told her truth, her truth at this moment.
No, she does not. She was honest, even though it was hard and obviously not the 'right' answer.
So her best friend, from kindergarten on, unceremoniously dumped her. Told her she was going straight to hell and they could not be friends anymore. Unfriended her on Facebook. Told her she couldn't go to the camp she has gone to for six summers, both with and without her, again. Because it is for Christians.
And that, my dearies, sums up my personal issues with religion. My vast and long experience with religion has had some high points but many more low points like this one. My kiddo is on her own personal faith journey, and it is a meandering path. But it is HER path, her journey. She was raised in the church and had some good experiences. She is not presently going to church, but she is surrounded by good and wonderful people- Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists.She questions everything right now, including the active presence of an almighty Father "who knows every hair on her head." I am okay with this because I absolutely prefer a good and kind thinker to a sheep who blindly follows without thinking.
Superteen and I have had many talks about God. About religion. About faith systems. About what she believes right now. We have spoken about how that can change and about how this is a journey. Journeys are defined by movement, so what she believes now may ebb and flow. It can be fluid. She gets this and she knows it is perfectly acceptable to ask questions, to explore both a faith and a lack of faith in God. I encourage her to be open and ask questions. I also encourage her to be accepting of people, whether they are Evangelicals, Buddhists, Atheists, Whatever- we are all on a journey up our own paths.
I started to get angry at this friend for her judgement because I know that the anger and rejection shattered my girl. But then I just became sad. Christianity is supposed to be about love and compassion. This kid's learned judgement took a moment that could have been about love and true Christianity and instead took my daughter further away from learning about a loving God.
I also started to write this with the oft-misused quote "Judge not lest ye be judged. -Matthew 7:1" but decided that Matthew 7:3 is much more appropriate.
"Why do you look at that speck in your brother's eye but do not notice the log in your own eye?"
Peace and love and Amen, friends. Love your neighbor, no matter how they differ from you.
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