When I started this blog this summer, my mind spun with ideas to post and stories to tell. It was time to rebuild the ashes of my life after my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I was looking forward to processing this transition through writing, which has often worked so well for me. I felt like a clean slate had been handed to me, and I was ready to fill it with things made new. I thought my life had been stripped down to the foundations, everything shaken, and it was time to build it back up.
Except, I was wrong. About that same time, the national election entered its final, nasty stretch and the leaders of my denomination took action in an unprecedented, authoritarian way. Unexpectedly, I found myself in a strange no-man’s land:
- fundamentally opposed to the candidate from one political party because of my personal faith, and yet not fully accepted by the other party because of my personal faith
- unsure whether there is still a place for me in the denomination in which I grew up and uncertain whether I can keep my faith and stay in this church.
The events of the past few months have rocked the foundations of my identity and left me feeling rootless in a way cancer did not.
My country has felt unfamiliar, my faith has felt unfamiliar. And while I wanted to write about it this fall, I didn’t feel like I should because who starts a personal blog and jumps immediately into the most controversial issues after two posts?
I wanted to get my feet under me first with some less explosive topics. I brainstormed and started several posts, but I have found it impossible to write about anything else when my mind has been preoccupied with the massive shifts happening in our nation, in my denomination, and in myself.
When I started this blog, I decided to use my own name because I felt it was important for me at this point in my life to begin fully occupying my own space without apologies. Well, here I am, and these issues and conversations are fundamental to me. At the same time, I have had to do a lot of thinking about how I want to address them – to allow myself to have strong opinions without apology, but also to express them with respect and thoughtfulness. That sounds really hard. But I think it’s worth a try, and this is a good day to start.