I regularly read a blog Joy Unexpected by Yvonne. I forget how I found her blog, probably from a blogroll somewhere. I read her post that was a letter to her body, it was amazing. Then I started poking around and read that she was brought up similar to me in regards to religion and God. I think her family might have been a bit more extreme but not by much.

She is going through a pretty rough patch and is exploring her interest and her lack of interest in having a relationship with God. When I read her entries I can completely understand where she is coming from; and if had written a blog in my early twenties I would have written many of the same insights and feelings.

Today she writes about her recent struggles and how she is trying to give God a chance but finds it difficult to shake the memories and indoctrinating of her childhood.

Since I rarely talk about my own personal faith because in no way do I want the exposure to be known as a failure or hypocrite I thought I would paste what I wrote in her comments here.

My Comment to Yvonne:
I grew up with "Like a thief in the night" and still believe it will be like that, but I am no longer scared because I now have a desire to know God and I have assurance that I am saved. The scariest part of growing up in a strict Bible Thumping family and church was thinking I could lose my salvation. That was the crux of my hang ups. For example: If I willfully said G-d Damn would that be the unforgivable sin? And yet even with that fear I just didn't care and tried to work it into every conversation. I wanted to live my life and all this religion was holding me back.

I went to one of the most strict Christian Fundamental University in the US, Bob Jones. I also graduated from Bob Jones Academy. There was a time I woke up from a nap and it seemed like no one was on my dorm floor. I completely panicked that the rapture had taken place and I was left. I was quietly crying while walking down the hall looking for someone, someone else that was left.

What I find so incredibly sad is that there is a whole generation rejecting God's love and grace because of the fear and legalism our parents shoved down our throats. Will the parents and pastors be held responsible for their children's rejection of God? I don't know, but I sure hope that I am able to show God's amazing Grace to my daughter, family, and friends.

At my lowest point I looked up a Stephen's Ministry in my area. It saved my life, literally, because death felt like the only option. I hope that whatever it is you choose to help you through this rough time it will reveal the love that God has, not His wrath. I wasted a lot of years doing it my way, and believe me, my way had to have been the hardest way.

On a side note of fear and how I still can't shake my legalistic upbringing. Because God had to complete break me by leaving me with nothing but faith, I can't help but think that if I turn away from God again to do my own thing he will use the death my daughter to bring me back to Him. How messed up is that?
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