I’m standing at the crossroads.
Now that it’s definitive that I have lost my job as a pastor after my Coming Out because I am indeed gay -oh gasp, a lesbian! Run!-, I am standing at the crossroads. Crossroads of career change, crossroads of faith as well.
It is time for me to reassess, and think about what I actually believe in. Losing my job, and much more so, the whole process around it, was stressful and painful, but now, turning something painful into something good, I am free to pick apart my faith and let God, or the Divine, reassemble it together.
In church I was obligated, of course, to use the whole evangelical lingo -even if a lot of it didn’t sit so well with me, going from vocabulary questions, to the words of hymns and songs to theological questions. But now I can leave all that behind me and freely explore uncharted terrain at my leasure.
Several friends already asked, ‘Oh no, are you rejecting Jesus? Are you leaving Christ behind? Will there still be room for Jesus in your thoughts?’ Whilst I appreciate their being worried for me, I must object. For me it’s not a question of rejecting Jesus. It is something far deeper than that.
I need to seek God, experience God, listen to the Divine, move beyond the confines of evangelical God-language and imagery and dogma. It has not done much good for me.
I feel a need to move back to those things that have already nourished my soul, and let them nourish me again: Jewish tradition, which is a part of my heritage, and feminist theology and spirituality. That doesn’t mean that I’ll all over sudden won’t appreciate the parts of anabaptist theology anymore that I appreciated before. But sometimes, in order to reconstruct, first one needs to deconstruct – and this deconstruction was triggered by getting fired.
I don’t see this new adventure of deconstruction-reconstruction as something negative. It is disturbing and not always always easy, but also carries the promise of growth.