These were some of my most treasured quotes. They were mantras from another life, another worldview, another theology...The theme being that I am of less importance, my wants, my pain, my circumstances, my desires, my health, my state of being is of less importance compared to all that is required of me as a "privileged" daughter of God. It is a kind of thinking that invites pain, struggle, and agony as way of spiritual enhancement; a way of rising in the ranks of God's "called"; believing that only the strongest and most devoted can survive such circumstances and so you constantly test yourself by diving in and welcoming the Grim Reaper of faith.
I used to have nightmares, at the time I thought they were dreams, on a regular basis about me being killed for my faith. I just knew I was going to be martyred, a bloody gruesome death, for my beliefs. I used to think I was being prepared for it. I had no doubts about this. It was my little dark secret I kept within me. I unavoidably believed that my God was leading me to this honorable death.
You know they say that dreams are the mind's way of processing information that's not been fully processed in the wakened state. And how could I not be dreaming about such things when the infiltrating doctrine being fed me is of such monstrosity? It's sick. I read through my past journals and I read how this type of thinking devoured my thoughts and how I had even learned to think like I had been taught to think. Where was Stephanie Diane Gray in all this? What what she really thinking back then?
The sad truth is I don't think she was allowed to think back then. I don't think she was heard. Because the truth is that she was being killed for her faith. My beliefs, my way of thinking, was killing every God-given unique thing about me, turning me into a type-cast I had been taught to honor and admire. Stephanie was being martyred because of her beliefs and it was her beliefs that were killing her- beating and bruising her identity until there was no life left there.
And you know who saved me? The God I used to believe wanted me dead. I didn't know how wrong I had been about Him until He rescued me from that way of living. I hardly knew Him at all. And I feel as though I have been saved, truly saved, maybe for the first time. Who knows. But, having been raised in the church, these words, "I once was lost but now am found. Was blind, but now I see." finally aren't just words anymore- they finally are personal.
It is scary to me how impressionable the mind is and what effects those impressions take on life and living. It scares the ever-loving-shit out of me. It's easy to see how an idea can transform into something like the Holocaust; you hammer an idea into people's heads until they believe it's true, before long anything can happen. And I wonder, what does this self-depreciating Christianity look like in 10 years? Will there be any soul left to salvage? Or will we all have killed ourselves for our style of faith?