Sunday, January 1, 2012


I am Lisa; a human, a Christian, a wife, a mother, and I'm sure many other things. I am done trying to be a people pleaser; I am done censoring myself; I am done worrying about what anyone else thinks of me. I refuse to apologize for who I am and what I believe. I am me; take me or leave me.

I have been reading things online recently about the ATI/QF movements and it's made me do a lot of searching in my heart. On the surface, I often agree with some of the tenets of the movement, but when I dig a little deeper, there is a lot to disdain. But I do not know enough about it at all, and my post isn't really about that.
Through the course of my readings, I have also come across those who have been hurt by the movement. I have seen people who have completely turned their backs on God because of the hurt, I have seen others who have turned their backs on the movement but still trust God.
And then there are some who still believe in God but have wholeheartedly turned against anything that even remotely resembles the movement, even when those things may not be even slightly hurtful.

Okay, it sounds as if I am talking in riddles. I do not mean to. I read a blog today written by a man that was hurt by the ATI/QF movement and in the process has an issue with all kinds of things now, including any form of religious homeschooling.
So, yeah, I read that and got a little upset, and defensive.

I've been thinking about why, why did I get so upset, so defensive? And part of it is because he's right. (he's wrong, too) Some people, some Christians are just parroting back what they hear and read. Some just try to do what they think they are supposed to do without ever once thinking about why, or (gasp) reading the Bible and finding out what they really should be doing.

I've done it. I've been that person who just did what I was told without thinking about why. But I'm not that person anymore. I'm not even the person who started this blog. As a thinking human being, I change. There are things I've written on this blog that I don't agree with anymore. I have been so many different people in my life, and I don't think that I am the person now that I will be when I'm 80.
I've been a Christian for almost my whole life. I believe completely, 100%, that I was saved as a child. I always believed and had a relationship with Jesus. But it's changed over the years. I've been a Southern Baptist, a Methodist, a (can't think of the word but I believed once that maybe Jesus wasn't the only way to heaven, maybe Buddha, maybe Gandhi, maybe Mohammed, maybe anyone else was right, too), a Pentecostal, a Charismatic, and probably a lot of other people along the way. And now I've settled into just a plain old woman who believes that Jesus is my Savior, that He is the only way to heaven, and that He guides us through His word.

I also believe that there will be many different Christians in heaven. In my walk with Christ, I have been a very judgmental and self-righteous follower. As I have grown in my faith, I have tended to look down on those who weren't where I was spiritually. You know the type: I don't do XYZ so I am a better Christian than ________; and I do XYZ, and so-and-so doesn't so maybe they aren't really a Christian.
Yep, been there, done that. And not all that long ago in some cases. And really, still working on not being that person again.

Okay, so I was that person. I was self-righteous and judgmental. But I changed. Because I am not some fundamental robot that only takes in the words of others, and because I am always trying to draw closer to Jesus, I changed. And I have come to a place where I realize that not every Christian believes the same things I do, that not every Christian is in the same place as I am. And that there doesn't have to be a wrong or a right. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some things that can only be one way, that are either right or wrong. I will not try to make a list because I would surely not make it perfect but I do believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. I believe that unless a person has a personal relationship with Him, they are not a Christian. Just believing in God, just being a good person, just being spiritual, just saying you are a Christian does not cut it.
But I no longer believe that just because you do XYZ that you are a Christian either, or are a better Christian. I will always strive to be more like Jesus, always. I will never succeed. NEVER. So there is probably something I am doing wrong now that I will one day recognize, be convicted of, and work to change. But that doesn't mean that someone who has already worked on this thing is any better than me. It just means that we all have things we need to work on, we all have issues that God is trying to deal with us about, we all sin. And these things will be dealt with in different ways with different people.

So who am I to condemn others? I am not God. I am Lisa, human, not divine. Not my job.

So, what does this have to do with the blog I read earlier? (Can you tell I will never be a professional writer? I write journal style and it doesn't always flow, but it's how I write, and what works for me.)
While he was right in some ways about how Christians are in homeschooling, sheltering their children, parroting back what they have read, etc, he is wrong, too. He has a list of things that, if you can answer yes to, means you are part of this negative movement, and lumps all in with ATI/QF. And that's not true. I can say yes to many of the things on his list, but I am not at all like those in the ATI/QF movement that he is so hurt by. I think, I reason, I search for answers. While I make mistakes and too often trust without searching the truth, I recognize this flaw and am trying to do better. I am also trying to instill this in my children. I do not want them to blindly follow my faith. I want them to question, to think for themselves, to truly have their own personal relationship with Jesus. I tell them and show them what I believe, but I also ask them what they believe. I want them to believe the way I do, but I will not force them to. I want it to be a choice, not a command.
But I also refuse to paint families who aren't like me who also homeschool for religious reasons with as wide a brush as this man has. It is not for me to judge anyone. And I don't like being judged by anyone either.

And that is why I got so upset when I first read this post. I felt judged. I felt judged by someone I don't even know, by someone who doesn't know me, who doesn't know anything about my life. And I finally realized that it's ridiculous. There will always be people who judge me. I will probably always judge others unfairly. It's wrong and I will try not to, but I will probably fail. And by the same token, others will continue to judge me, wrongly or rightly. It will happen. And if I continue to get so upset every time I perceive that someone is judging me I will spend a lot of my life being upset. So I'm going to try not to get upset. I am going to hold my head up high and boldly do what I believe to be right. I love God, I want to be more like Jesus. My way may be different than someone else's, but that doesn't mean that my way is wrong. It may be wrong for someone else, but it's right for me. I am doing what I know God wants me to do. Me, not someone else. Me. Lisa. And I have friends who are Christian who wear revealing clothing, who watch/read Harry Potter, who own a television, who don't own a television, who homeschool, who send their kids to public school, who encourage their daughters to sign purity pledges, who encourage their sons to want to marry virgins, who push for gay rights, who push for one man/one woman being the only true marriages, who are against abortion in any form, who aren't too concerned about abortion, who listen to secular music, who only listen to Christian music, who watch secular movies/tv shows, who don't watch anything, who drink beer, who think no one should drink any alcohol. I could go on and on. Christians do not fit into a cookie cutter mold. We do not all look the same. But it doesn't mean that one is more Christian, more deserving of grace, better than those who are different. But I am tired of trying to explain myself, trying to prove myself to those who don't agree with me. I am who I am. I am ever changing, ever growing, hopefully growing closer to Jesus every single day.

I am Lisa; a human, a Christian, a wife, a mother, and I'm sure many other things. I am done trying to be a people pleaser; I am done censoring myself; I am done worrying about what anyone else thinks of me. I refuse to apologize for who I am and what I believe. I am me; take me or leave me.

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