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Deconstructing Your Faith Without Losing Yourself

Welcome to Grace and Space, a weekly newsletter from the Deconstructing Mamas Podcast! GRACE for who you have been, are now and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be!

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So many people ask us "what is deconstruction?"


Friends. Family.

Total strangers on the internet. Often we don't have the words to speak in the moment or we just can't articulate what is going on inside ourselves and this shifting faith journey we find ourselves on. We have loved some of the answers to this question in the opening chapter of Angela J. Herrington's new book, "Deconstructing Your Faith Without Losing Yourself."


Here are just a few. Take what you need for your own heart and perhaps the next time you want to (remember, you never have to) respond to someone who asks you this question. Deconstruction isn’t about selectively asking questions approved by your faith community while avoiding challenges to the core doctrines your belief system is built upon. That would just be learning how to fit into a different religious system than the one you are currently wrestling with. Instead, it’s an exercise in examining your beliefs about God, faith, spiritual practices, and religious community. Deconstruction isn’t a ten-step formula that is easily passed from one person to another. It’s a very personal journey that is shaped by your beliefs, experiences, privilege, and traumas.


Deconstruction invites us to become really honest about what we believe, why we hold these beliefs as sacred, how they influence the way we relate to our Creator, and who is actually served by our beliefs. If we trust the process enough to lower our walls and honestly engage with our questions, deconstruction promises to reveal undiscovered bias, limiting beliefs, and any flawed doctrines that actively harm people.


Faith deconstruction is a tool you can use to peel back each layer of corruption to determine what’s at the core of your beliefs. Sometimes, there’s nothing sacred or holy to find. A belief is not worth keeping. So you grieve, make amends, and toss that belief out. Other times you may find a spark of the Divine buried under centuries of bad doctrine, and you can diligently peel back layer after layer until the Truth is revealed.


Deconstruction is an essential season of moving away from toxic, man-made religion and moving toward the wild, sacred, and holy Creator of all things.


Faith deconstruction requires a tremendous amount of vulnerability and courage because the religious systems that raised us also taught us not to question. We were raised to believe that

some thoughts, ideas, and questions were off-limits because they challenged the foundational doctrines of those faith communities. They threatened to shift the power balance away from the

centuries-old structure built upon gender bias, misogyny, colonialism, and white supremacy.


Deconstruction isn’t a trendy fad that’s going to fade away as soon as something sexier comes along. When we choose to deconstruct our faith from toxic religion, we are choosing to challenge every single belief we hold and sit with uncomfortable truths about ourselves. This process is worth it for those who enter wholeheartedly and choose to relax their tightly clenched fists. There is liberating truth to be found in deconstruction and peace to be made with the mistakes of the past. Reconciling and releasing what does not move us closer to our Creator is what we are on this earth to do.


These are some of the reasons we do what we do here on the podcast. Deconstruction can be excruciating and painful, lonely and scary. We get it and we want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not alone here in the wilderness of deconstruction. In fact, there are a "great cloud of witnesses" (to coin a phrase from Scripture) bearing witness to each other's journeys and cheering each other on!! We are two of them for sure!


 

This Week on the Podcast: Deconstruction invites us to become really honest about what we believe, why we hold those beliefs sacred, how they influence the way we relate to our creator, and who is actually served by our beliefs. If we trust the process enough to lower our walls and honestly engage with our questions, deconstruction promises to reveal undiscovered bias, limiting beliefs, and any flawed doctrines that actively harm people. - Angela J. Herrington

Back for round two, Angela J. Herrington, comes on the podcast as our guest this week. We are doubly-thrilled to have her back! Angela is a deconstructing mama to five kiddos, a deconstruction coach and as of late, an author to a brand-new book! (LISTEN TO HER FIRST EPISODE HERE!) Whether you are deconstructing due to curiosity, uncertainty, or a compelling inner voice, Angela helps you explore the deeply personal journey of faith deconstruction compassionately and without judgment. Together, the two of you will slog through the uncertainties and complexities of faith deconstruction. Laughing, crying, and raging against the toxic religious machine together.


On this podcast episode, we find out why Angela is so passion about writing her new book Deconstructing your Faith without Losing Yourself and especially tackle these questions: 1. Is deconstruction a trend? Why or why not? 2. How do we navigate deconstruction without losing what feels like our core selves? 

3. What tools are there to sort through our ideas and beliefs and why is a sense of autonomy/internal authority so important in this process?

4. How do we navigate the resentments that we might still hold for our old church, family members, belief systems?  


We also discover what hope there is for our kids as we navigate a shifting and evolving faith, especially perhaps the importance of a relationship with themselves, so vital and different than perhaps the way we grew up. Angela is feisty and fantastic (if we say so ourselves). You will find yourself nodding along and saying lots of "me toos" and "amens" (if that's even still allowed - winky face)!


You can find Angela at the following:




Instagram:  @angelajherrington


Pinterest:  @angelajherrington



Linked In:  Angela J Herrington



 







 

Latest News:

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We love our podcast!

We love our guests!

We love our amazing assistant, Julie!


We love helping you walk the tricky tightrope of parenting and deconstructing at the same time!


We do NOT love asking for help (or money) in order to keep it going!


But we also don't love feeling alone in this!


Head to this LINK to join us! You won't regret it! And plus, the reality is that you will help us keep the lights on over here at Deconstructing Mamas. We really really want to! Thank you in advance!


 

Resource Alerts:


Have you experienced church hurt? Are you frustrated by judgmental church people supporting oppressive systems? Do you have doubts about the faith tradition you were raised in but are afraid of losing your community? Angela J. Herrington has been there. And with over a decade of experience as a life coach, she can teach you how to begin healing religious trauma through deconstruction.  


Lively and empathetic, Angela will gently guide you through deconstructing your faith. This concise and actionable handbook will 


• give you permission to trust yourself

• show you how to seek new perspectives and information

• teach you how to embrace vulnerable exploration and self-compassion

• help you release unhealthy beliefs that are harming you and marginalized persons  


Deconstructing your long-held beliefs can be isolating and overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone. Begin your healing journey with Deconstructing Your Faith without Losing Yourself.


 

It was Lizz's turn to speak on the Unsilenced Hearts Podcast with Kendall Lamb (@unsilencedhearts on Instagram). In this episode, Kendall interviews Lizz about her journey of faith deconstruction amidst parenting. Lizz shares her experiences growing up in a religious environment and questioning certain Bible stories.


She also discusses how she navigates healing from religious trauma and mental health issues while parenting.


Lizz emphasizes the importance of finding sacredness in small moments and creating a Sunday routine outside of church that works for her and her family. In this conversation, Liz discusses her journey of deconstructing her faith and the impact it has had on her identity.


She shares how she started questioning her beliefs in college and rebelled against the expectations of her evangelical Christian upbringing. Liz also talks about the challenges she has faced in being public about her deconstruction journey and the loss of friendships. She emphasizes the importance of finding a community of like-minded individuals and the power of sharing one's story.


The conversation concludes with Liz reading a heartfelt and vulnerable letter to herself, expressing self-acceptance and resilience.


Listen to the episode HERE.


 

Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode that's coming up on Tuesday, April 23, with Angela J. Herrington.


 

One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.


Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,

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