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"I don't know."
The foreign words tumbled out of my mouth as my 13-year old pummeled me with questions about God.
"What about evolution?"
"Why are so many people suffering if God is so powerful and so loving?"
"How do you explain all the religions?"
"Do you seriously believe that God made up some magic prayer/incantation to keep us out of eternal conscious torment?"
After those three simple, but scary words poured out in exasperation with said teenager and his, what I deemed, overly curious mind, I began to stumble back towards what I had done all my life: find the answers and come back and set him straight.
Because answers were the key. They mattered.
It was the whole point of questions, right?
Answers made me feel secure and settled and safe and smart.
[read that again]
I loved answers.
How could I not?
But as I stood there, dumbstruck and dumbfounded, I was left with a few burning questions myself.
"What if there are no answers?"
"If there are, what if I can't figure them out?"
"And if there are not, what will happen then?"
Because remember, answers made me feel secure and settled and safe and smart.
I walked away from my son that evening, confused.
Clarity and certainty eluded me.
And those were two of my very best friends.
But something down deep inside of me whispered louder than all all of it.
Two more questions.
"What if, smack dab in the middle of all of this unknowing and curiosity and doubting and asking, is something better?"
"What if instead of being secure and settled and safe and smart, I'm free?"
FREE. FREE. FREE.
I sobbed right there in the middle of the kitchen.
--Esther Goetz (The Dolly Mama) PODCAST THROW-BACK HIGHLIGHTS:
We keep getting requests for "which episode deals with this or that?" for which we are really grateful. It means people are figuring out we are a podcast and that we have fantastic guests who are supporting those of us who are parenting and deconstructing at the same time (a tricky business). This week, we are highlighting FOUR more of our "first-season episodes" that literally changed our lives and our ways of thinking about this deconstructing and parenting gig!
ALSO, SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO CATCH UP ON ANY YOU'VE MISSED! COMING IN with dynamic mother/daughter duo, Shelby and Kahrin Spear. (EPISODE 6) It's Pride Month and one of our missions here is to support those who are navigating their own queer journeys (either with themselves or with their kids). In this episode, Shelby Spear, and her daughter, Kahrin, share their heart-breaking and hope-filled "coming in" story about the journey to healing for both of them after Kahrin discovers that she likes girls.
Shelby and Kahrin's fierce desire to finding healing and love after years of hopelessness and destruction from rigid faith systems and toxic beliefs will leave you dumbfounded, grabbing for tissues and a lot more healed yourself. If you know someone, love someone or are someone who lands outside the "heteronormative box" or you are wondering how and where to land on this emotionally-charged topic, this episode is for you. OUT OF OPPRESSION with David Hayward, Naked Pastor (EPISODE #8) David, aka as Naked Pastor, is "everyone's pastor," especially those who have been oppressed by harmful and toxic religious systems. He has a personal mission to help others on their journey to freedom, having been on that quest for many years and finding so much of it now himself. Not only is he the parent of three grown children, who he calls his best friends, he has a wife who he completely adores. He is an artist and writer extraordinaire, creating works that speak to the soul that longs for freedom.
He believes that questions are the answer to authentic growth. It’s why he uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who suffer under it. During this interview, we felt like we had a long sigh for our deconstructing souls as David is one of the kindest and wisest people you'll ever listen to. SNAKES DON'T TALK with Pete Enns (EPISODE #4)
Remember when we had Lizz's dad, Pete Enns, on the podcast? Pete candidly shares his own journey of deconstruction and how his own "sin of certainty" played out in his parenting, especially the harm it caused to his children and to himself.
Pete's wisdom as a Bible nerd and scholar, along with his witty humor and down-to-earth explanations (for us normal people) helps us to see that deconstructing is not sexy or trendy, but that it is difficult and completely normal and necessary for growth in our faith and life.
LOVE MATTERS MORE with Jared Byas (EPISODE #11)
Jared Byas, Pete Enn's cohost on the Bible for Normal People podcast, not only tells us what brought him to the place of deconstructing and reconstructing his faith, but speaks about the impact it has had on his parenting. There are so mic drops moments where Jared unpacks what it really means to love well and why we cannot love and control people (and especially our kids) at the same time and how our view of God plays into perhaps why we may have fallen into this trap in the first place.
Support Us PLEASE and Join Our Private Facebook Community Don't forget to sign up for our private and exclusive Deconstructing Mamas community on Facebook for those of you who want to move to the next level with us via our PATREON platform.
At this level, for as little as $3, you can ask questions, experience a safe and welcoming community with others who are deconstructing and receive special surprises along the way from Lizz and Esther.
We've been doing this for several months now and it's been more than we could have imagined. We love it there and think you will too! Head to this LINK to sign up!!
Pete Enns is brilliant. He can take complicated biblical concepts and make them understandable for average people like us. He does that in The Sin of Certainty and The Bible Tells Me So, among others. But his latest book, Curveball, takes a turn into Pete's personal journey of faith. Here's what Amazon has to say about it: Life throws us “curve balls”—from devastating personal losses to world tragedies. These events often leave us doubting God, the Bible, and our faith. But instead of pushing away our reservations, we should embrace them, Peter Enns argues. A leading biblical scholar and Christian mentor, Enns has never been afraid to question the Bible or Christian beliefs. Such thoughtful inquisitiveness, he argues, is part of God’s plan. He wants us to question, because doing so actually leads to a stronger, lasting faith.
Enjoy this funny reel from Lizz! Don't forget to turn the SOUND ON when you get there! Happy Deconstructing, Friends!
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,
Lizz & Esther P.S. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!