Tear Everything Down
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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At first I thought obedience was the answer. Stay small and quiet. Keep my legs crossed and voice hushed. My opinion wasn't needed or warranted. I was not big picture important. Who was I anyway? Nobody.
Then I thought pretending was the answer. Pretend to be better. Pretend to understand. Pretend to pray. Pretend to be godly and nice and love God way more than I did.
Then I thought running was the answer. My circumstances never changed anyways. Run from faith. Run from trying. Run from being so damn disappointed all the time. Run from hope. That dangerous feather. It always flattened me.
Then I thought going all in was the answer. Surrender. Immerse myself in church and worship and music and being on fire for God 24/7 until the raging wildfire I created burned me alive.
Then Covid and all the answers blew away, bits of paper in a hurricane. People's true colors showed and the world was upside down and all the obedience, pretending, running, and going all in went away. Days and my heart were stripped bare.
I had nothing to prove.
And I began looking around at the very people I was pretending to be like: the most faithful, devoted, loudest Christians of all, and I couldn't for the life of me see Jesus in them.
They didn't protect the most vulnerable among us. They openly defied the rules. They judged. They glared. They declared their rights.
And it all fell apart for me.
I saw the very people who claimed Jesus' love for all really only meant it for those who looked like and voted like and believed like them.
I saw so much hatred that did not look or sound or feel anything like the selfless, compassionate, inclusive face of Jesus.
I saw fences not tables.
Bullhorns not feet washing.
Gatekeeping not welcoming.
Weapons not fields of grace.
And I thought, what in the actual eff am I doing?
So no more obeying. Or pretending. Or running. Or all in's.
No more faking till I make it.
No more spiritual masks.
No more being bullied into someone else's beliefs.
No more wearing what feels too tight. Or what drags heavily behind.
No more hurting others under the guise of love. Myself included.
Only raw, unfiltered talks with God.
And shedding anything that feels itchy under my skin.
Only pure acceptance of where I am in my journey. No more or less.
Only me. Messy, radiant human. In the holy and sacred ordinary.
Only this. What I have now. No more or less.
Only quiet and true. --Faith in the Mess by Melissa Neeb-
This Week on the Podcast:
Melissa Neeb, author of those beautiful and freeing words, deconstructing mama of two teens, and podcast hostess is our guest this week. Her mantra is "love big, live kind" and there could be nothing truer about Melissa. She's highly committed to loving without strings, inclusive of everyone who walks into her home or her life and kindness is her main squeeze. When she's not caring for babies at her day job, you can find her loving on all of her fur babies (six of them to be exact), writing furiously for social media, photographing nature and always always showing up for her teens (oh yeah, there's a husband somewhere in there too).
Melissa's tender spirit and fierce passion sit side-by-side and she tells it like it is. On this episode, we are reminded that we have permission to "tear it all down to the ground," and rebuilding our faith any which way that feels true and beautiful to us. We also talk about what we can do when our kids are on very different faith pages and how we can allow them to have their own journeys to God. You will find yourself seen, known and understood and especially empowered to walk in the truth and light of your very own faith journey.
Make sure you do NOT miss out! You can find Melissa at the following:
Faith in The Mess ("love big, live kind") Instagram: @faith_in_the_mess
Facebook: Faith in the Mess by Melissa Neeb
Never Empty Nest (how to mom teens)
Facebook: Never Empty Nest by Melissa Neeb
Get your free ticket for The Deconstructing Faith Summit today!
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!!
Resource Alert (Two of Them This Week):
Want to know what Melissa's favorite book is? Here's what she had to say about it.
I'm halfway through If God is Love, Don't be a Jerk by @johnpavlovitz. I have about worn my highlighter down to a nub.
Here's a quote, "The most serious wounds to the body of Christ have been self-inflicted. The Church is not fighting the rebellious, faithless, heathen world as I'd always been taught, but itself. And as a result, I find myself in two fierce battles lately. I am simultaneously fighting both with and for my faith tradition."
Does this resonate with any of you, too? Whew.
Sometimes I find myself grieving the religion and church of my childhood.
It was so SURE. Even if it was contradictory and arrogant. If you didn't ask questions, you could exist quite happily in ignorance.
And other times I find myself so angry I can't hardly put two words together. I have zero time for any religion that causes beautiful, made-in-the-image-of-God humans pain and suffering in-the-name-of-love.
So if you want a read that will have you nodding and crying, that will succinctly put words to why Christianity feels so WRONG lately, grab yourself a copy HERE.
Anyone else have issues finding music that resonates with your spirit and your current faith journey? For so many of us, worship music is triggering and we don't even agree any more with most of the words. And Christian music can feel inauthentic and just wrong in so many ways and at so many levels. This song is one of Allen's (Esther's husband) favorite as of late. We hope you can just sit back, relax and enjoy Everything is Holy Now (and maybe even add it to your ever-evolving playlist). The link will take you to YouTube, but you can find it wherever you listen to music.
Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode. Here's something to whet your appetite and hold you over until then!!
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!