I have something to say to all of my friends.
I love you all very much.
For those of you who have been with me through this long, crazy journey and never left, I deeply appreciate you for being willing to stick it out with me through the long haul.
You might have met me when I wore really long skirts and braided hair and looked like I was part of the Little House on the Prairie fan convention from hell, handing out badly worded tracts to people in the grocery store because I thought I was following God and leading people to Jesus. (I meant well. I apologize.)
You might have met me when I was in college, quirky and nerdy and super unsure of myself. My wardrobe choices really showed it. You might have been there when I was kicked out of my church for not obeying my parents and transferring to Bob Jones. You stayed with me while I grieved the loss of what I called home, the only world I’d ever known. You were my family when my own family rejected me and told me they couldn’t fellowship with me because of what they called my sin.
You might have met me when I became an activist, when my pain turned to rage. I lost a lot of people when I did ALL THE THINGS. I tried to not go off the deep end, and I thought very hard about anything before I did it, but I did a lot of things that worried many people. You were there when I wasn’t sure what I believed anymore, if I’d fabricated God to cope with living in a really unhealthy home. You were there when nothing made sense.
You might have met me last year when I came back to my childhood church to see if there was anything left of my faith. Some of you are my church people now, and you loved me right where I was, very broken and afraid. Almost every all of the church things *hurt* last year, and I am still healing, but I could feel your heart and that you all were something new, something different. You are the reason I began to hope again. Thank you for not writing me off.
I am intensely grateful to each and every one of you for staying. I am grateful that you loved me, that you never condemned me or rejected me along this process, even if I made choices that terrified you. (I’m sorry. I’m a bit crazy.)
I love you. Thank you for being there while I threw out all of the bad to find the good.
And I think. I think I’m about to get a lot better. And be a lot brighter. Become more whole.
Thank you for sticking around for this next chapter.
2 thoughts on “Thank you for staying”
Eleanor, you are a strong woman. Most folks I know would be too afraid to try what you did. I am glad that you chose to be yourself and make your own choices. I know it’s hard. But I’m glad there are people like you out there, anyway. 🙂
You are pretty awesome. I doubt that will ever change.