Faith has not always been easy for me. However, I am learning that a one-sided faith is detrimental to one's spiritual well-being. It was not until I discovered the Sacred Feminine and Mary Magdalene's role in redemption that I began to be able to embrace the Savior again.
My religious upbringing was not a bed of roses. Deep down inside, I knew something was missing. However, there was only one way to God and that was through "being saved." (speaking as an ex-Baptist) Try as I did, I could never establish that connection.
Unlike the children in my current church, I did not grow up singing "I am a Child of God." My very first memory verse was Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." This is not a very comforting message for a four year old who knows she is "unsaved."
About the same time I became a teenager, I learned about "the Rapture." I was sure I would be one of the ones "left behind." This caused untold trauma; some of it too deep to write about here. I ended up with an eating disorder that same year, and it almost took my life.
This whole time, I knew there was something "different" about me, but they did not have a name for it. Now it's called Aspergers, or High Functioning Autism. My literal mindset, along with the other students constantly picking on me - along with my desperate attempts to "fit in," made life and faith extremely difficult. No wonder I never felt saved! Add to that the struggles that come with growing up!
I had a spiritual experience once that I can only describe as healing. Although I cannot bring myself to share specific details, the experience was in the form of a dream/vision that was very real. In that dream, I was taken into a Baptist church where I knelt down at "the altar" and cried my eyes out. I was reassured it would all be okay. It was a sacred cleansing experience. Since that dream/vision I have never once questioned my relationship with the Divine; it has only been strengthened from that moment on. This is just one of many sacred experiences I have had recently, but it was very special.
Discovering the Sacred Feminine has brought about tremendous understanding and healing comfort for me. It has helped me to realize that the theology I was presented with growing up was one-sided. Perhaps the ministers from my childhood meant well, but they only had a small part of the message at their disposal. There was no Restoration or Heavenly Mother to take into consideration. Neither one was an option. Mary Magdalene was there, but she was just seen as a reformed "sinner."
I now realize there was a reason I saw "the Gospel" as it was taught growing up as incomplete. That's because it was. As I study the Scriptures and continue to make the connections, I realize I could not accept what was being taught on a heart level because there was a disconnect. The Gospel as I knew it was severely fragmented, although there were just enough pieces of the puzzle to tell me there was so much more our there.
I think I will be spending the rest of my life putting together the pieces. I have only just begun, but I have come a long way. To see how much progress I have made, please check out my essay "Two Lampstands: Two Branches." It is up on my website Agitating Faithfully, but will be featured in Rational Faiths this Tuesday, Feb. 11. Stay tuned! I think you will agree I have come a long way since my Romans 3:23 days!
And if I do "keep Mormonism weird," please bear with me. I am only a convert in progress!...and I've had a lot to overcome.