I lost it. Again.

After months of effortless self-control, I came unglued over something that wasn’t worth even one second of my precious (and dwindling) life, and now I feel hungover like Bruce Banner after a raging all-nighter as The Hulk.

Not that anyone gives a rat’s ass, but it is tough being a Christian woman with an anger management problem. No matter how justified I feel, I always hate myself in the morning.

So now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can’t play in the good Christian women’s sandbox ever again. I am making a vow to myself, and the rest of the world, that I will never join a Christian women’s group ever, ever again no matter how tempted I am to believe that this time it will be different. It will never be different because I’m the one who would have to change, and that is obviously outside of my grasp.

When I get around good Christian women I develop a nasty form of Tourette Syndrome, and all I want to do is run around naked, and scream, “Fuck this self-righteous, hypocritical shit!” at the top of my lungs.

This is a problem.

What’s in a Name (Calling)?

Jesus called the Pharisees a “pit of vipers.”  I called the pharisees in my life a “group of bitches.” What’s the difference? Well, for starters, I’m not Jesus.

When will I ever learn?

Pharisees never recognize themselves. They are always blinded by their own sense of righteousness. And in the end the Pharisees hung Jesus on the cross as a heretic. There’s a lesson in that for those with eyes to see and ears to hear; I wish I’d grow a pair of either.

This time, like all the other times I’ve been in this place, I don’t regret what I said as much as I regret that I gave a shit and felt compelled to say it in the first place. How many times do I have to go down this road before I choose a different path?

Why do I keep ending up in this same damnable place? Michael Corleone answers that best.

I’m sick and tired of good Christian women sitting around like a bunch of clucking hens lamenting the whorish, ungodly behavior of other Christian women. I hate it.

I am sick of good Christian women shaming other Christian women who NEED divorces, abortions, to work outside the home, to use birth control, to vote the Democratic ticket, to stop having children, to tell their stupid asshole husbands to shove it, to put their children in public school, or to do whatever it is they feel they need to do in order to survive in this very difficult world.

I am sick of good Christian women deciding that somehow they are so fucking holy and righteous that it is their place to sit in the judgment seat and decide who is getting into heaven, and who is sitting outside the pearly gates waiting to explode in a burst of fire and brimstone flames. It’s self-serving bullshit that I won’t participate in, even with my silence, any longer.

I want to be bigger than this.

Self-righteous, good Christian women, who are convinced of their own spiritual superiority, are not my audience and not my mission field. They never were, and they never will be, And as long as I keep trying to please them I can’t do a damned thing that I’m supposed to be doing.

But still.

As a child, I stood with my nose pressed against the glass window of a fundamentalist, conservative religion. I wanted in. I wanted to feel a part of; to be accepted. But it could never happen. I was the child from the troubled home. My mother was an adulteress, and my father was a raging alcoholic. Good moms protected their children from girls like me. And they should. I was a bad influence, and according to some people I’m still a bad influence.

If you want to be a mindless drone in the Christian Collective then you should not be my friend. You definitely should not read my blog, or anything else I have to say anywhere else I say it. Please stay away from me. I am bad for you.

My life’s #1 goal has been to never end up a Nazi.

It has always deeply bothered me that good Christian Germans became Nazis. Think about it. For some reason it made total sense to people, who I have to believe were deep-down probably just like me, to allow their neighbors to be hauled off and sent to crematoriums.

How is it that good people do, or allow, such evil?

They did it because of group-think, peer pressure, and the fear of being ostracized. Granted, “being ostracized” meant being sent to a concentration camp, but that came later. At first, these good Christians had to sign on to the notion of building the camps, right? It started with not saying anything because being a good German meant going along.

Because of my fear that I’ll become a Nazi–or whatever the version of that will be in the future–I am always suspicious of groups. Once I join a group where there is one right way to think, and anyone who doesn’t think or act that way is wrong, or stupid, or destined for hell, some switch in me gets flipped. And then I flip.

I Am Not Good

I’m a marginalized Christian now, and feeling more marginalized by the minute. I’ll never be the thing that will get me what I want: Acceptance. I will always stand outside with my nose pressed up against the glass because I refuse to go inside and pretend that I’m something else.

Facts are facts. When I was 23, I had an abortion to keep from getting beaten up by my drug-dealer boyfriend.  I am not a victim. I made every shitty life-choice a woman can make to get where I was, and another human being paid the price to get me out. That’s the truth of it, and no amount of flowery language–or pretending otherwise–will change it.

How many days do I not say the eff word to make up for killing my own baby for drugs? If I wear fugly baby-aspirin orange capris that make my ass look like a flat pancake, and cover up my sexy tits with big, over-sized men’s t-shirts that hide all the stumbling-block sexuality that is me, will God love me then? Will that redeem me?

No.

Nothing will ever make up for anything I’ve ever done. Nothing except the blood of Jesus.

I Need A Big God

Either God is, or God isn’t.

Either God is good, or God isn’t good. I know for sure that I am not good.

Not for one second do I ever want to forget what I’m capable of. Not for one second do I ever want to lie about who I am. I cannot spend my time cleaning myself up for the righteous. I will never be one of them. And I won’t pretend otherwise.

So now I hang onto my Jesus like a tail hangs onto a kite that’s been cut loose from its line. I’m asking myself once again, “What does it mean for me to say I am a Christian?” One thing I do know for sure; it doesn’t mean running around policing everybody else and making sure they are being a good enough Christian. Because I already know, I am not good.

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{ 142 comments… read them below or add one }

Shay Hammett December 8, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Warriors are rough around the edges, they are a mess of dried blood & scars. They are built for battle, for war. You’re a kick ass warrior of God. You’re making a huge difference.

Please, keep being you. This world needs you. Thank God for you Chloe… keep raising your voice and breaking the mold!

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Martin September 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm

“Fuck this self-righteous, hypocritical shit!”
To quote the redoubtable Col Jack O’Neil, I sense hope for you….

You are, unfortunately, at a gender disadvantage. You are a woman. And women are compelled to band together in groups to defend against marauding males. Problem is, you attend church, so CHURCH women do the same as non church women. Band together in groups.

Oh, you have eyes and ears. The good type. What you don’t seem to have is the mouth to tear them all a new ass. Or, DID you. (smiles)

Good Christian Women are neither Good, Christian, though, ostensibly, women. Take comfort in that you hate them. God does too.

I am a marginalized Christian. Welcome to the club. We have jackets.

Don’t worry about acceptance by man. Or woman. Especially THOSE women. Worry about acceptance by God. You sound like you are on the right track.

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Sorayeth July 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

I have read through a few of your blogs, and it was refreshing to read brutal honesty, however painful. Thank you for your writing.

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Matt January 20, 2016 at 8:05 am

Hey Chloe,

I came across your blog searching for “Christians who can’t identify with Christians” or some such on Google.

I’ve only read a few of your entries, and I already feel I identify better with you than the whole host of church people I’ve known the past few years.

As a 40 year old divorced guy I feel increasingly that I just don’t identify with the people I really would ultimately like to be accepted by – Christians.
I grew up in the 80’s “The smurfs are evil” fundamentalist movement where the devil was behind every questionable thing, and, praise God, everyone was a white washed bland version of a person. You were Christ “Male” or Christ “female”… lol, so funny to think about that now.

Unfortunately, After a marriage I tried to hold together for years dissolved, (She had a problem dating other people while married. (I didnt pray enough, obviously!)) It seems I lost some crucible piece of myself when it came to God. Her marrying her affair partner and having “Oh so happy a life” afterwards didn’t help…

Fast forward 6 years, I was meandering through life and got invited to be a musician at a church, and I met someone there who I thought I had been “led” towards. She was that person God had put in my life (I thought). Truly believed that. . Unfortunately, Long Story short, She had Narcisstic Personality Disorder (my self-diagnosis lol) and basically left a shell behind.

I find myself trying to get involved in church, and I just CANNOT identify with anyone at the churchess I go to. Churches aren’t made for single people, but beyond that the smiling “Everything is perfect” “God’s so great” just grates on me. As if they are spackling a thin veneer on what real life is, and I just want to say “man, y’all are full of some bullshit.”

I used to be like them, the “perfect” christian, but I’m much rougher now.. I curse like a sailor, I distrust people, and laugh at naivete now.

I still feel the draw and being compelling to seek God, and live whatever version of christianity I can, but I guess I need help not being so jaded all the time at the people I’m supposed to be in community with.

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Chloe Jeffreys January 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

You’re in a tough place, Matt, but at least you can take it from me that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are tons of us disenfranchised Christians out here who still love the Christ we believe in, but can’t seem to find a home in any church because we believe in the Holy Spirit and that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring people to repentance, or whatever they need. Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet. I’m also glad to know that I am not alone.

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josi August 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm

can i send this to the baptist bitches who rebuked me during open prayer at bible study group in front of 20+ women for voicing my opinion on the topic of the bible study on prayer and why it’s important that we were studying, essentially i called them out on the very thing they were lacking but what Jesus did consistently and that was to pray! Jesus was constantly in prayer to his Father bc he so loved the people and yet i was accused of putting Jesus in a box, what the hell do u mean box? I’ve never heard of such an expression bf this incident occurred…is this something new? Scripture does say be in prayer constantly…maybe they don’t understand that..what i do know is they need more of it ! i never felt genuine love from these women..just tension and stares at my tattoo…Yeah, you heard me right, what judgement, and to think i thought i needed that, to be apart of that, sorry, but i can study the bible on my own, so what is the point in going then? for connection? not likely…there is no real connection…these women really believe they are making a difference..to me, all these groups are is cliquish women who have no other desire then to show their brawn and ladder climbing position in their plastic happy fake church!….Every time i was graced by their presence at these meetings, i just knew i was not cut from the same mold! i have never felt comfortable around these women and this last experience was the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake for me….i never went back and they never called me to come back…go figure!

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tash April 21, 2015 at 2:28 am

Standing ovation finally someone with the guts to tell it like it is, just what I needed to hear. Thanks for the post dont know how I came across it but clearly needed to hear it. I shall join your ‘Im not good club’ fits me perfectly bless you

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Chloe Jeffreys April 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Hi tash, welcome. The weather is fine. Abandoning perfectionism and having to show the rest of the world what a holy girl I am has been very relieving. I feel a lot better living in my own skin.

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Alice June 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Thank you! I needed this!

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Maria February 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Wow, I’m not feeling so alone right now. We all need the Lord so badly and I for one am not afraid to say it. Thank you for your brave words, I feel you sister!

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Chloe Jeffreys March 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

You are not alone. And if everyone were honest none of us would feel alone ever again.

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pat corrigan January 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

there is more rejoicing in heven over the one sinner who make repentance than the 99 who do not need repentance

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marlen September 19, 2013 at 7:08 am

AMENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN… You are my soul sister. You have expressed my heart in every single word you said. Thank you. We are good people despite what we think or they think. We are wonderful….

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Mel August 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

I stumbled upon your blog by accident and read this post. My first thought after reading it is, “Oh my god, I fucking love you.” I can’t think of a more appropriate, mature response so for now I’ll leave it at that.

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Chloe Jeffreys August 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Hi Mel, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it.

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Barbara Torris July 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

Amen! I always wondered if I was the only one that felt bad because I could not buy into the “religious truths” seen by others. Thank for the reassurance. You said what I will never had the courage to say.

I might add that “good” is a relative term. You are, in a million ways, good! None of us are perfect.

Barbara
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Chloe Jeffreys July 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thank you, Barbara. That’s so nice of you to say. Thanks for coming by.

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Lorna June 5, 2013 at 1:46 am

I discovered your blog by accident and I have been blessed and inspired reading your posts today. I have laughed and cried. Thank you so much.

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Chloe Jeffreys June 5, 2013 at 8:43 am

I am glad! Thanks for coming by.

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Barbara April 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

If you believe in Christ and that he died for your sins, and you are grateful for that because you know there’s no way in hell you could ever earn your way into heaven, you are a Christian, even if every single day you have to ask forgiveness and try (again) to follow the path he has set before you and do his work on this earth. Judging has no part in that. You’re joining the wrong groups.
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Mary Buchan April 14, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Thank you for speaking your truth! I am a marginalized Christian and have never been able to live up to the standards of the righteous. Hard as I try, I will never be one of them. I love God but have always felt like an outsider. I’m not good either! So I’m joining the “I’m Not Good Club” and it is so freeing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Chloe Jeffreys April 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm

We’re in good company. Jesus also mentioned at least once that he wasn’t good either. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m relieved that I’m not alone out here.
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Debbie May 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

Get over it. Non of us are perfect. Chloe your not perfect but your made perfect in Christ! His mercies are new EVERY SINGLE DAY!Bingo! thats why we repent …than we are whole,clean,purified…Made new each and every day. So what your really saying is you need his Mercy and forgiveness every day! so what!? get over it. and stop focusing so much on how imperfect and bad you are. You are actually GOOD…because God lives in you and HE is Good!!! stop declaring how bad you are when its not even true.

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Chloe Jeffreys June 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

You’ve helped me so much. I feel much better now.

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Bill November 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm

You don’t have to be good to be accepted by Christ!

Was the thief on the cross good – no!

But he asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.

Jesus accepts you just as you are – anyone who is self righteous will not be accepted because their good deeds are like filthy rags to God

Your humility and admission of sin makes you acceptable to God more than someone who thinks that they “deserve” heaven!

Guess what – no one qualifies!

Your fine just the way you are

Just ask Jesus to show you the way and he will!

Read the Bible everyday, study the Bible and ask Jesus for forgiveness when you sin – ask him to help you turn from your sin (repent)

That is good enough for God!
Guess what – no one qualifies!

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Stephanie November 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I hate that you struggle and feel so alienated within the church, but I understand why you do. I am ‘nice’, don’t use profanity, love to bake cookies, am quiet, don’t talk about vaginas publicly (ha!) blah blah blah…but I can’t do women’s groups or homeschool groups either. Outwardly I might look like I fit that mold, but I am too angered and grieved by what goes on and don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to do with it. What you’ve said here is spot-on. I am not good, but God is bigger.

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Sara November 2, 2012 at 2:09 am

Chloe,
I stumbled upon your blog inadvertently tonight and now have stayed up until 4am reading all the posts in the losing my religion category. I can’t tell you how relieved I feel to finally find someone that feels the same as I do. I love God, I believe in Christ. Church and I are in the learning to tolerate each other phase. Its like when I make my 5 and 6 year old kids sit in the car next to each other for long periods of time. Neither one of them like it, but they can’t do anything about it either. I want to have a shirt made up and wear it anytime I go out, or maybe a giant magnet for my car, that says “Yes I am a Christian. I homeschool. I’m NOT a republican. Deal with it.”. Oh I am just so relieved to have “met” you. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I look forward to checking out the rest of your blog. In the sunshine, after three days of sleep. 🙂

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Tricia O. October 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

You know how Anne Lamott says she’s “Christianish” sort of like some people are Jewish?

I’m totally that. Christianish.

For the same reasons you mentioned, I struggle. I’ll never be someone who feels comfortable with praise music, quotes scripture, or really gives a shit about what *they* think Jesus would do.

This is also why I don’t go to Bible studies, join Circle at church, and rarely go to church. I feel judged and not holy enough and frankly never will be. Those may be my hangups, but if I feel it, it’s real, and that’s all I have.

It’s disappointing, really.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

Tricia, this is exactly why I love Anne Lamott. She gets it. She is the first Christian woman I ever read who I thought, “She gets it.” She has been a huge participant in my keeping any faith I have left. I deeply appreciate the way she can separate Jesus from the bullshit of Christianity. I will forever be grateful to her for that. Thank you for reminding me of her. I guess I can now say that I’m “Christianish”.

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Jack October 15, 2012 at 1:16 am

You are not alone. I shared a few “thoughts” with some people this weekend. It should be an interesting week.
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Chloe October 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Let me know how that works out for you. It didn’t go so well for me.

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Delfin Joaquin Paris III October 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm

This is why I’m glad I was raised a snake handler. It’s just a solid religion, all the way around.
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Chloe October 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I’m going to check it out right away. I think it is time for me to convert.

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Shannon Bradley-Colleary October 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I say go kick their righteous asses. Mormon. I was raised Mormon from age 9-18. I wouldn’t get baptized though. Something about the “one true church” just didn’t work for me. Just remember, life is messy, even for the people who seem to know how everyone is supposed to live. xo
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Kate Hall October 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Amen, Sista!

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rodalena October 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Solution: we should start a “church.” Which is totally something safe and “Good Christian Women” should never ever do, along with “express their honest opinions in a group setting of any kind.” Which would piss “Good Christian Women” right the hell off. Which means a fight would no doubt ensue. Which means membership would immediately skyrocket. Which means we’d be the talk of the town. Which would be fun.

Sigh…

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Melissa October 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hi! I’m just getting to know you, but already I Love You!!!

I am unconventional by certain society terms, yet I know that God is love and acceptance and not judgmental.

You are perfect the way you are. You and I both are most likely closer to God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit along our walk than those others are. I am at peace with that!

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Hey Melissa, nice to meet you.

I think the best we can do is be our authentic selves and hope that others can understand it.

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Aimee October 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I’m sorry your experience with women’s groups has been so horrible. I understand what you’re saying about the whole Group Think thing and it disturbs me, too. Oftentimes I feel as if mine is the only head not bobbing up and down in agreement when women are sitting in a circle talking. I have no desire to fake it to fit in, but not fitting in is rather sucky as well. I do have a lot of good friends, true friends, whom I’ve met at women’s groups, though.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Aimee, I’m pretty sure the fault lies with me. Like I said, I’m the one who would have to change.

I have great friends and many of them are Beth Moore attending Christian women. I love them. It is the group dynamic that seems to trouble me. That’s where i seem to fall apart.

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Missus Wookie October 9, 2012 at 10:21 am

I’ve never understood those who seem to feel that they KNOW what G-d would do in this situation better than G-d.

Seemed rather apt to have read your post after this one: http://esrquaker.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/border-crossings-and-god-who-doesnt.html

I am not good, I am not perfect – there are so many ways that I fail daily and I am grateful for the grace of love and truth that gives me another day to try again. Figure that keeps me busy enough without trying to live someone else’s life or judge how they are living theirs.

But thank you for reminding me of how good it is to be honest and how not fitting in is sometimes the best thing to do.

I’m glad to have met you.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I am so glad to know you, too, Missus Wookie. You’ve been one of my most loyal readers and commenters. Your calm presence is always welcomed. You Quakers really do have that going on and I envy it.

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Anne October 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Ditto what Smacksy said. Having lived a life for many years repressing anger, I know whereof I speak. Anger is a powerful force for action and therefore for change. And it’s part of all of us. For Christ’s sake, look at him in the temple with the money changers etc.

Another thing occurs to me: I remember learning when the kids were little that a child is not confused or harmed by anger if it’s not violently or inappropriately aimed at the child’s character. (ie you can be angry at something the child did but still see the child as separate from her/his actions.) To see a parent REpressing anger is, however, very confusing and can be damaging to a child. After all, it’s essentially a lie, to be smiling and having the anger coming out sideways in unexpected big and little hostilities.

Bravo to you for being open and honest and alive and angry.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Anne, thank you so much for noticing how angry I am. I wrestle with it night and day.

My husband and I started therapy (AGAIN) in January and finally we found a therapist who believed that this small little blond woman can carry a lot of rage.

I need to learn to channel it against the machine and not blow people out of the water. If only they’d stop helping the machine!! The machine that eats the souls of people does not need any help!

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Ann Dunnewold October 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

Wow, Chloe, what an incredibly powerful piece of writing coming fron an incredibly awesome HUMAN BEING! To echo many other voices above, we are NONE of us perfect. All any of us can be is ourselves, flaws and all. And kudos to you for speaking up, challenging as I love to, with a hearty “Who Says?!”

And my heart aches about the truth herein, that many Christians do have such rigid, judgmental attitudes. I grew up knowing this, as a preacher’s kid, even while my dad taught something else from the pulpit. There are expressions of Christianity that strive to rise above this and preach grace, nonjudgment, universal salvation. Check out the United Church of Christ http://www.ucc.org/ or The Christian Unitarians http://uuchristian.org/ to see what a different arm of Christianity is like.
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Rene Foran October 8, 2012 at 7:42 am

So many times I wished I could have grown a set and say what you just said…
I’m a Christian woman who doesn’t fit the mold either.
I always felt a deep sense of “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” when I joined church groups.
Too many fingers pointed not enough hands extended.

I realized I can love and serve the Lord without joining a coffee klatch…so like St. Thérèse I do it in my own quiet “little ways”

Thank you for writing this and to Ann Imig for bringing it to my attention.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Hey Rene! Thank you for stopping by and reading and taking the time to write a comment. This post left blood on the keyboard, no doubt about that. But I felt it to my toes.

I don’t want anyone to come away and think I think I’m better. I’m not. My sin is rage. I have a hard time controlling myself in certain situations and confrontation with the self-righteous who want to make an exclusive club for “true” believers is one of those situations that does bring out the worst in me.

I guess all you need to write something like this is nothing left to lose. It is painful place to sit. I wish sometimes I was different, but I can’t seem to get there.

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Kay Lynn October 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

Chloe, those “good” Christian women sound like they’re not. Christ didn’t judge and they shouldn’t. I’m sure you have faults (as do I) but not being able to deal with this group of women is not one of them.

Sometimes the best Christians are not the ones in Church or a church group but rather those living the words of Jesus.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I kinda think they are good. I think I am the one with the problem.

I think that it is easy to judge people when you aren’t faced with their challenges. I also think there is a whole lot of history of Christians not understanding other Christians. The Bible likens us to a body with an eye, a hand, and a foot. The eye should busy itself being an eye not griping about the role of the foot.

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Jill@MommyInconsistent October 7, 2012 at 7:10 am

I dunno…you seem pretty good to me. Anyone who stands up for others and all that self-righteousness crap is good. I’m not religious – at least in the traditional sense. My mum always said that Heaven is here on earth. And another thing she taught me: What other people think of me is none of my business. I believe that the things that those type of self-righteous “Christian” ladies (or men) say in judgment of others has little to do with the others they chastize and more to do with themselves. You’ll never be good enough for groups like these…Yay! Time to celebrate!

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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Jill, I promise you that I am not good. Good women bake cookies and stay quiet and submit to their husbands. Good Christian women don’t use profanity or talk about vaginas in public. I just have to accept that it isn’t my job to be good. It is my job to be real. I have to leave being good to those who are good at it, because I am not.

I agree with your mom that what other people think about us isn’t our business. If only they’d keep it to themselves how much easier that would be.

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Robin O'Bryant October 7, 2012 at 5:19 am

Chloe, I hear you. I hear your story and I love you and I accept you. Your story needs to be told. NONE of us deserve the grace of God, but He gives it to us anyway which is what makes it so amazing. Love this post.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

You and I are kindred spirits in so many ways, Robin. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

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Kim Phillips October 7, 2012 at 4:09 am

Just WOW. I’m blown away by your honesty. I ran from Christianity as a teen because of the self-righteousness I saw in the particularly toxic church I was raised in, lived as an atheist, and converted to Judaism in mid-life. And I am not a good enough Jew. Skipped going to synagogue this Yom Kippur because I simply didn’t know where to start the atoning. And the anger management problem… yeah, that’s me, too. Thank you so much for this post. Makes us all rethink where we are with our spirituality.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Kim, I wonder if some of us aren’t made for conformity. I have to figure out what it means for me to love God while not rejecting the me He made. I’ve been struggling with this for some time now. I used to think that the answer was in finding the right religion. Now I’m not so sure.

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Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs October 6, 2012 at 9:59 pm

You are so brave. And honest. And moving. And inspirational. And absolutely awesome.

No, you’re not good. None of us are, but so few of us are strong enough to admit it as courageously as you.

Screw those who judge. Just go on being you. ♥

(PS: I’m late to comment on this because I’m off in the desert playing grandma and just now got online. But I’m also late in telling you that YOU were the inspiration for my post today…and I wrote it a couple days ago, to go live today, in preparation for my desert visit. Long before I read this post. Now I’m even MORE in awe of you, more thankful to be part of your awesome gathering of not good but oh so fab women.)
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Your article was great! The community we are building is most excellent.

Thank you for taking time to read and comment and share your own journey as a blogger. I think it is meaningful and important.

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Maddie Kertay October 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I have thought a lot about what you have written since for me religion never “stuck” in the church sense no matter how many masses my parents dragged me to through my childhood.

Not that this has saved me from much ( ha! a pun).. since being a homeschooler means part and parcel of sitting in lots of judgement from other “holy mothers” of the homeschool land.. so at times I have played nice for the sake of my kids and yet over time the real me seeps out and the jig is up.

Lucky for me I have a group of others who support my ways and know that I am not “good” either.. but you know what.. I would guess (if going out on a limb here ) that God has no real interest in ” Good” but in REAL and Authentic and Flawed and Questioning.. since to be “good” means to be satisfied and not to question or to grow… to be “good” is to be stagnant in a mire of self congratulations and back patting and I suspect that is the sort of thing that makes “God-however you imgine God to be” throw up a little bit or a lot.

To to hell with “good”.. it is not “good enough” anyway.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Honestly, most of this rant comes from the homeschool Christians I know. I loved homeschooling my kids, and I love the many wonderful friends I’ve made through homeschooling. But there is this strain of insufferable self-righteousness within that community that makes me want to scream. Here on this end of parenting I know for a fact that there is no such think as doing it all right. It drives me crazy. And I now fight every day to hold onto a faith that has been tainted by the same perfectionism I knew within Mormonism. If I could be perfect I already would have been!!! I can’t put on an act for God, and I sure as hell won’t do it for people.

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Barbara October 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Very moving and raw Chloe. I’ve been there with the trying over and over and feeling, no being, judged.
Someone said once years ago, that it’s a good thing there’s not a smell associated with gossip and judging, or so many “church” ladies, GCW, if you will, would stink. Literally.

Hope you’re being gentle with yourself. Peace and power go hand in hand for our souls.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I know how damaging gossip is for me. I have felt emotionally ill from it in the past. I’m trying to change my spots and adopt a “live and let live” attitude. This means that it is none of my business why people get divorces. This means that it is not my job to make sure that other people know when they are sinning. This means that it is not my job to be anyone else’s Holy Spirit. I have a tough enough time just trying to listen to God myself without trying to play God for everyone else.

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Karen October 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Chloe, you are better than most of those so-called “Good Christians”. You are honest and don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not. We are all sinners and seek the gracious forgiveness of God. The only relationship that matters is your relationship with HIM. I wouldn’t worry about fitting in with the righteous who are too blind to see their own sins. I’ve often heard that the church is a hospital for sinners. Trouble is, too many think they are the doctors instead of the patients! Thanks for your honesty. It is very refreshing.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Karen, thank you. But I am not better. I confess, that if I could be one of them, I would in a minute. But I just can’t. To do so would be to deny the God that loves me anyway, despite all my many flaws. I cannot seek to please others at the expense of my true purpose which is to write and express that there is hope even in our worst of circumstances. And that God’s love for us isn’t dependent on anything we do, or can do for ourselves.

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Sharon Greenthal (@sharongreenthal) October 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I’m a Jew, and a lapsed one at the moment. When I didn’t attend high holiday services this year, I thought of myself as a “bad” Jew. But the truth is, being a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or any other religion is so personal, so internal, that the most judged we feel usually comes from ourselves. Thank God – yours and mine – that you’re not a Good Christian Woman. You would never be able to express yourself so perfectly, in such a compelling and honest way, if you were one of those really un-Christian women who sit in judgment of others.

I live my life by this motto: what goes around, comes around. You give so much of yourself – it is coming back to you tenfold.

I luvs ya!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thank you, Sharon, for your kind words and your friendship. Riding in that cab with you was a very good thing even if I’m not good.

I appreciate your words here. None of us are good. The funny thing about the people of the Bible is that no matter how “good” they thought they were, when they met God they realized how small they really were. I take heart in that. I believe that God did not make us to be robots. He shows us time and time again that he loves most a genuine heart, not a self-righteous one. I hope to have the first because I find the second insufferable.

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Ciaran October 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

You make me kinda glad to be a Jew… All that self doubt and questioning you mention? Welcome! A pinch of self loathing? Bring it! Nobody has the answers. Nobody is all good. My grandfather was this super saintly (supposedly) rabbi. I still remember asking him once when I was little, how it was he was so good, all the time. He cracked up. He told me about how he tortured and bullied his little brother. If you want my opinion (you might not) I have to say stop being so hard on yourself now, for who you were in the past. I’m giving you permission to stop judging yourself so harshly, whatever that’s worth. Other people might still judge you, but they all have their own rules that may or may not be the right set. Who do they think they are? G-d? God might judge you too, but whose G-d? It’s ok to question. G-d’s a little unknowable. You don’t have to always be good. You only have to try your best. You’re allowed to get pissed off by phonies. So give yourself a hug. Make amends to those you’ve hurt if you need to, knowing that you might not make it better, but you’ve tried. Make amends to yourself too. It seems the person you’ve hurt the most, may be you. You need to forgive yourself. Which I’m sure you know. And keep on. xo

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Kim Phillips October 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

Amen to that. We Jews do a fine enough job beating ourselves up, we don’t need any help. ;0) One of the main things I love about the Torah is that the characters are so flawed. Even God (if you read closely the first Five Books) evolves over time. Not much has changed with humans in 5,000 or so years.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

This is one of the true ironies for Christians and Jews, I think. The people of our book are flawed. Some of them are very deeply flawed. None of them are perfect. But somehow they have this relationship with God anyway. God calls David a man after his own heart even though David is not exactly a great role model in a lot of ways.

I get it, but I don’t believe that God wants us to paint ourselves false in order to please Him. I just don’t believe that what God wants for me is to become some cookie-cutter Christian.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Hey Ciaran! Thank you for writing this. I believe that nobody is all good and that we can’t know the heart of another person. I lash out sometimes because of my own terror. I find the older I get the less I sure I am of what I know. The more I know about life the less sure I am that I have it all right. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I don’t. I just hope there is a God who loves us because otherwise the world is too sad to believe in.

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Holli October 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Wow. What a beautiful and brave piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

And thank you, Holli, for stopping by and taking the time to read this and comment. I know people’s time is very precious these days and it means so much to me that you’ve come by and spent a few moments here. I deeply appreciate it.

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Galit Breen October 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

You and I have absolutely no business being friends. None.

But omg, you had me with your title.

I love your words and your raw.

So, hi. I’m Galit. Will you *please* be my friend?
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By Word of Mouth Musings October 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

You two have not ‘met’ before?
How could it be so … I thought it was automatic that the people I love the very most online would simply have to know eachother ….

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Galit, of course!!! Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to comment. Friendship crosses all boundaries when two people can see the truth of one another.

Welcome and thank you for commenting.

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Lisa Johnson October 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

There are so many pockets of people with lock-step thinking, to riff off your Nazi reference, that I think we’ve all been in this place at least once. I’m only vaguely Christian but what was screaming through my head while reading your post was the Golden Rule. “Treat all others as you would like to be treated.” I think the world could use a lot more of that these days.

From US Politics to my local PTA (don’t get me started) I get so aggravated at people who condescend to others while espousing some virtue. Ducking behind the shield of religion in order to justify your own pettiness should be a sin.

((hugs)) you’re awesome, keep on being you.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thanks Lisa! I have a knee-jerk reaction to group think and I believe the fault lies with me. Once I’m confronted with that “one right way” then suddenly I come apart. And it is only getting worse with age. I think my mother is really coming out in me.

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Magnolia October 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Just wait until you say out loud that you don’t believe in the trinity, and that you don’t believe when people die they go “home to Jesus.”

Welcome to my world. 🙂
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I am sure that doesn’t get a lot of applause, Mags. People want their sacred cows and they don’t want them tipped.

When you consider that really nobody knows anything it is the highest form of hubris to attempt to define God and then insist that the rest of the world adhere to your definition.

Can’t we all just get along??

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Judy October 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

Chloe, I have been making other Christian women ticked off a lot lately. I told my husband that I have been trying to play nice,but when people say things that are flat out untrue in the name of Christianity I am not going to just nod my head and agree. I can really relate to what you have written. I have been judged and found lacking in more women’s Bible studies than I care to remember.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

It is really tough because you put yourself out there and then you become a target. It is so easy to call into question another person’s commitment to their faith. And it hurts like hell to have someone say that you aren’t a good Christian or, worse, that you maybe aren’t a Christian at all. I have been through my final weighing and I will forever be found wanting. I’ll never be good enough, and that has to be okay.

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Magnolia October 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

But, that’s the thing, Chloe. You keep looking for approval in the wrong place.

I remind myself regularly, and it’s actually sinking in…..if “God” says I’m “holy and accepted in the beloved” why do I give a rat’s ass what anybody else thinks about me?

I don’t.

Talk about women’s liberation.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

It isn’t even approval as much as just peaceful co-existence. Even that seems beyond my grasp.

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Judy (Lazarus) from Get Unwrapped! October 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

You know what? I never fit in with that crowd, never felt comfortable with them even though I had the classic Christian kid’s ‘drug problem’ – my mom drug me to women’s groups, drug me to church, drug me to Sunday School, drug me to missionary society meetings… and I hated every moment of those I’m-better-than-she-is or we’re-better-than-those-heathen-are sessions. And for a while, even though I stayed away from women’s groups (Christian or not) I would judge my kids, my husband, and my acquaintances the same way as those “bitches.” So much so that my kids called me a (get this) “Christianazi.’

OUCH.

Until January 2009. If you visit my home blog, you’ll be able to piece my story together but basically put, I hit rock bottom and I needed help. And I got it.

And I still hate women’s groups. They are hotbeds of socially acceptable immorality: the worst kind of evil: the kind that believes itself to be good! I close my eyes and hear the hens clucking at my uncle’s farm and smell chicken gunk all over the place when I get in a room with more than one woman. It disgusts me. “Oh, come on this retreat, Judy. It’ll be great!” No, it will be you staying up too late complaining about your husbands and “men” in general. What the…? Why do you think it’s a break to get away from your husbands? Thank you, no, I’ll stay home and have sex with mine. You people aren’t my best friends. He is. So there.

As a result, I’ve always been a bit of a pariah. And lately, I’ve come to accept that fact instead of feeling guilt and shame over not fitting into the cookie cutter. You waste a lot of dough that way. Life’s too short. If they have a problem with that, then tough cookies.

Just saying. Love this piece!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:01 am

I have to laugh at your “drug problem”. I’m pretty sure my son would say that he had the same problem.

I call “Uncle”. They win. I will always end up losing my temper and being the wrong one because I wasn’t “nice”. Maybe I should have said that I’m not good and I’m not nice. And there it is.

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Ellie October 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

I can’t tell you how MANY conversations I’ve had with “good Christian women” who feel exactly the way you do, lately.

I adore what Jane said, too.

THIS is daring greatly, my friend, putting your real self out there – and you are radiant and compassionate and real. I adore this post beyond words, and I’m so grateful to be your new friend. Please keep writing more about this – the world needs it. I need it.

-xo

-Ellie
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

Ellie, I’m having these conversations with other Christian woman, too. Women who are tired of living in a bubble where they feel their faith is scrutinized over every little thing.

Is that dress too short? Is that blouse too low? Are your kids just perfect? Is your house just right? Do you do enough Beth Moore studies in a year? Do you volunteer enough? Do you give enough tithe? Oh yeah, and what about your marriage? Is your husband happy, and if he isn’t then what is you are doing wrong?

It reminds me of then entire chapter of Matthew 23, but particularly this verse:

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

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BigLittleWolf October 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

I agree. You’re not good.

I think you’re fucking awesome.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

No, you are!!

Thank you for sharing this and being a good friend. I envy the hell out of your writing and it means a lot for me to have you take your time to comment here and share. Truly.

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Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen October 6, 2012 at 7:13 am

LOL!!! What would Jesus say about those nasty old judgmental “Christian” bitches??? That’s why I think all religions do more harm than good in our world today. Most recent genecides have been caused by the kind of superior attitudes your “good Christian friends” have…another example: 9/11

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:09 am

It doesn’t escape my notice that much of what the most conservative camp of Christianity seems to want is what is already have going on in Saudi Arabia. Irony much?

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mindy trotta October 6, 2012 at 7:09 am

Chloe, I am not a Christian, but I want you to know that there are many Jews who feel the same way as you. They are searching as well. And there are many who are judgmental and self-righteous too. Blind to their own faults, but so aware of the failings of others. Every race and religion has ’em. But I have to ask you, who amongst us is “Good?” We are human…we all have shortcomings, and we should recognize our own and be as kind to ourselves as we would be to others. You are brave, you are kind, you are a gift to the world.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:13 am

I recently had a conversation with a Jew and she shared the same thing as you are saying here.

I do not believe this issue is a “Christian issue” as much as it is a human one. Human beings want to feel they are part of something and part of being part of something is pointing out who is not one of you. This is very dangerous when it comes to things like salvation and worthiness. Very dangerous. It is one thing to call out someone as not a good Christian or a good Jew or a good Muslim, but when you get enough people thinking the one right way then you have something dangerous on your hands. That is the part of Christianity that I feel called to speak against. Being a Christian is not being a Republican, or a homeschool mom, or against birth control, or whatever flavor of the month is in vogue. Being a Christian is about a person’s relationship with God, and that’s so personal that no one should feel they have a right to judge. Only God can know a person’s heart.

Thank you for commenting, Mindy. It means a lot to me.

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Christine October 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

Holy Toledo, to borrow a phrase that dates me. I was introduced to your blog a few minutes ago and I’m in awe of your writing – your honesty – your emotions – all so refreshingly candid. I shunned Christianity (Catholicism) at an early age because of the judgment and harshness that impacted me at a tender developmental age. Even in second grade, with imperfect parents, I was aware I’d never amount to being “good” in the eyes of of a God that was all about fear. Four decades later I am finding a different relationship with God (Higher Power). The God I believe in is awesome and accepting of the many different ways us humans experience God. Yes, the “one right way” is very dangerous, Indeed. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

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Brenda October 6, 2012 at 6:48 am

I find myself in groups “for the sake of the children” and sometimes it works out. If I’m not too much myself when I’m around them. Because really, can a conservative Christian homeschool group on the buckle of the Bible belt handle an angry, potty mouthed, pole dancing, marital intimacy loving non-Christian man marrying woman who doesn’t make her elementary aged kids sit through a church service aimed at adults?

But you, Miss C, ARE MY PEOPLE. And I’m so glad to have you, anger and all.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

You are my people, too, Brenda. Pole dancing and all. God made me angry for a reason, and I think I’m just going to start going with that.

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Marci Rich October 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

There’s no way to like comments here that I can see with my caffeine-starved eyes, but you know what Jane Gassner wrote? Yes. Love that. Amen.
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Kristi R October 6, 2012 at 6:29 am

You do have a way with words, putting your thoughts out there in a way that resonates with so many others.

I, too, feel like the kite tail. I’ve always known I was on the fringe and have never had the desire to be in the midst of the group, agreeing with group think. Thanks for putting this post out there.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Kristi, you have been a friend for a very long time. Your friendship throughout everything, and you’ve seen pretty much everything, means the world to me. You are one of my touchpoints and your friendship means the world to me. Thank you for always being such an encouragement to me. You give me hope in me.

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Marci Rich October 6, 2012 at 6:20 am

By the way. I just woke up and haven’t had my full ration of coffee yet. Everyone, I’m aware I meant “your” and typed “you’re” by mistake. May the big God of punctuation and grammar forgive me and make another mug of coffee miraculously appear by my side. Amen.
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Brenda October 6, 2012 at 6:42 am

Marci,

In the name of all that is Grammar Sucks, I absolve you. 🙂

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

Go now in peace and use bad grammar no more.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

We both need the grammar gods to smile upon us and forgive us our many sins. Amen.

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Marci Rich October 6, 2012 at 6:17 am

Chloe. Sorry, but I have to use shouty capitals for this: BRAVA!! AND BRAVE YOU. I am in awe. Of your fearlessness, your honesty, and you’re spectacular writing. About that last: you are writing for your life. You must keep going. There’s much more I could say but I’m doing this on my iPhone. I know I’ll be thinking about this powerful essay all day, and cheering you on from my side of the country. Oh yes, and I agree with you, too. We all need a “big God”–love that–but those ‘good Christian women’ have no idea how much THEY need their God to be big. You’ve unlocked something here, kiddo. And it’s exciting to see.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Thank you, Marci. I really appreciate you taking time to read this and comment. It was hard to write and I fear that I might have come off as better than I am.

We all need a BIG God. If somehow there is a God and he or she really does love us and cares about what happens to us then that God must be unfathomable. I don’t want my God in a box that I can understand, but mostly I don’t understand why the world is the way it is.

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Helene October 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

OMG exactly what Jane Gassner said. I am consistently blown away by your courage and honesty. You are being true to you. Please stay who you are.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Helene, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m overwhelmed by how many others, even from different faith walks, feel marginalized and rejected by the people of God.

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Nina Knox October 6, 2012 at 5:57 am

Chloe, great post! This is exactly why I don’t go to church, but I DO consider myself a Christian. ANd all my good Christian girlfriends judge me for not going to church! Figure that out! None of us are perfect or good. No One! I try so hard to do the right thing and not to judge others when their views are different than mine. It’s not easy and I fail a lot, but then I try again. But I don’t join groups and I don’t go to church. That’s not always where the good Christians and the best people are! But I’m trying not to judge them! Our life experience determines to a great deal who we are and what we believe. I feel you grow as a person by listening, learning and not judging those that have different life experiences than yourself. This doesn’t mean I have to agree with them or join their “group think”, but I can try not to judge them. Unfortunately this doesn’t alway go both ways. My opinion based on what I know is that you are a much better person and Christian than you realize!
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Negin October 6, 2012 at 3:41 am

Chloe, you are good and you need to be more compassionate and forgiving. To heck with anyone who doesn’t understand! I love how open you are. Loved your Nazi description. That group-think mentality is rather scary to say the least.

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Jane Gassner October 6, 2012 at 12:31 am

As you know, I don’t relate to all the talk about Christian women. What I do relate to, however, is this cry that comes from your guts. Your honesty in facing yourself is mind boggling. I just wish that the whole Christian woman thing was not so significant to you. You are, in fact, the opposite of what you say here: you are a good woman, who is working to make the best of all that God gave her.
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Pamela October 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I accept you for who you are and much of the heart of your post resonates. I will stand with you on the fringe. We are not on the fringe of Christ’s love, but rather on the fringe of a version of popular culture. I don’t care for that culture. The older I get, the bigger God gets, I would wager that you agree. God knows who we are and loves us anyways. What others think …is immaterial. People are hurting and don’t need us to pile more on.

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Suebob October 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I wrote a post that addresses how I think about this: http://suebobdavis.com/2012/08/26/believing-the-impossible
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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

This was a beautiful post, Suebob. I hope people will click and read what you have to say about this important topic. Who God loves is not up to us.

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Melanie Morris October 5, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Chloe,

“So now I hang onto my Jesus like the tail of a kite hangs on after the kite’s been cut loose from its line.” This line leaves me gasping for breath–as though you reached into my chest to pull this thought out. Thank you for being who you are. I am so blessed. To know I’m not the only one walking this path…to know that you can be as messed up as you are (hey, you said so, yourself!) and still hang on to your (our) Jesus like that gives me hope. I will stand before Him, alone. None of the other people watching, who will have their opinions, will get to vote.

Thanks again,

Mel

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Chloe Jeffreys October 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Melanie, this is a tough place to be in. I take heart in the fact that many believers from the past have been right where you and I are. That gives me peace and courage.

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Jessica October 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

in all seriousness, is my ex MIL in that group? Ok, not entirely serious but without a doubt could have/be a member.

I’m so proud of you. We have one life to live, our OWN life, not the life someone else tells us to live. Oh and I underscore “OWN”.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Thank you, Jessica. You inspire me to be true to my creative heart. Thank you for being you. We only get this one life to live and to not be true to who we are is to deny any God we do choose to believe in.

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Heather A October 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

yes.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

🙂

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Lisa Rae @ smacksy October 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

God gave us anger for a reason, without it, nothing would ever get done around here. (Ditto PMS.) Your job here is not to be good, your job is to be human and from what I can see, you are doing that beautifully.
High five.
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Sherri October 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

What she said…totally.
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Laura October 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

Can I just third that? ‘Cause yeah. That.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Thank you, Laura.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Thank you, Sherri.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Thank you, Lisa Rae. I am coming to terms with this exact issue. I think God gives different people different gifts. To me he gave anger so that I would be courageous and say the things that sometimes need to be said. If I didn’t have that anger to push me then I’d probably just say nothing at all.
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Melissa Lake October 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Type, delete. Type, delete. Type, delete.

I don’t know how you can be so real. I guess it’s because you can’t not be. And, that’s what is pretty cool about you Thanks for always giving me something deep to think about.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Melissa, I am afraid that you have it right. If I could be different I would. I promise you.

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Melissa Lake October 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Today in church we sang a song called Forever Reign. Have you heard it? It starts out:

You are good You are good
When there’s nothing good in me…

I thought of you and even prayed for you. You are such a real and special person. I’m glad I know you. You make a difference.
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Chloe October 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Thanks for your prayers. I do appreciate them.

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Jen October 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

You have been a fantastic influence on me, and a lot of other heathens who want to follow Jesus and still soak after hours. With wine.

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I’m glad to hear this, Jen. I know I am not good or nice, but I do care. Maybe too much.

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Ginger Kay October 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

What kind of weird church do you attend????

I don’t do women’s groups, because I’m not that friendly, but the women at my church generally don’t wear men’s t-shirts. I might be the third frumpiest woman at my church, now that I think about it. Thanks for that.

I think my church has a support group for women who’ve had abortions and want a place to talk about it.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm

This is a good question, Ginger Kay. If I started talking about my history with the righteous it would take up much more than any reasonable blog post ever should.

I did come to terms with my abortion with the help of a very kind Christian lady who helped me see things from a far different perspective. Someday I hope to write about that, too. That said, I think individually most people are a blessing.
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Jo Heroux October 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I hear ya. I really hear ya. You are good. You are good at being you. You don’t want to be like them and I don’t think God minds that at all. He wants you to pray for forgiveness for your sins, just yours. He has already forgiven you, he loves you unconditionally. Ask and receive.
It’s not so hard. We all sin and we all need forgiveness, daily.
Just stay away from the goodies, cuz they’re not good for you.


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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Jo, thanks for commenting. I do believe that God is love and His love isn’t based on the things that we think they are. I know God does love me. I believe he uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and that there are few more foolish than me.
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Julia October 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I keep thinking of the Harry Potter map…”I do solemnly swear I am up to no good”.

I love your kite analogy. I think I’m swinging there as well. And it would be nice to fit in somewhere.

You may not feel like you ARE good, but you DO a lot of good. And one of the best things you do is write stuff like this that makes people think.

Love you!

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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I like that. “I do solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” That sounds about right.
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robin October 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I am not good either. But wow, you ARE a good writer. You are also a great friend…even though i can never reach you on the phone. Ha
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Damn it, I need to call you back. I miss you. Thank you for being my friend.
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Jean Parks October 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

No my dear, you are very “good” when tempted to pass any sort of judgement on another, you resist, turning your mind to reflecting on your own life.

Remember just one thing, we must also treat ourselves with compassion, you are a beautiful person, never forget that!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thank you, Jean. I am deeply flawed, and I know that the fault lies with me. Somehow I have to cling to the notion at God can bring beauty out of ashes even if I’m the one who keeps setting the fire.
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Anne October 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Okay, okay, I’ll return the capri pants!
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Chloe Jeffreys October 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

LOL! That’s a start!
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