I should be asleep, but I wanted to tell a small story.
Let me tell a small story. You see, I am a recovered Evangelical. Strong words? Yes, they are. Disclaimer:Obviously not all churches are as controlling as the ones I have been to, and many do great kind works and accept all. I don’t need comment s about that on this post. This is my story. A small part of it. It’s mine to tell, not anyone’s to change or to preach out of me.
About 10 years ago I started growing away from the church for good. I got friends outside of the church. (Thank you Lord of the Rings Trading card game a little bit of courage!). For ten years off adn I had tried to be a part of a plce I did not fit. I’ve always questioned, I’ve never been one to sit by and follow. I’m not now, it makes my chest hurt, it make me ill, and I can’t breath. I needed out.
Unfortunately I was so indoctrinated I was terrified. I was certain I would go to hell if I left the church. I could not even utter certain words in songs.
In 2003 I left the church for good. I never went back, and I have only set foot into an actual church service once since. A catholic church service at a Christmas mass with a friend. It was lovely and I made fun of the teeny box they put Jesus in. I think she wanted to crawl under a pew.
In 2004 I was still battling the thoughts that I was going to go to hell. They hang onto your ankles like the demons the church says they are, and believe me do they hold on. I remember the exact moment when I let them go.
When American Idiot came out, I bought it. I can’t really remember why except I heard the song on the radion, I liked it, and had always liked Green Day even though I had never owned any of their stuff. Probably because Satan listened to it or something. So there I was, in my car. The CD playing. On my way home from work.
It was late, and dark. I always worked late shifts. It had been a long day, and I was tired, and sad, and I didn’t fit in and basically was just sick of everything and the words
“Forget me nots and second thoughts live in isolation
Heads or tails and fairytales in my mind
Are we we are, are we we are the waiting unknown
The rage and love, the story of my life
The Jesus of suburbia is a lie ” (Green Day lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong album American Idiot)
Now those lyrics probably were not meant how they hit me, but they hit me exactly in the middle of my gut, and tore it wide open. All the crap that was left there every false belief, all this left over hurt and anxiety came spilling out. Sitting at a stoplight on 71st and Sheridan I starting sobbing, windows down. I was finally able to let it go, I was finally able to sing those lyrics and I was finally able to know it was true.
Things started getting even better from there. Forming my own ideas, until now it is not a problem at all. The only hell I believe in is the one we create for ourselves here on earth. For ten years I created that for myself. I accept now that a lot of my misery during that time wasn’t being pinned in, it was allowing myself to not open the gate when it was clearly unlocked..
That, is part of my story.
The video is the night I got to hear the song that was that pivotal moment in my life live. Like 20 feet from Billie Joe, I did not film this. I don’t film at shows, but it is on youtube.