I finally left the church. I wasn’t my mother’s daughter, after all. Unlike mama, I couldn’t sit still every Sunday and pretend that life was great outside the walls.
I was too exhausted to try to atone. Besides, I had seen first-hand the vanity of atonement. My mother tried for most of her life in vain. She finally understood God had forgiven her.
Mama accepted the love and forgiveness offered. I couldn’t. I had done things to myself and others with my eyes wide open. I knew, but I couldn’t shrug off sin easily.
I met and fell in love with a rising music star. Mama warned me that he was no good, but I had plugged my ears with his sweet nothings.
I got pregnant, and he discarded me. He said I was just one among many. I was too afraid of the responsibility and extremely terrified of the shame, so I aborted.
They tell you it is just a fetus and that you’re not killing something unformed. The world says it is your body, and you have a right to decide what you do with it. Nobody tells you about the pain, the guilt, and the disillusionment.
The nurses and counselors weren’t there to hold my hands every time I would wake up in cold sweat from a terrifying dream. Nobody got to live with the aftereffect of my choices. Only I did.
I couldn’t condone mama’s knowing eyes and sad look. I couldn’t stand her pitiful whispers in prayers, so I moved out of the house and left the church.
I found out first-hand why mama stayed all those years. It wasn’t just that she was atoning. Mama had experienced both worlds, and she found comfort within the walls that were missing outside.
Life was a downward spiral. I knew I was dying.
“When you eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die.”
I never understood why God said that, and it didn’t happen. It seemed the devil was on to something when he said, “You will surely not die.”
I realized like Adam and Eve must have that separation from God is the worst kind of death. It was the absence of life, peace, and joy.
After wandering and feeding on pigs’ pods for months, I knew as surely as the prodigal did that it was time to go home.
So I did. And while I was still a long way off, He came and wrapped solid arms around me. He called me Beloved and Forgiven.
He gave me a new garment and a Purpose to call all who are far off. To guide you Home because you are His Beloved and He calls you Forgiven.