By Mandy Jane ~
I became a Christian at the age of 7 and I remember that soon after I smashed all the china cats my grandmother I bought me for my birthday, having been told by God they were false idols. My grandmother lived a long way away but always sent me a lovely letter and china cat on my birthday. My brother phoned my lovely gran and told her I had smashed up her china cats gift, and we had a really special conversation that I now treasure. I remember she said that if she hadn't already lost her faith the smashing of those china cats would have done it for her. I remember I told he that Jesus was looking after me now and I didn't need anyone or anything else. She told me that I was a little girl who needed my parents to feed and clothe me and my school to teach me and grandparents to make me feel like I was someone special. She told me that If I thought Jesus was going to take over feeding me, then I should go sit in my bedroom and wait to see how hungry I got.
She also asked me what I needed to look for in a husband when I grew up. She asked me whether I needed a man to make me feel that I was really special and important or a man who made me feel that I was just an ordinary person special to him. I said I wanted a man to make me feel special and important. Her reply was, "How would you feel if you found out that that man was making every other woman feel special and unique to him? And how would you feel if he was doing this to men and children too? Do you think that's right?" She told me to never trust a charming man in what ever guise be that spiritual or human. She also told me that in the heart of every Christian is a bloody Mary or King Phillip of Spain waiting to pounce. She knew because she had been one herself. I am so grateful for that conversation, but sadly I only left the church 4 years ago and am now 50. I am so grateful to be free of it and consider myself very lucky to have got out.
I am so grateful for that conversation but sadly I only left the Church 4 years ago and am now 50. I am so grateful to be free of it and consider myself very lucky to have got out.My years of prayer and church have been an utter roller coaster of the highs and lows,of unfulfilled promises, visions and false hopes during which I became more and more mentally ill and unable to function.I lost sight of who I was and made huge decisions led by God that were not authentically me including a marriage to a very controlling, anxious and abusive man and having two children both disabled whom although I love them dearly I would never have had if it was not for Church influence and if I could turn the clock back I would not at this time choose to have again.
They were actually the inspiration that led to my loss of faith in that I nearly lost them to social services as I was felt to be an unfit mother. I couldn't understand it at the time, my children were fed, they went to school every day, I loved them clothed them and prayed for them and took them to church but it wasn't enough. My youngest child said to me at one point ,that he wanted a new mum and dad. I can now see why. I was so absorbed in religious thoughts I hardly knew my kids. I was just not on the same planet as them and they needed a deeply connected mother but the only person I was deeply connected too was Jesus. It breaks my heart to think about how lost and lonely they felt without me.
I said a little declaration that I would recommend to anyone reading this be you Christian or not and the declaration was this 'What belongs in me must stay but what does not, even if it is Jesus must go' I found that he left.
I have come on leaps and bounds. I am now one of the most clear thinking, organised, resouceful people you could ever meet. My children are my world and my life. I have rediscovered my birth parents and the amazing passed down wisdom of my ancestors that I had previously rejected as unchristian. I can now manage money, solve problems, plan for the future. I have a real sense of my purpose in life and can work towards goals. I am happy despite my difficulty's and I have some equilibrium in life. I just wish it had happened sooner. I still have a lot to learn but now I am able too. I find that people outside the church tend to have higher expecations of others and I have found it hard to make freinds and still find that I find myself chatting to people only to discover they go to church. They seem to home in on me and people who do not go to church seem to avoid. Perhaps I still smell of it.
I am looking forward to the future, I get involved in things that I have always cared about, nature, animals, politics. This is who I am and who I was always supposed to be and I am looking forward to my death after which I hope I will get to sit with my grandmother, share a roll up and drink some gin and shout 'backside to ee' which is a Cornish way of telling a charming man to get lost.