By U.S. State
I was privately affirming truths, moments I felt seen by someone who spoke the words of my heart, and serendipitous findings.
On other nights, Dad would come out to campfires we were so fond of building, cracking open a big can of baked beans to nestle into the coals on the edge of the pit.
It’s a pitiful, endearing, and slightly Dickensian image: two pale, scrawny siblings with oversized guitar cases strapped to their backs, walking slowly along a quiet street
Miracles are rare and precious, and the one I’ve begged and pleaded and soaked my pillow with tears and snot for hasn’t come in nearly three years—and counting.
What if there is something more important than the church’s survival?
My friend had just described a hypothetical scenario of someone living in direct opposition to the laws of the church, and there I was, right beside him, living that life, deserving of reprimand.
You sit inside the dedicated four walls that purportedly house the holy body, but your own body feels bad because you’ve been led to believe you can’t feel anything else.
As a woman, I was late to the scene, and as a hopelessly asexual person, the scene did nothing for me.
We can be lamentably blind to the blood on our hands
Lesson learned: don’t castrate yourself for God or all of your friends might find out.
When I first heard of the Billy Graham Rule as a teenager, it sounded commendable.
She never condemns or criticizes anyone for their own unique experiences.
My experience on Upward has largely been a strange dance—two people wobbling with Jesus awkwardly in the middle.
All I must do is mourn with those who mourn, offer my voice to those who can’t find the words, condemn hate and harm.
The denomination would like for things to be settled.
We get married. We have sex. The world doesn’t feel different once it happens.
I am grateful to be a daughter of Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church because it matters still, to see so many people who care about the things that so deeply trouble me in the world and in the church.
If we are not committed to friendship, if we do not grieve and fight and ask questions alongside them, then we are the church but hardly a community.
I placed sex firmly in the “bad” category, to be retrieved only after I walked down an elusive aisle to a man I probably wouldn’t meet for at least a decade.
When it comes to a moment like the one in which the CRC finds itself, semantics matter.
So many artists reach for religious imagery to explain the height of their experience with a beloved.
I often wonder what would’ve happened if I’d had that wedding night, one weighed down by the expectations of a brand of purity culture that left little room for alternatives to PIV sex.
Sex was evil until it was not, and then it was amazing even when it wasn’t.
My obsession with that unattainable purity led me to fear the only vessel I was given to experience this world.
When Dobbs comes down, prosecutions will rise. Many women will go to jail. More will die.
Don’t you want it so so bad? Aren’t you willing to do the right things so you get to have it? Isn’t not having sex awful?
Regardless of how much I studied, read, and prayed, I would never be permitted to preach in front of a congregation.
While my purpose wasn’t the conversion of my coworker, I like that she might think about God’s interest in her life when she walks past the bananas.
If I’m miserable that means I must be doing something right.
Are you interested in joining the post calvin community? We have a few openings for new writers beginning this August, and we’d love for you to audition!
- The Center is Not Here by Natasha (Strydhorst) Unsworth
- Cohabitating My Way to Hell by Jon Gorter
- When Your Vagina Doesn’t Work—and You’re Married by Anonymous
- Sacrificing My Soul on the Altar of Gay Porn by Annaka Koster
- Anarcha by Meg Schmidt
- The Non-Reproductive Church by Jack Kamps
- Thank You, Neland Avenue by Katie Van Zanen