Friday, October 21, 2011

Week of Wisdom: Brittany Williamson

"You sacrifice cats, don't you?" He phrased it like a question, but even a 10 year old could sense the accusation. "Well, do you? My mom says you do."

The familiar mix of fear and embarrassment soured in my mouth, paralyzing my tongue and welling up behind my eyes. I fiddled with my old, cheap CTR ring and grasped at words. I knew they would make no difference. People believed what they wanted to believe about Mormons. About me.

Photo courtesy of 2355 Photography
My childhood was a sad series of hiding my faith and wearing the weight of friends' shocked expressions and hurtful comments like a scarlet letter, a dress of shame I was born into and couldn't remove no matter how hard I fought to break free. Remarks like, "You know you're going to hell, right?" and, "You're weird," and, "You don't really believe in the Bible," bombarded me from every direction. Children, grown-ups, teachers. They thought it was okay. Righteous, even. I guess they believed their insults would save me.

The truth is, I found saving in a song.

I am no longer a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I've read and prayed and studied and come to a different conclusion than many in my family. I love them just the same. But my journey to the Jesus I know now didn't begin with a loving conversation or a prayer or a Christian friend. It began with the radio. Because the radio didn't accuse or judge. It didn't ask questions or condemn or call me names. It didn't throw lies about my religion in my face, like it knew more about my faith than I did. It certainly didn't tell me Jesus hated my people. The radio loved better than every Christian I knew.

And that breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart because love is what it takes. Love is required. Love is the only power strong enough to open minds and change hearts. It doesn't matter how smart we are or old we are or witty we are, we're never going to transform a life by making a joke about multiple wives or secret underwear or modern day prophets. We're never going to glorify God by mocking a heart that needs truth.

I don't mean to say that no Christian ever loved me. My own grandma is the very picture of Christ's love, a precious, rare soul that loves even when she doesn't understand. But we, together, can do better. We must do better. We have the ability to impact eternity for the glory of God, but we have to make the choice to release our assumptions and reset our default. to rely a little more on listening and a little less on lectures.

To point, in the end, a little more to Love Himself.

*************************

Brittany Williamson is a 20-something who loves Frappuccinos, gray nail polish, and all things politics. She recently experienced an identity crisis after the whole grown-up thing didn't turn out quite like she expected (translation: apparently you don't get to jump into your dream job, dream marriage, and dream life immediately after college graduation. and oh yeah, bills stink. who knew?), but she is grateful to have finally found the only true source of worth and purpose, her loving God. You can read more about her journey through this in-between season of life on her blog, www.faithinbetween.com

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, Brittany! I needed to hear several of the things that you've said.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely beautiful! A great reminder that no one is brought to Christ by a lecture. That it is through seeing His love in us that they see something different and want to know more. Praying for you and your family today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "We're never going to glorify God by mocking a heart that needs truth." This is so true. Thanks for sharing your heart with us, Brittany! It is through love and grace extended and not through mockery and condemnation which non-Christians will come to know our Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your heart, sister! It it so true that we mock and judge and condemn... it's not really wonder people don't want 'Jesus'. Love is essential. We've got to get out of the way and let God's love be the path people see.

    You are precious, girl and I'm so glad you heard the voice of the Father when He called. I'll be praying for your family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well done. I think that arrogance that so many of us have is subtle tool to make us ineffective. We waste out time and the time of our Savior if we soil Him so with our pride.

    I read recently the definition to the word glorify. It was to bring fame or veneration to the reputation of God. Kinda like a ticker tape parade for a returning war hero.

    You said "To point, in the end, a little more to Love Himself." That is to glorify.

    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  6. "We're never going to glorify God by mocking a heart that needs truth." <-Beautifully said, Brittany!

    Honestly, you have spoken truth into a bruised area of my life. I grew up in different denominations and was usually an outcast no matter what church my family attended. I have finally realized that it doesn't matter the process I went through as a child - the identity I hold firmly to is that of a Christian. Blessings, sister!

    socialworkconfessions.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I share a classroom with a Mormon who has become one of my dearest friends. I once read that the best way to point Mormons to the true Christ is to just love them with His heart. She is certainly easy to love. :) Thanks for sharing your story, Brittany!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this Brittany! My good friend from high school married a Mormon and converted. I hope I am still treating her with the love and respect that I did before.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "We're never going to glorify God by mocking a heart that needs truth." How marvelous. I've been seeking Jesus for years and even now it hurts to hear other Christians criticizing each other for not being "Christian enough" HOW PETTY! Love Wins. It is hard to be just a person, I get that. but when Jesus said to follow him, HE MEANT IT. Love folks. love them. love them. It is really hard and should keep us busy our whole lives...leaving no time to judge them too. *sigh* Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete

I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!