Yesterday was a big day for me, revealing to all of you the specifics of my faith story:
that I have moved beyond Christianity,
that I don’t go to church anymore,
that I am embracing a new reality,
that I look within for guidance.
This was NOT easy – this was scary.
Because if you are currently a strong Christian like I used to be, I know exactly what you are thinking:
Noelle has lost her way.
And it was confirmed by a private message on Facebook I got yesterday from a friend from college.
She was full of love and compassion for me, and expressed her concerns:
“I beg of you to consider that you may be being deceived, for anytime we are tempted to look within — whether it is toward our own goodness or the desires of the flesh, we need to instantly put up warning lights.”
“It sounds like the Enemy has masqueraded himself as an angel of light to you”
And she had lots of Bible verses to back up her concerns for me.
She was so full of grace in the way she wrote to me,
and I felt nothing but love from her.
In fact, I absolutely relate to what she said, because just a few years ago,
I would have been thinking the exact same thing!
Dear precious readers, I want you to know
that I’m in this for the long haul
and my heart longs to continue this conversation with you.
I would not be sharing my heart and these crazy ideas
if I had not struggled through them first myself — for YEARS.
This daily reality of freedom and joy and peace I have found,
beyond the limits of Christian theology,
did not come to me yesterday.
I have journeyed through the Bible and beyond,
I have searched long and hard for years,
to have come to this place of confidence and peace that is strong
and deep enough to be able to share this stuff with you,
KNOWING that many of you will judge me as ‘being deceived’.
I can handle it.
Because I love you so much.
Because I understand exactly where you are.
Because just a few years ago I would have read my blogs and been intrigued, but VERY concerned.
I have been in the Christian church for most of my life. I accepted Jesus when I was 4. I have a Bible degree. I have been a worship leader. I have preached and taught in the church.
I have been to ministry school and been a missionary.
I have experienced all the amazing joys of church,
the Christian community,
and the Bible.
And I am telling you, that what I have found since
letting go of the finite Christian beliefs I held onto,
letting go of church —
What I have found is deeper, greater, more joyful, more peaceful,
than anything I ever found within Christianity alone.
I LOVE Jesus. He is my biggest inspiration. My greatest hero.
But do you really think that Jesus came to start the religion we call Christianity today?
Did Jesus write the Bible?
I know the fear that arises when you hear these words.
These words threaten everything we’ve believed our whole lives.
Maybe it’s similar to what the Jews felt
when Jesus first started preaching
his new-fangled, radical ideas in the streets.
His words threatened everything the Jews held dear:
Their church, their scriptures, their routines, their rules –
it completely freaked them out – enough to KILL him!
I know it’s scary. But I’m here to tell you, from YEARS of experience —
it’s SO worth it!
Don’t you think God is bigger than our doubts and our questions?
Don’t you think LOVE is stronger than our beliefs?
I’m not here to debate the Bible with you – Life is not found in intellectual debates.
Life is found in Spirit.
I am offering myself to you:
every raw detail of my journey –
because I love you.
Because I want you to have the freedom that I have found:
I live in alignment with my desires.
I am free from worry and addictions.
All my time is free to live the life of my dreams.
I have an incredible marriage.
I am lean, strong, and healthy – I have the body I’ve always dreamed of having.
I am free from obligations or external restraints.
I am living with passion and purpose.
I am completely connected to God, to Spirit, to Life –
not just when I’m reading the Bible, not just in a Sunday morning worship service –
but EVERY moment of my day.
I am experiencing heaven NOW.
It is truly an indescribable treasure
to find pure and constant connection with my Creator,
and to have my desires be so aligned with Spirit,
to the point that I can trust myself so completely.
If you don’t have this, if you feel that you have to
obey certain external rules,
or if you are fearful
of anything that intrigues you but is not blatantly Christian,
or if you think that you need
to squash your desires in order to honor God,
if you worry that you’re not following God enough,
or wonder how you can trust your own discernment —
If you don’t know how to hear your own voice,
or if you wonder if there’s more JOY to be found than you are currently experiencing,
more FREEDOM . .
If you wonder how so many people
who aren’t Christians can be SO HAPPY . . .
OR if you just think I’m off my rocker, and wanna tell me that —
I am here for you.
That’s where I was a few years ago,
even after my big spiritual awakening in 2008.
I can relate. I’ve been there.
I know the secure, safe feeling of hanging onto beliefs.
And I can tell you that the expansiveness,
the constant Peace that I have found
beyond theology, beyond beliefs, beyond Christianity –
is SO worth the somewhat uncomfortable process
of asking yourself
why you are hanging onto these mental constructs so strongly.
This is just the beginning.
Let’s have a conversation.
I love you with all my heart!