This is a story of fragmentation which leads to a need for approval, to have purpose, to be accepted, to be closer, to be ENOUGH... all of these things exploited by a system which seeks to keep us from reconnecting to who we were before our fragmentation ever set in. A system which just wants us performing to its expectations. But this is also a story of learning to see the world through your own eyes. A story of coming back from the enticing manipulation which causes us to see ourselves as human doings rather than human beings.

The word "liminal" comes from the Latin limen, which means “threshold.” It's a point of entry. A place of beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and 'what will be’ – between the previous and the next. Suspended and waiting and not knowing... It is a place of transition. And if we can learn to embrace the wait, we will also learn that we are being newly formed. Liminal space is where our transformations take their shape. 

Our resilience in trauma cannot be diminished, and our defiance in the face of a religious system which would seek to shut us down cannot be underestimated. So here’s to the unexpected devastations and rebirths – the fires which brought us to the ground and then remade us. And here’s to the slow process of grief which yields a steady assent towards something better. It's ironically kind of biblical: From the ashes, we rise. 

Our freedom isn't merely a detachment from the thing causing pain. It's freedom to live wholly, to channel our passions fully, and to work towards creating the kind of world we'd like to live in. When we aren't stifled to the very core, we can see this clearly. The Source we once felt so distant from... is us. It's always been with us.

When so much of who we are told to be is rooted in fear and simplistic thinking... embracing confusion and complexity is a truly revolutionary act. Letting go of unearned certainty – and learning to celebrate the nuanced, the difficult, the complicated – means liberation. And it might just mean a new and unexpected community on the other side as well. Finally, we can hold space for others in which we ourselves are truly present. And without fear.

We are born innocent. But then many of us are told we’re born guilty – accountable to some choice we didn’t make, but should definitely suffer for anyway. That framework of belief weighs heavily on Christians. Those of us raised in religious environments grew up exposed to this idea of a universal condemnation, where the only way out seemed to be when the proper formulas were adhered to: the right boxes checked and the right beliefs claimed. Arbitrary technicalities of escape to match the arbitrary judgment... All of it lacking humanity and compassion. 

It's awkward to realize you struggle with the sort of faith you've been handed while you're actively and vocationally leading a ministry. And it’s awkward on many levels – practical, personal, not to mention spiritual. There are consequences to administering a certain worldview, and shaping people's beliefs and religious practices. And there are consequences to stepping away from those things and leaving that life behind.

Within the church, many women learn from the earliest age to deny themselves space, a voice, their own power, etc. The narratives surrounding women are strong, and can convince even the abused that their abuse is somehow justified, natural, fitting... even necessary. Fighting those narratives is costly – and yet essential – to those who suffer because of them.

A "still, small voice." So they used to say. And whatever we call that voice – whether "spirit" or "body" or "gut" – it's there. An intuition. Giving us a greater sense of... something. And for those raised in church especially, it can be incredibly easy to second guess ourselves, which can then make it even harder to act on that something. But that something carries with it our integrity. 

Silence. Loss. Addiction. Pain. The alienation of repression. The forced-feeding of narratives which foster our unhealthy reliance on an "Other." These are all things that can distance us... from ourselves. All things that can leave us feeling disembodied from who we are and who we wish to be. But the most important journey home is to ourselves.

It’s harder to see honestly in the distance when we’ve had such a culture of blindness up close. When it comes to love and justice, a people who run from it in their own home are not going to be well-equipped to perceive it in some far off country. The church culture most of us come from has been very slow to recognize its complicity in racial oppression in America… so it would stand to reason that the same culture is not coming to grips with its complicity in distant lands either. But there’s hope… It’s just going to take a lot more than just Christians or just non-Christians to move forward as humanity in any meaningful sense.

In our insistence on oversimplification, we do not preserve an honest view of the core of things. In fact, we fail to recognize essential depth. Fail to appreciate nuance and diversity. Fail to comfort with any real traction. This avoidance of anything that isn't "simple" creates distance. We become two dimensional beings in a multi-dimensional world, offering false hope that does not ultimately satisfy. Trivial explanations and empty engagements fall flat. Our lives carry the pretense of having the answers for everyone, even as we remain in the shallows.  And as clichés fail to provide any real comfort, many people have been sacrificed on the altar of our need for “simple” – their identities abused and their hearts left adrift, offered up to a hollow god.

Could our wounds be catalysts for new life within the very structures which caused them? Could there be a way forward for some of us that doesn't leave faith behind entirely? Is it possible to cling to a beautiful essence while still shedding the ugly dogma? Can we take what we've learned and allow it to completely reshape everything we believe? And might some of us find a way home if we could ensure that home no longer felt like a cage?

Coming of age is hard enough without a religious culture feeding you the narrative that you are - somehow - especially defective. But what if the burden of words and ideas that you were forced to live under were lies? What if they denied you your humanity? And what if shedding them meant life and love and liberation? What if coming into the light of day as fully embodied was your victory and not your defeat? What if you are as good as you have always been?

We begin SEASON 2, not with a story of deconstruction... But with a deconstruction of our deconstruction. A disruption to our disruption. A platform offered, and taken, only to be refused. And all of it is valid. This is a moment's pause for reflection, taking stock and orienting ourselves deliberately. Breathe. Listen. Breathe again. We dedicate this episode to good intentions... and false starts.