For people who were really devout believers, deconstruction or going though a crisis of faith is global in its application.
I was just asking my wife Lisa about this. She is a nurse. I couldn’t think of the right word to explain how deconstruction affects our lives globally. I asked her what word they use in treatment of a disease. She said “systemic”: it’s when we treat the whole body at once rather than just one aspect of the disease’s manifestation.
Yes! That’s exactly what it’s like.
Because when we were those super-devout believers, our faith affected everything about our lives. Our beliefs weren’t just isolated thoughts, but were systemic: the way we related with other people, the way we talked, the way we thought, the way we ate, the way we parented, the way we spent our spare time, the way we had sex, the way we spent our weekends, the way we thought about tragedy, the way we prepared for death, the way we thought about the future, the way we used our money, the way we thought about morality, the way we… well… the way we did everything.
Our devotion seeped into every little detail of our lives. So that when that belief system started to erode, it’s like the glue that holds our life together loses its grip and everything starts to fall apart.
This is why deconstruction is not only an exciting time, but a frightening and even dangerous one.
Exciting because we are growing deeper into our authenticity.
Scary because we are losing the paradigm that made our lives meaningful.
Dangerous because we are questioning the rules that kept our lives in check.
Lisa and I made it. Barely. But we made it. And we’re better for it. We’re more authentic. Our lives make sense in more mysterious ways. And we’ve navigated the dangerous waters to arrive in a peaceful and loving place. Everything’s better!
The sweet little Christian girl in the wedding photo behind them is gone. Forever. But a new person is on her way that will shine even brighter than before.
It’s like gold.
It looks dull at first.
But fire exposes its essence and beauty.