The coolest thing happened.

Out of nowhere I got an email off of my blog from someone I don’t know…who grew up in the Church as well. She was actually raised at Jacob House, the Church nursery where my mom worked for years.

She arrived at Jacob House about a year after my last time there, so our paths never crossed. Besides, she would have been five to my eighteen – so even if we had crossed, she probably wouldn’t remember me. But still…

But still I think I’ve found someone who really, really, really understands me. Whose thoughts echo my thoughts. Whose words echo my words. Who gets how I feel about the Church – that it wasn’t all good but it wasn’t all bad. Who knows there are positive things she learned in the Church…as well as those things neither of us fully understand and we both wish had never happened.

I haven’t talked with her in depth yet, and I can’t wait to. In many ways I think I’m putting off a full conversation because I’m enjoying savoring the fact that it will happen. For years I’ve wanted to connect with someone who knows what I mean when I talk about the Church. Who gets it as someone who’s never experienced it never can.

Many people love me and try to understand it. But they don’t. Not fully. Someone who’s been there does and will.

She’ll know what it’s like to have known the Messiah. And left the Messiah. Perhaps she felt the guilt and shame I felt. I hope not. But I think she’ll understand my guilt and shame.

Like when I walked into Al-Anon and people got me. They understood my feelings and experiences as others “on the outside” didn’t. I felt heard. And seen.

I want to offer this same understanding and validation to her. To walk with someone who’s walked where I’ve walked. To share the healing and love I’ve come to know – and learn from any healing and love she’s found along the way.

As my daughter said, “Now no matter what happens, writing the blog has been worth it simply because you found this person. Or she found you.”

It’s true. It’s the coolest thing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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