Bill Gothard entered our family after Scott was born. (Google him if you have never heard of him). Gothard’s teachings became a core part of what our fundamentalist pastor preached. My parents became absolutely convinced that Gothard was a man who really knew how to apply Biblical principles to everyday life issues. My father began to use Gothard’s teaching material after dinner, in our usual “family devotions”. My parents became hard-core far-right conservatives.
They pulled Stephanie and Scott out of public schools and entered them into a private school with similar views. The rest of us were out of high school by that time, and it was a good thing we didn’t have to leave public schooling, for sure. One by one, as we watched our parents get sucked further into this new worldview, the older four of us began to withdraw from fundamentalism. We went out into the world, discovered other ways of Christian thinking, and left our former belief systems. My oldest sister Sandy left Christianity altogether and got involved in a community of “New Age” people, who found spirituality without Christianity.
Sue, Stacey and I stopped going to church. We all had troubles in our lives, still believed in God, but didn’t prioritize church at all. I won’t speak of them, but I will speak of myself.
I did the whole “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll” stuff. I had some really great times, and some really bad times. One good thing was meeting my now-husband, Harry. I got pregnant and we got married. So many marriages that begin this way end in divorce, but we are about to celebrate our 35th anniversary. When I gave birth to my daughter, I decided I needed to settle down. I left those few wild years behind me and started going to church again.
I spent a good number of years in and out of all types of denominations. I figured that if God is the author of truth, there had to be some church out there that had that truth. I had so many questions that were still inside of me since my early childhood. I became obsessed with finding God. Who was he, what did he mean to convey in the Bible, how could I know with certainty that I was living in the truth of who he was?
The family scaffolding has shifted away from my early years, and now I will address my own life. Future posts will center on my faith journey.