Unveiling a Ten Year Project: Plus Serving a God Who Knits Everything Together

by | Jul 11, 2022 | Faith, Life | 48 comments

Sock Yarn Blanket Teaches about God and Church

On the a vacation we took just over a decade ago, I started knitting a blanket.

It was what knitters call a “sock yarn blanket”, meaning that it’s made from all the ends of balls you have after you’ve finished a pair of socks. For twenty years I’ve been knitting socks, and the problem with knitting socks is that a ball of sock yarn is too much for my small feet, so there’s always some leftover.

I’d knit another pair for a baby, and then I’d still have some leftover.

And after a few years you end up with a LOT of ends.

And so I decided I’d turn them into a blanket. I’d start it off, knowing that I didn’t have enough ends to finish it, but I’d knit what I could, set it aside, and then have confidence more would come.

Last week I finished it, and it’s now my summer bed cover.

Sock Yarn Blanket

The irony is that I started it to USE UP sock ends, but I ended it with more than I started.

People heard I was making a sock yarn blanket and kept donating little ends (It’s ridiculous to see how excited I’d get over a pea-sized ball of yarn!). But there you go. 

Knitting is my meditation, my thinking time, my relaxing time.

And as I was making it, and especially as it’s now finished and I can look at it in its entirety, I’ve had a few thoughts that I’d like to share with you. 

One of the things I love best to knit are these projects that use scraps. It’s easy to make a sweater made out of one yarn look beautiful. But what is really beautiful to me is how you can take little bits that would otherwise be castoffs, that no one really wants, that everyone thinks is just done, destined to sit at the back of a drawer or in a bag at a thrift store, and make it into a work of art. 

And isn’t that how God treats us? So often we feel like the castoffs, like we aren’t much use, like we’re insignificant. And God says–Oh, I have just the spot for you! You matter. You pull everything together. 

In this blanket, I had larger quantities of some yarns, and they reappeared throughout the blanket in a theme.

But others I had only little tiny bits, and sometimes they only appeared once.

And then, pulling the whole thing together, was black, that lined each square and that lined the whole blanket. I think of it like Jesus, the foundation that holds everything together and makes everything cohesive. He’s what unites us. He’s what gives us shape and structure and purpose. He’s what shows off all of our uniqueness. 

I think, in many ways, this blanket sums up what many of us are going through right now with church.

Some of us still feel a lot of passion and energy for God. We want to fix things, to bring the kingdom to earth, and we’ve got a fair amount to offer, even if we don’t feel completely whole. We have left parts of us behind as we’ve been disappointed in the church. 

Disappointed with toxic teachings that have kept so many in bondage.

Disappointed that when this has been pointed out, leaders have doubled down rather than trying to care for the sheep.

Disappointed that those we loved and trusted in our own friend group and even our own family don’t see the harm that’s being done with teachings about marriage and sex–teachings like those we looked at in The Great Sex Rescue that turn sex into a female obligation and a male entitlement.

"A groundbreaking look into what true, sacred biblical sexuality is intended to be. A must-read." - Rachael Denhollander

What if you're NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the messages that you've been taught have messed things up--and what if there's a way to escape these toxic teachings?

It's time for a Great Sex Rescue.

Great Sex Rescue

Many of you are at this blog because of those disappointments, but The Great Sex Rescue has given you hope and new energy that something can be done. That people will listen. That it will not always be this way (I hope most of you are in that category!).

But some of you feel very spent and rather hopeless. 

You feel like there’s so little left. You gave your best to your family, to your ex (or current) husband, and it was thrown in your face. 

You feel like no one sees you.

You feel as if there’s nothing for you anymore. You have nothing left to give, and you’re not even sure you want to belong.

And yet often it’s the smallest bits that make the blanket so interesting. 

I had a lot of torquoise, and a lot of orange and red (though I actually bought some orange and red to keep the contrast going!). I had a lot of deep purples. 

But if I had made the blanket up only with the torquoises and purples and oranges and reds, first, I wouldn’t have had enough to complete it. Every little bit mattered.

But also, it would not have been as interesting.

What makes the blanket work is all the really tiny pieces that are unexpected, special, never to be repeated. 

 

Sock Yarn Blanket UP Close

Those pieces may not have looked like they had much to offer, but put all together, and they actually make it a masterpiece. 

I think so many of us are trying to find our way right now as the church has disappointed us, and we feel cast off. 

We feel like no one sees us, maybe not even God. No one understands our pain. We’re not sure we have the energy left to even try anymore.

But I believe that God is gathering all of these castaways up and making something new. 

I think in the next twenty years we’re going to see such a powerful movement within the church as the Holy Spirit does His work. We’ll see churches that are oriented towards caring for community again rather than revolving around a popular pastor making millions of dollars. We’ll see less celebrity, where there’s really only one yarn being used, and more a glorious mix of everyone, all together.

We’ll see healing as we move away from caring for the reputations of those at the top, and focus on caring for the well-being of those at the bottom. 

We’ll notice people again.

I think that’s happening. I hear in my DMs all the time about new ways that church is being done. Rebecca’s at an amazing new church in our hometown that’s focused on community. They endeavour to keep their budget light and their numbers down (if they get over a certain amount they’ll split into two congregations). The purpose is doing life together and caring for one another. 

I know all churches have said that’s what they’re doing, but I’ve been to so many where no one knew me and I didn’t really know anyone else. It was focused around head knowledge, around beliefs, and not around actually caring for people.

Beliefs matter, but they are nothing without action. Without love.

So many of you have told us that The Great Sex Rescue was part of  your journey of really finding Jesus–and also coming to a crisis of church

You knew something was wrong, you felt the life being sapped out of you, but you couldn’t put your finger on what it was. And as you read The Great Sex Rescue, it all made sense. You had been made to feel like you weren’t worth SEEING. 

And you desperately want God, your husband, your church, to actually see you. You want to matter. 

I believe God is calling us back to Himself and from that will come new expressions of the body of Christ. But that means that we’re living in a time of great transition and upheaval and crisis.

That’s hard time to be living through. In many ways, these last three and a half years have been the most difficult for my faith.

But as I look at this blanket, I see a beautiful picture of what God is doing. Taking the castaways and showing us that the kingdom is so much more beautiful when we gather the castoffs and give them their own place.

I pray you find  a place, both online, and in the real world. Because you matter. You do. And God is making something beautiful out of all of us who are searching.

 

Sock Yarn Blanket from Side

Do you feel castaway? Like you’ve had a crisis of faith lately? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Why I’m Okay 26 Years After My Son Died

On Sunday it will be 26 years since my son Christopher died. I like to remember him on some way on the blog around that time, and since Monday is a holiday, I'd like to do it today. I wrote a piece back in 2016 that meant something to me. I was trying to explain why I...

Comments

We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!

48 Comments

  1. n

    Yes. I’ve told a few friends that I feel like an appendix in the body of Christ. It feels like so many churches are centered on the males between 14 and 40. They are the ones much more likely to have a huge variety of other ways to entertain themselves, so things are focused on holding their attention. And they are most likely to feel confident about being the squeaky wheels that get the grease. And they seem to have so little clue about the suffering that the people who aren’t males in their age group, are enduring.

    Reply
  2. EM

    It’s lovely! Thanks for sharing. I can imagine how wonderful it felt to put it on your bed after 10 years in the making.

    Reply
  3. AnonyMouse

    Sheila, this is exactly what I needed today.

    We were bullied out of a church last year and just today I had one of the leadership accusing me of unforgiveness because I pointed out that we needed address the hurt in our relationship if we hoped to reconcile. Throughout my years in that church, I was taught unequivocally that I was to be silent, that I had no worth to them or to God. I’m slowly unlearning that thanks to my new church where I am unequivocally loved. I am learning that I deserve to be treated with respect. But the hurts that piled up in the process of leaving have become a huge grief that I am now wading through.

    I am so, so grateful that I found your ministry in the midst of our turmoil. And I am so sorry that you and your family have also suffered so much abuse due to your courage in speaking out for those of us who have had our voices taken from us. You are doing the good work that God has laid out for you. And it is a very good work. You are giving us our voices back. You are reminding us that we do have value. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so sorry your previous church treated you like that, but i’m so glad you’ve found a life-giving church! I hope that people who read this blog see that–there can be good churches out there. I know, because I’ve been a part of them. I’ve heard from so many pastors who want to change things. I’m seeing new movements start up.

      But in the meantime it can be so demoralizing when you’re one of the ones that’s been hurt. And there are so very many of us!

      Reply
  4. Chris

    Holy smokes that blanket is beautiful! Dang! Very impressed. Sheila you say you knit because it relaxes you. Or is it more of an anxiety fidget?

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It’s honestly because I love it! I think it’s genetic. I have some lovely pieces that my great-grandmother knit. My grandmother used to just deesign–never used a pattern. My daughter Katie knits dresses like that. I keep trying to convince her to use a pattern, but she’d rather just let the needles tell her what to do. And her stuff is gorgeous. Rebecca is a lovely knitter too (though like me she tends to use patterns!). And my mom got all of us started. So there’s something there and I just love being creative!

      Reply
      • Chris

        Is it my eyes playing tricks on me or do the red(er) colors used in the quilt form overlapping hearts?

        Reply
  5. Mara R

    It looks like a blanket of many colors.
    Or coat of many colors, like what Joseph had, who was loved by his father and hated by his brothers.

    This looks to me like how God feels about us. Though hated (or loved less) and erased by supposed ‘brothers’ God loves and sees.

    Never really listened to this song I’m linking before. But I thought of it’s existence immediately while reading your post. So I listened to it. It relates a little so I’ll link it to share it because I think it ties into today’s theme in a funny sort of way.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1zJzr-kWsI

    This post also spoke to me. I’m tentatively visiting a new church as I walk with my sister who is recovering from narcissistic abuse. They appear to be a good church. But part of me has been holding back who I really am due to so much disappointment in churches in the past.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I understand, Mara. It can be really hard to trust. Sometimes that’s wise to hold back for a while.

      Reply
  6. Phil

    I remember when you told us you started the blanket. Cant recall how long ago that was but it was several years I guess. Glad you were able to finish. I think it looks great. On a separate note: This past Sunday We were talking about the Church being the bride of Christ. I came up with these test questions that not only should we ask ourselves but the Church should be asking of themselves as well. Does our/your church look like the bride or Christ? Would Jesus consider your/our church his bride? If so, What is the evidence and where might there be roadblocks that you cant see?

    Reply
  7. Sarah

    That’s a beautiful blanket, Sheila 🙂

    I find it hard to put into words my feelings about church. Flat, exhausted, maybe a bit burnt out? Tired of clichés and pat answers. My church is better than most, and I love many there, and I am loved. But it’s big, and it’s complementarian, and while sermons there resonate with my mind, my heart hasn’t felt impacted for a long time. I am a co-leader of a Bible study group of amazing women there though and that feels more like church to me than Sunday services. There, we share our lives. I work in a (healthy, wonderful!) Christian workplace as well but it’s so easy to slip out of the habit of diligent prayer and Bible reading and let it all become quite rote. My prayer life has dwindled, though God has been amazingly faithful in answering my weak and feeble prayers.

    My world is being shaken, at the same time. Five years ago, a brother of mine became estranged from most of our family. Four years ago, another brother attempted suicide. Since then, it’s emerged that he is almost certainly schizophrenic and has uncontrollable rages which make caring for him very difficult. Then, just this week, my parents’ marriage hit the rocks and is sinking fast, due to my dad having a months-long affair which he is refusing to end. It now emerges he has cheated on my mother before, which she forgave, but this is the end. I can now see – and so can she – that the problems were there all along. I think she will benefit greatly from TGSR when she is in the headspace to read it. Thank you, Sheila and team, for your work. It is so needed.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry for all that you’re walking through! That is a LOT. I feel so badly for your mother–her marriage, but also her sons. That must be heartbreaking.

      Reply
      • Donna M

        Hello to everyone, you all matter!!! God doesn’t make junk!! I have been through a lot in my life especially as a child, I went to a Catholic School, I always say I majored in GUILT. I do not want to hurt anyone that is a certain religion but at 27 years old I found the God of my understanding and WOW what a difference. I don’t have that punishing God but a Loving God who understands me and loves me. I pray in the morning and then get on my knee at night and thank God for another day! I have a grateful list so when I’m feeling down I can look at it and smile and swallow my pride!! I ask for his guidance and if I can be a tool in someone’s life great! But also I try to be there for people, and they do the same most times. I do not ponder on the negativity, it’s a silent killer for your soul. I go to a non denomination church maybe once or twice a month. I have 7 grandchildren so I am busy, and your story was truly awakening and God Bless you for sharing, and everyone who has. That’s Gods work and we are all vessels to each other and to reach out to people. Thank you so much, and I would love to buy your pattern for your beautiful blanket, and I just loved your story about the blanket!! Thank you once again☮️❤️🙏

        Reply
  8. Sue R

    That is one GORGEOUS blanket! I have not done any knitting in years, but this is inspiring. When it cools off in the fall, I’m going to start on some squares!

    Much more importantly, that is one beautiful analogy. We can all make up a small part of a gorgeous whole.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Reply
  9. Noel

    That is a beautiful blanket!

    Reply
  10. EOF

    I love the blanket, and I love your takeaway! Both are beautiful treasures.

    I’m not really sure where I’m at. I haven’t felt close to God in a long time. At least not for any considerable length of time. I’ve been hurt a lot and it’s hard to untangle the trauma from God, even though I know intellectually that He didn’t cause or approve of what happened to me.

    I’ve been going through stages of my spiritual recovery. First was anger at my husband, then my church, then the church at large. While going through those stages, I’ve also been reading faith building books and sites like yours. Though that can be discouraging too, realizing how many people have been hurt by people weaponizing the Bible. When will it stop?

    Right now I’m reading a book called “How God Sees Women: The End of Patriarchy” and this may be the most eye-opening book I’ve read on the topic! (And I’ve read a lot.) I didn’t know that before complementarianism, the church (starting as early as some of the early church fathers) taught that female submission was biblical because women are inferior!! That was the outright teaching. The author makes the point that complementarians still believe that, they just word it a little nicer. The history of complementarianism is sickening. I knew it was bad before, but I really had no idea just how evil it really is…

    There is so much healing needed for so many women.

    Reply
    • Jo R

      Your second and third paras are exactly the same for me. Hugs to you. Well, to both of us, and all the other people this stuff has hurt and continues to hurt.

      I’m completely empty and squashed flat. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but all it’s done is made me hopeless. All the hoping I did for more than three decades has, just like the proverb, made my heart metaphorically sick (and it probably hasn’t helped my physical body, either).

      The reason, AFAIK, why the early choice fathers thought women were inferior comes straight from Greek philosophy. Women are “deformed men” because they are “too cold” to eject their genitals to the outside of their bodies. 😳😳😳

      Why is the church so hell-bent on making pagan philosophy the ruling paradigm for the people—male and female—Jesus bought with His own blood?

      And, Sheila, holy cow! Congrats on the blanket! Is it the kind where you knit up stitches on the existing bits to do each new square?

      Reply
      • EOF

        Hugs to you too. I hate that so many others have been through what I have.

        I remember reading that Aristotle claimed that women were deformed men, but I don’t remember the part about them being too cold to expunge their gentiles! Wow. And the church fathers bought into that? I really did not take long for “Christians” to lose sight of Jesus…

        I also recently learned that the idea of us having a soul and a body is a Greek pagan idea brought into the church. The bible’s word we translate as soul actually includes the body.

        So many things we’ve been taught wrong… I can’t wait for Heaven where men and women will finally be fully and truly equal, not just in worth but in reality. It will be interesting, considering the first will be last and the last first.

        Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Hi, Jo! Yes, you pick up stitches from the row before for each square!

        Reply
      • Jane Eyre

        “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is absolutely untrue. By that metric, war veterans would be the strongest people out there. In reality, “what didn’t kill them” gave them PTSD.

        Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, if you’ve read Beth Barr’s book The Making of Biblical Womanhood, that’s what she’s saying. For years women’s submission was just because women were inferior. Then, in the late 1800s when it became harder to argue that, it switched to “different roles”, really getting going in the early to mid 1900s. It’s a totally new argument.

      Reply
  11. Donita Fogle

    After how my 36 year marriage ended and the electronic BDSM gambling gaming with 24/7 feed I haven’t had the chance to heal, talk to real people I needed especially one in a past relationship.So I am stuck.I’d like to read your books but am not sure why and if there’s a reason.And since shame came early with I came to know, not due to counseling but an article in the Dallas Morning News 2000+, was date rape with hidden chemicals the month I turned 18 as a college freshman.I don’t read or watch anything sexually provocative beyond a tiny bit.I will glance over parts quickly and if too explicit I won’t finish the book.Why would I want to be sexually stimulated by or emotionally participate in some not-my-life pretend sexual experience?I just read LAKE NEWS by Barbara Delinsky.I enjoyed the growing detail of the physical area the book took place in and identified some with the main character.In chapter 23 there begins a sexual relationship.The text is somewhat explicit but not too detailed and doesn’t keep going on and grow in detail.So I could skim over it and get back to the story.
    I am now 70(57 when I left my marriage in 2009), strongly heterosexual and wanted to marry again and I haven’t seen even 10 seconds of pornography in my life.Odd? No.On purpose before God not to stir up what dishonors me, when married to compare or to compromise any future relationship.

    Reply
  12. Elissa

    I am blessed to be part of a very life-giving church. Which reminds me that I have a question for you, Sheila:
    I am responsible to choose the next book for our women’s Bible study group, and the ladies decided that they want something on the topic of marriage! I am super excited, but obviously I want to be careful what I choose. Do you have any recommendations for studies more specifically for women’s groups? I would love to do 9 Thoughts, but I didn’t know if you have any kind of study guide that goes along with it? If not, anything else you like? It’s not supposed to be sex specific, or I’d totally go with TGSR.
    Anyone else, feel free to chime in as well! I really don’t want to waste this opportunity by picking something mediocre at best or harmful at worst!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I do have a study guide! You can find it here. Other than that, I don’t have a lot of suggestions. How We Love is really good, and maybe they have a group study?

      Reply
  13. Rachel Shetterly

    I’m reading this with tears. I finally feel seen, heard, and represented. My heart is tired, but it can’t rest because there is Truth to be spoken. Truth to be demonstrated and lived out authentically. Truth to be heard, felt, received.

    Reply
  14. CMT

    That is a beautiful blanket and the story of the process behind it is even better.

    Where am I at with church? Hm. The last few years have been weird for me. Long and short, I haven’t darkened the door of a church in two years. Frankly I feel closer to God and in a better place with myself and my faith than I have in basically my whole life before. I feel the lack of a circle of people around me. But church culture… eh, I’m wary. And I think I have reason to be. Example: upon inquiring about a group activity to be held at an old acquaintance’s church, we were sent the church’s statement of faith to sign, indicating our “complete agreement.” Page one-standard apostles creed stuff. Page two-“family values” with wife unilaterally submitting to husband’s “scriptural leadership” right up top. They wanted us to sign this not to be members of the church, not to lead anything or get anything from them. Nope. Just to show up and participate in their homeschool co-op with our kids. Ouch. As I explained it to my husband, the problem isn’t me being overly selective and turning up my nose at a church because it teaches something I disagree with. People are literally saying, “if you disagree on this side issue you can’t be part of us.” I’m so tired of that mindset and I am honestly afraid of being rejected when I finally do try to get back into church life.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, that’s what I’m finding too. They are pushing people out the door and then complaining and judging that people are leaving.

      Reply
      • CMT

        It’s so confusing. To be fair I don’t know anything else about this specific church. But I feel like I just keep bumping up against this kind of thinking in different churches, and on a lot of issues. There’s no room for respectful disagreement or varying interpretations. No dialogue. I don’t get it. Why can we not see different perspectives as a good thing?

        Reply
        • Nessie

          Maybe they are afraid if their kids are exposed to other views, they may ask more questions and the parents wouldn’t be able to explain it other than with, “because the Bible says so” (their Bible-translation, that is.)

          I forget the scripture but there is a verse that reads, “Come now, let us reason together…” I wish that could be put into practice.

          If they truly believe, wouldn’t they want their kids exposed to other ideas so they could learn how to healthily defend their faith position? You know, to win others over to Christ?

          Reply
          • Mara R

            Isaiah 1:18

            I fall back on that one all the time.

            I let God know how unhappy I am with certain things. I let Him know how I think they are unfair or unjust or even a grotesque abuse.

            It’s like we are sitting at a table with whatever is bothering me in between us. I have never felt His anger. Only the spirit of, “Come let us reason together.” And I’ve always felt better after we (or at Ieast I) have hashed it out.

            Unlike abusive systems, spouses, or families, God is not afraid of out anger. He knows that we are but dust trying to figure out a big, scary, and unfair world/system. We are allowed tell Him how we feel. He wants us to be honest with Him and ourselves. He already knows anyway. To cover it up or pretend it doesn’t bother you is to be the opposite of honest.

          • CMT

            Yes! Or all the times in the gospels ordinary people challenge/argue with Jesus and he NEVER gets mad at them or sends them away empty.

          • CMT

            Unrelated but I was just listening to Amy Fritz’s latest Untangled Faith episode where she interviews KJ Ramsey. This is a side note in the conversation but really spoke to me: “For a lot of people, the currency of belonging has been assenting to a certain set of beliefs… And that should not be the case. We belong because we were born. We belong because God has named us as his beloved children… We belong because of things that are beyond our conception and are irrevocable.”

          • Mara R

            Those are good words and I wrestle with wanting to ‘come clean’ about how I don’t hold to every part of the evangelical party line and have an intense gag reflex against common evangelical clichés at the church I am visiting.

            I figure it’s better to tell them who I am rather than be accused of bait and switch.

          • CMT

            Hey, I feel you. Even though I believe to my bones that conditional acceptance isn’t right and isn’t how God is, the sad reality is that many churches do operate that way. So showing up as yourself and being honest about your doubts and your differences is genuinely a risk. I’m sitting with that fact lately and it’s uncomfortable to say the least.

  15. tdee

    I hope 🙏 you are right. I am one of those nobodys. I am not heard or seen. I feel casted out. It’s sad 😔. I’m a good person. I just keep praying 🙏 to God, Jesus and the Blessed Mother for help. 🙏

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so sorry! It’s hard to feel lonely. I hope you find a faith community where you are SEEN.

      Reply
  16. Nessie

    1. I love analogies and this one is beautiful, as is your blanket! Congrats on finishing such a big WIP!

    2. I feel spiritually spent. We recently found a church we feel is safe (in summer, activities are sporadic as is attendance so it’s difficult to really connect just now), but I have lost desire to read God’s word or any other resources, as all of this mess has really amped up my trust issues! How do I know who can be trusted?? I feel like I don’t have the energy to even try anymore, and that scares me.

    I’ve tried asking friends to hold me accountable in bible-reading but they are as inconsistent as I am or more so, so that failed. Most of my energy is going towards helping my husband work on his layered issues (sometimes it takes more energy to sit back and wait days, even weeks, for him to have a revelation/change- because he won’t learn to do things himself if I spoon-feed him).

    I feel like I was only seen insofar as I could be abused scripturally (by the church mostly) then, yes, absolutely cast away. That’s a hard damage to work through. I feel like this website is the only place I can find truth, find help, and have others understand- so I cling to it. I think that’s why it is so hard when commentors come in and fight your message- it’s about the only safe place I feel I have. So grateful for this place.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m glad you’re here, Nessie!

      As I was going through my rough patch seeing how terribly the evangelical church was handling marriage, and how leaders I trusted didn’t care about harm being done, I had a hard time reading Scripture, too. What I did for two years was only read the gospels. Only see Jesus. If I tried to read the Old Testament I often just got frustrated. But in Jesus I could feel safe. But I get it.

      Reply
  17. Jane Eyre

    That’s a beautiful blanket, Sheila, and an even more beautiful story.

    Church: I struggle a lot, particularly because I’m in an area in which faith comes with an enormous amount of cultural baggage. Tying the faith together with the cultural baggage doesn’t make me accept the cultural baggage; it makes me push the faith away.

    Let’s consider how few church-going evangelicals and Catholics don’t have sex before marriage. Let’s also consider that it’s not a matter of jumping the gun (e.g., having sex with one’s fiance(e) a few months before the wedding), but are having sex with people they have no plans to marry. Yet the church screams about (checks notes) working mothers, women who are insufficiently deferential to their husbands, women who expect sex to be good for them too, and women who divorce their adulterous husbands.

    How about fixing the underlying problem – we have no conception of how love, marriage, sex, and faith are intertwined – and then see if happy marriages don’t (largely) take care of themselves, once young people start from a far more solid foundation.

    Reply
  18. Angie

    Yes. Thank you for that post, for me being seen. I was trying to piece together recently, as I become aware of patriarchy within evangelicalism, how everyone viewed me different once I married, 19 years ago. It was like, all of a sudden there was no ME anymore. I was part of a couple. Then I became a mom. I tried to maintain my individuality, but there was something about narcissism and the evangelical point of view that refused to see me. And because I lovingly and willingly gave and gave, and those family and church members I gave to took and took – I didn’t know who I was anymore. I have recently stepped up as an individual, as a strong woman, thanks in part to your resources. Though I’m staying married, I know that I am good on my own if I need to divorce. Jesus cares about ME more than my marriage.

    Reply
  19. K

    Thank you for these words. I’m struggling so much with attending our church right now. I just finished a three year term as elder and dealt with disagreements over Covid, a pastor leaving, discontinuing the evening service, a new pastor starting, a few congregants who don’t believe in women in office, and now my denomination has rejected the LGBTQ community. I’m exhausted and feel bruised from these last three years. I barely want to attend much less participate in activities. It’s so hard.

    Reply
  20. Brenda J. Gehring

    First the LORD HAS Truly Blessed You to Not just Start the Beautiful Blanket But to finish. My life has been a Book of abuse by most men throughout my life. “Let’s say Joyce Meyer’s and I Have ALOT in common.” I’ve experienced alot!! yet what hurts the most is Rejection. Disrespect! The Church we attend is nondenominational. For the most it’s a loving Church. Yet when I voiced my situation of my marriage for Council one elder man handed me a Book telling me to read with an open view. It was about being a jessable?? Really?? The threads I knit together never get finished, thinking how could I possibly finish something beautiful when I don’t feel beautiful? I am fastly moving closer to 68 y. Am VERY DEVOTED TO MY HEAVENLY FATHER. I Gave my Word in sickness, health, rich or poor till death do us part to this man of 24 years. It’s been more down than up. Believe my marriage died 20 years ago. Any advice? Help if You Would with Godly Advice. And Your Blanket? If threads knitted together can become that BEAUTIFUL as (1) maybe there’s Hope for my life? Thank You for Your Time. Lilsis

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.