Bitter: adjective. Characterized by intense antagonism or hostility.
In the past seventeen months (since I began this blog), I’ve been accused of being bitter more times than I can count. I’ve come to realize that this is the go-to insult for people to use when they can’t win an argument. And, really, I don’t want to argue with anyone. But I will try to explain my feelings about the Followers.
- Sympathy. This is my primary emotion when I think of this group. I feel sorry for young women who are made to feel that they are insignificant. For teenage girls who have to wait in a corner for some boy to deem them worthy of a dance or date. Outside of that group – guess what? Girls and women do the choosing. Yes, that’s right! They don’t have to ask boys out (and most do not), but they select who they will go out with – because for every girl, there are several guys vying for her attention. I feel sorry for young women who are born with brains, but advised to downplay their intellect so as to not intimidate boys. I am sad that you do not have the option to go to college. I feel sorry for the young women who marry at age seventeen (often dropping out of high school for this event) and start having children so young. It makes me sad to think of the women there who are living with domestic violence (no – I’m not saying all men abuse their wives – but enough do and there is zero support for the victims).
- Responsibility. When I learned the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, I felt so shocked! Jesus loves me? Yes! (But, I’m so unworthy). Jesus loves all of us and wants us in heaven. He made it easy for us. I wish someone had told me years sooner. I know how hard that is to accept when you come from the FOC. I thought it was ridiculous! I fought accepting this truth for months, but someone cared enough to persist in praying for me. When I told my family that I’d become a born-again Christian, they tried to disprove that a person could KNOW that they are saved.
- Nostalgia. I miss some of the people I grew up with. The people I love and care about now would never shun me. But I would love to catch up with some of the people who were, during my formative years, central to my life. I also miss all the great social events and structure: all the support for the sick, grieving, and celebrating.
I never expected to write about this group. I was terrified to do so, but I cannot explain the feeling of freedom that I’ve gotten from doing so. I still feel like a Follower in so many ways though. I would never call someone a “fool.” I would never take God’s name in vain. I would never use the words, “I swear.” Some people say these “nevers” of mine constitute legalism. But, I don’t care – these are values that are important to me. Why disrespect God? I do not want to hurt anyone. And I hope and pray that my words will do more good than harm.
Still think I’m bitter?