Why I'm Not Saved

Vulnerability is a much-used term. I love the term. I love the idea, but instead of writing about vulnerability in a removed philosophical way, I'm going to be vulnerable and share my guts with you today.


I was raised Evangelical, but we didn’t call it that. We called it, “Have you been saved?” Not Saved, or Born Again, or even Christian. It was always a question posed to an outsider. When they denied your help in guiding them into the flock, you shook your head and felt that much better about yourself. You were then even “more chosen.”

Since you’d been taught that only a designated number of people (144,000) would be allowed into Heaven, you might have even felt relieved. Statistically, you didn’t actually want other people to be saved and take a spot from another person you already knew and loved.

No one wants their neighbor to burn in a Lake of Fire for eternity, but if he’s taking your best bud’s spot, then, you know.

At a certain age, my view of geography and time began to expand. This caused to me to wonder how it was that a good number of God’s chosen few were going to be plucked from a small town in Tennessee in the 1980s. I would shake off the doubt and just be grateful I was born into it.

Of course, as a person grows older she accumulates more mistakes. Oops, I lied about cheating on the multiplication quiz in 3rd grade.  Oops, I didn’t actually speak in tongues. I just wanted to look cool in front of the congregation. Oops, I have a whole album full of Michael Jackson stickers, but no one will ever find it under my pile Amy Grant cassettes.



I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it at the time, but I was starting to feel as though the scales were tipping. Maybe I wasn’t actually Saved anymore. Since one did not ask questions in general as a child, or in the South, or in the Church (triple whammy), I silently worried that my parents and the rest of my family would be looking down at me during the Rapture Tsk, Tsk, tsking at me as I was raked into the hot coals of Hell. 

In the years that followed, I suspected that I had never actually been Saved at all, so I poured some vodka and wild behavior on it. Then I heaped some shame on top for good measure. Miraculously, I calmed down, fell in love with teaching, got married and had kids. There was still a telltale heart beating under the floorboards, though. It was reminding me that maybe I would still pay for my sins for eternity.




Yet when I looked at each of my children's brand new faces, I knew in my heart that they didn't need saving. They were already just as they should be and nothing they would ever do would change that. It is a truth shared by the universe with every mother, should they choose to hear it. My role was to grow them and not get in the way of the perfection that they already were.

It took me several more years to apply this reasoning to myself. 

The day I realized I never needed saving in the first place was joyous. I was still accountable for poor choices and responsible for being my best self, but there was no select group denying me entrance to their version of eternal bliss.

I am already happy. Now. 

4 comments:

  1. Yes to this...... we don't need saving..we just need to live as we are all doing the best that we can with what we have xxx

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Lisa! My new mantra is: "I determine my own worth."

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  2. I never bought into the idea that only 144,000 folks were going to Heaven. I think that whole thought is putting Heavenly Father into a box. I think there is fault in our understanding of some parts of the Bible.

    I am saved, sometimes I am confused, but I do not doubt His existence or His gift to me. I think that we all have things in our lives that shouldn't be there, that we're ashamed of. It is just all a part of being human.

    What we choose to believe or not is between us and Him. You have to do what you have to do. Free will and all that. I think we all have points of falling away and, ideally, returning to the root of who we are.

    This was an interesting post. Have a blessed day. :)

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