Recently I spoke at a writer’s conference. When someone asks me to speak, I’m always going to talk about the love of God in Christ. One of those in the audience was Julie Rajnus. I’ve been checking out her blog and I’m impressed with the vulnerability of her writing. Oh, and she’s also a recovering religious-hall-monitor-pleaser. I love the bullet points she uses to describe her socially anxious journey from religious rules to grace. You can read more about Julie, her book (The Gift of Social Anxiety), and her blog here.
From Religious Rules to Grace
My story is too long (and likely too boring) to include all the details here. Here are a few highlights:
1. I have always been terribly shy.
2. I have tried to become invisible by obeying every rule I could find.
3. As a young Christian mother I experienced clinical depression and, after much wrestling, started taking medication.
4. This broke some religious rules, and I was ousted from my church family.
5. I can’t blame them, because I had always agreed with the religious rules.
6. I have, from time to time, glimpsed the meaning of God’s grace. But most of the time I missed it and just stuck to the rules.⇦Tweet that!
7. I realized at some point that the social rules were impossible for me. Complete fail. Hello, social anxiety.
8. There was a lot of sweating, blushing, trembling, hiding, and napping involved.
9. I finally recognized the role rules and grace are supposed to play in life.
10. There is still a lot of sweating, blushing, trembling, and napping… but less hiding (Hi there!).
11. So darn excited that God Himself obeyed the rules impeccably and now I don’t have to.
12. I will probably forget about a lot of this and start over around number 6.
13. Will always be drawn back to number 11.
14. I fully recognize that all shy, socially anxious, awkward, rule-breaking people are my posse. I love you, and I think you probably love me. ‘Cause we are peas in a pod, no?
Question: Do you have a story like Julie’s, a journey from religious rules to grace? I’d love to hear from you. Who knows, maybe your story of re-falling in love with Jesus will be the next story posted on edunderwood.com!