Hi, my name is Tara and I live in San Francisco, CA with my husband, Kevin. We have a 25-year-old daughter who is the light of our lives, and a 13-year-old Silky Terrier who makes us laugh every day. We love spending time outdoors hiking, rock climbing and adventuring. I also love to read and watch Netflix
My husband and I were both raised in the church from a very young age, and have been deeply involved for most of our lives. We have volunteered and served in multiple ministries, and I also was on a church staff as the personal assistant to the lead pastor for 5 years. Boy, were my eyes opened during that time to all that goes on “behind the curtain.”
Three years ago, we left all that we knew and moved from Phoenix to San Francisco to help my sister- and brother-in-law plant a new church in the city. Little did we know just how drastically that move would change our lives. Shortly after moving, I sank into a deep depression that required medication and therapy. Throughout this process, I started questioning everything I knew about God, Jesus and the church. Well, I shouldn’t say “started questioning…” as I now realize that the questions were always there. I just had never allowed myself to fully voice them for fear of (1) being labeled a troublemaker and/or (2) not finding the answers. But now I allowed my doubts and questions and struggles to surface, and I started confiding these things in my husband. I started reading books and blogs about faith shifting/unraveling, church outside the walls, and redefining our relationship with God and Jesus. I finally read The Shack (game changer!) and that led me to Wayne’s other books and resources. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for Wayne and all that my husband and I have learned from him so far. He has become a spiritual mentor to me even though he doesn’t even know me During this time, going to church every Sunday became increasingly difficult and we finally stepped out of it about 15 months ago. This was a very painful decision to make being that we are in a new city where the only people we know and love are deeply involved in the (now very successful) church plant. Thankfully a few people still are our friends and have been open to having discussions about our new journey, even though they don’t really understand where we’re at.
I am very lonely and still struggle off and on with depression. I sometimes think it would just be easier to go back to church and shove all the questions back down into the box, but I know deep down I am forever changed and there’s no returning to Egypt. I just wish I knew where I was headed. I wish I had friends to go along this journey with me. I wish I felt secure in the Father’s affection. I wish I had a stronger faith that this is all true and that my faith was anchored in Jesus. Honestly, right now, everything is up in the air. I feel like I’m sliding down a slippery slope and I’m not sure where I’m going to land.
It does really help to read about other people’s journeys and see that faith and relationships can indeed thrive outside of the institution.
I’m really looking forward to these discussions. Finally! People I can talk to and relate with!