Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Upside Down.

Upside down. Spinning. Disoriented. Confused. Everything I thought I knew about God and the church, well just doesn't make sense anymore. My solid footing is no longer there. Everything I was raised to believe and trust in, totally wrecked. My faith in a God that I once knew up close and personal barely exists. The disciplines I once held, no longer work for me. The very cause I have given my whole life to....My whole life now destroyed. And since I started this blog just a few weeks ago, my email, voicemail, and texts have been blowing up with people who have the same story and my heart aches. Especially the stories from other PK's. I mean it really gets to me deep in my guts. We live our entire lives in a glass house, often times even as adults. (there are of course exceptions) Very few escape that lifestyle and if they do, it's usually because they've been burned so bad by the church that they just flat don't have anything to do with Christianity. Understood, and no one blames them for that.
Spiritual shifting isn't just for some elite group. Unfortunately it's more common than you think. It's happening alot in the Western Church. Matter of fact, it's devastating the Western Church. Murdering it. What's worse is that some Christians act "surprised" at this. Seriously? The building of man made empires for prosperity preachers, ludicrous teachings from spiritual leaders, one scandal after another in the headlines. How about we scale that down about the things that go on in the regular everyday run of the mill church? The amount of spiritual abuse going on is staggering, the hypocrisy that is allowed to run rampant is staggering, the politics that people endure, the gossip and slander, the power struggle between pastors and board members....all these things build up and eventually devastate lives and send people, good people, innocent people on a downward spiral.
So what do you do in times like this? What do you do, when you have served the Christian community for years only to have the people you trusted most, and looked up to and respected turn on you? What do you do when everything you once knew and felt about God is ripped out from under your feet? Because the truth of the matter is, sometimes it DOES happen. It is very real. People absolutely do lose their faith in times of spiritual shifting. It's hard not to. Some peoples response is this "Quit blaming the Church for everything. We are only human ya know." Or how about this one "Grow up and get over it!" That one just pisses me off. I actually have a friend going through a shift right now, who received an email from a "sister in Christ" who actually said those words to her. I saw it with my own eyes...Sickening.
Now I understand some people won't be able to relate to what I'm saying. That's okay. We all have different experiences. Some of you reading this, have probably already flipped out. So let me make myself extremely clear on 2 issues.
1. I am NOT an advocate for blaming the church for a total loss of faith. I advocate personal responsibility and anyone who truly knows me, knows that is how I live my life. I am however an advocate for Accountability. I do believe that the "Church" will be held accountable for it's part in the countless number of people who have lost their faith.
2. I am NOT against the Institution of Church. I believe it is an important part of the Christian faith. Although I had a devastating experience in a church, not all church experiences are that way. I have been a member of several churches, not just one, and there are some very good churches in the world who are making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities. If there was a church I felt comfortable going to right now, I totally would.
OK, so what do you do when you are the one who is shifting? I do have some advice for you. Here are a few things that I have learned along the way, that have helped me in the hardest parts of this journey.
1. Get used to opposition.
Honestly, your loved ones don't mean to come off on the defensive. Keep in mind that they aren't used to hearing you talk like this. They really don't know how to respond to our unedited and at times extremely raw conversations. That in turn makes us feel misunderstood. Extend grace to them just like you want them to do for you.
2. Embrace and Trust the process.
This is a process with many different facets. Let yourself go through each and every stage of your process. An example, for me, I didn't realize the overwhelming amount of loss I suffered...friendships, my ministry reputation, family relationships, all the things that once held me secure. I wayyyyy underestimated how difficult losing those things would be. Sometimes  interactions with people, or situations, still tap into how much I've lost and I find myself bawling over such encounters. Time helps with this one...a lot. So let the process have it's way.
3. Look for things that survived.
I have a responsibility to dig through my devastated life and find the things that remain...and so do you.  When we aren't sure anymore about our faith and what we believe, it's easy to want to throw everything out and start over. I'm telling you right now, it's not that easy! Look for things that made it through the destruction. Trust me, there are things that made it. For me, my belief that there is a God still remains and some days that's all I have. I do believe in the Bible but most days it's hard for me to read it.
My point here is, what's something you still believe in? Doesn't matter how big or how small.
I think you will find, no matter how much destruction has happened, no matter how upside down you feel, there are just some things that cannot be taken away from you. You might have to dig deep, really deep, I did. But it's worth it! Most spiritual things are dead in my life....but a few things made it. And that gives me Hope.
These are just a couple things that have tremendously helped me.
Ahhhhh....Change is so hard. Some days I still have a hard time knowing which direction is up. Truthfully most days I'm still spinning...and it's been almost 3 years since my shift began. I've learned there is no quick fix. I've learned that I'm not alone. I've learned what is truly important in life, And I am happy. Sometimes you do get second chances, and sometimes you don't. It's important to keep moving forward...don't stop growing, learning, and loving.
Maybe someday I'll have it all figured out. Eh, maybe I won't.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The last couple weeks I have been discussing some specific areas of Faith with a dear friend... more specifically my Faith. Not just any friend of my Best! When you grow up in the spotlight, you have many many acquaintances and very few friends. This girl is amazing! We have known each other for 20 plus years and she probably knows me better than anyone. I completely trust her with my thoughts, with my heart and emotions. I can share anything with her.
But the last couple weeks, I realized something. Something I had never seen before. I realized through our conversations how difficult it is for her to see me going through this spiritual shift or whatever it is I'm going through. Then I realized that there are other people that are close to me, that are having the same difficulties with my spiritual shift that she is. It honestly never crossed my mind that this would affect my loved ones so much. In the last few days I have actually approached some of my closest peeps and asked them how they were feeling about it. And sure enough, they all had very similar responses. That it was hard for them to see this unfolding in my hard that they didn't even want to discuss it. That made me feel bad, sad actually. Sometimes when we are going through things in life, we forget that it doesn't just affect us but also those around us.
Change is so hard...for all involved. I totally respect how crazy weird it must be for my friends and family to hear me talk the way I do now and to see the way I live my life now. I also have a good understanding of the fact that no matter how hard I try, you may not understand, and you will be at a total loss at times on how to respond. And you know what...that's totally okay. So let me speak from my experience....
I thought today I would share some advice for those of you who maybe have friends or family that are spinning spiritually. That's a great description of how it feels to me right now!! Spinning, dizzy, upside down with Faith issues. Here we go.
1. Listen. 
It's so hard to sit with people who are going through painful experiences and NOT offer some sort of solution, or scripture verse or what you think we should be doing. It's almost an automatic response. It's so important to LEARN to just listen, and acknowledge what I'm saying and feeling. Now I realize for Charismatic Christians this is a near IMPOSSIBLE task...but train yourself to be a good listener.
2. Love Us.
1 Corinthians 13:13...And the Greatest of these is love...
No matter what we are saying and doing. Love us! Often times when we no longer speak/act the way we used to it makes people uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that we hop on the bench of judgment. Look beyond the words, the actions and love us...even if we disagree. Don't ever use love or lack of love as a weapon against someone.
3. Don't hold us to everything we say and do.
Remember this is a process. I rant and rave sometimes. I sound bitter and angry one day and totally forgiving and redemptive the very next! Goodness sakes, for me I'm all over the place multiple times a day!! Throughout the process perceptions and views WILL change. Extend grace.
4. Ask.
This is key. Ask the person if they want you to respond. Ask them how you can help. Ask them if they want to hear your perspective. Don't just assume and or just start rambling off at the mouth! If they trusted you enough to open up and share...don't ruin that by careless chatter on your part.
Change is hard. Life is hard. Those of you who are walking with those of us who are shifting, please don't give up on us. I realize our anger, our habits, and language can be shocking at times...but don't throw us away. You may be the only thing we have left.
(p.s....I did not attend church on Easter...hey, there's always next year right...)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To Church or Not To Church.

For the past couple of weeks, Anthony has been asking me what I am going to do for Easter. We talk about what kind of Easter baskets to get the kids, and do we want to have a big dinner, what's the extended family doing, blah blah. Of course without fail, he says "What about church?" Ugh...I cringe at that question. Typically my first response is "yeah, what about it?" "Well do you want to go?" he asks. And this is where I have my What about Bob/The Kings Speech swearing marathon in my head.
It goes something like this..."Hell no I don't want to go to a *#%>!@** church service. Why the !$*% would I put myself through that!" All the while not making any outward facial expressions, I respond with "Nope, I don't"
Interesting isn't it. It's strange, even for me to not want to go to church on Easter. (for the record, I didn't go on Christmas either) I have loved the Lord all my life, and followed Him with my whole heart. I have done many exploits for God. I've preached many sermons in churches, traveled the World taking the Gospel message to those who have never heard, hell even been through Bible School...and here I find myself cringing at the thought of stepping foot in a church building.
Oh I hear the groans and judgements of Christians everywhere....Not go to church on Easter?! That's a huge deal in the Christian Culture. I mean even the worst of sinners goes to church on Christmas and Easter.
So what's happened to me? Why am I at this place? How did I get here? The number one response will be, whether people say it out loud or not, and believe me they've said it out loud straight to my face and behind my back, is SIN. The reason I don't want to go to church is because of sin. Please excuse me while I barf. The last 5 years of my life have been full and overflowing with great loss and heartache that sent me into a spiritual vertigo. Some of it was caused by the choices I made and some of it was just life. It's been a long road, but finally life is starting to come together for me again. I'm enjoying an awesome time of restoration. Everyday I pick up another piece of my shattered life and put it into the puzzle...and it's starting to look beautiful.
The next few weeks, I'll be writing about how I came to be in this place. Hopefully you will enjoy my story, though not easy to tell, I am looking forward to sharing it.
So what about Easter? To church or not to church? Not sure yet, I'll let ya know.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Last year some friends got me hooked on the tv show The Voice. I had never really seen it before and wasn't all that interested until I saw how much they enjoyed it. So I thought eh, maybe it's worth a watch. My first experience watching was at their house. Within the first 10 minutes, I was HOOKED! I really had no idea how the competition worked, but between Christina Aguilera's boobs and hair, and Cee Lo Greens outfit, I was glued to the tv!! Now, I'm all about the boobs, that's what makes us Women....but seriously Christina, put those monsters away, and really Cee Lo? Did your plane from the bush of Africa just land or what??
Anyways, I had found my new Monday night addiction. Each week as more and more contestants got voted off, the show began to take a turn. They started showing us the stories behind the voices, showing at times, lengthy interviews with each contestant. That's when I started getting invested in these people...People I had never met, yet somehow I was drawn into their lives through their voices and they were changing my life.
It's one thing to hear a song, and listen to someone with a great singing voice. But the game radically changes when you begin to hear the story behind the song. Behind the voice. A persons singing voice can be a powerful tool that moves us and our emotions. It also has the power to become a much deeper experience.
Every week as I learned more about each contestant, where they came from, their struggles and pain, their hopes and dreams, it began to move me. Of course I had my favorites, and I had singled out that one competitor that I hoped would win it all. But really I had high hopes for all of them. I hoped that through his experience, a singing competition, they would all begin to use their voices as an instruments of good in this world. All the contestants were talented, and damn good most of the time...the talent isn't what made the voice beautiful, but more the story behind the voice that made it beautiful. The deeper experience.
It's not easy finding your voice. It's never easy sharing your stories of failure, your pain, your joys and victories. Matter of fact most people never find their own voice. And yet here's the thing, we all have a voice. A beautiful voice. We all have a story. A story that needs to be shared. Every single day we encounter a plethora of voices. Some days no matter what you do, or where you go, who you are with, it seems like these voices are screaming at us.
The voice of conscious and reason, media voices, your friends voices. Or how about your mothers voice that says about that last cookie, "a minute on the lips is a lifetime on the hips!" Or how about the negative voice that says, NO you can't do that, that's beyond your ability so don't even try. Or the positive voice that says, Hell yes you can Go for it!
All day long we are bombarded with voices! The older I get the more I'm learning to develop my own voice, my story. Seems like negative voices dominate this world most of the time. I don't want to be a negative voice. I want to be a positive, encouraging one. A voice of influence that speaks to your story and tells you how beautiful it is.
So what about you? Have you found your voice yet? If not, Why? What's holding you back? Fear, insecurity, or maybe just straight up hurt? Take some time to think about it.
Voices. Not one exactly alike. Each powerful and unique in its own way. I encourage you to find yours...but dont just find it, own it and use it for good! I guarantee when you do, it'll be the most Beautiful voice you've ever heard.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Well, here I am. In my own blog. Finally, the World as my audience. I always knew I was destined for Greatness. Too much? Okay, so maybe I don't have the entire world for an audience, but I've got your attention for at least the next 10 minutes so that'll do....for now.

I figured for our first encounter I should introduce myself. Not sure who's reading this, and I don't want to come off as rude. (really I don't care if I do this is my blog)
My name is Keesha and I'm thirty-something. I'm a recovering Pastors Kid so technically I should know all the answers to faith and spirituality. But I don't. I'm a naked person and writer. (no, not literally you perv) Naked?? Yep, I am one of the most authentic, honest, raw, soft hearted, bare it all souls you will ever meet. Whether you know me in person or get to know me through my writings, you will touch my soul. But not without permission....I will bare it all and show it to you, because I want to. I have to. I don't know how to live any other way. I am both tough and tender hearted. You will collide with both and I guarantee you'll love it.

I grew up in a Christian home, better yet, the Pastors Family. I'm the youngest of 3. I was adopted when I was 19 days old. No, I don't know my birth parents. Maybe someday.
I don't think I'm the black sheep of my family. (half black for sure) Well, maybe I am. I'm not entirely sure anymore. I used to be the favorite. (uh, my name actually means "favorite" in case you doubt me)  What I am entirely sure of is that I am the child who has brought the biggest disappointment and probably the most embarrassment. Those juicy details will be revealed soon enough. Don't be mistaken though, I love my family deeply and I'm content with our dysfunction.

I love music, reading, writing, texting, laughing, and sports in general with an emphasis on NCAA Men's Basketball. ROCK CHALK!!! I'm learning to love cooking even though I'm terrible at it. I like to swear. A lot. Not because I'm angry, but because swearing makes me laugh. What About Bob? The King's Speech? YES, LOVE!!

My kids are AMAZING and I crazy love them. I'm totally 7 months pregnant and I love the new kid just as much as the other 2.
I have an extremely small bubble of friends, and that's how I like it. I have this peculiar love/hate thing with people.
I do in fact call myself a Christian, although I'm sure some people wish I wouldn't. Sometimes I'm embarrassed with that title, and most days I don't even understand the title, but none the less I am a follower of Jesus. I am NOT a deep thinking theologian nor do I care to be. So if that's what your expecting from this PK, you will be sorely disappointed.

So there you have it. That's me. This blog is a journey of my life. Where I've been, where I'm at now, and where I'm going. I'll share my thoughts on faith and life in general. I have one chance at this life, and I want to do it well. Everyone has a story. This one just happens to be mine. You'll see my joys and sorrows, successes and failures, my hurts and how I overcame them and probably the craziness of my daily life. My hope is that maybe through my life you can find inspiration and hope in yours.
Ready. Set. Go.

DISCLOSURE: My views are explicitly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else. (siblings, parents, friends, etc) They are subject to change and most undoubtedly will. If you have already been offended by something I've written, do NOT read on. Don't do that to yourself or to me. I sure as hell won't let ya anyways.