Faith Transitions - Changing to a Survivor's Narrative

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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AmyJ
Posts: 1127
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Faith Transitions - Changing to a Survivor's Narrative

Post by AmyJ »

I have been doing some thinking over the years - and the point that is the hardest to explain (and more important) is how I was "ambushed" by a faith transition instead of "wanting to sin" or "wanting to be found faithless". The standard narrative is that a faith transition can be prevented/bypassed/willed or warded away - with the judgement that I wasn't "enough" - wasn't "careful enough", "righteous enough", "smart enough" to avoid it etc.

For me, it gets confusing because I don't feel that I had anything to do with it - that it isn't a matter of care, righteousness, or brainpower. I reject that my faith transition has any bearing on my personal character -

My faith transition happened to me as much as it happened with me. The most accurate statement to me puts me as a "faith transition survivor" (not a "faith transition victim"). I do have some choices in how it plays out - on how I grieve my loss of faith and the changes to my faith. The irony is that I am more "careful" about how I judge others and import the perceptions of others (and question authority), more "righteous" in the sense that I tell myself what to do (keeping commandments) whole-heartedly instead of out of fear, and "smarter" - I have picked up a buttload of facts about different experiences and perceptions that I wouldn't have had the courage to do before.
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DarkJedi
Posts: 7853
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Faith Transitions - Changing to a Survivor's Narrative

Post by DarkJedi »

I feel very much the same Amy. I have said I didn't choose my faith crisis and transition, it chose me. I wasn't looking for it, I was happy the way I was.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roy
Posts: 6841
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Faith Transitions - Changing to a Survivor's Narrative

Post by Roy »

I also agree with this premise.

My faith crisis coincided with mourning the stillbirth of my daughter.

I feel that there were two models that helped me to understand what I was experiencing.

1) The five stages of grief. I remember watching a video talking about making positive choices while going through the stages. There are choices that we can make (like talking with others and not shutting out those that care about us) but we cannot decide to skip stages or rush stages etc. The stages must be lived through. (different people may experience the stages differently but they don't get to DECIDE how they experience the stages)

2) The assumptive world collapse. My assumptive world had a big fall and I felt like I was rebooting. I remember the sensation that the rebooting was happening at a level below my conscious mind and that was disorienting. I also feel like I made choices during this period. For example, I feel that the material that I read and the ideas that I allowed myself exposure to provided the building blocks for my new assumptive world. I remember not wanting to feel vulnerable to another assumptive world collapse and not wanting to build my world on untested "promises" and faith. In retrospect I feel that I healed in the only way that I felt was possible and authentic for me.

Yes, I did survive and I was changed by the experience.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
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