It's been no secret that I've been a fan of Rachel Held Evans for quite some time. It's not only her discussions around egalitarianism that draw me, but rather her desire to create respectful and safe places to talk about the tough stuff in the Christian faith. Her "Ask A…" series is one of the most popular faith-based blogs out there. If you haven't checked it out, get a move on! People from different faiths, perspectives, vocations, denominations, marital stands, theologies… you name it… open up to our questions. What better way to really get to know an a messianic jew? Or an evolutionist? Go to the source. Ask one. Here's your chance. Instead of continuing on in stereotypes or perhaps misguided impressions, talk with a "—–", and find out for yourself the faces behind the labels.
When Rachel and I connected, we bounced back and forth briefly about how to do a post regarding a Christian with Asperger's Syndrome. Would the "Ask A…" series be better? Or a guest blog? We decided on a guest blog, and here is the result: Church Stories: Embracing Faith as an Aspie.
The scary thing is… I've never been too terribly vocal about being an Aspie. Oh sure, sometimes I get turned around in conversation and it just seems like "the thing to say", but on the whole I don't announce it to the world. I've been told that God will "heal" me… that I don't have Asperger's at all… that I'm using this as an excuse for bad behaviour… all sorts of reasons to learn to keep my mouth shut.
Well… it's true that I have learned a shmoodle of coping skills to get along in the NT world (neurotypicals; and yes, "shmoodle" is a real word as of now), so I might not seem "Aspie" to you at first. Hear my story or spend more time with me and you'll probably see hints of it.
But I'm out of the Aspie closet now, so to speak. Am I supposed to feel liberated?
Part of me really wanted this chance to talk about being a person of faith and having social difficulties in church (and out). Based on the comment section, many others have been made to feel as I have: "You are not a good Christian if you don't mix it up"… it's not that I want churches to stand on their heads for me (actually, I would! Churches standing on their heads in this day in age would be a GREAT thing!!! Lol!). I just need people to know that relating to human beings works differently for me.
And it's real.
I'm not putting this on.
Having said that, I won't "act Aspie" for you. I will be who Jesus defines me as. I won't be perfect. I'll speak out of turn, hurt feelings, go overboard, and make a whole host of mistakes. But so will you. Maybe you can help me through the quagmire of feelings that come along with hurt and disappointment.
But this goes two ways…
… so how can I help you?