After being raised Presbyterian Cari became involved in the new age movement while attending Michigan State. Cari Donaldson is a wife and homeschooling mother of six residing in Connecticut.
I was raised, in no particular order:
· With both mother and father, who modeled what a strong marriage can look like
· With one sibling, my brother, who used to be younger than I am, but since I’ve stopped aging, he’s now older
· In a suburb of Detroit, in a dark brick ranch my grandfather helped build and my mom grew up in
· Going to the same Presbyterian church my mom went to when she was a child
We went to church regularly, and I attended both Sunday school and youth group. Any other religious expression was an individual pursuit. I don’t remember reading the Bible as a family, but I do remember my gold foil “Good News Bible”, with stick figures and crinkly onionskin paper. I don’t remember praying much as a family, outside of grace before Thanksgiving dinner, but I do remember, from a very early age, talking to God.
Specifically, I remember talking to God every night and asking Him to “put my Grandpa on”. I’d wait, imagining God going to get my Grandpa Bob, who had died when I was five. I’d sit patiently in silence, until I imagined Grandpa coming to the prayer line, and we’d chat for a bit. Then God would get back on, and we’d say our goodbyes for the night.
I remember my childhood religious formation being strong enough to forge that vital element- a prayer life, something I never ever lost.
I remember the rest of my childhood formation being tenuous enough that I had slipped it off by college.
My best friend in high school gave me a book to read right before I left for Michigan State. It was called Judas My Brother, by Frank Yerby. Briefly, it is a book that strives to strip Jesus, and by extension, Christianity, of anything Divine or mystical. It has footnotes and endnotes galore, and to a 17-year-old girl with little grounding in theology, it was a revelation. With no education in Christian apologetics to help me critically consume the book, I was happy to embrace the whole thing. The ability to toss aside some Bronze-age set of patriarchal ethics all while spouting off quotes from a historical novel is extremely attractive to a new college student. So, convinced that at its heart, Christianity was nothing more than a monstrous tale of a monstrous God who sacrificed His own Son to Himself to appease His monstrous anger, I chucked it all.
More or less.
I still prayed. Every night. —>Read More