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We have torn down what we thought was real, and now it's time to rebuild.

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

I called an old friend this morning whom I have not seen in close to 15 years. She and I were raised together, in a way, though in different states. Her family was part of our cult group, so we spent lots of weekends and holiday breaks with one another. We have some funny stories between us.

One of my favorites is of the time she used her art skills to draw bruises and scrapes on me, making it look as though I had been in a fight. Her younger sister—whom I adore, but did not always see eye-to-eye with growing up—and I pretended that an argument had escalated to a new level. We got their mother in on it, who announced to my mother when she arrived to pick me up:

“Well, the girls had a bit of a disagreement today…”

My mom was horrified. “Naomi has never done anything like this before!”

It was so funny. Their mom’s performance was perfect; brava, ladies.

Today, my old friend and I caught up a bit on where we are now and where we’ve been. I found out she has also stepped away from the cult, courageously asserting the truth of Christ and his condemnation of false teaching. She has walked a road I have not had to, since my parents are deceased; she has had to assert her newfound Christianity with her parents, whereas I have not. And I will soon walk a road she has not had to, since many of my siblings are now prominent figures in the group, whereas hers have all separated from it. But this is how it goes: we all have our struggles, our crosses to bear, our stands to take, ou