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Unvarnished Grace

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years now since I walked away from a difficult church situation… and 5 years since I began to blog about my struggles as I tried to find my place in a healthy church. A lot has changed over those years. I’ve been through some horrible crises and enjoyed some amazing epiphanies (those wonderful “aha!” moments when you see something clearly for the first time).

When I began this blog, “Recovering Pentecostal” was a very appropriate title. My Pentecostal-ness had been so much a part of my identity, and the consequences of a messed-up theology were so deeply enmeshed in my life, that it continued to define me even after I left. Gradually, over these last 5 years years, my focus changed: and now I believe I can honestly say that my spiritual life is about my relationship with God, not about my relationship with religion.

Now, it’s time for my blog to change too, but I wanted to give you a “heads up” before I do.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be revising and reorganizing my blog… not just with a new look, but with a new name. I’ve chosen “Unvarnished Grace” because that’s where I am now. To me, “unvarnished” is raw and unadulterated. It is what it is… and hasn’t been polished and stained to look like something else. It’s authentic, it’s real. That’s the kind of grace that God has given to me… and it’s what I long to show to others.

4 Responses to “Unvarnished Grace”

  • SoShawna says:

    Love it. Agree with your thought process…and can’t wait until I’m in the same place mentally! I’m only 3-months since my parole from the UPC so I’m still in the brainwashing stage. As in, washing my brain and trying to clear everything out as I learn to focus purely on grace and Him.

  • Noemi says:

    I really like the direction you are taking, and as someone who has personally been touched by your honesty and willingness to share, I support you. However, I will be sad to see the “recovering” part go. Like SoShawna, I am still recovering and was attracted to your site because nothing else seemed to encompass my current situation as much as “Recovering Pentecostal” did. The name moved me in three powerful ways.

    1. It confirmed that I was not crazy and that my Pentecostal experience was, in fact, something I needed to recover from.
    2. It gave me hope that recovery was possible.
    3. Most importantly, it reminded me that I was not alone.

    I hope that you consider this as you move forward.

    God has used you to help me heal, so although I am sad to see the name go, I know God will continue to lead you and use you to touch the lives of others.

  • Jenni says:

    I appreciate the encouragement :) Thank you for sharing that, it means a lot to me! And I will think about that as I move forward.

    But don’t worry – the “Recovering Pentecostal” name will not be disappearing entirely, and neither will the content. I’m still working out a lot of the details, but I’m excited about where things are going. And no matter what the site is called, it is my prayer that it will always be a place where people can find hope, encouragement, and assurance that they are not alone.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Tracey says:

    LOVE the new title, Unvarnished Grace. I am at a place where I’m still trying to understand grace and how we aren’t expected to jump through hoops for our salvation. I so badly want to feel God’s grace and love, but unfortunately right now it’s still a struggle. I’m so glad to find a website to not feel alone and finally heal.