What was love to you then?
Being honest about our desire for a good thing and our complicity in settling for a lesser one
How to make a writer go mad? Give her eye surgery and tell her she can’t read, write, or watch anything for a few days. Want to double the madness? Give her two different eye surgeries in her two different eyes so she feels cross-eyed and near blind, and if she even attempts to strain and cheat, she will deeply regret it.
Yesterday, finally 72 hours out from lasik in my right eye and PRK in my left, I donned an eye patch for my left eye and read Shannon (Bonne) Harris’s book in one seating. It is not a challenging read, merely a series of vignettes from the past nearly thirty years of her life as a part of Covenant Life Church, married to evangelical superstar, author and pastor of CLC, Joshua Harris.
Shannon and I never crossed with one another (to my knowledge), though my parents were homeschool pioneers and peers with the Harrises, speaking on the same panels and on the same conference circuit across the country (someday I’ll tell you about those years of my life…) around the time Joshua was a rising star. Every single girl I knew had a copy of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and half of us probably secretly dreamed about becoming Mrs. Harris.
I have a lot of sympathy and empathy for Shannon’s story, not just because of its overlap with mine, but because I think, in some regard, it is the story of every woman who came of age in the 90s and early aughts of the church. Other generations have their own common stories, but this one is ours. I feel a lot of tenderness toward women who wanted to be loved, be accepted, be known, and were willing to twist and turn themselves into whatever form that love, acceptance, and knowing would come. The problem for Shannon, and me and so many of you, is that love, acceptance, and knowing never came in the ways it was promised or even believed to be delivered.
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