One of the Bravest People I Know

Melissa of Permission to Live is quite literally and without exaggeration one of the bravest people I know. I’ve linked to her work before, but if you haven’t spent time on her site, you really should. She’s starting an important new series. Head over and read her introduction and then stick around as she posts the entire thing in the coming weeks. Here’s an excerpt from her introduction, and then I’ll offer some further background on Melissa:

I am about to publish the most intensely vulnerable series I have ever written. This will explain the rest of my journey. This is the part of our story I have not been free to tell yet, not safe to tell yet.

The final puzzle piece.

I know that many of my readers will not understand or agree with my situation or choices. This series may confuse you, it may anger you. I want you to know I will not take that personally.

Melissa grew up in a family much like mine, but much more extreme. She suffered physical abuse in the guise of “discipline” up into her teens, and was not allowed to go to college. Instead, she was kept home to help raise her ten younger siblings. She was homeschooled and her family home churched, so she didn’t really have friends. She married at age 19 after a quick parent guided courtship. When I started blogging and ran into Melissa online, we clicked immediately. We’ve actually met in person twice now. Believe it or not, I’ll get a mention later in the series she’s starting, because I actually play a role (albeit a very small one).

Melissa’s spouse had a prominent reformed pastor for a father, and was in graduate school studying for the ministry when they married. After finishing school he got a job as a pastor, and together they had four children in a row one right after the other. But then the two of them began questioning the Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull ideas they’d been raised with, and eventually even religion itself. After serving as a pastor for years, Melissa’s spouse left the ministry in February and the two of them have embarked on a new life together, four children in tow.

Now that you have that for a background, you really really really should read Melissa’s series as she posts it. It’s something you’re not going to want to miss. I also plan to post a link here as each installment goes up to make sure her story doesn’t get missed. It’s important. And since I’ve served as proof-reader for it, I can say this with insider knowledge. So yes. Go forth and read. After all, don’t you want to know why I call Melissa one of the bravest people I know? Trust me, it’s worth it.

How Being an Older Sibling in a Big Duggar-Like Family Is Like Being a Polygamous Sister Wife
A Quiverfull of Definitions
The "Real Men" of Evangelical Christianity
A Case for Calling the Duggars ATI Rather Than Quiverfull
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.