It’s me. Not you.
When I was a kid I remember dressing up as a Cowgirl for a Halloween event at our local Church. It happened once. And only once. The event was so terrifying, scary, and over that top that my older Brother was traumatized…and that was it. My Mom made a call. She’d never subject us to being scared in the name of a social holiday. That was the same year that I saw a moving face covered with blood at a local Seven Eleven. I had nightmares for years about that image. Not kidding.
After that year, we lived in Congo for the most part. Where Halloween is not a thing. But it is a country cloaked in deep deep Spirituality. Things there are very clear. Good and evil are real. Evident. Out in the open. I saw demon-possessed people. I witnessed it first hand. I came face to face with Witch-Doctors. I saw the power of Satan in very real and evident ways. A lot. I was never afraid. I always knew who my Protector was. I knew I was covered by the all-encompassing grace and love of Jesus. It didn’t scare me to see those things. But it made me aware. Certain that when scripture talks about the ‘kingdom of darkness’, well, it’s real. And it’s not really a laughing matter. It’s not something funny to use as the plot line for a movie, or for entertainment. It’s real. It destroys lives. Lots of them. And when we take something that real. That dangerous and make it a commonality…a normal thing. Well. I feel strongly that we do ourselves a serious disservice. We open the door to a world that we simply do not understand or fully comprehend.
Fast forward a few decades to a Youth Group gathering where my Husband was the Youth Pastor. One of my dearest Friends took the chance to share her testimony about Halloween. About the research she had done, the former Witch she had talked to, and all that she had learned about what actually takes place on that night. The truth of what happens behind the cute costumes and carved pumpkins. It was eye-opening. Jaw dropping. And sickening. I was stunned to have an inside look at what the Holiday was really about to those to celebrate it for “religious” reasons. I knew right then, that I couldn’t ever be apart of it, in any way at all. I couldn’t even touch the idea. It was too real. To gross.
Fast forward a few more years and now I have Kids of my own. I live in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. Halloween is a thing. A BIG thing. It’s everywhere. 3 months before it even happens. I find myself having to walk out of stores in September because of the vampire with blood dripping from its fangs, because my 4-year-old is screaming and crying from the sight of it. I have to censor EVERY SINGLE thing on TV. Because fear is funny and it’s everywhere. Even on G-rated cartoons. The joy people find in fear is weird to me. And the fact that it has to be everywhere, even grocery stores, is beyond me. Even my local YMCA has had ghosts hanging for over a month in the hallways. Cause, ya know, the spirits of dead people, that’s totally fun. And completely belongs at my local gym. OK. I’ll lay off the sarcasm. 😉
I don’t find skeletons cute. Ever. They stand for death and toxicity.
I don’t think ghost are funny. They are the spirits of the dead.
I don’t find witches to be endearing. I’ve met real ones.
I don’t think fear. Death. Blood. Demons. Witches. Spiders. Bats or Zombies are entertaining. I just don’t.
I am not owned by fear. But neither do I have to celebrate it.
I have heard all the arguments a 100 times.
“It doesn’t have to be scary! It doesn’t have to be about fear!” But it usually is.
“Just let your kids dress up in cute things, it’s fun to pretend!” I encourage them to pretend. All the time.
“What about opening your door to your community? Loving on your neighbors?” I have 364 days a year to do that. And we all should, daily.
Now let me state a few things. I hold zero. And I do mean zero judgment for those who choose to celebrate Halloween. In fact, some my closest, most cherished Friends call it their favorite Holiday. I don’t judge them. I don’t fear for their souls. We just have a different stance on the issue. We’ve lived through different experience. And that’s ok. I’m not looking to make my convictions theirs or yours.
It comes down to this. I have to live out my convictions. And they just might be different from yours. Or even my close Friends. But I have to stand by them. Because if I don’t, then I do my children a bigger disservice by teaching them to compromise their values. And that might be worse than celebrating a holiday I despise.
Why waste my time writing this? I’m not sure. I don’t have a strong reason. More to share my heart than anything. I’m not trying to turn anyone. Or make anyone feel belittled. Simply sharing my experience. Take it or leave it. But it’s mine. And it’s helped me to make the choices that I make with firm confidence.
Happy Weekend Friends! I hope that whatever you’re doing you soak it and enjoy those you love! And if you live anywhere where seasons are a thing…I hope your view is as gorgeous as mine!