Hanssie: In The In Between ~ A Kiss & Tell About The Journey Of A Suddenly Single Gal In Life, Love & Photography »

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  • Hanssie: Photographer, Mama, Diva, Single Gal, Shopaholic, Control Freak, Gym Rat, Cynic, Socialite, Daughter, Friend, Marketer, Asian, Consultant, Party Animal, Pescatarian, Grammar Fiend, The Queen of Everything.

    Labels. No matter how much we want to shy away from them, it’s a way of life. Collectively, they help us define who we are and separately, they each contain a snippet of a facet of our lives and personalities.

    When I first started my photography business, my logo was hanssie trainor: photography. Even back then I knew I could not be contained under one label, hence the colon. (The colon is used before a list or an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself) and I knew that photography was just one thing that defined who I was. And now after 3+ years in the business, I’ve evolved and come full circle, back to using the colon to help define who I am – a multi faceted, ever changing person, that wears many hats and has many life experiences.

    This blog has always been about my life but with a focus on my photography, but now, there will be a shift to focus more on my journey in the "IN BETWEEN" from my former life as a wife and mother to life as a single gal and single mom living life passionately under my own terms with photography thrown in as well. I'm just a girl trying to figure things out and deal with baggage and confusion in the dating world. I'm putting it all out there --the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

    I'm kissing a lot of frogs..and blogging about it.

    (P.S. Yes, I am still commissioning for fashion/editorial work and for weddings/ portraits)

    ♥♥♥Hanssie♥♥♥♥
    951.264.1710

    "A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous." Coco Chanel

An Open Letter to My “Fellow” Christians…

Flickr Creative Commons via Sam Rich

Dear fellow Christian brothers and sisters,

I didn’t want to open this Pandora’s box, because I know how sensitive Christians can get. But it’s time.

I know because I am used to be one of those “sensitive Christians.” So before you get all huff-y and puff-y, hear me out. YOU are the reason I do not attend church anymore, choose to have mostly “nonbelieving” friends and will probably not step foot in a church regularly ever again.

(A little disclaimer: This is not toward ALL Christians. I don’t make broad generalizations like that because it’s untrue and is not beneficial. There are probably less than 10 people in this world that I know and call themselves Christ followers that the following rant doesn’t apply to. The rest of you, this rant is for you).

A Little Background

I grew up in a home where my parents respected what I chose to believe in. My Dad is a Buddhist and my mom dabbles in the stuff you’d deem, “New Age.” Buddhists support all religions that make people a better person, so when a the pastor of a Southern Baptist church and his wife invited me to go to church, my parents allowed it. I became a Christian at 8 years old, scared into it by the pictures of burning fire and threats of eternal torment in the depths of hell. And became increasingly involved in church for the next twenty years. I was involved in youth groups – both as an attendee and a leader. I sang in choirs, on the worship team, I majored in religious studies and I went to, led and started Bible studies.

In all that time, I was preached at to love people around us, yet I watched and lived the examples of judgement Monday through Saturday. I had a Christian friend that told me that he didn’t have Christian friends because with non Christian friends, you expect the knife in the back. At the time, I pitied him for having such a jaded view and it saddened me. After years of pulling knives out of my back by so called “Christian” friends, I have the same belief and thus, few of my close friends are Christians these days.

Betrayed By Christians

I know it’s not fair to say the whole bunch is rotten for one bad apple, but what happens when it’s a few good apples in a barrel of rotten ones? Over and over and over again, I’ve been brutally betrayed by people I trusted, those closest to me. I’ve been judged mercilessly by those that were supposed to be my support, those that I shared my deepest fears and hurts with. Instead of love, I saw judgement. Instead of peace, I get gossip and back biting.

Three other people had their hand in breaking up my marriage – not including my ex and myself. All of us church going Christians – involved in Bible study, shared meals over and sat next to at church on Sunday. These people still go to church. I want no part in that or of them. And no, I don’t need to hear Bible verses on forgiveness – I know them all by heart.

Just the other evening, I chatted with a former Christian who said she was basically ostracized by her family because she started questioning the beliefs she was raised upon. They think she’s “crazy” and won’t talk to her. But hey, they pray for her. And that’s just sad.

Countless times, and I was first in the guilty line, stood with my fingers pointing, whispering behind my hands about someone because of this or that. I judged them by the way they raised their children, by the things they did, by the fact that they drank wine, or things they said, or any other thing that I may not have agreed with. I was a b*tch, simply because I thought I was better than them. In reality, I was just a narrow minded person, spreading hate, not the love that is supposed to be the cornerstone of my faith.

I’ve laughingly been “chastised in love” when basically what was happening was someone judged me for something I did and veiled it under the umbrella of “I really care about you so I wanted you to know what you’re doing…” This person spoke to me maybe twice a year. Lots of care going on there.

“I’m So Offended”

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I am not easily offended. Question my integrity or disparage my family, and my feathers will get ruffled, but mock my faith, not really. You see, I am not shaken in my faith. I know what I believe. I know why I believe it and if you don’t believe the same thing I do, I’m not going to argue you to my side. I respect your beliefs, I will never tell you that you are wrong. Yet, why do many feel like they need to argue someone into heaven?

The whole recent Creation/Evolution debate – the Bill Nye one. Yeah, I didn’t watch it. I didn’t care. And I still don’t. It turns out like they all do, much mocking and “bad” publicity toward Christians. We’ve become the LAUGHINGSTOCK of religion for our sensitivity and judgement. Wake up already!

You don’t think it’s offensive to everyone else when we tell everyone that they are wrong and stupid because their beliefs don’t match ours? You don’t think it’s offensive for us to say that people who love each other are sinful and should be shunned because they are the same sex. Regardless of what you believe about what people should and shouldn’t be doing, you telling them they are wrong does nothing but breed hostility and hatred. Not even close to the love we are to be showing EVERYONE.

I once edited an article that didn’t mock Christianity outright, but it was clear that the author wasn’t a believer. And the comments from “Christians” that followed, did nothing but solidify his already low view of Christians.

Many atheists are surprised when I tell them I am a Christian. They tell me that I am not like “any other Christian they’ve met.” I take that as a huge complement because they basically are telling me that I am more openminded and loving than other believers they’ve come in contact with…and you know what, somehow, they trust and respect me enough to start asking questions about God.

I Know What You’re Thinking

“Poor Hanssie. She’s backslidden and we’d better pray for her.” I know exactly what you’re thinking. And if that’s the case, please save your prayers. I still believe. I even have a tattoo with that statement. Your prayers aren’t going to get me to go back to willingly surround myself with people that preach love to my face and judge me behind my back. Sorry, I’m not interested.

At 29 years old, my world was turned upside down, every belief I had been taught since I was 8 years old tested to the core. I got a loud and painful wake up call and a good hard look at the hypocrisy that was my life and that I had surrounded myself with. Then again a few years later.

For those of you who are freaking out at me…I believe in the Bible and it’s teachings. I believe in God. I believe in total depravity, limited atonement, irresistible grace  and the like…I don’t believe in the organization of the church, at least, not the way that it is today.

Bottom line is that God is way bigger than the box we’re trying to put him in. He calls us to love Him and love others. Stop wasting your time in judgement, stop wasting your time preaching how wrong I am or how sinful I am being, stop whispering behind your hands about who’s doing what and for crying out loud, stop getting offended if someone breathes wrong (or rather differently than you).

The Christians of the world that are making an impact are the ones that are doing. And in doing, they are loving on people. It’s simple, love God, love others. And get over yourself.

Signed,

Still a Christian

P.S. Feel free to leave your comments. But anyone looking to start a religious debate, I’m not interested.

 

 

Sonny - October 23, 2014 - 4:18 am

There is a verse and subject in the bible which states, “come out of “her” my people and be not partakers of her sins.” There are two “hers” referenced in the story line addressing this subject. Hanssie, you have came out of this religious “her” and “are” finding “Him.” People often ask where are they to go once they “come out?” Once we have been exercised in the outward show of religion as you define, we are shown the true temple God dwells in is the human heart for know you not that you are the temple of God? Who then is our congregation? The next person we meet in our daily life, without question, debate or argument. Let them be who they are without any comment for a simple gesture of love will go much further than any “proving” of your own views.

Being free from the bondage of religion, we are now free to express the relationship we now have “directly” with Him without the need to “go” anywhere or “do” any outward ritual by going to a specific building on a specific day, at a specific time to listen to a specific person. We now listen within our temple (which we are) and share who we are without any definition, debate or arguement for if we do so we are back in the rut of religion. Let us greet “all” we meet with all that we have in the quiet solitude of “knowing” God loves all….as we should.

We come out of the outward “temples” so God can let us see in our inward temples. Hanssie, we simply are growing away from the pretentious to the true “way” for “He” is the way and we need no other or no other religious thing to have this wonderful relationship with…Life.

God bless all

Sonny - October 23, 2014 - 4:11 am

There is a verse and subject in the bible which states, “come out of “her” my people and be not partakers of her sins.” There are two “hers” referenced in the story line addressing this subject. Hanssie, you have came out of this religious “her” and “are” finding “Him.” People often ask where are they to go once they “come out?” Once we have been exercised in the outward show of religion as you define, we are shown the true temple God dwells in is the human heart for know you not that you are the temple of God? Who then is our congregation? The next person we meet in our daily life, without question, debate or argument. Let them be who they are without any comment for a simple gesture of love will go much further than any “proving” of your own views.

Being free from the bondage of religion, we are now free to express the relationship we now have “directly” with Him without the need to “go” anywhere or “do” any outward ritual by going to a specific building on a specific day, at a specific time to listen to a specific person. We now listen within our temple (which we are) and share who we are without any definition, debate or arguement for if we do so we are back in the rut of religion. Let us greet “all” we meet with all that we have in the quiet solitude of “knowing” God loves all….as we should.

We come out of the outward “temples” so God can let us see in our inward temples. Hanssie, we simply are growing away from the pretentious to the true “way” doe “He” is the way and we need no other or no other religious thing to have this wonderful relationship with…Life.

God bless all

What’s the Cost of Being Kind?? | Hanssie - September 9, 2014 - 11:42 am

[...] comments were people being rude and Bible thumping. (Urgh, don’t get me started on that rant. Been there…). If you didn’t like the book, then say, “I didn’t like the book and [...]

Murice - July 22, 2014 - 3:33 pm

Thank you Ms. Hanssie for this article. As a christian, I will make sure that I always allow Christ’s love to dwell in my heart and shine in rays of blessings to those around me.

[...] comments were people being rude and Bible thumping. (Urgh, don’t get me started on that rant. Been there…). If you didn’t like the book, then say, “I didn’t like the book and [...]

Kim Kerr - May 6, 2014 - 10:56 am

Good for you!! I feel the same and have often thought about Buddhism. I was raised Christian/Catholic. I am unable to be a Catholic today as I can not believe in many of their “sins”. To not go to church on Sunday an eternal sin?? Even if I live as a good person all week?? But the cheating/lying person sitting in the pew on Sunday is going to heaven because he/she is in church?? I can’t understand that one. So I don’t attend a formal church setting, but live my life to be the best person I can every day. And yes that is according to the Bible.

Kevin Price - March 27, 2014 - 11:21 pm

Just to let you know, I am what even I would say is a ‘militant atheist’…. I was brought up, or more correctly, indoctrinated as a christian. Although as I say “I stopped believing in the tooth fairy and father christmas at about the age of 6″.

However the message I wanted to get across was that I found your blog/message quite inspirational and admirable. I hope and am confident with the little that I know about your attitude that you will be fine.

All the very best,
Kev

Rick Sachse - March 24, 2014 - 5:31 pm

Hi Hassie

I really didn’t even read the whole post, but I will later.

I love the vibe of the post and “christians” do need to stop and start being.

You are on a great path, no worries. I wish I could go to churches and speak a message, “What is Church”? I have thought about this a lot since I left the last church I will ever attend. I have known Christ for 25 years and know now that you find Him where the hurting and broken hearted are.

Peace Rick

Hanssie - March 9, 2014 - 2:15 pm

Ah Sam,

I thank you for reading and commenting, but I feel that you have missed my point. I don’t blame them for interfering in my beliefs. In fact, I think I state that IN SPITE of them, I still believe.

I just choose not to associate with organized religion.

I’m not looking for attention, I am calling out those that proclaim to love Christ, but can’t seem to love others. If they were true friends, I would’ve called them out to their face. I’m calling out Christians, not only the ones I know, but the ones that get easily offended when people disagree with them or mention Christianity in a negative light or wish to argue religion instead of getting their hands dirty to do something. The connection with Christianity, it that the people that I know that do this are Christians. I’m speaking to all the people that not only have hurt me, but the countless people that no longer attend church because of the people in it. It’s time they opened their eyes and took a good hard look at the damage they are doing and compare it to the amount of help they are providing.

My God is much bigger than the box we’ve put him in and He needs no defense.

Russell - March 8, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Hey Hanssie,
Honestly I don’t know you that well, we’ve met at max a total of maybe 5 times at different smugmug events, out of anything I want to say is sorry on behalf of everyone that has betrayed you, broken your trust, hurt you in the name of Christ, although I work at a church as a youth pastor I see this happen again and again, people hurt by the people attending the church and no one calls, part of me wishes that days could be 48 hours long so I could make all those calls. so although I work at a church there is no part of me that will ever blame you, Really all you need is the Lord and I can honestly say all though my heart breaks for the pain you must have had to endure, my heart at the same time is overjoyed by the testament of faith that you’re still believing in God! So both my heart breaks for you and you’re at the same time very inspirational in your story! Thank you for sharing!

Sam - March 8, 2014 - 9:10 pm

I totally understand you. But isn’t sad when you blame people for interfering with your beliefs ? I feel so much anger in your heart when you say :

“YOU are the reason I am not attending church”. I am not Christian, but how could you put people above your God ? I do understand your pain that people caused you, but don’t understand the connection with Christianity.

Maybe the title shouldn’t been: to my “fellow” friends who hurt me…
And by putting the word Christian and involving religions seems like it’s a cry for attention. Hopefully everything will be alright with you ! Best Wishes !

Tina - March 8, 2014 - 2:15 pm

I am in the same boat you are! Brett & I stopped going to the church we both grew up in when all they were doing was asking for money for this and that ( $1,000,000.00 facade improvement?!), when they were able to buy the newest iPad for Christmas! THEN… THEN… they introduced the newest form of tithing…. the ATM machine, where you can make a debit deposit, just in case you didn’t have cash or check!! We were absolutely appalled, and have never been back since. Don’t worry, the “facade improvements” have yet to begin and it’s been several years.

I have a few gay friends from working in the hospitality business. I love them and their souls, but I hate that “Christians” condemn them for their “choices”, BUT Christians can get divorced for “irreconcilable differences” … Who’s the sinner now?! They made an oath to God and each other, for better or worse, BUT the gays are not allowed to? (That’s a whole other can of worms!) What I’m getting at is who are they to judge? Anyone for that matter?!

So, like you, we still believe and have our own beliefs, but from our own experiences choose to keep our love of the Lord to ourselves to avoid this BS and drama.

I love your rants, and I love that I’m not the only one that feels this way!

Pam Booher - March 7, 2014 - 10:08 pm

I love YOU and your heart!!!

Mike Sweeney - March 7, 2014 - 8:38 pm

As an agnostic driven away from the church with what could have been a carbon copy of your experiences including the break up, I have sympathy for you but I also applaud you for standing up for what you know to be right in your heart. Stick with what YOU believe in, not what others think you should believe. – “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

Janet Waite - March 7, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Hanssie, you sound so angry and unhappy. I am so sorry that you have been treated so badly by “Christians.” This is so wrong and I am so sorry. Could I ask you to just start reading the Bible through. Don’t just read a verse here and there, read it entirely and let God lead comfort and you.

From a fellow Christian.

R. Dennis Crawford - March 7, 2014 - 3:56 pm

First, I agree. Second, you should know that I’m actually learning from you – I appreciate you! Now back to the comments…

I agree with what you stated and understand “where” it’s coming from. Not that your “feeling” or writing(s) need validation, but allow my meager attempt.

Outside of our PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD, I’m Pastor Rod. Preacher, Teacher, Professor, Church Planter, Executive Pastor and really nice dresser! I’ve Preached in the U.S. from coast to coast and from border to border. Multiple cultures, Native Americans, Africans, Mexicans with as many as 3 translators [one time!]. I’ve spoken to as few as 2 people to several thousand at one time [easy]. I decided to leave a TOXIC, abusive relationship for my health, sanity and my kids. Once, after 23 years of effort, I made the decision and left a toxic, abusive relationship, every communication device I owned STOP! Decades long friendships ended without question. Literally, not one person called to what’s up, you alright or I “heard”. Just “CRICKETS”. Needless to say, I’m good and like you my relationship with God is tight!

Now to “Christian”…
I saw something, a photograph that actually made me cry. It conveyed what I KNOW Christianity to be. I found the write-up/story: http://www.timschraeder.com/2010/06/30/a-different-kind-of-demonstration-at-gay-pride/

Ignorance May Be Bliss, But I Still Have to Put Up With Your Bullsh*t

I encountered a horrible man this morning while walking the dog. I’m in NorCal visiting my parents for Chinese New Year and this morning, following my normal routine, I took Goliath for a walk. Now, I am going to admit that Goliath is a menacing looking dog. He’s 90lbs, all black and his sheer size is intimidating. In his mind though, he is a 15lb puppy. He is excited about playing and loves other dogs. He is so unaware of his sheer size that he gets intimidated by big dogs, so much so, that he has to be put in the medium dog play room at day care.

So, on our walk, we encounter another dog walker with a small lapdog. He moves to give me a wide berth, as most people do when seeing a dog of Goliath’s size. Goliath, though, wanted to say hi to his dog and tried to pull me over. The man, freaks out and tries to yank his dog away from us, stumbling in the process.

As I go to apologize and ask if he is ok, the man starts cussing me out, calling me names and ending with the famous, “You’ll hear from my lawyer!” line and walks away. As I start walking back toward my parents’ house, I’ve noticed that he’s waiting for me around the corner. He is demanding to know where I live. Um, okay, like I’m going to tell you that you, Creeper. So, proceeds a 45 minute ordeal of the man following me and yelling at me, trying to find out where I live.

First, he throws out the veteran card. “I’m a vet…I fought in the war.” Now, if you know me, you’ll know that I have the highest respect for those that serve and have served our country. I grew up across the street from a man who fought in Pearl Harbor and I would walk to his little house every day and listen to his stories, practice typing on their new word processor and learn how to garden from his wife. The funny/sad thing is though, the only three times in my life where I’ve encountered blatant racism, was from vets.

Yes, this man, made the comment, “You Asians think you own everything around here.” Any time someone starts a phrase with,” You people…” it’s just not going to be a good thought. He proceeds to tell me, in the middle of the street mind you, that my “people” spit on him when he came back from the war, and this and that. This is where I finally stopped being respectful and started baring my teeth. I unequivocally told this man that he was ignorant and a bully and there was no way on Earth I was going to have him follow me home because I’m not an idiot. Oh, and I certainly have never spit on anyone in my life. Then I thanked him for serving OUR country.

He continued to follow me, told me to call the police then if I didn’t like it. Now, most people would’ve called the police. I am in the mindset that this was stupid, policemen have way better things to deal with than a situation where a grown man couldn’t act like an adult. Unless he posed a threat to me, I wasn’t going to bother the police.

I weighed my options. I could either out run him in my pj’s and flip flops, to which my pride said, “Hell no, you don’t run from bullies,” or figure out a mediator, not the police, to get this man away from me. I tried to get a man sitting in his truck to get the guy off of me, but this grumpy old man apparently is a well known complainer in the neighborhood. So, I went to the leasing office. Luckily, the office manager was right there. She listen to my story, she recognized the man, and I told her I didn’t want him following me home, because “That’s creepy and I have a daughter…” Yep, threw that one in there. I know when to show my cards.

She made him stay away while I walked away, but who knows, I’m not going to put it past him that he’s just lurking around somewhere waiting to see which house I get out of.

My favorite line of the day, which still makes me laugh to think of it, was, “Sir,” (and yes, I called him, ‘Sir’ the entire ordeal, because I do believe in being respectful–minus the part I called him an “ignorant a*hole and possible pedophile”) “I am not going to allow you to follow me home. How do I know you’re not a rapist?” To which he replied “Don’t flatter yourself. You’re not all that.

So, not only do “my people” act like we own the place, I should wear makeup when I take the dog out for a walk. Lesson learned.

 

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Katie - January 31, 2014 - 11:11 am

WHOA. Just, WHOA.

And girl who wouldn’t want to get in bed with you… just saying.

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