Age 2 minutes: Welcome to the world, little one! And welcome to fundyland! In three days you’ll be in a fundy church nursery for the first time.
Age 5: I don’t really know anybody but fundamentalists. Well, there is that one weird kid in kindergarten who brought a Transformers lunchbox that day and got yelled at by the teacher. He doesn’t go to our church so the rest of us don’t really play with him.
Age 11: Oh, it is wonderful to be a fundy! Any interactions with the lost usually consist of telling them why they’re so much more sinful than we are. My parents usually wear an odd mixture of pride and horror when I’m loudly telling the waitress at Olive Garden why we don’t drink wine like those people at the next table. I’m so glad I know all the answers to everything.
Age 15: Reality has begun to creep in a bit. Family reunions and neighborhood friends provide brief glimpses of those outside the fundy bubble and it is both fascinating and terrifying. I’m starting to realize that everyone else is “normal” and I’m the weirdo. Sometimes I feel the urge to condemn everyone else and stand up for Jesus but mostly I just want to fit in and understand what everyone else is talking about. I’m tired of being asked questions about standards we have that I don’t know the answers to.
Age 19: Fundy U provides even more chances to meet people from outside the bubble. I’m not even sure what some of these kids are doing here but I’ve learned that the rebels are so much more fun than the squares. I still don’t understand their pop culture references but I’ve learned to just laugh anyway. Listening to them I realize that there are more amazing things in the world that I ever knew.
Age 25: I went to my first movie today and then drove home listening to music from a radio station my parents would still never approve of. As I drove I saw billboard that I’d never noticed before. It read “Welcome to the start of 20 years of recovery.” Let’s hope it only takes that long.