Journeying through spiritual beliefs in memoir Peterson spent her childhood in the wilderness, growing to love nature with her park ranger father but influenced by her family’s strong Southern Baptist belief that the world was just a temporal realm until they were taken away in The Rapture. After struggling with what she calls the paradox of just that place of waiting versus the divine wonder of the earth, the forest won her spiritual heart. “If we looked at the earth as more divine, we would take care of it,” Peterson said, explaining her combined belief in spirituality and environmentalism. To her, waiting to “go home” and her family’s excitement about signs of trouble on earth did not make sense.

Peterson’s book I Want to Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth is an example of memoir as spiritual journey. Peterson uses humor, respectful dialogue and her work with wildlife to keep reader interest as she struggles with conflicting views and family pressure to find her way through fog and into light. She leaves a trail that can inspire others to study and think their way through their own spiritual struggles, or to remember their past struggle and to write it down for their own children. Even those who have not particularly struggled with God and religion can include the why’s and where-for’s of their beliefs in their life writing. Our spirituality is part of who we are – and even hardened atheists have their story.

Here is an excerpt from I Want to Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth

Disclaimer: A number of my relatives are devout Southern Baptist, but none are “Rapturists.” Those preparing for The Rapture are a small minority of very conservative evangelist Christian believers.


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
This entry was posted in capturing memories. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Journeying through spiritual beliefs in memoir

  1. Kathy says:

    Thanks for your mention of Peterson's book. It looks like one I'd enjoy reading. Also, I appreciate your comment about Southern Baptists. I think the denomination is often assumed to be something it's not.

  2. Linda Austin says:

    Thanks for commenting, Kathy. Yes, I have attended a number of Baptist churches in my life, both in the north and south, but never came across mention of The Rapture in any.

Comments are closed.