In front of a room of pastors and other church leaders, Andrea began to tell her tale of leaving the church she had helped to launch. She began to weep as she described her odyssey into becoming a “Done.”

“I felt as if no cared that we left,” she said. “That once we were no longer part of the ‘club,’ that was it. We were in exile.”

After she spoke, several pastors approached her and apologized on behalf of the church. But others whispered that they shared similar feelings of “doneness,” but felt trapped in their professions.

Andrea Syverson retells her experience in her new book Alter Girl: Walking Away From Religion Into the Heart of FaithIt’s a refreshingly honest account of her lifelong quest to relate to the real Jesus.

She writes: “Maybe the Dones need a bit of rebranding. They may not be so much about being done with church as they are about coming full circle and realizing that it’s all done. God did it all for us! We can’t do anything to change that–not by building a church, not by going to church daily, not by attending a Bible study every day, fasting for 40 days and nights, not by any other holy, holy, holy means we can think of. God already did it all for us. It’s done. He simply wants us to be in relationship with him and receive his gifts.”

I talked with Andrea in this week’s Holy Soup podcast. She describes how her various experiences prompted her to BE the church, rather than merely sit in a church. Give it a listen here.