Have you ever played in the ocean? I’m an inlander, but I’ve visited the ocean many times, and ingested my share of salt water. I know how it feels to have the wave seize me, toss me, and then use me (too often, my face – go ahead and laugh) to dredge the ocean bottom, while I breathlessly wonder which direction is up. This is a fair analogy of what it has felt like to lose faith. And to try to cope without trust.
Some of that was my doing – several years ago I chose to go to the dark side – anger, resentment, self-pity – not entirely realizing what I was choosing – and found it hard to come back. The last couple of months have been very hard. Depression, stalemate in decisions, too much stress invested in my parents’ life, and also my own, for that matter. It has been a crisis of faith, of whatever nature my faith was. A wipe of the hard drive. Loading some new paradigms. Like finding which direction is up, breaking through to the surface, filling my lungs with fresh air, and looking around to see that the wave might not have been so big after all.
In the next several posts, I will share some of my dialogue with my Australian friends, Graeme Schultz (MyBroom, Hardwired to Christ) and his wife, Angela. For the last couple of months, everything I try to write comes back to this discussion and what I am awkwardly juggling in my mind and heart.
Faith. For me. For those who are still abused. For those who no longer believe. For everyone.
That God is good, and loves me. That He can be trusted. In spite of what the Bible says, and in spite of what life experience has shown. That my understanding of God, of Christ, formed and reshaped through years of Church, Bible study and abuse can and must be laid aside. This dialogue, mine internally, and also between friends half way across the planet, and maybe with God, if He is talking, is an opportunity to openly challenge my angry circular thinking, and form a new perspective – appealing, hopeful – ringing true at a place beyond words or reason, often bringing tears. So far, I have too much to UN-BELIEVE and learn to leave unanswered to be able to full-out, no holds barred, BELIEVE. I would be pretending, or lying, if I said I did. Thankfully my friends are resting in Christ’s work on the cross as a present reality that defines their lives, and are not insulted by my challenges, doubt, frustration, anger…or the way in which I express them. Graeme just takes it in and writes about his faith. Direct and unaffected.
And he has just published a book (e-book and print versions), after requests from the readers of his 2012 blog: MyBroom – My Year – Asking 365 Questions ‘Bout Renewing of Our Minds at http://mybroom.wordpress.com/. The book bears the same name as his new blog, Hardwired to Christ – http://hardwiredtochrist.wordpress.com/.
You can acquire the electronic version, at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320346. Or, go to either blog (listed above) to learn how to purchase a soft-cover print copy.
I’ve ordered the printed version, which is probably somewhere over the ocean right now (Hawaii, I hear!). Renewing my mind is like starting over with a different language, and it takes time. For me, at least.
So, if you want to see a part of what has been keeping my mind/spirit busier than my mouth/keyboard, check out the links above. If what you read speaks to you as it has to me, order the book!
It’s nice to be talking with you again!