Within a years’ time I lost a close friend to cancer, we moved to a city 12 hours away from family and friends, and I had an interaction with someone that left me broken and in shock.
Essentially it was like a series of explosions that left me shattered, emotionally. The way I’ve come to see it in my mind’s eye, is that when everything blew up, it stopped mid-air and is being held in suspension with me standing right in the middle of it all.
I can turn and look at each piece, one at a time, take it, turn it in my hands, examine it and decide whether to keep it, renovate it or toss it.
This is the process I’ve been in for the last three years.
I’ve been examining almost everything: relationships; parenting; my childhood; friendship; ideas about grace, sin and salvation; theology of sickness, suffering, dying and healing; biblical interpretation and eschatology; ideas about gender roles in marriage and submission; expectations, shoulds and oughts; what it means to be a good wife, mother and housekeeper.
When I say I’ve looked at nearly everything, I mean it. What have I believed because I believe it and what have I taken in, without thinking, just because somebody said it?
I only want to keep what’s mine – in other words what I’ve prayed through, wrestled through with God, studied out and what the Holy Spirit has taught me.
I’m nowhere near finished (I’m sure I never will be in this life) but I’ve made some progress. I’ve had to toss some things and I’ve found a lot of things to keep. Some of them need tweaking, but are still keepers.
The one piece that was never up for grabs is Jesus. In fact the harder things got and the deeper my despair, the closer He felt. The further into the wilderness I went, the more I sensed He was near.
I love Him more now than before everything blew up in my face. This explosion of my life has been a gift.
As I proceed in writing, just know that He is what’s solid for me. I could throw away an idea or belief today, only to pick it back up in five years. I realize that. But He remains.
I might say some things you disagree with. I fully expect that because we’re all so different – our backgrounds, denominations, faith and teaching, aren’t the same. I have friends who are charismatic, Southern Baptist, Catholic, agnostic, atheist and everything in between.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, let’s join hands there. There’s little that’s as dangerous as we think it is, so long as He remains central. We can trust the Holy Spirit to guide and teach each heart that’s willing.
As I proceed I’ll probably write in essay style, tackling topics, rather than trying to be chronological. How do you make a timeline out of all this, anyway? I’ll share what personal details I can and where I can’t I won’t.