overwhelmed / excited / nervous / happy / emotional / tearful / joyful / glad / anxious / thoughtful / relieved ////////// peaceful
Felt amazing to be back there and I didn’t get all awkward and uncomfortable like I thought I would. During the service I bawled my face off because I was completely overwhelmed by the kindness of God and just… his mercy and grace and sacrifice. And just everything. Everything is going to be OK. I know that now. It doesn’t really feel like it most of the time, but yes, it is. Man, he is so good!
After the service I was just hanging around and chatting to people and a lady came up behind me and patted me on the bottom. Turns out she thought I was her daughter. Totally made my day :D
And I went out for coffee and cake with Leah and her husband Dean who are actually the best ever, the kindest and most encouraging people I know. A good day.
- Jen Hatmaker
This is so my heart. I love you all. You have a place with us.
This morning I’m going back to church for the first time in
months! but first: coffee and cereal and prayer :)
like… just content and glad to be there. I am slowly getting to know more people now (after about 2 months) and I like being around them and being able to worship together.
If you’ve read Evolving in Monkey Town, you know that the public execution of a woman named Zarmina in Afghanistan marked a turning point in my faith journey. The injustice of the situation was troublesome enough, but when my friends insisted that Zarmina went to hell because she was a Muslim, I began wrestling with some serious questions about heaven, hell, predestination, free will, God’s goodness, and religious pluralism.
Evangelical apologists were quick to respond. And while their answers made enough sense in my head; they never sat right with my soul.
Why would God fashion a person in her mother’s womb, number the hairs on her head, and then leave her without any hope of salvation? Can salvation be boiled down to luck of the draw? How is that just? Shouldn’t God be more loving and compassionate than I?
Oh, the Calvinists could make perfect sense of it all with a wave of a hand and a swift, confident explanation about how Zarmina had been born in sin and likely predestined to spend eternity in hell to the glory of an angry God (they called her a “vessel of destruction”); about how I should just be thankful to be spared the same fate since it’s what I deserve anyway; about how the Asian tsunami was just another one of God’s temper tantrums sent to remind us all of His rage at our sin; about how I need not worry because “there is not one maverick molecule in the universe” so every hurricane, every earthquake, every war, every execution, every transaction in the slave trade, every rape of a child is part of God’s sovereign plan, even God’s idea; about how my objections to this paradigm represented unrepentant pride and a capitulation to humanism that placed too much inherent value on my fellow human beings; about how my intuitive sense of love and morality and right and wrong is so corrupted by my sin nature I cannot trust it.
They said all of this without so much of a glimmer of a tear, and it scared me to death. It nearly scared me out of the Church."
I’m still here… I was here all along; just not writing anything, still keeping up with all of your blogs. I can’t remember when I last posted a proper text post… but I am here, finally.
I’m not sure where to start, but maybe the best thing to write about is the thing that has taken up all of my thoughts recently: I am struggling with my faith. I don’t know when I started feeling this way, but over the last few months I collected tiny doubts, unanswered questions, discrepancies and contradictions between the bible and church. My mind was so full of them, and I tried to push them aside for a while, until Sunday when I sat in church and all of a sudden became aware of the almost unbearable weight of them.
This is where I am right now: I can’t feel God’s presence. I can hardly remember what it feels like. I feel like I am praying into the air and my words turn to nothing.
I believe in God. I believe in Christ. But I no longer understand why we do things the way we do. I don’t understand why we are happy to listen to preachers talk for an hour on Sundays and then carry on with the week, and nothing changes. I no longer understand why we aren’t doing greater works than Jesus did, like he said we would. I don’t think I ever understood. I have so many questions, but I’m not looking for explanations; I’m looking for change in my life and I have no idea where to start.
Right now I feel miserable, like I’m grieving for something, perhaps the old image of God I was clinging to. Even though I understand that I may come to a deeper knowledge of God through this, it hurts. My heart is broken, and I feel so far from God.
Knowing that my sweet friends and my dude are praying for me is helping me to keep my chin up. This song, and this article by Peter Enns are encouraging me, and I am given hope by the thought that maybe God can use my doubt to strengthen and refine me.
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.
I get hopeless about the Body of Christ way too often, friends. I feel broken over all of the strongholds believers gladly endure. I get depressed over the lack of unity in the Church and anxious over false teachings. That’s why it is necessary to keep my eyes on the Head of this reckless Body—that’s why I have to look at the face of Jesus. He calls me to rest, he calls me to peace, and in him I have every reason to hope and believe that all shall be dealt with, all shall be reconciled.
…is the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.
Today at church there is a ‘prayer day’ where the church is just open for people to go in and pray quietly, pray in groups or do Bible study or just whatever. I’m going along with my friend Gill later to have some quiet time with God. If I can pray for anything, please message me and I’ll write it down in my notebook :) (anon is fine) love xxx