Tuesday, October 21, 2008

authentic examination demands courage.

This past week, I began an eight-week undergraduate course titled "Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas." To be honest, I was absolutely dreading the thought of taking such a class, simply because I had heard the "moans" and "groans" of others who had endured the "torture" of it themselves. To my surprise, this class seems to have come at a most appropriate time in my life. I am learning about what it means to question, to think, and to truly consider what I believe and why I believe it. Yes, some lectures, memorizations, and concepts are mundane and frustrating; however I realize tonight that I am blessed to be encouraged to think critically and authentically in a world that convinces you to behave like a parrot and merely repeat what you have heard...

Socrates stated that "an unexamined life is not worth living." Ergun Caner, President of Liberty University Theological Seminary, revised Socrates' saying and said this: "an unexamined faith is not worth having." Either way, I believe the point is the same... we must "know that we know that we know," and more importantly why we "know it." 

Have you ever experienced a "crisis of faith" where nothing made sense and you could not gather your thoughts for one moment to even consider what you believe to be true in your life? To my own surprise, I can answer that question with a "yes." I never imagined that I would currently be in a place of such deep questioning and confusion, however I am learning that my experience with crisis is more of a blessing than I can even describe. I have been walking with Christ now for a little over three years, yet not once can I look back upon my years of faith and say that I ever questioned who God was and what He was doing in my life. Through my salvation experience and the times of great inner-healing that followed, I watched God move in such radical ways that I simply COULD NOT question Him. There was no other explanation to myself or to others for the radical transformation that took place in my life other than GOD DID IT. I could see Him. Others could see Him. I did not dare question, for I had experienced for myself what it meant for God to reach down to the "least of these" and dare touch a daughter who had been scarred, shamed, and broken. 

And what about now? What has brought me to this place of questioning? Perhaps it is because I feel that He is no where to be found. I fear my God is far away from me. I fear that the Father who once looked upon my shame with compassion has chosen to look away. Surely, that's how it feels, and surely these are the questions I am raising as I sit here among the ashes of broken dreams, hopelessness, and a heart that desperately needs to be healed. 

if you love me, please love me today. 
if you are One who truly heals, please heal me today. 
if you guide, God lead my steps today. 
if you listen, God hear the cry of my heart today. 
if you answer, God speak to me today. 

Such simple prayers, but I am asking God to show me who He is once again. Carrie McDonall, missionary survivor of an Iraqi terrorist attack that killed her husband, said it best... she explained that after her crisis of experiencing what she experienced, she had times of such deep turmoil and darkness that she HAD to go "back to the basics" with God in order to get up from them. 

Back to the basics with God, and yet I see so clearly that such authentic examination will demand great courage. My heart's desire is to live a life of authenticity. I cannot fear the questions, the wondering, or the days when I simply cannot believe what I have always believed. I must embrace these things in order to move forward....if this is the place that my "crisis" has brought me to, I must embrace it. I must move forward. God, move with me...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

there is hope.

Two years later, and I have actually created this blog. Many have encouraged me to do so much sooner, however I suppose "life" sometimes gets in the way and does not allow us to do what our hearts scream is ours... write, dear child. Just write. 

Here I am... beginning one of the scariest, yet most exciting journey's of my life. I am not alone. Though I may have never chosen my present circumstances, I know without a doubt my God knows exactly He has planned for me through them. Though the pain, confusion, and loneliness are all so very real in my life, I am confident that my God has great plans for the portion He has given me today. 

there is hope

Not a very profound statement for most, however for the first time in months, today, I decided to pack away my "hopelessness" and believe God's promises that all is not lost. Perhaps I have realized that only when I choose to listen can I really hear God speaking... dear child, all is not lost. I have chosen you. Don't give up. Don't lose hope. I am with you...

easier to SAY than to believe. Truth be told -- I am a work in progress... nethertheless, I am HIS work in progress. 

The journey is long and arduous before me... dear Father, please give me hope to press on. 
Jeremiah 31:4... "again I will build you, and you shall be built..."
Father, rebuild...