Sunday, June 28, 2009

Christian Grief


Today my pastor taught about grieving. It is a subject that is near to me. I lost some people close to me at a fairly early age. My losses came before I was a Christian so I don’t share the assurances that others might of a promise of heaven. I used to think grief was harder for me because I didn’t have that. Yet somehow I at least get permission to grieve in the Christian community. Others can be assaulted by well meaning comments. I could list some of them but when my pastor did it made me physically ill… You can insert your own comment.

So how is the response of a Christian different from that of a non-Christian? I think of it as the courage to grieve. When my mom passed away we did everything to avoid the pain. In a lot of ways we didn’t allow each other to express that pain. My sister-in-law put up a ‘no tears’ sign on her door. We didn’t have a funeral for my mom and that is probably the single greatest regret of my life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Faith


I have been thinking a lot about faith lately. It feels like there is some magic formula God has not given me yet. I want to move forward. I want to be steadfast in my faith but somehow it seems to elude me over and over. I have this general sense of fear when I walk around. I don’t feel grounded at all right now.

This morning I received an email from a friend who I haven’t talked to in a while. She said that she had asked God for someone to pray for and she sensed God put me on her heart. She had a vision that was very powerful and meaningful for me. I believed her and I believed God can and did do that for me. He spoke to me in a powerful way – that is enough faith for today.

But God didn’t stop there. My friend Lisa did a blog post about my blog. She talked about the title. The title comes from the message version of Matthew 11:28 and I hung on to that when I went through a crisis of faith 5 years ago. I am not necessarily tired of religion but I am tired of myself. I am tired of trying and striving for things that are empty and have no meaning.

There’s no magic formula. Just the unforced rhythms of grace.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Charley's Web


I have been reading this book called Charley’s Web by Joy Fielding. I purchased it as a light summer read and I have found that I have loved it. The book is a thriller about a woman who is asked to write a book about a babysitter who is convicted of violently murdering three children. Charley is also receiving death threats to her and her children.

What I love about the book is that Charley, who previously had few connections, is forced to trust and reconnect with those around her. The relationships aren’t perfect and some of them are not easy but she has to learn to rely on them (don’t worry I haven’t given you any information that isn’t on the back of the book.)

I think the reason that I love the book so much is that I can identify with it. I have slowly let people into my life over the past several years but I still had a lot of trouble asking for help. Since I had my surgery last year I have grown closer to family members, especially my Dad. He helped me move and has been much more a part of my life since last year. I have been really blessed by that.

And as for asking for help, I am getting better at that too. Yesterday I was in terrible pain and I needed to go to the hospital. Rather than taking a cab I called until I found someone to take me. I’m okay now. Maybe God was just showing me something new about myself (and the pain medication was really helpful.)