Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Daring to Hope

I started to write this as a response to a comment from Alan Knox, but it got too long, so now it’s a post...

It is a funny thing that we tend to have hope for others, but find it so hard to have hope for ourselves. I guess because to hope means risking having those hopes dashed. I must admit, often I try NOT to hope, for fear of disappointment (the glass-half-empty part of my personality, I guess.) And while it seems so easy for me to have faith and hope regarding my eternity, why is it hard for me to sometimes have faith and hope about the little stuff here on earth?

I am continually trying to learn from this experience- after all, it was so painful, I wouldn’t want the whole experience to be a waste. And I have learned a lot, about myself, about human nature, about the kind of person I want to be and don’t want to be. It has been a reminder- again- that God doesn’t go away, even when it feels like He has. That you can always find something good in the bad, if you are willing to relinquish your pain for just a moment. And that there is always reason to hope, as long as we hold onto faith that God is indeed in control, and that He really does care about what we care about. That kind of faith means letting go of our own need and desire for justice to look the way we want it to look and arrive when we want it to arrive. Sometimes, I just have to remind myself to “put my money where my mouth is”- I can talk all I want about faith, but then I just have to do it. Put it on the line, walk in it. Model it for others. Faith is actually more a verb than a noun, I think.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back Again

Well, I'm back. Kind of. Sort of. For now.
I guess I have a problem with committment.
I know I have a problem following through with what I start.

A couple of weeks off turned into a month, then 2, then 3, and I really debated whether I wanted to get back into this.
Because truthfully, it is much easier for me to just not think about certain things, or if I do think about them, it is easier to not have to try to get my thoughts down into something readable and decipherable.

I am still processing the events of the past year (the turmoil at our old church started exactly one year ago.) Sometimes I get really, really angry. Sometimes, I feel the beginnings of forgiveness and empathy. Most often, I just try not to think about it because I'm frankly tired of it all and I just want to put it behind me.

My family felt that we needed (and actually wanted) the anchor of belonging to a local church.
We are at a new church now, and we like the people we have met there. The pastor knows the whole story about what happened at our old church (most of those who left the old church at the same time we did ended up at the same new church) and he finds the goings-on at that place to be as deplorable as we do. (He lives in the same town that the pastor of our old church does, and I don't think ours were the first horror stories he had heard. Surely, not the last, either.)

I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. Waiting to find out that there is some kind of masquerade going on, feeling like when and if I really get to know everything going on at this new church, I will discover something dark and sinister. I know God doesn't want me to spend my life building a wall, being constantly on guard, so I am trying to give people the benefit of the doubt. I am trying to have my heart open, but believe me, my eyes are open too. Slowly, I feel the heaviness of my cynicism falling away. I have the stirrings of something I haven't felt in quite a while. I think it's hope.

So, here I am, hanging out. For now.