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Archive for April, 2017

Permission

Today, I give myself permission to be sad. 

Sad for dreams that never materialized. Sad for a marriage that couldn’t be mended.

Sad for a life’s purpose that no longer exists.

Out of that sadness hope is born.

Hope for the future. 

Thanksgiving for friendships forged from the metal of despair and loneliness.

And happiness that two girls get to establish a sisterly bond that was not possible six months ago.

I give myself permission to be sad.

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Yes, I totally made up “uber-Christian”. Get over it.

Fireproof took the Christian world by storm. It had decent acting, and a pretty good plot. Don’t get me wrong, I call myself a Christian, but the “happy Christian persona, is a gigantic turnoff for me.

I’m not sure where the Joel Osteen happy, happy, smile, smile, Christianity got started. But I find it repulsive. I don’t want to be told that I have to sing God’s praises when I am elbows deep in the hell of life. Or that I am responsible for this valley that I find myself in. 

That is where true egocentric thinking comes into play. We have a notion that God has orchestrated a perfect storm of life to sneak up on us and take us down. That will teach us.( Yeah, that sounds a lot more stupid here, than in my head. )

That being said, I saw “The Shack” last weekend. Why would I do that to myself you ask? Well, a girlfriend suggested it…..and then something came up last minute that left me there to experience the whole movie alone….

P.S. I will take this moment to caution you about seeing it. If you have experienced sexual abuse, kidnapping, or other traumatic events in your lifetime, bring Kleenex. And a friend.

Now that that is out of the way, this was a deeply moving movie. It was well made and well orchestrated. It touches on forgiveness and everything that results. It treats forgiveness as a process (I hate the word ‘process’) and not an event. As a matter of fact, it treats Christianity as a process and not an event. Which is good for me because I was brought up on the event and agonized  my eternal damnation every time I failed. (Which was a lot, btw).

The most poignant scene in ‘The Shack’ for me was when Wisdom tells the main character to choose one of his children to go to heaven and one to go to hell. Without giving away the end of the movie, the main character (and me, blubbering in my seat like a child) realizes that God sent His son so that He wouldn’t have to choose either. Cue more tears. (Another reason I hate ‘feeling’ movies)

Did it solve my problems? No. 

Did it make me want to do a Bible study over it? Hell no.

Did it make me want to forgive everyone in the world? Um no.

Did it give me a better understanding of God and who He is? Yes. I finally get it. I ‘get’ why people refer to him as ‘Father’. Am I going to call him that now? Probably not. But that’s ok. I get it. 

And THAT is what makes a sappy Uber-Christian movie a GOOD movie.

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As divorce gets finalized with settlement negotiations, a close friend of my quite bluntly told me that I need to “Let people help you. Swallow your pride and let people help you!”

Pride is a hard swallow. I know I am not a fan. There is something primal about ‘taking care of yourself’ or the ‘I can do it’ phrase. At least it is for me. 

No one better tell me that I can’t. Mostly because I tell myself that on the hour. But back to swallowing pride, I started to feel panic just thinking about it. God has a way of not asking our opinion before, during, or after our struggles. 

I am struggling and I know it. I don’t want to give in and fold. But I can’t do it alone. And really, I don’t have to. God didn’t make us islands. He made us dependent on one another. I just need some ketchup……

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