In the Silence

It’s been a while since I’ve written much. Sometimes it takes a good long silence for experiences, thoughts and beliefs to shape into words. It’s been one of those “pauses” for me, and even now I’m not absolutely sure where to start. But I’m just going to begin, realizing I may need to hit “rewind” periodically.

feather reflection

I’m in a good place right now. I’ve not moved nor made any major changes to my house for at least a year, so the “good place” I’m in has little to do with the physical space I inhabit – but yet something to do with where I live given the positive impact my neighbors have had on my journey. But that’s probably another story.

Speaking of “journey”, I used to think the journey of life was something you did equipped with the right answers – you know, like a trip with a fully developed itinerary.  Furthermore, if you were a committed Christian, the journey would all play out in proper order. If it didn’t, the derailment was no doubt due to the choices of lesser Christian people with whom you mistakenly associated.

~But then again, I used to think a lot of things.~

Like many life stories, mine includes a pit. And like many stories, circumstances and choices put me there. But if I try and describe what came before the pit to influence my circumstances and choices, I then also get caught up in describing what came before that, and then before that… and pretty soon it’s all a pile of tangled spaghetti with too many ends to manage. So let’s start the story in my pit – which is a place I used to think was taboo to talk about.

~But then again, I used to think a lot of things.~

While in my pit, a friend of mine threw me a line. She recommended I attend a recovery group. I didn’t have a history of substance abuse – but I had some doozer thought patterns. They were harmful to my well-being but I stuck to them anyway.  And in spite of that description matching the definition of an addiction, I was certain I’d have nothing in common with addicts – especially not these addicts. The group was not of my denomination, which meant I believed they were without The Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing but The Truth. And because I knowingly joined such a heretical group for the purpose of gaining something from them and not for the purpose of converting them, I was pretty certain if God was paying any attention at all He would strike me down with lightening. And if He didn’t, I would surely be led astray by their trickery.

~But then again, I used to think a lot of things.~

Right about that same time I met with my pastor to talk some things over. During that conversation it actually came out of my mouth that the majority of my life choices were controlled by guilt and fear. Shocking. Shocking that I had enough self-awareness to recognize it. Shocking that I was brave enough to say it out loud. And equally shocking – and sad- that it was true. To be certain, being controlled by guilt and fear doesn’t result in a perfect life that never causes harm to self or others. It simply means that one is burdened with guilt and fear.

Your most obedient child, BTW, might be the one to especially check on. The “should”, “have to”, “must” burden is a killer of a load. What happened to simply being human? Isn’t that enough? But I’m getting ahead of the story.

Quick on the heals of recovery, was a whole new library of books. Emotional intelligence…? What is that? Isn’t knowing the facts and understanding how to articulate them precisely all that really matters in life?

Boundaries…? Are those authors even Christian?? I mean really, since when do my needs matter? I have needs, but doesn’t Christianity secretly require a manipulative dance to get them met? To directly express my needs and limits sounds, well, selfishThat’s certainly not Christian. I should at least try to be selfless and then hope God will make up the rest.

Gifts of Imperfection…? Gifts?? Now you certainly are not Christian! Imperfections are only gifts after they are ground off with the polishing stone, or burned out with the fire, or made as if they never were by use of some other Biblical purifying method. Aren’t they?

~Ah, yes. I used to think a lot of things. ~

Those beliefs, more often than not, seem like a lifetime ago. But it has been no easy process for me to experience growth from the new concepts. Some foundational cards have had to be pulled from the house. Because unless you get to the thing behind the thing, the thing never really changes.  And so my house of cards has come tumbling down. Frightening. But a different kind of fear than what I’ve carried with me all my life.

More next time on what allowed me the freedom to pull the cards, and where I find myself on this journey now.

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3 Comments

  1. Charlie

     /  November 20, 2019

    I really like your writing style, I’ve only read two posts but each of them are really nice to read. It’s like equally logic and heart together.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Charlie. The “heart” part has been a while in coming. So thank you for sharing that it was evident to you while reading.

      Reply
  1. Them there are fightin’ words! | Cover With His Life

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