Friday, 27 January 2012

The other side of the street

After my last post I began to feel a bit paranoid. I am pondering whether I have unwittingly turned into a sort of abundant-life-faith-filled-nothing-gets-me-down cheerleader, waving her christian pom poms in the air.
So time for some real-ness. Yes, I get inspired and excited in my spirit by things I read or heard, or by God stirring feelings and dreams in my heart. Yes, everything I have written in this blog so far is true. But I wouldn't be honest if I didn't also say that still, fairly regularly, I have those moments, the moments where it all feels a little... shall we say "farty" (To use Megan at Sorta Crunchy's term!).
Tonight I hark back to the days where I felt very much an observer of the "excited Christians". In those times I was not one of the excited. I was one of the ponderers, the morose, the down-and-out, the questioning, the doubters. And that is and was okay. Because that was me, it was where I was at, it was a crucial point on my journey. And the fact that I felt that way was proof that I cared. If I didn't care I would have lived however I wanted, done whatever I wanted, and forgotten about my faith. Instead I trudged. Slowly, heavily onwards through what felt like an eternity of emptiness in my soul.
It is bizarre to feel empty. To search inside and just find a blank space. To pray and talk to God yet lack any certainty at all about whether you are heard. That was me, for years. Thankfully within those years I had defining, miraculous moments, moments that I treasured. But there were also many, many more moments of heartache, disappointment, and the most common for me - the sensation of being overlooked. In second place, chosen last, in everyone's shadow, never noticed. And oh, how I grieved.
So, for those of you who identify.

For the times of unanswered prayer, the times where not only was it not answered but the opposite happened, and the opposite was an unimaginable tragedy.

For the ones who look in the mirror and can't recognise themselves.

For those who stand in line at the altar call, the prayer line, the prophesy line - and get passed over, time and time and time again.

For the mothers who haven't slept for over three, four, five months and resent the sight of every person who walks the planet who dares to say that they are tired when they have NO IDEA what tired means, no idea at all.

For the wives who watch their husbands live lives full of opportunity and purpose and long to do something, anything, "just for me", but lost themselves so long ago that they can't even think of what they would like to do.

For anyone who just got the phone call, that phone call, the one with the news you were dreading - the health update, the marriage breakdown, the death of a family member.

For the woman who sits at home alone, longing to talk to someone, longing to share her heart, desperate to be heard, who plucks up the courage to make a phone call only to be met with an uninterested tone of voice, a dial tone, a busy signal, a gruff response.

For those of us who lie in bed at night, jerked awake by the tiniest noise, terrified out of our minds about the terrors that surround us and the evil lurking in the hearts of bad men.

For anyone who thinks of their childhood and longs for things they never were able to have, and grieves for the child that just wanted to be told they were lovely, just as they were.

I see you.

And from my heart to yours, I hand you these:

"Those who believe they believe in God
but without passion in the heart, 
without anguish of mind,
without uncertainty,
without doubt,
and even at times without despair,
believe only in the idea of God, 
and not in God himself.

- Madeleine L'engle

If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know it's own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naive faith that has never known the firing line of doubt, 
I will choose the former every time   
 (Gary Parke, taken from "A Case for Faith" by Lee Strobel)

xx Sarah

P.S: If all has gone technologically to plan, you should be able to hit the play button below and listen to a song. I hope.

Hold On

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