For as long as I can remember, I have struggled against the Christian beliefs of my friends and family. I have rarely felt as if I truly understood or was understood when discussing Scripture.
It has been a long-time joke among my friends that I am the “wrestler.” I will wrestle for years over what something means and how I should live out my life. Many times, this has left me a bit insecure and uncertain as to whom I can trust to converse with about these things.
However, I have never once strayed from my belief that Jesus is real and that God is truly for me and every other person on this earth.
What that looks like to others, I do not know.
I refuse to argue my core beliefs. As for many things, I honestly am not willing to waste my time in aggressive disagreement. If you would like to discuss/debate it, I am more than happy to engage, but the moment one of us creates a line in the sand (with anything other than my firm belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to God is through Him), I’m out. I believe that if we aren’t willing to listen and change, we lose all of our credibility as Christians.
To the depths of my soul I believe that God loves EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON.
As I have observed people these last few months, I have been shaken by what I’ve seen. Lines in the sand are regularly being drawn, and it grieves my heart to see the losses that are occurring. If I am to be completely transparent, I have been tempted to draw some lines of my own…and I hate that about myself.
During this season, I haven’t known how to walk out my faith. I do not want to lose people I love, and I do not want to make allowances for things that appall me.
- How on earth do I navigate my personal Christian faith walk among the issues running rampant throughout our country these days?
- How do I pray?
- How do I remain true to God’s word among the many voices shouting?
Since I have been struggling a bit, I wondered if others might be as well? So I decided to share what I’ve been doing to help keep me grounded.
As someone who came from the Charismatic “movings” of the Holy Spirit, someone who believed that if she simply prayed and had enough faith certain things would center and become right and good, I am now a woman who believes that simple practices of faith are grounding, create steadfastness, while also creating safe spaces within the volatile Christian community.
- It began with the simple practice of reading a Proverb each day. No prayer, other than “God, You know my heart. I do not have the words.”
- I then added The Book of Common Prayer. Meditating on the words set before me each morning, noon, and night have given me focus.
- The Apostles Creed – repetition and grounding.
- And my latest (in the words of the creator, Aaron Niequist) “A New Liturgy No 8: The Lord’s Prayer is a 25 minute guided journey, line by line, through the Lord’s Prayer. It’s designed to help people create holy space every day by entering deeply and creatively into this historic prayer. And not “holy space” to escape the world…but to get free enough to engage the world with courage and compassion.”
I do not share all of my practices to try and convince you of any one right way of doing things. These are my practices that have helped to guide me through a borderline crisis of faith. Not my faith in God, but my faith in humankind.
Your journey is your journey and I do not assume that I know best. I do; however, know that when we share our journeys, there are moments when our hearts and minds connect to encourage one another. That alone is my hope today.