1.Have you experienced God's faithfulness at a difficult time? Tell as much or as little as you like...
God seemed to come into my life at one of the worst moments in life. As I have grown theologically I realize that God was there the entire time but that I didn’t realize it. I grew up in an abusive household where you had to make sure that you moved softly, and never drew attention to yourself. I remember when my sister was being verbally and emotionally abused because her spaghetti noodles had clumped up (she was probably 11 or 12). I stepped into a role that even today I can’t always back away from – Defender. It meant that I ended up eating all of the clumps of spaghetti.
Like many women who were abused as children, I made bad choice in later years. And it was while recovering from one of those choices that I finally made the best choice in my life – accepting Christ into my life.
I remember kneeling at the altar at 33 being baptized and to make it even more special – my daughter was kneeling beside me at 3 being baptized at the same time.
2. Have you experienced a dark night of the soul, if so what brought you through?
This past six months have been some of the hardest since accepting Christ and that’s saying a lot. By the grace of God I have climbed out of the pit or, rather, been lifted out by God. What is interesting is that in many ways it was my secret reading of other female pastor’s blogs that made me see that it would be okay. It is one of the reason’s that I vomit words in my blog now. As an introvert, I have been storing them up for so long that they are bubbling out with the force of “Old Faithful”. Of course it doesn’t help that I type almost as fast as a thought pops into my head. So in many ways it is just a way of processing that has brought healing. Plus, professional therapy.
3. Share a Bible verse, song, poem that has brought you comfort?
Philippians 4:13 (NRSV)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Matthew 19:26 (NRSV)
26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
These two verses resonate in my heart about hope and possibility.
4. Is "why suffering" a valid question?
Yes, I’m sure you all have heard the quote, “there are no stupid questions”. So, it is a valid question however I am not sure that there has ever been or ever will be a perfect answer. I believe that it is caused by our own free will. Now do we always cause our own suffering – Nope, others have free will also.
Interesting point: I have seen reading other responses is that almost all of those “dark nights of the soul” have been or seem to have been emotional ones and not necessarily physical ailments. This comes at a time when CNN is reporting that hundreds of bodies are coming onto beaches in Central America from the destruction of Hurricane Feliz. Not that emotional, mental suffering is somehow less.
5. And on a lighter note- you have reached the end of a dark and difficult time- how are you going to celebrate?
Go to Disney Land. :)
I don’t know. I have very little experience with celebrating in a traditional sense. I would love to go on a Monastic Spiritual Retreat.
Bonus- anything you wish to add.... on the subject of free will and suffering…. As women, we bring some of it on ourselves. Take my mouth for instance (no, I’m not talking about what comes out of it). My mouth is scalded today because I did this intense teeth whitening process yesterday. So today I am suffering because of deciding or buying into the whole whiter is better…. Skinnier is better….richer is better …. More, more, more, Cultural ideal that Americans seem driven by. Serves me right.