When I started Revolutionary Faith a year ago, it was never my intention to write from a largely personal perspective. I had done that on a previous blog and wanted to keep this one Bible-centered as much as possible. That’s still my intention.
But, for today, I need to make an exception. And a confession.
I announced (rather boldly) a while back that when it comes to gender relations, I’m functionally egalitarian. In reality, that’s only half true. Complementarian teachings have had their claws in me for years, and they’ve proven rather difficult to shake.
I’ve got a message for you today. You’re not going to like it. It’s about grace.
I was feeling really crappy last week. I mean, really. On the verge of hysterical screams, in fact. My stress level was out of control, and I just couldn’t seem to pull it together. So I did something to put my pain into perspective. I found a picture of the crucified Jesus on the Internet (see right), made a little motivational poster out of it and hung it up in my cubicle at work. It said, “Even Jesus had bad days.” And below that, 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
There was something terribly poignant about that verse and that image coming together. Two hours later, I wanted to tear the poster off the wall. Continue reading →
About four months ago, I decided I wanted to grow much deeper in my faith. I had just come out of a years-long spiritual desert and was ready to learn how to walk in the fresh outpouring of the Spirit that I sensed was finally falling upon my heart. So I bought some study books and kicked off my new spiritual journey with a week of prayer and fasting.
Since then, I’ve seen God do some incredible things in my life. He’s expanded my faith exponentially. He’s deepened my understanding of the gospel and strengthened my spiritual gifts. He’s given me favor on the job. He’s brought greater health to my body and peace to my heart. He’s answered several of my prayers in miraculous ways. I should be on top of the world, right?? Continue reading →
God has been doing some fabulous things in my church lately. His Spirit has moved strongly there in the past several weeks. About three weeks ago, I told my pastor I had officially moved out of my spiritual desert and into the rain forest of the Spirit. I had so much peace, so much life, so much joy! And then…
Last week arrived. Suddenly I was fighting migraines nearly every day. I woke up every morning feeling exhausted, bored, and restless. Then the old thorn in my side got twisted around a few times. I tried to resist it, but my mind caved to the chaos. I began to lose hope that God would ever bring me into the vision He had for my life, and depression threatened to overwhelm me. By Sunday, I was an emotional wreck. I limped to the altar and sobbed my eyes out. I can’t remember the last time I felt so genuinely heartbroken.
When I was a young woman, I was one of ‘those people’ who said everything happens for a reason. I’m not sure I genuinely believed that; I think I was mostly repeating what I had heard other Christians say. Fortunately, I got a big wake-up call, courtesy of my then-future husband, when I tried that line on him after his father became disabled:
“That’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard! Why would God cause this to happen, knowing the pain it would cause my family? Do you think my family is better off with my dad at home on disability? Do you think my father is somehow happier not being able to shave his own face or remember what year it is? I don’t think God had anything to do with it. Sometimes, crappy things just happen. There is no reason.”
What he said instantly made sense to me, as well it should have. Did I honestly think my molestation as a child was part of some divine plan? Did I sincerely believe that it was God’s will for innocent people to be killed by drunk drivers? Once I stopped to think about it, it didn’t make any sense. Continue reading →