Friday, February 21, 2014

Doubt&Devotion

My favorite way to start church posts is this: I grew up in church.

Mostly, I like to say that because I did. And because it made maturing my faith a challenge. It wasn't like I had a few years of doctrine to work through, a dozen church experiences to analyze, and a few Christian friends to think on... I had a library of church experience that overwhelmed every bit of my thought process. I didn't have little bits and pieces to organize and deal with before moving on to the next, but rather was attempting to organize all the parts into bigger parts and struggling.

I'm still struggling so deeply with the balance between all those childhood lessons turned youth group teachings turned adult sermons that taught me the "how to's" of church with my experience and opinions. A balance that tips back and forth over and over again more than it stands comfortably in peaceful rest.

God started to feel heavy, angry, and waiting in wrath. And for a girl who hates being less than perfect, such a God is frustrating. I didn't understand how His yoke was said to be light when I felt so weighed down, heavy, and burdened. I wanted to speak out, to beg for help in my wrestling, to bounce my rebellious religious thoughts off others, but that space wasn't available.

Then, I read Evolving in Monkeytown by Rachel Held Evans and her words created a safe space within my soul for exploration of His heart, conversations that asked Him hard questions, and time to wrestle with His word as well as those of others. In this time of hunting and seeking, I heard over and over of freedom in Him, of the way He longs for us to be children of light -not just in the bright, shiny sense, but also in the sort of light that is weightless and free. I made it a goal to achieve lightness, to see His light, and to put on the yoke that's light on my weary shoulders.

And I attempt to keep on keeping on in that free-in-Him way.

Over the last few weeks the dearest of dears, Kate from The Florkens and I have been emailing back and forth talking heart issues, faith questions, and spewing about the wrestling that we're doing with God, faith, religion, culture. It's deep, it's exhausting, it's beautiful. It's heart-warming to have a sounding board, to hear my sentiments mirrored and, at times, challenged. Mostly, I love knowing I'm not alone in my fight for faith.

Then, Kate got smart and said we must hold open a space for people to speak, challenge, wrestle, express. And, doubt&devotion was born. We've decided to create a link-up in our little (shared) corner of the interwebs for all that lay in the lands of doubt and being devout and the in between region.
The Florkens
You are invited to join us every Sunday for some talk on faith, religion, any and everything that lies heavy on your heart. We'll both post about our current struggles then at the bottom we'll invite you to join in the conversation either with a post of your own or in the comments section.

Our first link-up goes live Sunday, March 2nd. 
Oh how we'd love to have you. 

15 comments:

  1. OH MY! I am so excited for this!! I recently joined a community group at my church and have been longing to write about the things I wrestle with. This is the perfect opportunity! CANT WAIT! :)

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  2. I love this idea. I think so many people feel like they will be judged for questioning or that God would love them less for having doubts and end up feeling alone...when it's just not true! I haven't read that book by Rachel Evans. I'll have to check it out. One book I have read twice now that is so good is "The Cure: What if God Isn't Who You Think He Is"...you would love it! Looking forward to this link up!!

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  3. Can I add "dearest of dears" to my business card?

    -Kate
    www.theflorkens.com

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  4. Can't wait to join in on this :)

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  5. This is so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and being so open with your readers. It's a constant battle, isn't it? I'm so thankful that He is so patient with us!

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  6. This makes me SO excited. I'm a usual reader of your blog, but this topic really resonates with me as someone who grew up in the church, left, and have returned to it with way more knowledge and experiences that help guide my understanding of God and His work in my life. I'm excited!!

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  7. This is a fantastic idea. So happy I found your blog via Mish!

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  8. I think this is SUCH a good idea. We need a safe space in community to express doubt, and often, we don't have that in Christian circles. I haven't read Evolving in Monkeytown yet, but I really want to! I've been reading Rachel's blog for a while now and really enjoy her analytical yet experiential approach to faith.

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  9. Alicia, you're going to be such a lovely and wonderful addition! Thank you for stopping by and for engaging!

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  10. Oh girl the book will change your life and your perspective on ALL THE THINGS that you think you know about Him. She has such a way of saying I think this, I worry about this, I want to know this and He says this, does this, knows this. And, they just jive and speak to the worries and doubts and wonderings that I, too, have! Now, we can do as you said on Friday and show our mess, leave it at that, and let the others help us deal. Ready, set, GO!

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  11. Oh Rachel you will be such a lovely addition! Growing up in the church is my biggest blessing and curse (I realize) so I've been trying to work through some of the stuff little by little. A task that proves to be more challenging than I ever expected and more growing than any other time in my faith.

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  12. Ditto, my friend! Thank you for your encouragement. xo!

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  13. This link up is one I'll be following and perhaps at some point I'lll even link something of my own. I have often thought there needs to be some kind of Rachel Held Evans fangirl club where all of us who feel like she gives words to our thoughts, doubts, journeys can mix and mingle.

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