under construction

My good friend Adrianne left me with a great phrase that perfectly summarizes this array of thoughts and ideas floating around my blog the past few days and I have therefore used it as my title. If you haven’t been here, please read the “manifesto” post below and all the comments that followed it. It’s good stuff.

I’m not sure where to begin today. I guess the fact that my friends have responded to my doubting in the sincere, non-judgmental, refreshing way that they have means something is happening in the church. In a way, we are all in the same place: wondering what it all means, but handling it in different ways. Adrianne works for a church, Mary has gone through a tough stretch but of late has felt all the love of God streaming through her life. I have stopped going to church. I see God’s presence around me in my garden, in the sky, in people, but I am yet unable to re-join the world of Christianity. Two years ago I was terrified of what everyone would think of some things I had done with my life, ie. deciding not to go into ministry and getting married. I don’t really hide anything anymore. I am a much more honest person. I can’t say I have much of a relationship with God right now, but I don’t doubt His existence. I just don’t know how to relate to Him honestly anymore, with so many big, fundamental questions.

I think I am my own harshest critic. Part of my inability to be around a church or read the Bible or pray anymore has to do with my own judging of myself. If I lived on and off for years acting (to a degree) like the world’s best Christian without being totally honest with myself, what does that mean for other Christians? What does that mean about God that He let me (or led me) across the world to be a witness to people for things I didn’t necessarily believe? Not that my time overseas was wasted or in vain, because I wouldn’t trade those precious times for anything. I learned so much about the world, about people, about myself even. I loved and laughed and had great fellowship with my teammates.

I am just so stuck now on what is true. Maybe my problem is that I feel like I need some truth in order move on, in order to know what’s right and do it. Isn’t that what the Bible says? The truth will set you free. Everything I have learned taught me that Jesus is Lord and Lord of the whole world. Is that true? Is everyone that doesn’t know about Jesus in this world going to hell? (Sorry to be frank, but what’s the point in glossing). Maybe there is no answer to these questions without becoming a fundamentalist, which is rather unsavory and revolting to my spirit, but I just don’t get how to live in that mysterious gray area.

I don’t have too much time for elaboration tonight, but as usual, I love the discussion, so please comment.

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4 Responses to under construction

  1. Adrianne says:

    Aw, I’m a good friend. I feel so special.

    I saw your new “I’m a GM.” “Just a GM?” “What else would I be” “A rockstar.” where you said that your blogging life is seperate from your “real” life. I thought that was interesting because this seems to be a place that you are incredibly real.

    I don’t know. I know you were, somewhat, a different person when we lived in close proximity to each other, and you allude to that in this post, but this seems to me to be the most real I’ve ever seen you. Kind of like what you said about being afraid of what people would have thought of your thoughts or actions. I like hearing (reading?) about how you feel right now, even if it’s not exactly where I’m at.

    All that to say, regardless of the doubts that you have, I think a faith that is not wrestled with doesn’t amount to much. I have a huge amount of faith in God, and have been blessed to have never doubted him, but I wrestle with understanding who he is. How can he be the ruler of the universe and my best friend at the same time? How can he be the same God who seemed violent in the Old Testament, but yet is the definition of Love and has always been the same? All of this is beyond my grasp, but I love thinking about it.

    Anyway, keep blogging and keep searching. I do believe that if you honestly seek God out on this one that you will get your answers, even if it’s not right away.

    Adrianne

    P.S. Don’t become a fundmentalist.

  2. Laura says:

    Yeah, I mean, this is definitely the realest me writing in my blog. I shouldn’t have implied that my work self is a different person, it’s more like the blog is me without another few layers of the onion. Obviously I’m not pretending to be a really devoted contemporary Christian during the day. Not at all, it’s just that, no one that I see now at work, on a daily basis, knows much about my background. I mean, we rarely touch the subject of Christianity, faith etc. I try to treat people fairly and in a way that honors God, but I’m not exactly spilling my personal issues to anyone at work. For that, I say that my employees and co-workers know me as a fun, nice person, a good manager and a hard worker, but these aren’t the sort of relationships that involve deep searching conversations, you know what I mean? My blog is a place to talk freely to people who know me well and for people who don’t know me at all. That’s why I said it’s like my secret life.

  3. erin says:

    (first, an introduction of sorts: yes, i am really online, and really reading your blog! – though of course i have not fully entered the blogging world…mary will not stop harassing me until i do, though, so we’ll see. anyway – hi. here i am.) laura, i love that you ask the questions and wrestle with the issues that you do, and openly so. after reading your manifesto a few weeks ago and now “under construction,” i must say that your honest pursuit of life and truth and love and God and reality are beautiful and challenging to me. i would like to live my process out loud more, as i hear you doing, and am grateful for your example. i believe that your quest for authentic and founded faith (which may seem oxymoronic) will yield some real answers. not all the answers — but some.

  4. Laura says:

    Erin, you really need to join the blogging world, for real. You have so many interesting thoughts and life experiences to share, why not? I would love it.–>

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