The theme of this Just For You curation is faith and what happens when everything you thought to be true, is not. It includes a book, two opportunities for you, and a podcast.
I embarked on a journey in 2017 that I didn’t choose. It took two years into it before I realized I was on it, and even then, I wasn’t fully aware of what it was or what it meant. Now I call it “untangling,” but I’m still unable to describe it in an understandable way to those who’ve not experienced it.
I’m still in the middle of the untangling. It is completely beautiful, sometimes lonely and painful, and other times wonderfully peaceful. One day I’m sure about everything, the next I feel like an unanchored dinghy in the middle of the ocean. God brought wise and humble people into my life who’ve helped me feel less alone, and a book I’m reading showed me that this stage of faith is nothing new. And it’s not unique to me.
Yes, There Are Stages
I’ve been a Christ follower for over two decades and no one has ever mentioned stages of faith. The book is The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith by Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich, first published in 1995. I thought “deconstruction” was a new thing. It’s merely a new name given to something that God’s people have experienced since the beginning.
I’m fascinated how accurately my faith journey follows the stages described in the book. The authors highlight the common experiences of most people in the various stages and share personal stories as well. Why does the church not teach about this? It is helpful to know there is a cloud of witnesses who’ve gone before and are stronger and more anchored for it.
I can wholeheartedly say that I’m nearer to Jesus than before my untangling began. I trust God in a deep-in-my-bones kind of way. The things that need to fall away, are falling away. Jesus holds me and I’m learning to be loved by him. God has me right where I need to be.
Because of my untangling journey, I have a clearer understanding of the kind of work I want to do in the world. God brought these opportunities into my life and I consider it an honor to be part of each.
“The more clearly we understand what is good, the more apparent evil will become to us.”Rachael Denhollander
I’m partnering with GRACE again this year to help raise funds so they can continue in their work of educating the church about abuse and empowering the church to prevent it. Listen to Rachael Denhollander’s powerful keynote address to learn how the church is uniquely positioned to help survivors and create safe spaces for the most vulnerable.
To find out why I partner with GRACE and read more about how you can help, click here.
I’m a board member of another 501(c)(3) called Tears of Eden. We’re hosting our very first virtual gala on November 6th and would love for you to register to get the link so you can watch at your convenience. You’ll hear more about the work we’re doing, part of my and other board members’ stories, and stories from those who’ve benefitted from the resources and community at Tears of Eden. Here’s the registration link.
One of the most refreshing podcasts I’ve heard recently on untangling, deconstruction, or whatever you want to call it is Living with Power. The host, Lina AbuJamra, went through her own crisis and talks about it with a variety of guests on the podcast. She also wrote a book called Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction.
Here is a recent conversation she had with a friend about their journeys. Both of them share honestly about what brought them to the crisis and give us insight on how to navigate it. They’re real about the pain, but the healing they’ve experienced is evident from the laughter they share. Enjoy this insightful conversation!
Photo by steve-halama at Unsplash.