Monday, May 7, 2012

what remains

I'm blogging through Kathy Escobar's fantastic series, Rebuilding after Deconstructing, in an effort to clarify some things for myself, to share my story, and to encourage forward motion. This is so not about whining or placing blame, or picking on any person or institution.  Just the story of God and me, up to now... abridged. 

I talk more about what I don't know than what I know. You know? :) Honestly, it's a lot easier to tear down than to build up. This is where the building up begins.

Today, I'm thinking about what I do know; what I haven't lost. Here's what I think remains for me:

  • prayer. I can't imagine a day without it. Not really a structured kind, more of a meditative, talk-to-your-heart, listen, breathe kind of thing. Some of the prayers I say often are I will not live with anger in my heart, I will not be afraid of what people think of me, I will not hide my face from you, Oh God, and most recently just I am here. God is here. And then just naming who God is to me, who I know him to be. He brings clarity. He comforts. He understands. He is freshness and light and newness. I'm less likely to give him credit for the bad stuff these days. I'm redefining to my fickle, distrusting, wounded heart who my God really is. That's actually what I think my whole process of deconstruction has been about.
  • words. This one just occurred to me. I still have the gift of words. I have beautiful old songs that speak to me, and poetry, and there are passages of Scripture that don't make my heart hurt. (One day I hope that none of them will, we'll see.) But I have a huge collection of words that soothe, heal and inspire.
  • community. I have dear people in my life that I can be real with. That is no small thing.
  • a sense of awe. It's not gone. When I hear stories of restoration, when I see beautiful things, when I talk about my experience with the divine and see that spark of recognition in another person's eyes--I am full of awe. God is bigger than I can make sense of.
  • Jesus. I have had moments where I'm full of doubt and fear, where I go to church and feel like I don't speak the language anymore and what was once familiar is now bizarre, but I love Jesus, and I continue to feel his kindness. I get to hold onto that.
often, we think it’s all gone because it feels that way.  but if we dig down deep, we discover that there are remnants of our faith left.  parts that still are alive.  parts that can’t be taken away.
-Kathy Escobar 


Heath said...

These posts are amazing Emily. What you've lost and what remains... I could have written almost the same lists.

I too am often preoccupied with lyrics that don't ring true. If you see me at church not singing along to a particular song, that's often why. Some songs I just won't sing. They threaten the sense of awe that also remains for me - and it can come at the most simple times... a silly moment with Lori, a smile from Lily, a sunset... Or it can come in an important moment, like when someone overcomes adversity to realize his or her potential or makes an amazing sacrifice for someone else. Wow.

There have been times in my life when nothing but that sense of awe remains, but even that is a foundation to build upon. It has carried me more than once.

Emily said...

Thanks Heath :)I like how you said they threaten your sense of's become so important for me to protect that too.

Heath said...

I don't know what I would do without my sense of awe. I was at my computer working this morning before 6 a.m. (I have to try to get a couple of hours of work in before Lily gets up these days), and I had the window open, and as the sun started coming up my office filled with the sounds of birds chirping. It was right after I posted my last comment, and there it was - my sense of awe. At 5:50 a.m. while I was doing work and most people were sleeping, I sat back, closed my eyes, listened to the birds, breathed in the crisp air, and was content.

Awe sometimes comes at the most unexpected times... but those can also be the most welcome times. :-)

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