It's been a good three years since I consistently wrote blog posts for my website. And in that time I've had continual issues with my website that I wasn't sure how to fix. So I finally took the plunge and started a new website on a new platform and this is my first post. Moving day for my blog, so to speak. And while I was having technical difficulties, I really just didn't take the time to write over the last few years. It's not that I haven't wanted to write. But I started a real estate business four years ago and finding the extra time to write has been tricky.
Yet, if I'm being totally honest, that's not the whole reason. These last four years have been ones of crazy change and upheaval from the normal day-to-day I had known for so many years. I went from being a 19 year stay-at-home mom/writer with four kids at home and a husband who worked a crazy amount of hours (mostly evenings) at a restaurant he co-owned...to now being a full time Real Estate Agent with just two kids at home and a husband (same one...haha...don't want to confuse) who does real estate with me. And while all that external change was obvious, what was not so obvious was all the change taking place inside of me. All the change that made me press the mute button on my writing "voice."
I've been a Christian since I was seven years old. (I'm now forty-five.) But about four years ago I started really listening to all the questions and doubts that I'd ignored for so long. Basically I agreed with much of what my faith tradition (evangelical Christianity) taught but there were a few areas that I knew in my heart were not consistent with how I understood God. But rather than rock my whole freaking world, any time those questions or doubts surfaced, I put figurative fingers in my figurative ears and said, "Nananana I can't hear you."
I didn't want to deal with the repercussions of taking an honest look at my faith. I knew if I started pulling on those strings, it was likely the whole construct of my faith would come falling down around me. That was terrifying because my faith is a huge part of my identity. It's a huge part of my social network. And it's a huge part of my peace of mind. Without that faith, I wasn't sure how much of ME would be left.
But it's kind of a situation where once you see something, you can't unsee it. Once I let myself voice those questions and concerns that I had always pushed down deep, I couldn't go back to the cocoon of certainty I'd created for myself before. Certain things in my faith did not make sense to me, and I couldn't ignore that anymore.
So I've been on a journey. A deconstruction and reconstruction of my faith, if you will. It's been frighteningly lonely and quite painful but also incredibly freeing and honest. I've spent a lot more time listening and a lot less time talking. And I've allowed myself the freedom to ask the tough questions even if I didn't like the answers. And for much of that time I've just felt raw. The temptation to say, "Nevermind, just kidding. I don't have any doubts or concerns," so that everything could go back to the way it had been before? Well it was a shockingly strong temptation. But as much as I would have liked that security and sense of certainty, I couldn't be honest with myself and go back to the way things were. And in the end, I chose honesty with myself over comfort for myself.
I said it was a journey and it still is. I haven't arrived at a place where I have everything figured out. And I don't expect to. Instead I've learned to be okay with not having all the answers. I've figured out what things are really important to me and what things can wait for answers. I know that I need to believe or I'm not fully me. I know that I don't have to justify how or what I believe to anyone. I don't even have to discuss it with with anyone unless I feel safe doing so. And that's all okay.
This journey I've been on...I fully believe God is the one who has had me on it. I ended up on this path because I was looking to know God more. And I believe he is big enough to handle my questions and doubts. I believe he is gracious enough to be patient while I question and learn. And I believe he is vast enough that I can never really have all the answers. And I'm okay with that. Even if I'm the only one who's on this kind of journey, I'm okay with it because it's real and it's honest. But I have a feeling I'm not as alone as I feel. There are others who have walked this path or are walking it still. Some of them write books or do podcasts that hit me so truly where I'm at that they make me cry huge tears of relief (pulling off the road until I can see again). And some of them are quietly going through the same things I have and wondering if they are alone.
They're not. I'm not. You're not. None of us is truly alone. There is always someone out there who can understand where you're at in your journey. And I believe God is ready, willing and able to come along side us when we are wandering in the wilderness and point us in the direction of another wanderer who might be looking for some encouragement. I read something about community being not so much a matter of surrounding yourself with those who are like-minded as those who are like-hearted. And I love that. I'm not going to agree with everyone but I can agree to love them, regardless.
So that's what I'm working on these days. Loving people no matter where they are at. And creating a space for a community of like-hearted people who aren't afraid to ask the hard questions and wrestle with the answers. That's why I called this a Moving Day for my blog. Aside from the obvious moving to a new URL (RebRuth.com) I'm also moving from a stuck place to a place that feels more free, honest and real. Feel free to join me...below in the comment section or send me an email if you want. All I ask is that the discourse remain civilized. I love all the positive aspects of social media and the internet. But it can create a buffer zone of anonymity that makes people forget there are real people with real feelings on the other end of that @ sign. (I have my comments open but I will delete comments that are cruel or hurtful.) So let's have some honest but kind chats about all the things, shall we?
I have to say, it feels really good to be writing again. Welcome to my new online home! Glad you stopped by and I hope you come back to chat often.
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