God Hasn’t Changed, But I Have

Bananas

As a one-year-old, my daughter, Chloe, ate a banana every day. I’d mash up that meal for her like cashing in a guarantee: she’d get a solid breakfast to help her grow, no matter what other foods she’d refuse throughout the day. 

By two she was peeling and eating the fruit as she toddled in the wake of her big brother and sister. Whatever the mood or the weather, Chloe’s days contained bananas. She loved them. 

Until she didn’t. 

One morning when she was three, she refused her staple food. Something inside her had changed. It was as if her body told her brain, “enough is enough.” It needed to take a break. So the bananas went away for awhile.

God Words

I can relate. When my kids were kids, I ate up Christian scripture like Chloe gobbled her bananas. Each day,  I took in the words of the Bible like nutrients for my soul, a daily dose for growth. I loved it.

Until I didn’t.

Unlike Chloe’s sudden loss of taste for bananas, my appetite for studying the Bible dwindled in the span of few years. For decades, I’d heard a sermon every Sunday, read a Bible devotional daily, and often listened to favorite verses on my Bible app. I took in a variety of good theology including books by R.C. Sproul, John Piper, and Tim Keller.

But I seemed to be digesting less and less. I was trying so hard to assimilate truth and see real changes, yet much of life wasn’t turning out the way the sermons promised.

Still, I kept holding out my cup, desperate for any drop of personal touch offered in the Word of God. 

Until that one Sunday sermon. 

The preacher was parsing a psalm. His three points couldn’t pierce my clogged ears. All I heard was, “blah blah bleh blah, bleh blah, bleh blah.” 

Uh oh.

The drone of his voice, the mincing of minutiae, the glut of information. I couldn’t take it in. The weight of the words made my head hurt. My throat was tight. I couldn’t swallow another bite.

It was as if my body told my brain, “enough is enough.” Something inside me had changed. I needed to take a break.

Trying

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the Christian habit of sifting scripture for wisdom. 

My habits were the problem.

I had devoured the God-words, waited decades for certain prayers to be answered, for certain promises to have their impact. My striving had not yielded the results I asked for. My chronic pain remained. The peace that passes all understanding had not made its way to my heart.

All of my trying began suppressing my hunger. My efforts misled my expectations. All that remained unanswered had soured my search.

Is my faith too weak to work His healing power in me? Are my physical and spiritual disappointments just thorns I have to live with? Is my analytical grip too tight to transfer God’s words to the unconscious parts of me, the parts where the heart beats on its own and opens to joy without effort?

For years, I’ve been trying to answer these questions.

Take a Break

It’s hard to explain and I do not completely understand what was and is changing in me. Obviously the subject is bigger than this format allows. But it’s a start for uncovering what I have yet to discover.

My recent writing doesn’t contain many scripture references because too many God words auto-fill their definitions. For me, their overuse has drained their power, becoming jargon that crowds out the passageway to my heart.

Like many of the lyrics I’ve written, these paragraphs untangle my past to get my story straight. By refusing to use band-aids, I touch upon some unhealed wounds. 

Life is neither static nor settled. The unfinished story leaves room for doubt and discovery.

More than just practical application, I’m looking for a real change. A change of heart. For that, for now, I need to take a break from trying to control my heart’s response. Perhaps I can leave that up to God.

Back to Bananas

 “The last thing any of us need is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned as dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.”  (Barbara BrownTaylor in An Altar in the World)

My body knows how to digest my food, to absorb the nutrients I need to survive. Thus, I can trust it when it loses its taste for a certain meal.

Chloe eventually returned to eating her bananas. She’d had her break and could begin enjoying the food again. I’m not there yet with my one-time staple although I’ll probably get hungry for scripture soon enough.

One thing I know, God has not changed, no matter my thoughts or feelings. But the vicissitudes of life keep forcing changes in me. So, for now, looking for life in the bigger story includes taking a break.

83 thoughts on “God Hasn’t Changed, But I Have”

  1. Thank you for your post and your honesty. I think we all can relate to your story at one time or another. One book that has been very helpful for me in my times of drought is called, “When I Don’t Desire God” by John Piper. He talks of Deuteronomy 30:6 where it says,
    “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” This is my prayer in times of drought. That God would circumcise or change my heart and that He would CAUSE me to love Him above all else. We cannot do it in our own stregnth.

    Thank you again for your post. Praying that your hunger for His Word returns.

    Reply
  2. I echo what Carl said – and I know I don’t comment ever – but it sounds like you’re a little burned out, which makes sense since you’ve been serving in ministry for so long. Perhaps you need some “Christine” time – unplug, rest, and recharge. For me, I find that sometimes I am so overwhelmed by all of the things in my head and in my heart that I don’t even know what to pray anymore. When that happens (and it happens often), the only prayer I can manage is the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I pray this prayer more often than any other (and I actually say this daily…and multiple times at that).
    I guess what I’m trying to say is: be gentle with yourself, and know that you’re in my prayers.

    Reply
      • Thank you so much for these words that express what so many of us have experienced. I’m so thankful God works through our crazy humanity and weaknesses (mental and every other way) and still manages to give us what we need. That’s the kind of love that only He can give to me and I’m so glad. Thanks again! So glad I stopped and read this one. Have a great weekend! (long time fan of your amazing music)

        Reply
      • Hi my old friend! I’m always so happy to see you, Scott, and your sweet family doing well!
        Think of you guys often and of course ‘Out of the Grey’ songs still in my playlist and some of my favs! Great memories with you guys! ❤️‼️

        Reply
  3. Yes! I love hearing stories like so many of us Christians have heard throughout the years like this “Chloe & bananas”. Part of how we got from infancy to “old age” is the snacking; preparing wholesome meals and having a staple diet. Similarly, same goes for water, and some of us know personally or know someone who got dehydrated simply because of not drinking enough water. If we don’t eat or drink for an extended time, we may wind up in the hospital, and then the doctors and nurses see to it that food and water are pressed upon us. Blessed are those who seek after righteousness for they shall be filled Mt. 5:6. Please take some time y’all and read Psalms 42; what a story telling passage; where David writes of his quest to personally know our loving God as a deer headed for water; so so thirsty!

    Revelation 14:6 speaks of a flying angel who had the eternal gospel to proclaim to every kind of people on the earth. We have that privilege NOW to share the ministry of reconciliation with our personal witnessing of God working through each of our lives and relay “The Good News”. Over the years of reading Christine’s “Finding The Bigger Story”, that’s part of being “In Angel School”! Thank you Scott and Christine for your ministry!

    We would hardly go for even more than a day without food and water; how much more important it is to feed and drink of His word and remain in fellowship with believers. Something that I’d like to share is… Many believers around the world read suggested readings in the One Year Bible with the plan that if you read those suggested readings every day, you’ll read the entire bible in a year. I’ve been doing that and before Covid we had a bible study at a restaurant on Monday mornings at 6:00am most every week; that study had been going on for about 20 years before I was invited about four years ago. Anyways, each week we had a short Q&A study on various passages of scripture and most every one in the group read “The One Year Bible” so almost every week, one, two, three or so would share what we had read in the previous week. That took a while to get to this point, but something that we’ve also been doing for the past several years is also, however often to LISTEN to the One Year Bible online, and this is the link that I wanted to share with y’all…. Please take care. https://audio.oneyearbibleonline.com/

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much for this and for just being honest. I have been there. Some days I’m still there. I promise that taste will come back, but it will come back changed.

    I used to like only cloyingly sweet coffee. Now I’ve learned to love a good dark roast (still with a bit of sugar and cream, but where the intensity isn’t diminished). I feel that way about scripture. I’ve come to it with new eyes and new experiences. And more imagination about the people who wrote it and to whom it was written. It’s darker, yes, but richer, too.

    I, too, have a fear of being too analytical. I’m starting to trust that God made me this way and can reach me this way. I’ve so appreciated that from your music, that you’ve put that into your songs and questioned it and expressed the longing to get outside your head. I’ve listened to you since the first Out of the Grey album and have always felt understood. I pray you will find people along this road who will give you that same understanding.

    Reply
  5. A lot of people are joining the trend of “deconstructing”. Jesus has been too kind to me by far for me to take a break from him. I have been on a 27 year journey of deconstructing sin and finding that my initial assumptions still ring true.
    Honesty is a good virtue. It’s not one of the fruits of the spirit; and lately it’s also had its own upward trend in culture to be seen as being on equal footing (or higher) with the fruit of the spirit, especially when it relates to a believer who says they are beginning to not believe. Do not accept the celebration or commendation for taking a break.
    Continue to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ alone.
    Continue to read the Bible. Continue talking to the Father without ceasing.
    Continue to cast your gaze heavenward awaiting the return of the Son!

    Reply
    • Randy, I appreciate your comment. I think “deconstruction” unto meaninglessness is a dangerous trend. Hopefully, positive “deconstruction” unto reconstruction can lead to good for individuals and for the church. Thanks for weighing in!

      Reply
      • It tends not to lead to good; and I’ve been observing the trend since around 2007 when someone very close to me went from being a worship pastor to exploring the emergent church movement, then to being “on a journey”, then to being an agnostic, then to lengthy stays in mental hospitals. Early on along the way, I was given the sense that this exploration was aiming at some better purpose.
        His story now mirrors the many, many I have seen in the interim that end with former professing believers loosing the shackles of Christ. I’m so sick of this.
        To be faithful means sounding the alarm when we become aware of the danger our brothers and sisters are in when they begin to incline their ears and hearts to false teaching, the kind whose end is to kill, steal, and destroy. Our worldview is that souls are at stake, and that includes your soul Christine.
        So again I urge you to hold fast to the sound doctrine that has been handed down to you by faithful witnesses from the actors and writers of the Scripture on down through the ages to the moment when you first met Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

        Reply
  6. Wow thank you for having the courage to share what likely many of us have gone through in one season or another. Recently my fire has been relit and my doors blown off by studying the sabbath through two books… The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan and Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva Dawn. Whoa! The gift of a sabbath rest is so lost in our culture and totally leads to burn out. In a way it’s like you’re taking a sabbath from how you’ve always done life. I pray you are nurtured and restored and grown into who you’re called to be in this season. 🙏🏻❤️

    Reply
  7. My comment seems to have been deleted. The mask is off then.
    What is it that makes you so sure there will be somewhere to land after the storm? Maybe it’s time to decide where you’ll stand when the curtain falls.

    Reply
  8. Christine, Like so many times in your music, you’ve put words to the exact struggle I’ve been feeling myself. The one thing I’ve clung to through my drought is summed up in one of OOTG lyrics “take those things you know to be true, hold them to you, don’t let go.” So, like you, I haven’t let go, but I’ve taken a break. But God knows my heart and He knows there’s always a song in my heart, and that is the way I hold Him to me right now. Thank you and Scott for providing lots of material that keeps God close to me right now.

    Reply
  9. And thus by ways not understood,
    Out of each dark vicissitude,
    God brings us compensating good.
    For faith looks up and renews her strength through tears,
    And souls look up and renew their youth through years,
    And love looks up to Heaven, at last, without any fears.
    ~Praying for you, friend~

    Reply
  10. I never comment either but this is almost an exact description of me.

    Too many Christians just give out the same cliche responses regarding what I’m going through. They don’t help. Some things befall you and just like a bell they can’t be unrung. Life in my case will never be the same as it was before. Too many just expect you to move on in the face of unanswered prayers.

    Now I face a life that is far less than what I ever wanted it to be.

    Reply
    • Yes, we have to change something in our lives when changes in our lives become undeniable. And sometimes unbearable. Thank you, Duane, for adding to this conversation!

      Reply
  11. I’m hesitant to respond because I don’t want this to feel like “do one more thing”, as if there is a magic Christian pill. As a Christian of 40 years (I was saved early in life :-)) I can appreciate how the words can flow without any feeling and lose their interest, even after studying gifted men like Piper and Keller, who I’ve also learned so much from. The “one more thing” is a book I read and re-read this past year by Dane Ortlund titled “Gentle and Lowly”. What was so personally impactful was it didn’t show more I needed to do, it showed me more Jesus(!), one I had not seen or fully appreciated even after decades long of active (and still) church involvement and study. It may or may not be what you need at this time, but it has given me a greater love for Jesus as I now more fully understand His love for me, especially when I feel guilty or detached spiritually. Whether you choose to read it or not, am praying for you Christine. Thanks for the honesty. We all need each other.

    Reply
  12. Oh, this was hard to read. Please don’t stay away from God’s words of life!

    Kids still have to eat something every day. Even as adults, when we’re sick we must try to at least sip water if we want to keep alive.

    I understand being tired / burned out. But don’t put aside God’s Word entirely. At least read some of the sad Psalms. They put to words all the emotions and struggles we go through in this life.

    Thank you for your ministry and music through the years. I was glad to somehow rediscover you through the magic of the interwebs. I was happy to see you and your husband were still together and following Christ.

    May the Lord refresh you and strengthen you.

    Mark 13:31
    “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

    Reply
  13. Hi Christine. Thank you for your honesty. After losing our son Scott to an auto accident (he was 17) in 2009, my wife and I struggled to find meaning in the bigger story, as you put it. No matter how I looked at it, his death made no sense to me. Recently, we have started reading the Bible together daily, 5 chapters, out loud to each other, including one chapter a day from Psalm 119. All of Psalm 119 is really a prayer for the very thing we’d found missing in ourselves: a heartfelt devotion, reverence, and delight in the word of God. Here’s what we read yesterday:
    vs 25-26 (CJB)
    I lie prostrate in the dust; revive me, in keeping with your word.
    I told you of my ways, and you answered me; teach me you laws.
    Did you see that? Sometimes, we approach him with our little schemes, and God’s answer lays us flat out, wishing we were dead. We don’t need a makeover. We need resurrection. Then we can rise, and run in His ways.

    Reply
    • I have no idea what it feels like for you to have suffered losing your son. Thank you for encouraging me from a hard place.

      Reply
  14. I didn’t take a break. God sent me on a break. I have spent years trying to get back into a deep faith and belief.
    “If I only listen to _______”
    “If I only go to _______”
    “If I only pray for _______”

    When God sent me on a break, I didn’t understand at that time that the break was not a span of days, weeks, months or years. I would be on break until I learned what I needed to learn. I feel that recognizing that is an important step towards God and not towards my Christianity of my younger days. My “Christianity” of my youth served it’s purpose but it didn’t sustain me so I need to stop trying to get back to it. What lies ahead is new and unknown to me but it is part of His plan.

    Reply
    • Yes, discerning the need for a shift from striving and trying to a pausing to assess–then to be willing to continue moving in faith. It’s not for the fainthearted. Thank you for weighing in.

      Reply
  15. As always, thank you for your honesty and transparency. It’s what has always drawn me to your music.

    I can’t speak to your situation or offer hollow platitudes. Even if we may have had similar experiences, we all process things differently.

    I love you and Scott, not because I know you, but because you brought joy to my life in good times and in sorrow. You challenged me to think.

    So I will just sit quietly beside you (virtually). Listen when you speak. And quietly pray for my friends that I’ve never met.

    Reply
  16. Wow,wow,wow! As always I adore your honesty and courage to put it out into the world.
    I too have been on a journey. My Dad was an agnostic and all of my efforts to convince and convert were met with patience and a conviction that my God was “too small”. Just before he died he asked me to pray with him to receive Christ. I’m not sure what changed…he didn’t seem afraid of dying. Maybe it was to reassure me.
    I now know he was correct: my “god” was WAY too small.

    His mother, my dear grandmother, had been a pillar in her church and someone who lovingly reflected Jesus in her everyday life. Imagine my shock when she began questioning her faith in her 80’s. She wrote to me and referenced a magazine article that reflected her search for truth. Reading that article now, it doesn’t seem radical at all. It is another person, this time a priest as I remember, saying the Western, white Anglo version of God is way too small.

    A few years ago all I was holding onto, in my own deconstruction, was my belief in and love for Jesus. Now, a little farther down this road, my vision is constantly expanding and seeing that indeed there is a much bigger, amazing story to be embraced and experienced (but likely not to be “understood).

    Reply
    • Wow, Pegs, those are some pendulum swings! Thank you for illustrating how unique our experiences really are and how the struggle to keep our eyes wide open continues ( :

      Reply
  17. Hi Christine, I’ve never posted here before, but I have loved your music through the years. I think I have most of your CDs still!! I love the way you sang “mystical”truth!
    Now I find myself grieving for you in your “taking a break”. And I pray that He, the God of all Truth, will lead you home to Him again.
    I don’t know how related this is, but I wonder if reading/ hearing about persecuted Christians in other countries would help at all. I HIGHLY recommend The Insanity of God, by Nik Ripken. Also, any of Tom Doyle’s books (Dreams and Visions, Killing Christians, and a couple more that elude my memory). Or listening to Tom Doyle on YouTube. He is a very engaging speaker. Anyway, I pray for you to find an intimacy with God in the midst of all that is happening in your life.
    💕
    Sharon

    Reply
  18. Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve identified with something so much. I’ve felt such guilt for trying to figure out what I really believe or want in faith after years as a worship leader and small group leader. I came to a crisis of faith after relocating to a new city in 2014. I visited churches to find a new home but the personal issues that challenged my beliefs surfaced and I decided it was better to step away for awhile. Never losing complete faith, but not earnestly pursuing what had become a bumper-sticker theology and convenient fellowship. I’ve had additional personal setbacks and relish the idea of experiencing God the way I would like. But the “let go and let God” bumper-sticker theology makes me want to scream.

    Reply
    • Yes, when my personal setbacks scramble the expectations I brought to scripture, I have to step back and ask some hard questions. I appreciate your honesty, Mitch, and I hope you find the peace that passes all understanding.

      Reply
  19. I appreciate you so very much. When you are ready to dig back into His word you might like to check out The Bible Recap.

    (http://www.thebiblerecap.com)

    I started listening to this podcast this year and I have found myself in tears often as God reveals himself more and more.

    In the mean time, I will sing this blessing over you, dear Christine:

    May the Lord bless you
    and keep you,
    the Lord make His face
    to shine upon you, Christine, and give you peace,
    and give you peace.
    The Lord make his face
    to shine upon you,
    and be gracious unto you,
    the Lord be gracious,
    gracious unto you.
    Amen Amen Amen Amen

    Reply
  20. Good morning. I totally get what you are saying here. Too often in the church we equate abiding with doing and in particular doing more. We’ve been studying John this year in Women’s Bible Study and that the definition of abiding is resting in who God is. My first reaction was, “Give me the five-step plan for how to rest so I can do it.” Oh, the irony of that.

    I wrote this in one of my wilderness seasons. It’s a supposal about Elijah and God, but spoke to where I was too.

    I am waiting
    Waiting in this wilderness
    Waiting but wavering
    Waiting.

    I am straining
    Straining in these silences
    Straining to Know Your sufficiency
    Straining.

    When the questions of Eden
    Ring too loudly in my ears
    When You feel so absent
    And Your goodness seems to disappear.
    When surrender is the needed sacrifice
    When the way looks so unclear
    O, will You meet me?
    Will You meet me here?

    I am longing
    Longing in this loneliness
    Longing to move beyond
    Longing.

    I am praying
    Praying all Your promises
    Praying for Your providence
    Praying.

    When I’m driven to this barren place
    When pain is ever near
    When I fail to see You working
    When the fiercest doubts appear
    When surrender is the needed sacrifice
    When the way looks so unclear
    O, will you meet me?
    Will you meet me here?

    I am aching
    I am yearning
    I am clinging
    Not forsaking
    I am holding
    I am hoping
    I am finding
    You are here.

    When the questions of Eden
    Ring too loudly in my ears
    When You feel so absent
    And Your goodness seems to disappear
    When surrender is the needed sacrifice
    When the way looks so unclear
    You will meet me
    O, You will meet me
    You will meet me here.

    Reply
  21. Hi, Christine,
    Thank you so much for being so open about this. I am not surprised that you are feeling burned out after what your family has been through the past two years.
    Right after I became a Christian, I went through a period of reading the Bible in an analytical/information-seeking way. In fact, this is the approach that modern Christianity encourages. I eventually burned out on this as well. Too often we are given a list of “Spiritual Activities” that we must do. Like any to-do list, it quickly becomes a burden.
    I recently read a book that has helped me to re-center my Christian walk. The book is “Union with Christ” by Rankin Wilbourne. It reminds us that the center of our Christian life is not spiritual activities, or our church. The center of our life is the person of Jesus and our relationship with Him. I would like to encourage you to simply seek His presence each day. Tell Him everything that is on your mind – all your frustrations, fears, and concerns. I find that this seems to work wonders for me! Focus on seeking His presence – not answers, because He is the answer. He is the one who gives us Life!
    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    – Ken Still

    Reply
    • Ken, excellent advice from someone who has experienced what I have! Also, thanks for acknowledging the tough past 2 years. ( :

      Reply
  22. I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining….
    I believe in love even when I feel it not…
    I believe in God even when he is silent…. A beautiful musing.

    Dear Christine,

    There hath no temptation but such as is common to man—
    But God is just, who will make an escape, that ye may be able to bear it…. The first scripture I memorized when I became a Christian at age 18—I’m 61 now

    Blessed are those who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed…. Something I learned along the road

    I was living in the oblivion of a joy filled colorful Christian bubble…
    Till it burst in 2007…
    One child delved into dangerous drugs leaving me with her child to raise while another child was facing felonies …and then my beloved husband that I prayed over for 24 years left me in midst of alcoholism and adultery….all in the same year

    I typed these sayings and scripture because I had to go back to them time and time again in order to get up and do the daily mundane, I had to work to keep a roof over my grandchildren’s head, and help my 19 year old son navigate the harsh legal system all the while trying to save my marriage – I was financially and spiritually broke..

    I read the sayings over and over,

    Because I wanted to die. Because my soul turned black. Because no matter how many people told me I was so pretty and so sweet and how things were going to get better and that God would take care of me, I was numb. Tears, grief, fear, and pain were a moment by moment constant for me. I was on my knees begging for change… but it didn’t happen as I would have had it.. this lasted 10 years………..10 LONG YEARS

    Fast forward 15 years ….
    I have a hole in my heart and soul that has never healed completely, but, I’m able to bear it. I found the “ such as is common to man” in the verse and “ will give an escape that ye may be able to bear it” gave a whole new light in how I made it through…The escape was acceptance…

    God is not silent as he was in that time, and the sun still comes out, and I still have love…. I have just learned that I can’t have expectations for anything lest I be disappointed in everything..

    God loves you… just look up at the universe on a starry night and realize how small we are, and how big he is, and this thing you are feeling is part of the bigger story. Someday you will be able to do this…

    You’re music helped and got me through my time of despair… especially your solo album. And the song that was Scott’s guitar playing, as you’re hearing one who runs and trudges through the rocks symbolized how I was trudging through it all as I tried to muster up my usual smile . ( I’m sorry I can’t recall the song and solo album name, probably from the leftover PTSD-)

    I do ramble, and I’m sorry if it doesn’t make sense. But one thing is, I feel him when I sing… aside from reading all of the musings and scripture, this is when I feel him the most. I hope you still feel him when you sing too…

    “It” will come- like one of the commenters said, It may be different but it’ll come ❤️

    Love always and may you find peace in your soul when it’s right,

    Stephanie

    Reply
    • Stephanie, you words touched a spot on my heart and softened it. Thank you for encouraging me with such a personal experience. That means a lot to me ( :

      Reply
  23. Christine,
    I don’t generally post or comment but I felt compelled to do so in this case. THANK YOU for your honesty as always, but specifically in this situation with this topic. Too often Christians are too afraid to admit where they really are in life, in their walk and the struggles they are facing. Fear keeps things hidden, in the dark, talking exposes it to light where healing can begin. We all go through seasons, we all walk in a desert, some more than and longer than others. I too, am going through my own struggles in my faith and it is refreshing to see someone else have the courage to be truthful to allow the rest of us to see we are not alone. The best thing is and often the thing I must remind myself of is that God is big enough to handle my questions and emotions, or lack of. No truer a statement than God hasn’t changed, I have. He never changes, we do, and He will walk with us and never let us go. My prayers are with you and I trust the Lord to hold and keep you in His loving arms. Blessings to you.

    Reply
  24. Thanks for your thoughts Christine…
    I’ve found that there is an evolution to religious belief over the course of one’s life. I was raised in a strict ‘evangelical’ household, and attended a Christian college. Over the decades since graduation, my friends and I have settled into three groups: 1) believers in the faith that adhere to the traditional ‘Jesus is the only way to heaven’ belief; 2) ‘believers’ in Christianity that allow for other ways to God through other faith traditions (similar to Barbara Brown Taylor); and 3) non-believers (mostly agnostics) who cannot accept the severity of the first option, but also thinks the second option is illogical (Jesus is God for your faith tradition but not my faith tradition), and is simply the manifestation of the inability of previous believers to let go of religious language and symbolism.

    My children were a big part of the evolution – as they became adults, some left the faith entirely. I became friends with co-workers and colleagues who were not Christians. It’s very difficult to retain an exclusive view of a faith that condemns non-believers, especially kind people who seem to be more caring than the believers in a church…

    Best wishes on your search… Kevin

    Reply
  25. In this exact place myself…implore you to continue in your transparency at all costs and keep sharing your thoughts and feelings with us, and thank you

    Reply
  26. If I know anything about God, it’s that He values honest authentic relationship with us. He can take lows, our dry seasons, our questioning and our changes. At times I have had to let “Christian things” fall away and remember why I started following Him in the first place. That’s just my experience; everyone has their own walk. Interestingly whenever I am really dry, I play “All We Need” and it’s one of the songs that help me to remember. Thank you for that song.

    Reply
  27. I think change is stronger than ever right now. It does not hurt to take a break from anything, breaks are good, replenishing ……we live in the land of too many things anyway, technology, information, newsfeeds. No doubt we are overwhelmed. For people who feel others, empaths, yes, this is pegging the meter. I have found appreciating a variety of thoughts and perspectives to be nurturing, not just a single source like the Bible. Not saying it is not good, saying that perspective IS ….that perspective could quite possibly look like Jesus, but give perspective time to stretch and grow.
    My mother threw frying pans at my head in the kitchen when I was 12, yelling honor thy father and mother just like the Bible. She also beat on me pretty good until sending me to Christian boarding school at 13. I have spent the last 30 years trying to figure out why a Christian woman would do such a thing.
    I really don’t know you Christine, but I know all I need to know, here is some virtual unconditional love…from me to you…

    Reply
  28. I have had this song on my mind lately. It’s as if you wrote it to your future selves for such a time as this.

    ————————————–

    We wander through this world in disbelief
    Shake our heads at every tear
    Searching endlessly for some relief
    Has He left us dying here?

    But we’ve forgotten all His words
    Pretend we never heard
    We take our hearts and turn away

    But He is not silent
    He is not whispering
    We are not quiet
    We are not listening

    He sends a lifeline
    We keep resisting Him
    He is not silent
    We are not listening
    No, we are not listening

    We take our daily bread
    And after we’ve been fed
    We take our hearts and turn away

    But He is not silent
    He is not whispering
    We are not quiet
    We are not listening
    He sends a lifeline
    We keep resisting Him
    He is not silent
    We are not listening

    He is not silent
    He is not whispering
    We are not quiet
    We just are not listening

    He sends a lifeline
    We keep resisting Him
    He is not silent
    We are not listening
    No, no we are not listening
    I said we are not listening

    But He is not silent

    Reply
  29. Lately, I have been pondering deeply the whole concept of “Free Will”. I won’t test your patience with my whole dissertation on it, but I’ll just put this out there. I’m so in awe of a God who didn’t make us as robots, but gave us the gift of free will. He knew the flip side of that free will gift could back-fire, and that we could, and would, make choices that were direct opposite of His. What’s so crazy to know, is that He is not afraid of our why’s, how come’s, and I don’t agree with you questions to Him. In fact, I believe He loves that about His creation – that we have minds, and emotions, and unique thoughts, and that we’re messy. I have yelled out to God, I have shook my fist and asked why. He never ran away, but quite the opposite, surprisingly (or not, if we know the God who loves us). He will never, ever shirk from hard situations. He proved that when He answered the Pharisees questions and the Disciples questions. He invites dialogue, in whatever the emotion that is behind it. We are all on a journey in our relationship with our God, our Creator. Wherever we are at in this short time of life that we have, whatever trials come our way to test and prod us, God wants our honest communication. He knows it already. Jesus was that way on the cross (“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me???”). God is not afraid of our real, honest and hard questions. I am so grateful. Thanks, Christine, for being transparent and real.

    Reply
    • Good reminders and insights, Maureen. If we value honest communication, then God certainly must also.

      Reply

Leave a Comment