I talk a lot about spiritual things here because I believe we are spiritual beings wrapped in physical bodies.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers… or ANY… for that matter… when it comes to the issues of the soul. I have often said that God is so big He (She/It/They) can hold the entirety of all things spiritual. I love that about the God I know!
Still, it ruffles some feathers.
I come from a diverse Christian background, with the Church of Christ being my first deep dive into fundamental Christianity. No music was played because the Bible said so (and no, I will not be giving verses or further insights. You’re welcome!). All songs were sung acapella. Voices only, no instruments.
My first husband was an on-again, off-again member of the music-playing side of the Church of Christ. Yeah, there were two distinct groups. Oddly, in our city, both Church(es) of Christ were located on the same street. Northward, no music. South? Music.
Each side believed the other side was going to hell.
One thing they agreed upon? Deep-water baptism. No sprinkling! So yeah, if you weren’t dunked, you were going to hell.
I know, lots of hell. Am I right?
When I told my deeply religious grandmother who loved the Lord with all her heart that she was going to hell, she was understandably hurt. In my eyes, she was the personification of Christianity. This confused me. I went to my church leaders and said, “Surely, a woman of faith like my grandmother would be let into heaven, even though she hasn’t been deep-water baptized?” I was told in no uncertain terms… No! She’d be going to hell.
Years later, while continuing my search for the truth, I became Baptist… not regular ol’ Baptist but Independent, Fundamental Baptist. Then, I moved over to Southern Baptist. Think Jerry Falwell, if you remember him.
At this point, I could write PARAGRAPHS on the hypocrisy I saw as both a church member and church secretary. I knew the workings of the church inside and out. I can’t roll my eyes far enough back to convey what I saw and experienced.
Finally, I joined the Episcopalian church (aka Anglican). This is where I met Father Liz. A woman priest? Yep! Wowsers!
That was 25+ years ago and though my husband and I have visited a few churches together, none have felt right.
I’ve shared all this for context before I go on…
You see, in one of my more spiritual posts last year, someone commented something like, “You call yourself a Christian but …” (can’t remember what she said exactly and it’s not the important part).
I DO remember her last sentence:
In what then do you believe?
In response, I said that my beliefs are all over this blog and that ALL are welcome here. I stand by that answer.
However, I do want to say this:
Did you notice… in everything I wrote about (above)… something (or someONE) missing?
In Hope for the Hurting, Tony Evans introduces us to the hope that comes when we allow Jesus into our lives.
I was introduced to this book by Heather, The Kneady Homesteader. I’ve been following her for about three years, which was right before her life exploded.
One day, she was a young mom with a soul-mate husband, a couple of beautiful children, and a thriving YouTube channel focusing on Homesteading (self-sufficiency, agriculture, food preservation, crafts, etc.).
The next day, she was a broken (both physically and emotionally) isolated young widow who, after waking from a coma, was unable to do anything except pray.
A drunk driver had changed everything.
In the hospital, there were no visitors because of the pandemic. No touch from her loved ones. She was utterly alone for hours on end.
Of course, we didn’t know this. She just disappeared one day.
Months later, I cried with her as she sat in front of her camera, unable to use one leg or either of her arms (all shattered), and told the story.
As the months have passed, she has slowly come back to her channel, a changed woman so in many ways. She is planning to continue homesteading but also wants to focus on healing from grief.
While she always shared her spiritual beliefs as a Christian, she has become a beacon, a lighthouse. She has given God the glory for her healing journey but clearly, God has also given some glory to her, as well. She beams!
Her testimony made me want to open my Bible again. And I ordered the two books she mentioned a few weeks ago. Hope for the Hurting is one of them.
I know I’ve talked a lot already… and I don’t want to keep you too long. The book itself is very short, more like a gift edition you’d keep on your nightstand. The writing is engaging and conversational.
It’s filled with personal stories and Bible verses, as you’d expect.
I’ll just share one thing from the book that touched me. It’s about a comforter. You know, like the one on your bed. Evans talks about how having a comforter doesn’t change the temperature of the room. You can fold it up and put it on the end of the bed. Or you can pull it up and let it keep you warm.
So, we can choose to complain about the temperature in the room… or pull the comforter around us.
In this same way, troubles may be all around us but The Comforter will be there to envelop us.
Jesus as Comforter. I love that!
I will never tell you how or what to believe or even suggest you must have a belief. Some of the kindest people I know are atheists. (And yes, I mean that literally!)
I will say that opening yourself up to all that is offered spiritually gives you an abundance of ports to hang onto in a storm. I don’t see that as a bad thing. At all!
This is a lovely little book and would be a nice way to ease back into a Bible study if you choose to do that.
I don’t ever see myself becoming a member of a mainstream church again. God knows why and that’s good enough.
As I’ve already said, my beliefs are all over this blog. I’m eclectic.
But my relationship with Christianity is sacred. This book (and Heather) reminded me of what I’ve missed.