Way-Way

If Cole were still alive, he would look at me today and say, “Dad, you’re a big way-way, straighten up.”

Can you guess what a way-way is?

In Cole’s particular way of speaking, a way-way is a big fat baby.
A whiney butt.
Anybody caught up in a pitiful woe-is-me pity party.

I can be a way-way.

Most of us can.

It turns out, pity party’s are pretty easy, inexpensive, and easy to throw.

As far as today is concerned, it’s just been a day.
Nothing bad happened.
On the other hand nothing majorly good happened either.

In the grand scheme of things, you might say I don’t have much to complain about, and you would be right.
I have good health.
I have a great family.
I have a super fantastic wife.
In more ways than I would have, could have ever imagined or dreamed, my life is good.

Considering it all, it’s pretty amazing.

But the truth is, it’s just been one of those days my heart hurts.
One of those days where the reminders of loss come in ways you don’t expect.

So where am I going with all of this?

Life is often extremely hard and tragic. And for some, normal will never be the same. After hurricane Katrina, those of us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast got quit tired of hearing about our new normal.

But that was the reality then and the reality for many even this moment.

Life eventually mends in some fashion. Broken hearts are healed at best; at worst, they grow a pretty thick layer of scar issue that at least allows new functionality.

For many, a new reality is born through a long hard birth process of grieving and pain. Coming out on the other side and being able to live, is a tremendous blessing and worth rejoicing over.

Today?

Today I have struggled with feelings of low self-esteem. Today I have been angry, hurt, and fretful for the hardships yet to be overcome. But I intend to live! And be joyful. And not so fearful of the future.

I am strong. I will get stronger.

This day is drawing to a close.
And tomorrow?
Tomorrow is a new day and as my sweet Becki likes to remind me, I will push through and forward.

How about you?
Headed in the same direction?

Let’s travel together, you and I…

Forever thankful for the blessing of being called a way-way by my son,

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Answered or Unanswered Prayers

My wrestling with God is no secret. I have been raw, honest, and real about my struggles, difficulties, and frustration with Him.

There are times when I have been highly confident and secure in my relationship with God.

But these days, I am all over the proverbial map.

I seem stuck in a place I can’t escape from–and God? I believe He is my Father. I believe His Son died for me. I believe the Holy Spirit works in believer’s lives.

I believe all that.
I do.
I am really not trying to convince myself or you of those beliefs.

I just can’t quite let go of my struggle to understand God more.
I just can’t.

I am not a deist. I don’t believe God created the universe, wound it up, and then took a step back to watch what happens.

At the same time, I have a strong need to understand how or why God answers some prayers and others He doesn’t.

But before you tell me God always answers prayers with a yes, not, or wait… I understand what you are saying. On the other hand, put yourself in my place for just a second–I wouldn’t ever want you to really be where I have been. Imagine praying and asking God to keep your family safe from harm–to protect them from people who would want to do them grave physical harm… Can you imagine that? Probably you have done the very thing yourself.

Now imagine something far worse than your worse nightmare taking place. (When we were in the criminal justice system waiting for justice, I always imagined a confrontation would take place one day before a court trial occurred. In my mind it was all verbal–some yelling and jousting…) Of course, you know what ultimately happened. I wish I could be completely honest about where all the ripples have taken us. I wish I could tell you what our very real struggles still are. I suspect you would be in shock all over again.

So it happened. It was bad. It’s still a waking walking nightmare.

How do you view God? Can you imagine a God who would say no to keeping your family safe? Or is it easier to believe somehow, someway that that particular prayer went unanswered?

Thus my need to understand God’s nature more better as we like to say down here.
More better.

In graduate school, I did a paper on the nature of Hell. One of the things I discovered was this: the doctrine of hell is based more on the literary piece known as Dante’s Inferno than any clear Biblical texts.

I wrestled hard with hell. I looked at the major theories. I researched, wrote, and wrote some more. In the end, I felt pretty comfortable with seeing hell differently than I had in the past. In the conclusion of the paper, I hedged my bets though and said something like this: Whatever form hell takes, I don’t want to be there.

I have no intention of ever finding out firsthand about eternity in hell.

Hell on earth? That’s another story.
Been there.
Done that.
Tired of wearing the T-Shirt.

Ultimately, whether I understand the shape, form, and fashion of hell correctly or not (or even heaven as well) isn’t all that important.

But understanding God? Understanding how He works? Those are questions worthy of my struggle.

I know heaven is in my future. I just want a piece of it here.

By the way, if you would like a copy of my paper on The Nature of Hell, send me a quick message through the contact page and it is yours free of charge–to read, line your bird cage, or to clean up with after your new puppy!

Blessings,

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Theological Juggling/ Spiritual Gymnastics, Part 2

I enjoyed graduate school. Some of my best thinking and preaching took place during that time. My course of study in New Testament Preaching at Johnson University challenged me, forced me to grow, and helped develop some critical thinking and writing skills.

During that time, my sermons became much more focused. I begin writing and preaching messages that only had one point. I was a better communicator for it.

Over the years I flirted with going back to school to work on a Ph.D in speech communications, but there was never really the time, money, or energy. At the very least I couldn’t find or fund the emotional and mental reserves necessary to commit to that course of action.

I regret that at the same time I don’t. If you know what I mean.

Yesterday, I could have apparently used some better communication abilities.

Maybe this will help…

I am sure of Jesus.
I am sure of the Father.
I am sure of the Holy Spirit.

I believe in them with all my heart.

However, I have no shame in saying, there are aspects of each I don’t know or understand.

I believe Jesus was fully human and fully divine at the same time. I am not sure I understand exactly how that worked except with God, all things are possible.

I believe the Father loves me. And yet, even knowing that, there are some times I am quite confident I am not experiencing His love–at least how I imagine it to be.

I believe the Holy Spirit is my comforter. Scripture affirms that. Not only am I not sure, but there are times I am certain His comfort is far from me.

My need to know exactly how God works and what He is doing and why he does or doesn’t is part of my human nature that needs to control.

If I know, I can feel in control.

God’s nature is love. But the full expression of that love and how it will completely work out in our lives is still a mystery. I wish I could, but I cannot control that.

And like it or not, there are any number of doctrines that have divided, confused, and confounded us. We can’t all be right.

So, I’ll stake some comfort in the idea that when it comes to God, perfect knowledge is incomplete and out of my control.

In a comment today, Greg England said,

One thing I do know for sure and that is the longer I live the more I realize just how little I know when it comes to God and His Word. But it’s a blast, ain’t it, just to be able to scrounge around in the Word without having to know everything for sure (obviating faith) and enjoying the vast mystery of it all. I’ll forever be in kindergarten when it comes to my knowledge of God. But when He says I’m declared righteous because of my belief in Jesus, I’ll take it!

So will I, Greg. So will I.

In the next few days I’ll be writing a bit more about the idea of unanswered prayer (or, when God says nothing at all). As a teaser, I am not a deist, but I have some real questions about the nature of God.

God bless and have a great night/ day/ or whenever you read this!

🙂

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Theological Juggling/ Spiritual Gymnastics

I don’t know.

I am not sure.

It may be beyond my ability to understand or definitively explain.

Try saying those words.

Seriously.

They are actually quite easy. And if you need the practice, just a little bit will do. In no time at all, those words/ phrases will be rolling off your tongue!

And needed.

Yes, so very needed.

Can we all agree there are things in the Bible we don’t understand?
Can we all agree that God is so vastly outside our human comprehension, to the point we can’t always wrap our minds around Him?

When we don’t know the answers, when we can’t quite grasp, it is more intellectually, theologically, relationally, and spiritually honest to say…

I don’t know.

I am not sure.

It may be beyond my ability at this time to understand or definitively explain.

I grow weary of theological juggling and spiritual gymnastics. I tire easily of bible verses multiplied and added, subtracted and divided, with a great unknown amount of square roots and fractional computations all to prove some already held belief, dogma, or doctrine.

Here’s a rule of thumb: if you have to work that hard to make your point, there is a very high chance your point is wrong.

Here’s another: context is king!

Really?
Absolutely!

Personally, I keep encountering some pretty obscene theological posturing. At the same time, I don’t have all the answers either.

Bet you didn’t know that, did you?

I struggle understanding the nature of the Old Testament God versus the nature of the New Testament God.

The old seems pretty bloodthirsty.
The new seems full of mercy and grace.
And they are the same God.

I know that.
You know that.
And rather than participating in extreme biblical jousting, it is easier, far easier for me to say…

I don’t know.

I am not sure.

It may be beyond my ability at this time to understand or definitively explain.

Please… I am not suggesting we can’t seek to know God better, to understand more fully His Word. With all of my heart, I want a more complete knowledge of God. I am confused by some things; baffled by others. I want answers, but not man made manufactured ones that fall apart in the light of day.

We would all be better off–and closer to the truth if we kept the context of scripture in understanding the meaning.

In the meantime, I don’t understand some important things about the nature of God. I want to, but I don’t.

I don’t understand why God does not intervene when evil invades our lives.
I don’t understand why some prayers are answered and others are not.
I don’t understand why innocence is sacrificed on an altar of despair.

I don’t understand, but I do believe in the One who does.

Come quickly, Lord.

Les Ferguson, Jr.

My Friend Kansas Bob

A question came in on the comments today. It referenced a time in my life when I was a yearly director of a camp session at Gulf Coast Bible Camp (a great place to support or send your kids). That particular week’s theme was I Am A Friend of God.

The question: Do I still consider myself a friend of God or are we more like frenemies?

Good question. I’d like to believe I am not an enemy of God. I certainly don’t believe God is my enemy. We have been a bit estranged in the past year and a half. We have wrestled an awful lot–and I have yet to win one single match. But I still wrestle. I guess I am stubborn like that.

Often friends get crossways with one another. But getting crossways or having a difference of opinion doesn’t mean abandoning the relationship.

If rape and a double murder could be construed as God’s plan for me, my anger would be much greater. If God was trying to help me grow or teach me some lesson and thereby let this happen, then I would be sorely ticked off at Him. There are much nicer ways to get my attention. I don’t think God was doing that. I don’t think God caused the perverted creep to do the perverted creep things he did.

I doubt I’ll ever have full understanding, but I am thankful God has not abandoned me in my time of questioning and wrestling!

And you know what? I am not alone. There are lots of us out here who struggle to understand why our lives have fallen apart–why so many bad things have to happen–why we continue to endure while others skip through life with hardly a disruptive ripple.

We are many. And as long as this earth lasts unredeemed, we will be here.

We are not going away. Chances are, there may be an unwanted occasion when you become one of us. I hope not, but that’s the reality of this world…

In the meantime, I’d like to share a guest post from a man who has also endured much.

Blog, meet Kansas Bob. Here’s what he has written:

In March of 1990 my life fell apart. Ellen, my wife of 19 years, had a heart attack and kidney failure.

In the following four years my whole life’s focus was caring for her. Everything else I was doing, ministry-wise, stopped.

I slowly died on the inside.

It was during this time that I began to be confronted by the control issues that surrounded me and lived deep within me.

As I continually prayed for my wife she got weaker and weaker.
And my frustration got stronger and stronger.

I had no control over what was happening. My children began having problems in school. They too were dealing with a deepening grief about their mom’s health.

All the while I was being forced to change – I hated it. All of the things in life that I thought I had figured out were unraveling before my eyes. Everything that was important to me was falling apart.

I was dying on the inside and in May of 1994 my dear wife of 23 years died.

The past years had taken a toll on our family, my 14 year old son, my 10 year old daughter and me.

We were all devastated at my wife’s death.
We all expected her to get well.

That is what we prayed for.
I believed in healing and miracles.
Standing by her side I even prayed for a resurrection when my wife breathed her last.

The aftermath of her death found my son medicating with drugs, my daughter struggling with identity issues and me dealing with a broken theology.

I increasingly became aware of how much I had been led by principles and precepts.
Subconsciously I had developed a complex internal system of rules and logic concerning life.

These “of course” were all based in scripture and encompassed words like “authority” and “submission”.

Unclear to me was the real issue – living by rules put me in control.

For years I lived the life of a “led by the Spirit” Christian when in truth, I was more like a rules following control freak.

Sadly, my legalistic approach to life and Christianity bred an arrogant attitude towards people who didn’t see the scriptures the same way I did.

When my wife was sick, the arrogant attitude began to give way to glimpses of humility.

I was humbled when meals came into my home from friends at church for 10 weeks.

Coping with hospitalizations, doctor’s bills (from 40+ doctors), hemodialysis, and a boatload of medical problems brought me to a place of breaking.

I was losing control.
I didn’t want to let go of my legalistic ideas and practices but had no option.
I could no longer maintain and feed the on stuff that once brought my ego such satisfaction.

The years after my wife’s passing brought many changes in my life.

That major theme of losing control seemed to subtly resurface as my children began to outwardly grieve the loss of their mom.

“Control” is a major battlefield for one trapped in black and white thinking.
It is all about “control”.

That brings me to the end of 2002.

I had remarried and Ann, my new wife, was going through an intense health crisis that involved paralysis.

I was beside myself once again when the Holy Spirit began to speak to me.
He spoke to me about life and living.
About letting go and flowing in life instead of controlling.
He said that life isn’t something to be managed like a project but something to be lived.

God was beginning to slay my desire to be in control.

Little did I know how much this would be tested over the coming years.

In the summer of 2007 my wife had another relapse of this nasty neurological disease called Neuromyelitis Optica.

This time she did not bounce back like the many times before.
This time she could not walk.
This time she would need to use a wheelchair to get around.
And she does to this day.

In January 2008 I read this quote from G. K. Chesterton:

“Why be something to everybody when you can be everything to somebody?”

It got me crying.

And over the following months I became convinced that God was leading me to leave my job as a pastor.

That summer I retired to minister full time at home.

I still find it difficult to let go and not control but I am making progress.

I try to see issues in the color gray rather than in black and white.
I do things these days that have clear boundaries.
I listen more to the advice of friends and family.
I honor the choices of my adult children even when I don’t agree with them.

And in all things I remember that God loves me and wants me to trust Him.

Not that I always do.

After all, trust is an issue of letting go and giving up control.

Kansas Bob
http://kansasbob.com

Mississippi Blue Skies

Thursday’s storms have passed on by.

It is a beautiful Saturday on the mighty Mississippi river here in Vicksburg.

Forgive the following brag…

It looks like I may have several speaking gigs in the process of being lined up (yeah me!). The blog will most likely go over 62,000 page views in the next few hours or so. Email subscribers are at 310. Facebook page likes are at 577. And, it is quite possible I will be published in two national publications–online and print. But most importantly, I am thankful for all of you who have helped give me a voice again.

The future may not yet be bright enough that I have to wear shades, but the day is not yet over! I am eagerly looking forward to whatever comes next

How’s that for an optimistic outlook on life?

I look forward to the day when some of the struggle is a thing of the past.
Do I think I will still wrestle with God? You betcha! But truthfully, I think my give and take with God is more honest and life/ hope affirming than not engaging Him.

And being able to share your heartbreak, pain, and questioning of God gives great meaning to my life. Neither of us are alone…

In spite of the occasional storm clouds of anger, doubt, confusion, uncertainty, and fear, the sky is still blue. Sometimes you have to wait awhile for the blue to peek through, but peek through it will eventually do.

For my fellow strugglers who wrestle with the pain and hurt of this world…
For my fellow travelers who rage at the inadequacy of faith and additional pain from the hands of a platitude based Christianity…
For my fellow questioners who long for answers they may never have this side of eternity…
For my fellow limpers barely getting by in a world of sprinters and long distance runners, limp on…

Blue skies are just beyond the clouds.
If I can discern them, you will too one day!

(Somebody please remind me of this post when the skies are dark and gray as they sometimes will be for me and you)

Happy Saturday!
May your today and tomorrow be blessed!

Rock on,
Les Ferguson, Jr.

Lonely

I tend to like having time alone depending on what I am doing.
Sometimes.

Sounds conflicted, doesn’t it?

One of the things I value so much about my new marriage is our ability to be together quietly.

Nothing is forced. We don’t have to talk for the sake of creating noise. We can each be doing what we want and are completely comfortable just knowing the other is near.

That shared look across the room communicates volumes (and truth be known makes my heart race).
I am grateful for her continued presence in my life.

Sometimes I like solitude.
Often I like peace and tranquility.
But never, ever do I like being lonely.

When I remarried, the tongues wagged (and so did the keyboards). I heard from numerous folks how “men just don’t do well alone.” As if the only reason I married again so quickly was to fill a void in my life. But hey, if they were talking about me they were giving somebody else a much need break.

Can I get an amen?
Anyway.

Was there a void in my life? Yes.
Did I get married just to fill it (or have a momma figure for my boys)? No.

Not being lonely is important to me, but not so important that I would jump into something rash just so I wouldn’t be alone.

All that being said, I married Becki because it was obvious we had a deep, deep connection. It was crystal clear that together, neither of us would ever be lonely again. We have a good marriage. We are a good team.

Three Dog Night (Yes, I am that old) once sang one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

Real lonely hurts deep. You can be lonely by yourself. You can be lonely in a crowd. You can be lonely in a relationship. You can be lonely preaching for a church. You can be lonely when your greatest needs, desires, and expectations are unmet.

Don”t believe me? Just ask.

Ask the wife who hasn’t had a meaningful conversation with her husband in years.
Ask the preacher who is shriveling on the vine for lack of real friendship among the people he serves.
Ask the single person who is desperately tired of having no one to share their heart.
Ask the woman who wants a child what it is like to be surrounded by other women and their children.
Ask the step-parent who wants nothing more than to be able to love the children of his or her spouse.
Ask the man, woman, or child whose emptiness wants more than anything to hear a word from God.

There are people all around you–some even close–who are so lonely they could scream.

Have you ever noticed?

Pain and tragedy creates loneliness. And sometimes others are so uncomfortable with your pain that they unintentionally create distance making the loneliness that much more profound.

There is a very real chance that nothing you can say or do will alleviate that particular pain. But at least by being present, the loneliness might not be so, well, lonely.

Each of us has the ability to speak to the loneliness present in our world.

Will you?

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Thin

In my old life, I once wrote an article about my fascination with sacred places. As a child and as an adult, I spent countless hours walking the battlefields of Manassas/ Bull Run, Vicksburg, and Yorktown.

Sacred places, those are.
Holy ground, if you will.
Points on the compass worthy of our honor and respect.

In Celtic tradition, what I call sacred might best be described as thin places.

Thin places are locations where the veil between this world and the next is thin. And, for whatever reason one can feel the sacred nature.

Old battlefields do that to me. Every time.

My ancestry is for the most part Scottish/Irish and German. I may not be a good Irishman or Scot, but I am achingly fascinated with the idea of thin places.

In every battlefield I have ever visited, I have unexpectedly found an eery spot where my hair stood on end and chill bumps arose–a place where I felt a communion/ kinship with those who fought, bled, and died there.

You can laugh at my words or think me silly or daft. I am good with that. I am also good with believing there are certain places where the veil between worlds is thin.

I long for the day when the veil is torn away. When thin places are no more. When this world and the next are no longer separated.

In the meantime, I crave thin places and thin moments. I desperately want to feel communion with my boy. I’d love to have dreams where he came to me.

Instead, what I have today is a paper thin faith.

Some days I am stronger. But not today.
No, not today.

Paper Thin Faith.

Maybe you have been there.
Maybe you too have experienced a faith that is so very, very fragile.

When faith is paper thin, it is all you can do to just hold on.

God, I cannot wrestle at all today. I would be more apt to scream or curse at you. I am sick of the platitudes. I am weary of hearing how good you are especially when it feels more like absence at best or unconcern at worst. My faith is thin. Paper thin. At this moment, it wouldn’t take much to tear it completely apart. I am weary of you. So today, while I don’t have any reason for great expectations, please let me just sit here awhile and try to hold on. And God, would it be to much to have just a momentary encounter with a thin place or a thin time…

Les

The Dirt You Are Waiting For Me To Shovel

It’s a beautiful day in Vicksburg, MS. Living here again has satisfied my strong obsession with nostalgia.

I have enjoyed living in places that had more to offer economically. I have loved living on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. And like John Denver sang long ago, if I had my druthers I’d go fishing, find myself a vacant lazy day…

Wade fishing for speckled trout on Mississippi’s barrier islands is a joy I will not soon forget. A boat and daily access to Cat Island is my rich man fantasy (that and an exotic sport car).

But for whatever reason the current of this place has always tugged on my heart and mind.

Maybe it is the mighty Mississippi River. I have fished for catfish in her, learned to water ski on her, and played for countless hours on her sandbars and tributaries.

Years and years ago, my dream was to ride the river on tugboats pushing massive loads of tied together barges. Three days after high school graduation, I flew to Paducah, KY and caught my first boat running south. I enjoyed being a deck hand even if I was the lowest man on the totem pole.

Vicksburg has a lot of problems. Like many other small towns, politics, economics, and a lack of hope has hurt my favorite little place. But even so, over the years she has been good to me.

The sun is shinning. The sky is blue. A soft breeze is blowing a few distant clouds around. And I love this place…

No matter how old you are, no matter the miles behind you, coming home can restore a sense of equilibrium. And for me? It has been a place of hope, healing, and peace.

God and I still have our differences. I continue to want for Him to play more fairly than He has… But I am so thankful to be here, to catch my breath, to see what this next stage of life has in store.

To be sure, I have days when I am pretty pitiful, despondent, and overly worried about the future.

But not today.
Today I am thankful to be home, to be loved, and to love again…

Oh yeah, before I forget… Smile! The dirt you are waiting for me to shovel is right outside the front door. I am headed there now to plant a new pink rose bush for Becki.

Happy Shoveling,
Les Ferguson, Jr.

Hodgepodge & Sovereign Redo

It’s been a beautiful Saturday thus far. I have spent the better part of the day painting in our master bedroom bath. As I write this I am pretty well splattered with paint and tired. Hopefully not too tired for an evening walk/ run in just a bit.

I m very appreciative of the audience and fellow travelers who have connected through the pages of this blog. It tickles me to no end to see some of you communicating back and forth through the comments.

All of us are at different places on the same journey of discovery and understanding. I envy you who are traveling much faster with a clearer view than me.

I think it would be easier if there were not so many different ripples going in as many different directions. I told Becki today in a moment/ a couple of hours of self-pity that I felt like a loser. I am not looking for your affirmations or even words of encouragement. You can’t fix this by telling me how I should feel or even by pointing out the good things going on.

Just understand, trying to start two careers simultaneously is hard. Either one by their little lonesome would be enough difficulty. I have never been a man of great patience. Under normal circumstances it would take a couple more years to get this real estate thing going good enough for me to be self-sufficient. As for building a writing and speaker career, I have no idea the time frame necessary to be successful.

The only solution I know for the constant worry, fear, and stress is to keep plugging away trying to build a business and writing as much as I can. It is what I am going to do.

Thank you for sharing the journey and giving me voice once again…

A coupe of notes…

The Drew Marshall Show sent me this official link to the interview I did with them last week.

http://www.drewmarshall.ca/listen2013.html#130406

I am writing some other things for other formats.
The blog is closing in on 59,000 views.
And best of all, my oldest son, Kyle, got his acceptance letter for the nursing program at the University of Alabama–Hunstville. Woo Hoo Kyle! So proud of you!

In the meantime, in place of your regularly scheduled programming, I am reporting here the first blog article that started it all for me…

Sovereign in the mountain air
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm

Sovereign in my greatest joy
In my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn

In your everlasting arm
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you

In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

Sovereign in the mountain
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm

Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn

In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you

In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

All my hopes
All I need
Held in your hands

All my life
All of me
Held in your hands

All my fears
All my dreams
Held in your hands

All my hopes
All I need
Held in your hands

All my life
All of me
Held in your hands

All my fears
All my dreams
Held in your hands

In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you

In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

I love this song.
I hate this song.
I love Chris Tomlin.
I hate Chris Tomlin.

To say I am a conflicted man is a such cliched statement.
Cliched or not, it’s true.

Please understand, what you will read in the pages and chapters of whatever this will ultimately become won’t be for the faint of heart. It won’t be for those whose faith is comfortable or complacent. It may very well be too much for those who cannot handle unvarnished truth and pain.

One page may be raw emotion. Another story may be bittersweet memories of what was lost forever. And still another entry may be rage against the God I believe in… the God whom I have lost my faith, hope, and trust in.

That’s why I both love and hate Chris Tomlin’s song Sovereign.

In your everlasting arm
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you

I want to believe that so badly.
I desperately need to believe again.

And yet.
And yet…