Where Do We Go From Here?

So I have been absent for awhile.
Not the kind of writing behavior that keeps a blog front and center in the minds of its readers.
And certainly not conducive to the stats need to get a publisher interested in my ongoing book experiment.

Honestly?

I don’t know what to do with this blog.
Originally it was written to chronicle and give voice to my anger, pain, hurt and distrust of God and people too.
It was about my journey through an emotional and spiritual minefield.

As long as I was writing from that perspective, it resonated with the pain and hurt others have felt or are feeling even now.

So I wrote.
I cried.
I ranted.
I struggled.
And I wrote some more.

I fought to move forward in all aspects of my life.

Sometimes I took big steps forward.
Sometimes I took small steps forward.

Sometimes I took huge steps backward.
Sometimes it felt like I was sliding back down the hill.
Unabated and for good.

All the while, I spoke openly and freely about what I faced, what I endured.

You never know what life is going to send your way.
You never know what fundamental questions are going to find you with answers that are either not forthcoming or simply not up to the task at hand.

So what do you do if you lose you?

If you are me, you write.
You engage ideas and concepts.
You take long philosophical looks in the mirror.
And you when you don’t like what you see, you write some more.

You wrestle and stretch.
You grow even when you think no progress is made.

And over time and through the encouragement of others you realize you will never be you again. At least the you like you used to be.

My me is vastly different.
Sure, I still look like me.
And I am even back to full-time ministry (something I couldn’t ever imagine being my life again).

Certainly my ministry will be different because my relationship with God is different.
More real.
Less pretentious (Please Lord, let it be).
And focused quite differently.

Mercy, grace, redemption, and second chances… those are the things I want to emphasize. That’s the message of hope I want to bring.

The truth is, people are tired of being beat up.
They are beat up by the world, on the job, and often by our culture itself.
They are beat up by their own mistakes, by failures that destroy.
They are beat up by so-called family and friends.
And far too often, they are judged, condemned, and thoroughly trashed by the spiritual arrogance and spiritual smugness of some in the church.

We have forgotten the old cliche about the church not being a hotel for the perfect; instead it is a hospital for sinners, for the broken, for those who have made a complete mess of their lives.

I want to be that one guy, that preacher, that fellow miscreant who offers a word of hope, who gives a hand in peace, who understands what it means, what it feels like to be thoroughly broken…

This next bit is going to sound strange. I get that. I really do.

I still grieve.
I am in such a good place right now with my family and new ministry, but I still grieve.
I always will until the day God calls me home.

I still grieve.
And I am glad.

I am glad that my brokenness will never be completely healed on this side of the great divide.
It’s not that I enjoy pain.
Not at all.

I am glad because the world is full of broken people—and only the truly self-aware broken can stand with them.

When we come alongside those who are hurting for whatever reason and stand with them as anything other than another broken person too… instead of offering them mercy, grace, redemption, and second chances, most likely what they will get isn’t real hope, but the condescension of one who thinks they have it all together and know all the answers.

Nothing makes the broken more broken than condescension, condemnation, and judgement.

All of that and we still haven’t answered the question of what to do with this blog… except, maybe we have.

If you are broken and know it, this place is for you—I’ll try to write the encouragement we both need to make it through.

If you are grieving, this place is for you. I’ll share my grief from time to time and you’ll know you are not alone.

Desperately Wanting To Believe Again?
You betcha! I long for that day when all wrongs will be made right.
But until then, I will strive to remember the words of a desperate father when he once met Jesus… “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Les Ferguson, Jr.

18 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. Unfortunately so many of us are beaten up by the churches as well. The church generally doesn’t deal very well with grief and pain and loss; in other words we as a church don’t know how to empathise or to love… Which is why the church desperately needs empathetic grieving people to be part of the church and be the hand, the shoulder, the loving arms that we maybe never received.

  2. Thanks Les for this writing. I can so resonate with what you said and appreciate what you are and planning to do. Tony

  3. Thank you Les so much for sharing your continued joy, pain and hope. I was thinking how much I miss my dearly departed friends on my drive into work this morning. The other day I was standing in line several feet back from a girl whose hair and size reminded me of Karen and I had to stop and remind myself that it wasn’t her.

    I thank God for his grace and mercy everyday as I know you do. It brings to mind a favorite song of mine that is sung by a group called Point of Grace. It’s called Heal the Wound. Here are some of the lyrics.

    I used to wish that I could rewrite history
    I used to dream that each mistake could be erased
    Then I could just pretend
    I never knew the me back then

    I used to pray that You would take this shame away
    Hide all the evidence of who I’ve been
    But it’s the memory of the place You brought me from
    That keeps me on my knees and even though I’m free

    Heal the wound but leave the scar
    A reminder of how merciful You are
    I am broken, torn apart, take the pieces of this heart
    And heal the wound but leave the scar

    I have not lived a life that boasts of anything
    I don’t take pride in what I bring
    But I’ll build an altar with the rubble that You’ve found me in
    And every stone will sing of what You can redeem
    . . .
    Don’t let me forget
    Everything You’ve done for me
    Don’t let me forget
    The beauty in the suffering
    . . .
    Songwriters
    Clint Lagerberg / Nicole Nordeman

    I believe it takes someone who has truly suffered to understand the suffering of others and also the mercy and grace of God. I thank God for you, your family and your ministry and continue to pray for healing of God’s wounded, broken people. And I also pray that (like the song says) the scars are a continued reminder of God’s love and mercy!

  4. I don’t post to my blog nearly as often either. I see it as a sign of healing. We will always be grieving deeply, but now that some time and healing has gone by, we are allowed to live deeply again. Never the same, but good, even still.

  5. Quite a journey you’ve made (and are still on) since I first found your blog. Thanks for sharing it with us and allowing us into parts of your soul that few people open to others.
    As for the blog … I think many people would miss it, but sometimes there comes a time to let it go. I did with mine. If you decide to do that, don’t look back! Let it go and move on…

  6. You said “I still grieve… I always will until the day God calls me home.” Amen to your life and faith and to all of us and our faith (such a “like faith”). With you in your struggle. I ‘think’ the promise was one of struggle. Our faith, life, hope, struggle, church experience – on and on – all these are always imperfect in thier practice (in ‘practice’ as in performance and feeling) but made perfect by the performance and feeling of God in Christ in us and us iin Him. I think you’ve got it; “it” being “the day to day renewal of the Spirit” in your life. Every day, with the help of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit as Himself, the Word, the Church [as a relationship, not so much as an organization], etc.), we have to make a decision to go on, and we do… renewed on the inside but often struggling to live that renewal through our fiingertips. May God continue to bless you and whatever you do on the outside with the peace you seem to have on the inside; peace that allows you to say “I still grieve… I always will until the day He calls me home… And I am glad.” The joy is still there and forever yours, just as it was with Jesus who often (usually) experienced it through tears and suffering. That is the relationship – with God and His Son through the Spirit and with the People of that relationship Chirst has gathered to Himself – that Christ lived for, prayed for, and died for. Whether you write or not, Amen. You have had some great friends make some great loving and healing comments. You are blessed by those that do not judge, only encourage. Still you seem to be saying your faith, hope, and love are built up by your writing about your day to day struggle with renewal? Just asking.

  7. I saw the webinar with Jimmy Hinton. I don’t think that it is wise to have grief all of the time. I don’t think that God wants that. There is a time of grief. I know there is a part of your heart that will always miss your wife and son, but Mourning them forever denies God’s healing. In the end, it will only reinforce the gut feeling that the pain will never end. If you haven’t been healed, why should they have hope?

    • Robert, I am not sure what comment I made that you are responding to… but thank you so much for the dialogue! Love never forgets. And mourning and grief lasts a lifetime. No, it does not have to incapacitate you forever–there does come a day when the pain is less severe… but being healed from loss? I am not sure how that works. I will always see the empty places at the table. I will always be aware of what my children are missing. I will until God takes us home miss family. Thats why our hope is so great–we wait for that day when when missing and mourning will be no more. Until then, we learn to live and thrive again! Blessings to you on your journey!

  8. Nice post Les.

    My wife died 20 years ago last month and I still grieve that loss. I just grieve differently.

    Keep posting here when you can and know that many are helped as you write and process your joys, sorrows and grief with us.

    Love you bro!

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