Fat Daddy

Frustration mounts.

You probably didn’t come here to get my take on the latest shenanigans coming out of our nation’s capital. I’ll probably just refrain at least in this format. I’ll give you a hint, though. I am a fan of the Revolution that began this country.

A big, big fan.
But I digress.

Frustration mounts.
I am surrounded by frustrated people.
And not just in the federal government.

We have a new mayor. The city paid the lawsuits as a result of his philandering. He was then caught taking a bribe by the FBI. He’s out and going to jail.

Our county government has problems also. Somebody may yet go to jail as well.
And then there is our school district.
If I told you, you would find it hard to believe.

Not only does frustration abound, craziness does too.

For a long time, I wanted to be a politician. But then I realized I would for the most part either have to be a liar, cheater, schemer, swindler, or manipulator… if not, then at the very best, I would be in a tiny small minority.

Yeah.
I am probably painting with an overly wide brush.
But you’d have to do the hard work of proving me wrong to change my mind.

At this point, I’d do better to just call them idiots and leave it at that.

Frustration mounts.
For many, it is a slowly seething pot that is about to reach it’s boiling point.

I could easily volunteer for president of the frustration club–at least for the branch that deals with the federal government.

While I am hopping mad at lots of stuff going on in this country, it’s politics and governance is not by far my biggest frustration.

Want to take a guess where or in whom my greatest frustration lies?
Hey God, my greatest frustration is you!

Far from intending anything disrespectful or blasphemous, I imagine God saying, “I know, son, I know…”
And yet frustration mounts.

I wrote the other day about hanging on.
It was good advice for me to hear.
Apparently, I still need the reminder.

But the truth is my patience is wearing thin.
And I am tired. Very tired.
I keep thinking about and asking myself how much longer will I be frustrated and stymied? How many more lessons do I have to learn until some of the old me can be comfortably a part of the new me? How long, God, how long?

Frustration mounts.
As a result, tonight, I am self-medicating.

Tonight I am writing with my drug of choice right beside me.
Yes, I did say drug, but it’s not what you think…

I am frustrated.
I am impatient.
I am weary.
But I am growing full and momentarily contented as the stack of fig newtons slowly dwindles away chased by a beautiful glass of cold, cold milk!

And I am smiling with a memory of my sweet Cole… I can clearly hear him say mischievously as the cookies are devoured… You fat, daddy. You fat.

Maybe so, son.
Maybe so.

Frustration mounts.
Relax and have a cookie.
Chances are, you can’t do much about it anyway!

(Somebody will probably have to remind me of this tomorrow…)

Les Ferguson, Jr.

When Your Name Is Job

Seriously.

That’s not my birth name.

It’s not my nickname.

It’s not some weird family term of endearment.

In fact, if there is a biblical name I hate more than any… If there is a biblical story I despise more than any other, it is the name and story of Job.

I don’t want to hear how I am a modern day version of Job. It makes me sick. It makes me angry. It gives me questions for which I am still impatiently demanding answers.

I read Job’s story and find it utterly horrific that God would allow, much less encourage the kind of faith testing Job endured.

But as hard as it might be to wrap our minds around it, since the day mankind choose sin and self over righteousness and God, Satan has owned the power and authority to wreak havoc in our lives.

Satan did it in Job’s life.
Satan did it in mine.
And maybe not to the extreme others have had to face, Satan is still doing his best to wreak havoc in all of our lives. Mine and yours included.

It’s bad enough when it comes through the destruction of tragedy… it’s more than bad enough when it comes at the hands of wicked evil men.

But the truth is, it happens more often as a result of our own personal choices and decisions.

For every person whose family is murdered, destroyed–whose life/lives are damaged beyond comprehension, there are thousands and thousands–untold numbers–who face destruction, heartache, and grief as a result of their own making, be it poor choices or systemic failure.

There are people all around us who look to be successful, even “faithful” church folk. There are good friends and family whom we know and love… and they are hurting, struggling, dying on the inside.

And they are often ashamed.
Ashamed of their own weaknesses.
Ashamed of their own doubt.
Ashamed of their own lack of faith, belief, and trust.

I know this to be a fact.
I know it because I am one of them.

Regardless of how we got here, we are here. And we are most likely not going away.

So the question for the church is this: what are you going to do with us? My experience is that the church can do just as much damage, cause just as much pain. Platitudes will not fix us. Neither will hoping we go away. And expecting us to fix what is broken ourselves may be a lost cause.

Yeah…

When you are dealing with broken people, it doesn’t really matter how they became broken, does it?

It shouldn’t but it often does. Sometimes we see the nastiness of broken lives and because they did it to themselves, we try to extract our pound of flesh–to add some more punishment.

Really? Isn’t that what God would have us do?

No.

In case you didn’t catch that, no.

If you are stubborn like me, we’ll say it again, no!

Everybody who has received mercy, who has been given grace, should be a conduit of the very same.

Really.

Besides, turn about is fair play and one day it might just be you caught in a bad place…

I once preached for a church where those in leadership refused to allow a baby shower for any unwed mother. The one place where this broken life should find help, hope, understanding, and forgiveness became a place that piled on even more shame.

If you or your church wants to be a beacon of hope for the lost and weary, you could honestly begin and maybe do your very best work right there in your own family…

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

You save more lives with love than condemnation.

Thank you for helping save mine.

Les Ferguson, Jr.

A Doormat Christianity

Matthew 22:34-40, Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Loving God and loving others. The two greatest commands. The heart and soul of what it means to live a Christian life.

In an old newspaper column somewhere back in time, I once wrote about God’s response when looking at his children and all of the theological drama we have created. In my imagination, I saw Him shaking His head and saying, “No, no, no. That isn’t it all.”

I suspect there are lots of ideas, beliefs, and dogmas that satisfy our human nature but miss entirely the ideal of God.

You might be an arm chair or a classically trained theologian and think me arrogant to even suggest such thing. In return, I think it pretty arrogant to ever imagine even for a minute that we have gotten it all right.

Along the way of developing and defending our doctrinal beliefs, it sometimes feels as if we have lost the main thing. I often tell the sixteen year old in our house, you can be right and still be wrong. If you are right, but mouthy and snotty in the process, all the right doesn’t undo what the attitude got wrong.

The same is true of Christianity. If your doctrine of _________ is exactly what God intended, but you fail to be loving toward your follow man, what good does it do?

You can be right and still be wrong.
Can I get an Amen?

I will probably not make any friends with this post. I suspect some will disagree vehemently. And that’s ok.

I keep being told that one day I will be back in full time ministry. I agree.

I am trying hard to find my voice, to discover my niche, or for lack of a better term, create my own ministry role. But, if you mean being a full time pulpit minister/ preacher/ pastor for a local congregation… I just can’t do that.

One reason is I am a long way from an everyday hey-God-I-can-do-this kind of thing. God and I are still wrestling. I am still limping. And like it or not, most churches wouldn’t handle very well a preacher who openly limps. I am sure there are exceptions, but I wouldn’t know them.

More importantly, another reason is my inability to practice a Doormat Christianity.
Go ahead and ask… you know you want to… What is Doormat Christianity?

As a preacher, my greatest desire was to see the kingdom of God grow. To do that, I strived hard to love God by loving others. In the process, I often allowed myself to become a doormat to those I served.

What about Jesus’ commands to turn the other cheek or to go the extra mile? I fully believe those words at work in our lives would go an awful long way to bringing us peace in our relationships.

Loving God by loving others even when they are unloveable is not the issue. On the other hand, we are often motivated by something less than love in going the extra mile or turning the other cheek.

It’s not a pretty picture, but in my life as a preacher, it was often more about self-preservation. In order to not rock the boat, I welcomed the opportunity to be a doormat to keep my job or provide for my family.

I am kidding right? Not one little bit.

Spiritual abuse? Bring it on.
Power trips? Learn to roll with the punches.
Maintaining the status quo at the cost of your own spiritual growth and creativity? You betcha.

I probably sound bitter. I am. But, I am not content to stay there and so God and I are having to wrestle with that as well.

In the meantime, can I ask a favor? Love your ministers lavishly. Chances are you have no idea what they are sacrificing–sometimes even their own self-esteem. If you like to make jokes at the preacher’s expense about only working one day a week or keeping his moving boxes close to hand or how much money he makes, Stop!

Stop now. He may laugh with you, but it takes a toil.

Eventually he becomes a doormat whether he wants to acknowledge it or not. Even when he can’t or won’t see it for what it is, his spouse sees it and suffers too.

Doormat Christianity is hurtful, destructive, and ultimately damaging to the spirit within.

Loving others means saying this is wrong!

Thanks for reading.
Anything in particular you would like me to address?
How can I help you?

Les Ferguson, Jr.
DWTBA

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.

Dirty Laundry? Everybody Likes To Know!

Dirty laundry.
With four boys in the house, we get a whole new load every time the lights go off and we head to bed.
It never seems to end.

There is dirty laundry and then there is dirty laundry..

Oh, yeah…

When it is not ours to wash, fold, and put away, we like hearing about the dirty laundry of others.

I see it in my own blog. When I write hard, raw stuff telling the salacious details of the walking, living nightmare that invaded our lives, so many more people read. It’s as if the world lives for hearing or vicariously walking through the ugly others are forced to know.

Sometimes I think we just like to rubberneck at the train wrecks others experience; other times, it’s almost like we are somehow safe when it is happening to others.

Until we are not.

Until the evening news invades our lives…

Don’t think that by writing this, I am somehow above it all. The truth is I am not. I am a rubber necker by nature too.

Dirty Laundry takes many forms. In some cases it can happen to us; in other circumstances, it is the accumulation of our own choices, decisions, and actions.

Several weeks ago, my almost 16 year old asked Becki and me why we never married all those years ago. He already knew about my broken heart and emotional breakdown. He was aware of my decision to join the US Navy in a last ditch effort to gain some direction and discipline.

But then he heard what happened in the year leading up to joining the military, information his older brothers had never heard.

….Dad (me) spent a year working as a male dancer/ stripper in a “ladies club.”

My poor son, like many of you at this moment, was absolutely speechless, horrified, and somehow fascinated by this secret life he had never heard of before.

Some of you even now are trying to imagine/ not imagine what that was like. And like him, you are wondering how this preacher’s son could have sunk to such a low.

Maybe you are embarrassed for my parents at this blatant display of dirty laundry.
Or worse, you are shocked by my admission and possibly feeling sorry for the potential humiliation Becki may yet endure…

But the truth is, both my parents and Becki are laughing pretty hard right about now. They along with my oldest son, who is in on the joke, are amazed at how gullible my almost 16 year old is…

Even funnier, he doesn’t read what I write and is still chomping at the bit to ask his grandfather about this sordid time in my life.

So be honest. I also had you there for just the briefest of moments, didn’t I? For just a short while, you were prepared to believe some really dirty laundry.

Go ahead and laugh at yourself. It’s almost as funny as the idea of me being a dancer in a strip club.

Almost, but not quite. I couldn’t dance my way out of a wet paper bag, much less some village people outfit!

The moral of the story? Am I just trying to drum up new readers and keep the old readers engaged?

No. Not really. The truth is the title will grab some attention and the stats might show a higher number of readers than would a sappy happy, happy, happy post.

Instead, the moral of the story is really quite simple. Whether the dirty laundry is self-inflicted or the result of the evening news invading someone’s life (I am proud of that phrase), there is always great pain and heartache involved.

The next time you are tempted to rubberneck (and judge), remember, you are gazing in on what might be the most horrifying event a person could ever experience.

Dirty Laundry.

You are welcome to share mine as long as you are willing to wash a load or two with me.

Aren’t you glad God isn’t scared off by dirty laundry? Tomorrow or the next day, I will share some of my ongoing dirty laundry in my struggle back to faith.

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, subscribing, and sharing.

Les Ferguson, Jr.

I Don’t Want Anything To Do With Your Plan!

C’mon.
Really?

Are you serious?
Is that how you want to reconcile your questions and faith?

Ok. So maybe you’re scratching your head wondering if good old Les has finally lost his mind. Probably, but that’s not really up for discussion. At least not in this post.

Try this premise on for size: I am seriously confident in believing there are very few who don’t have a God created in their own image.

Yesterday’s post was just two examples of how we create God in our image. We have expectations of God. We expect Him to perform as we think He should. We expect Him to provide answers that completely satisfy our questions.

Good luck with that. At the same time, I am confident you also have had an occasion or two in which your expectations have not been met.

So here’s my rant, difficulty, and frustration–not with God, He gets a break today…

When God did not fit in your god box, when God did not do what you think He should have, and when God did not and doesn’t yet answer your questions, please, please quit ascribing your lack of understanding to some mysterious plan!

I could scream every time somebody suggests that all the bad stuff that has happened is a part of God’s plan. Think about what you are saying!

When the horrific occurs and people are scrambling to get a handle on it–to understand how and why such things happen… When you have a million questions for God–when you are striving to comprehend where God was… Quit giving Him and yourself a pass and ask the hard questions! Sure, you may never get a satisfactory answer, but ask the questions anyway.

When you credit the unanswerable to some vague plan of God, you are not comforting the hurting, you are trying to give yourself false comfort and hope.

News Flash! News Flash! News Flash!

Bad things happen to good people. Hearts are broken. Lives are shattered. Blood is spilled that can never be put back. And to say rape, murder, suicide, divorce, cancer, and any other horror is God’s plan? That is tantamount to blasphemy. God does not work that way.

Care to repeat that with me?
God does not work that way!

But Satan certainly does.

The thief comes only to steal and kill. (John 10:10a, NIV)

I don’t understand why God doesn’t intervene. I confess my struggle to reconcile God’s presence in my life with those times He is so conspicuously absent.

Surely, if I thought for a minute God was behind the loathsome events that shattered my family and whose ripples are still being felt and will continue throughout our lives…

I would curse Him and beg to die.

That’s not my God.
That’s not His plan.

It doesn’t mean I am letting Him off the hook with the hard questions. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want answers. To the contrary, I do so want them.

Even as I recognize answers may never come this side of eternity, I’d rather go through life wrestling, struggling, and limping with God than to live in blissful ignorance. No matter how many times you say it, I will not pretend to find some lame comfort in a non-existent plan.

If nothing else, that’s a plan I have to live with.

Aren’t you glad faith is not one size fits all?

Les, Jr.

PS. Thanks to all who read. Today the blog went over 50,000 views. And thanks as well to all who have subscribed and liked the Facebook page!

Stop, Drop, & Listen

If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas–no wonder my words have been impetuous. (Job 6:2-3 NIV)

Don’t be a fool!

Yes, a fool.

And yes, I am talking to you.

I have made many foolish mistakes in my life. Sometimes I am afraid my picture has been used in the dictionary as the illustration of the definition fool.

Free Online Dictionary: Fool–One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding. One who acts unwisely on a given occasion.

IMG_0067

I wish I had cornered the market when it comes to being a fool, but it would be foolish of me to think so.

So when I say Don’t Be A Fool, it’s really about saving ourselves from creating more heartache, pain, anger, and stress in those who are already dealing with a painful reality.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this post is really about what to do or not and what to say or not when people are grieving.

Grieving is the hardest work I have ever done. Grieving turns your already upside down world into a life that is now also inside out.

Try to imagine.

Let it be the loss of a child and then the depth of the grieving pit is bottomless… to my friends that belong to the cruelest club in all the world, can I get an Amen?

Here’s how not to be foolish when interacting or attempting to comfort those who grieve:

1. If you can’t control your need to say something with words, buy yourself some duct tape or otherwise, don’t say anything other than I am sorry and I love you (repeated over and over again).

Please try to get this. Job’s friends were most helpful when they sat silent with him in the ashes of mourning. But as soon as they opened their mouths… well, you know the story. Their words did not help. Their words created more pain, more stress, and more anguish.

Even now, well meaning people keep trying to fix me. Sit in the ashes with me, but please quit using your theological arguments to fix what can’t be fixed. My heart may be, but I am not broken!

I suffered a great loss and dealing with that is different for each person. It is a journey, a path, a road that must be traveled. You cannot make it shorter, but you can surely make it longer, harder, and more difficult.

I know my friends have a need to make things better. And I know you would be more comfortable if my grief or struggling wasn’t so evident.

But think of the alternative… Wouldn’t you rather me engage God and wrestle my way back to a stronger, deeper faith than ever before? Wouldn’t you rather me limp with God than not walk at all?

2. This is so important: See what was written above!

Please don’t take this wrong. Please don’t see this as being just about me.

It’s not.

It is, however, about every lost soul who wanders hurt and lonely in the darkness wondering why God has disappeared…

Give us enough time and we’ll find our way again.

God is patient and you should be too.

“Therefore I will not keep silent;
I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. (Job 7:11 NIV)

PS. Please hit the share button–and go DWTBA Facebook Page and like and share!

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Fight Like A Man, You Dirty Dog!

Just a note before I begin, to those who have now subscribed, many, many thanks. I would still like some feedback on my about page and my speaking page, but I’ll try to be content to wait.

In the meantime, the battle still rages…

When we were children, my Uncle David’s son, Scott was tough as nails. I haven’t seen Scott much over the past 25 years or so, but from what I know, tough still describes the guy who travels the world looking for new and better places to surf.

Once in a neighborhood scuff up, cousin Scott knocked another kid down and was heard to say as he stood over him, “get up and fight like a man, you dirty dog!”

At least that’s how the story goes…

In some ways, I am torn between two positions. On the one hand, I think a fair fight is one that you win, doing whatever you had to do to win it.

And then on the other hand, I have a strong sense of justice and fair play. People that do not play by the rules drive me nuts. (To be completely fair, I also like to make the rules fit my needs, wants, and wishes–I know I am not alone in this, am I?)

But when people tear you down by rumor and innuendo and you can’t say or do anything to defend yourself; I want to say get up and fight like a man, you dirty dog!

When you get blind-sided or stabbed in the back (meaning there is nothing you can do to be prepared), I want to say get up and fight like a man, you dirty dog!

And the reality is, in this dog eat dog world, dirty dogs can be found for a whole lot less than a dime a dozen.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am not so jaded or damaged to fail to see there are plenty of kind people who would never seek to hurt either of us.

To be sure I have been wounded. In some respects I wonder if the damage will ever completely heal. In fact, what happened to us is so strange, bizarre, and out there, it still sometimes defies belief.

I am a little more guarded than I used to be–which wasn’t much at all. I still question at times whether I am being used in certain situations or if people really, truly do have my best interests at heart.

But, my natural inclination to trust people is still pretty much intact. I just don’t quite run with it as easily as I might have before.

However, Dirty Dogs Do Exist!

Too often we never know their true character or nature until the dog has bitten a big chuck out of our backside. People don’t always fight fair. Justice isn’t always pervasive.

In fact, from my perspective, justice is a nice sounding platitude that often fails to live up to its billing.

One if the hardest lessons to ever learn is life isn’t always fair.
Or just.

So.

What do you do about dirty dogs?

Don’t look at me for the answer, I am asking you…

Seriously.

How do you handle the dirty dogs in your life?

Me? I wish I could identify them beforehand so I could emulate the Old Testament God of smiting thine enemies. I’d like to change the words of Jesus and do unto others before they do unto you. And turn the other cheek? Oh, yeah. That’s not exactly the attitude I’d like to take.

Not by a long shot.

No Sir.
No Ma’am.

Being a powerless victim is not the game I ever intend to play again. At the same time, I also understand I don’t always get to choose. And neither do you.

Stinks, doesn’t it?

In the meantime, what some may consider sacrilege, I consider part of my wrestling and fighting with God. I hope you’ll forgive and at least try to understand what I and others sometimes wonder about…

What do you do when it feels like you have given God everything and there is no divine protection in it?

If the Creator of the Universe doesn’t fight fair, what recourse do we have?

I get that we live in a broken world and bad things happen to good people.
I get it.
I hate it.
And I certainly don’t understand it.

But what do you do when it feels like the dirty dog is God?

In Your Eye With a Betty Crocker Pie

***Warning: Graphic Details***

In Your Eye With a Betty Crocker Pie

I know. You don’t have to tell me how childish that sounds. But my momma reads this and out of an abundant respect for how she raised me and her own sensitivities, I will resort to the words of playground defiance.

Believe me, after a six year stint in the US Navy, I know lots of colorful expressions more accurately depicting what I would really like to say.

I am aware the name of my blog has raised questions for some. I am ok with that. In fact, as nicely as I can, I really don’t give a flip.

Really.

Ok, Mom. Take a deep breath. I’m actually good–calm, cool, and collected. For this half hour anyway. 🙂 But if I can convey where I am, then maybe some other struggling believers can have people in their corner some day who get where they are.

The astute reader would have already caught what I just said.

I am a believer. 

I have never disbelieved in God. On the other hand, I long for the day when I can feel like God is in my corner and worthy of my trust in Him

But you have to admit, there is a visceral disconnect from God one might expect when learning your handicapped son had been raped multiple times in your own house? By a fellow church member who held a loaded gun to his head no less. And how about this? Mr. Scum-of-the-Earth was taking an ED drug and making my son take it. (If you aren’t getting what I mean, then envision commercials of couples in bath tubs for when the moment is right.)

In the movie Toy Story, Rex said, “Now I have guilt.” I am the King of guilt for ever letting that man in our lives–wolves in sheep clothing and all of that.

Can you wonder why I might struggle with my faith and understanding? Can you grasp why I might need to write and speak and share the reality of my life?

Contrary to the beliefs held so dear by many, every life is not a fairy tale.

Aspects of mine have been far worse than a Brother’s Grimm horror story culminating in the double murder of my wife and son.

Yeah.

I know you know.

I am thankful for the redemption and beauty that has come back into my life since that horrific day. I am grateful for the love I get to experience minute by minute from those who love me still and more.

But God and I? We still have problems. And to be fair, those problems are not new. I have long wrestled with a God who would not heal my boy of his harsh disabilities.

The pain of hurting and crying over a child who wanted so desperately to be like everybody else has been replaced by the horror of of what he and his mother went through… And the subsequent hurt and pain of having to come to grips with that not once, but every single day.

Desperately Wanting To Believe Again is not about disbelieving in God. Rather it is about whether or not or even how to trust Him again.

When others insist on telling me God is going to take care of me, I can point to a day when He most decidedly did not.

Did not.

Desperately Wanting To Believe Again is simply about my journey to hope, trust, and peace with God once more.

I am not there yet, but you are more than welcome to share the ride…

Can I call you stupid? Please?

Romans 12:15, Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Momma says, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

In the immediate aftermath of our family tragedy, people most likely thought I was zoned out. I was to some degree. Certainly I was in shock. But part of the time I was simply dumbfounded at the things people would say.

Some of it was crazy. (No, I am sorry your dog died, but I promise… it is not the same as losing a child and you have no idea how I feel.)

Some of it was dumb. (Really? You expect me to be strong at a time like this because the church is depending on me? Are you an idiot?)

And some of it was just ignorantly insulting. (Are you serious? Do you hear what you are saying? How in the world could you ever twist a double murder and the loss of a wife, mother, son, and brother into something good? How do you look at a five year old and say “your mother’s gone but something good is going to come of it.”?)

Religious platitudes and empty words of comfort are everywhere. I bet you have said some of them. I know I have. And I’ll even grant in saying them, we probably meant well. But well intentioned or not, sometimes the things we say to be comforting, compassionate, or caring are just plain stupid.

Or worse, but I am trying to be nicer than I feel about it.

In the end, death, tragedy, pain, and loss rarely feel like the blessing of God.

So when words fail (and they will because nothing you say can fix it), mourning with those who mourn is the only valid option.