A continuing correspondence about life paths and unfolding journeys of faith
Theresa, this is such a searingly honest story of how you came to faith through the deep trials and perils of being human, and through emotional suffering and anguish, finally saw that God had another path in life for you.
All through the book my grandmother gave me, “Streams in the Desert,” the author returns again and again to the theme of salvation and new life, a new start and a new life when we are purified through the anguish and suffer ending we all experience, some intensely and frequently than others. Without the darkness, in other words, how could there be light?
As you know, becoming a Christian does not make life easier. It enables us to have hope through faith in Jesus’s promises from God and in our anchoring our lives in those promises.
I have always been one to I intellectualize faith and the Bible, preferring deeper understanding through theological concepts and explications. That works mightily for me when I focus and try to start each day as a new opportunity to come closer to God. We are given minds, and we are to use them. The penalty for closing our minds and accepting only what we are told is to stall further spiritual progress.
My relationship to God is constantly evolving, and I am not the same Christian I was years ago. I am grateful I have been able to question what human beings have proclaimed as the only way to be a Christian, and I was only able to do that when I rightly left the Catholic Church in my late 30s, having converted ten years earlier. I say this only to convey in part how very long and winding my spiritual/religious road has been.
In other words, I use my mind, I think, I argue with myself and sometimes with God, and gradually I find the pieces of the puzzle coming together. For some of us, myself included, it will take a lifetime, but thankfully, each new day “is the first day of the rest of my life.”
I loved this stage in your journey Sam, especially the moment of finding the Corinthians quote and recognizing the sanctity of your god-given body, and then the deliverance of your baptism.
Also seeing your pastor in his T-shirt was like me seeing Father Dave outside of church, period 😂 I liked that little parallel.
I'm greatly looking forward to reading the next one, and replying tomorrow :)
Beautiful letter, Sam. I felt so drawn to you choosing to be baptized in a natural body of water.