systems and rules

I found a counselor who works with PTSD and trauma survivors.  We’re slowly uncovering the work to be done.  I’m finally ready to undertake it.

Kathy Escobar is still far better at putting words to the feelings that I’m only just now beginning to take the first faltering steps to articulate:

“one of the most painful losses during that season is that my experience rocked my faith, shook it to its core. it was like the scales had fallen off my eyes and i began to see all of the craziness of what i had been taught about God & the systems that are built in his name. i began to see the realities of believing-just-because-everyone-else-was-nodding-their-head-thinking-it-was-right-because-a-pastor-said-it-was. i admitted that everything i seemed to believe about God had become hooked into the church systems i had been part of.  i started to wonder what was real from God and what was just fabricated by my experiences. what if i was wrong and rebellious & unwilling to submit to what was right?  what if i was just being prideful by refusing to play by the same rules anymore?”

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”


-Bertrand Russell


I don’t know what’s come over me. It’s the most peculiar sensation. A few minutes ago, she asked to pray for me. She thanked God for the responsibility I’ve been carrying. She was self-deprecating and I hated it. I wanted to give her credit for all that she’s done, and I told her that I couldn’t be here doing this without her. … And. I. Finally. Believe. It.

God forgive my hateful, huge pride. I’ve been judging her weaknesses and thinking I’d be better off on my own and feeling resentful. I am weak in areas that are much more profound and far-reaching. I need her here in order to learn what God has for me to learn, and to be shaped into the likeness of Christ. And I love her. I care about her. And I want to help her in any way I can.

The Lord’s mercy abounds to me, the chief of sinners. I can’t even begin to comprehend the work that he’s doing in my heart.

[The victory has already been completed in Christ! It is finished. I am already and not yet formed in His likeness. The Timeless One already sees me there in eternity, standing before Him spotless and bright. He will certainly bring this to pass.]

15 aug

these days I’ve been writing a great deal more in a small blue book with trees sketched on the cover, and less on the internet.  [also more in a gchat window, than I have in quite awhile.  irony.]

this evening I sat on a small ridge, looking out over numberless trees and a sky shifting perceptibly from pink to slate, as echoes of laughter floated around me.  I moved my lips in prayer, then began to whisper my heart’s depths to One who paints the skies and looks on in delight at my feeble offerings of praise.  He is right here.  The day’s light fades to nothing and the certainty remains.

only just begun

excerpted from Andrew Peterson’s ‘Resurrection Letters’:

The sun warms his face. He closes his eyes and feels in a flash the hearts of all men and women from the beginning of things to the end, from Adam to Abraham to you and I in this room on this night, and with each thump of the holy heart in the frame of his ribcage he loves enough to overwhelm us all. Love set loose on the world. Love like a roaring lion, like a thunderclap of deep laughter.

From the moons of Jupiter to the center of our boiling sun, out past numberless stars to the walls of the universe, that laughter resounds and makes its way back to the ears of the figure standing at the mouth of the tomb.

“It is finished!” Jesus cried in his agony on the cross.

Now he thinks of the Kingdom he is making, of the world he is redeeming, of the living hope he has unleashed.

He smiles to himself and agrees with the Father. “It has only just begun.”

first days in r’ville

nearing the end of my second day in virginia, and the fullness of life here is nearly overwhelming, but in a life-giving way.  it is a strange place, a wood-between-the-worlds place.  i have been observing to several friends that it feels a bit monastic, if monks were to eat in noisy cafeterias.  maybe modern monks, in fact, do so, a thought which is quite disillusioning and does not bear thought.  regardless, the starkness of the rooms seems to direct one’s attention upward, and outward.  to the light.  the sky, so dark and free from any hint of the city of a night.

the sense of calm and quiet has begun to reach my mind, slowing it and clarifying some of these last few tangled months.  I have silent time to read and contemplate in excess.

“In love he predestined us for adoption… according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace…”


“Imagine sitting down with a seven-year-old and saying to her, “I’d like you to write me an essay on what you think it’s like to fall in love and be married.” When you read the essay, you will say it isn’t very close to the reality. A seven-year-old can’t imagine what love and marriage will be like. When you start to follow Jesus, you’re at least that far away. You have no idea how far you will have to go.

Jesus says, “follow me. I’m going to take you on a journey, and I don’t want you to turn to the left or to the right. I want you to put me first; I want you to keep trusting me; to stick with me, not turn back, not give up, turn to me in all the disappointments and injustices that will happen to you. I’m going to take you places that will make you say, ‘Why in the world are you taking me there?’ Even then, I want you to trust me.”

–Tim Keller, King’s Cross