Anything But Empty

"Let your words be anything but empty."

Making Spaces

It’s been about 8 months since I’ve even looked at my blog. I’ve tried several times to sit down and write, because I love it, but I rarely get past a paragraph.

A big part is that this has been a huge transition for me, and now 8 months later on the other side of the country, in my own apartment, living on my own for the first time, and Bobby enjoying having access to every room in the house, I am finally sitting down to write again.

Another part of it is wondering what does it look like now?

What does it look like to have created space for honest reflection, and wrestling and tension given the new stage of life I am in? What does it mean to return to that space now?

I believe strongly in the value of story, of sharing in safe and appropriate spaces with safe and appropriate people. I believe that there is healing in those spaces, there is affirmation, there is solidarity. And a part of what I do now is to empower the stories of those I work with, let them know that their voice matters, and there is value in who they are and where they have been.

But yet I find my fingers hesitating over the keys, wondering what that looks like in my own life, wondering what it means to write from places of honesty and wonder and searching, to weigh what I write a bit more, knowing that the audience has altered, but still be able to model what it means to exist in tensions and questions that aren’t easily answered.

Because I believe that if we don’t create space for questions, mourning, doubts, fears, and struggles within the walls of a church, within the safety and prayer and patience of Christian community, within a Christ and Scripture-filled place, that space will be made elsewhere. And people will go to it.

If that space is provided then those questions, and tensions, and uncertainty can breathe life into faith, strengthening it and draw us closer to the unknowable God who makes himself known. But if that space is not given, we stumble under the weight of pretending they don’t exist or pretending that our voices are something other then what they are, and slowly it can choke the life out of faith.

It was like coming up for air the first time I realized that God wasn’t scared of my questions. That God wasn’t scared of my doubts, my anger, my fears, and God wasn’t scared if I didn’t know the answer I was searching for. God wasn’t scared if I started wondering if the faith of my childhood is a true reflection of His Kingdom and the Gospel that Jesus preached. And I am not ready to let that go, and I don’t think I need to.

So what does it look like to bring my voice back to a space I created for it, at a different time in my life? I’m not really sure. Like all things and places and interactions, prayer and discernment is necessary. I also know that honesty is not the enemy of God’s truth. And I think maybe there is space here for God to teach me about the graciousness of His Church, of the body of believers he has put me into at this point in my life. To trust that they, like Him, aren’t scared of a trembling voice telling her story. To trust that I am a part of a family that loves me and knows me, to trust that we are all learning together what it means to live out the words in Colossians 3:12-14.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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