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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Deep End

You may have noticed that there hasn't been a whole lot of "deep" going on in my blog lately. After my pregnancy with Gabriel, I felt like I had my fill of deep for awhile. I didn't read much of the Bible, I didn't read the news, I didn't think too much about the future and what that may bring. I instead threw myself into my day to day life, getting used to and enjoying the adjustments of having a new child in the family. Even the hard days I mostly found myself thinking, This isn't too bad, and it's only getting better. Life isn't so hard when you don't think about what else you could be doing, or how much better you should be doing.

Well, not even three months went by before I found myself thirsting for deep again. Thirsting to be hungry again. Thirsting for God. For all the deep,  hard, soul-crushing longing that comes with seeking Him. So I started to read God's word again. It was hard. I didn't like it. I read page after page, only to put the book down and not pick it up again for days, only to put it down again for even longer. One day, while at Barnes and Noble before heading to the train table with Aiden, I decided to go to the Bible section. I lost my cherished Bible months ago. The first (and only) Bible I bought with my own money. The one that traveled the world with me. The one that's permanent home was my purse. Always there, always near, until that day it mysteriously disappeared. So I scanned the shelf. Maybe it's time to get a new one? I thought to myself, not thinking I really would. It was the sentimental value that made me cherish my last one, not the actual Bible. I have been using a hand-me-down. A pink, floral, hard back, with womanly-insightful stories scattered throughout it. It sounds shallow to say I don't like it for those reasons, but it's kind of true. I looked over all the beautiful leather bound Bibles and tried to decide which I would buy, if I decided to. With Aiden tugging on my arm, using his most convincing whine, I grabbed the first "The Message" I saw and took it with me to look over. I had always been kind of skeptical of The Message. I thought maybe it was good for new Christians but not for me (hello ego!). I was pretty surprised. Here's some shameful but honest truth: it was the first time I've ever had trouble putting the Bible down. It's amazing how much easier it is to read and understand, which makes me want to read it that much more. Aiden likes it too. I am not sure how much he actually understands, but he likes listening to me read it out loud anyway.

Now that I am reading more, and actually allowing my thoughts to delve a little deeper, new challenges arise. I wrestle with questions like, should I be doing more? Should I keep it simple and focus on what I have? What am I putting before God? How do I learn to let it go? It's hard to bring myself to the deep end again. It makes me tired and worried I might drown. I find myself wanting to ask people around me, what should I do? Wishing they could just give me the straight and easy answer. Unfortunately there is no one right answer for everyone. So I am left to wait and listen for the answer God has for me. It seems He always brings me back to this place.


Noelle said...

I relate to this a great deal. A lot of days I'm so overwhelmed I just want to not care about the "deep" stuff. It's so heavy...yet I can't bring myself to walk away from it. I feel like no matter how hard it is, I still want that over the easy kind of shallow stuff (most days anyway).

I had a similar experience with a version my mom gave me called "The Voice". It's just the new testament but I love it because the language is so beautiful and easy to understand. Sure, the Message and the Voice aren't the best ever translations for study, but they can do a ton for your personal relationship with God and that's more important to me. I stopped feeling guilty about my translation choice and just started reading what spoke to me most.

Sam said...

Faith, this is so great!

Travel Heart said...

Hi Faith,
This may seem random because we met so briefly in China about 10 years ago, but I've kept in contact with your mom and when she posts your blog link on facebook I'll read it occasionally. Today I read through a few more of your posts and I really connected to it. Especially this one, about going deep with God again. I've walked away from God for about 6 years, and now that I'm walking toward Him again I feel like I don't even know where to begin. He's been great, as of course He would, but this post about the struggle of going deep is totally where I'm at. Thank you for sharing your experiences with God, and also your experiences about motherhood. That's something that I romanticise because I'm not there yet, and your posts are a reality check, haha. And thank you for showing how the two are linked, as well as how God is in every part of life.


Faith said...

Thanks Jamie, it means a lot to know others can relate. Really it never gets old to be reminded I am not alone in my struggles!