Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity [02798] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity

Dear Joicy,  Another beautiful, poignant response.  You really make me
think.  Please don't apologize and you haven't offended...but helped, a
I don't think you've offended anyone.  You share, You care and what else on
this green earth could anyone ask for.  I can't even imagine what you've
gone through.  I've had a very easy life with no big crazy things going on.
 God has been testing you and boy have you passed.  I guess I've been
hiding.  You are such a good, and kind soul and it shows through your
writing.  And your a cute little bug too.  How old are your children now? 
Take good care and write to me always!
I love you.....Vicci

> From: Joicy Becker-Richards <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity
> Date: Friday, August 28, 1998 8:40 PM
> My dearest Vicci...and Liz, and Christine,
> Boy, do I identify with where you are!! Been there, done that, got the
> T-shirt, as they say...and I hope y'all don't feel like I'm telling you
> what you "should" do -- I really don't mean it that way. But Vicci, you
> asked an excellent question, and so I share from my heart what has
> happened to me, something that has nothing to do with "church" or
> "religion" per se, but about me simply saying directly to God, "Look, my
> life is a mess, I've done everything I can to make things work, I've
> failed, I'm angry, hurt and have lost all hope. If you're real, you need
> to show me you are who you say you are." I was that honest, probably not
> that nice (because I was majorly pissed and depressed at the time) and I
> did put him to the test. I was a "welfare mom" with 2 small kids, no
> job, no car, no friends, no prospects, living in hiding from a crazy man
> who was trying to kill me. And that is only a tiny part of the personal
> hell I've been through. 
> Like you, I have a long list of church "horror stories." It's taken me
> most of my life to separate out God from the so-called followers of God,
> who mostly make me crazy! In college I had a born-again Christian
> room-mate that nearly drove me nuts, like when I went to what I thought
> was a party that turned out to be a prayer meeting for me, to help me
> see my sin in dating a Jewish boy!! I can't tell you how many times I
> have walked out of churches feeling angry! 
> And like you, I was so disgusted with people acting holier-than-thou,
> who didn't live what they said they believed. What I realized was that
> the church is not sanctuary for saints, but a kind of hospital for the
> lost, the broken, the struggling. Many are folks who have reached a
> point of desperation, but are still trying so hard to find their way.
> Sometimes they over-compensate, or try to hide hide their feelings of
> not measuring up by pretending to have it all together. But big changes
> don't happen overnight... transformation is a life-long process. In some
> ways, the church at it's best is like the Mol line -- struggling people,
> who are facing their brokenness, and trying to do their best, helping
> each other along the way. 
> Vicci, I agree with Lillian, that the fact that you are trying to live
> your life in an honorable way shows God's hand in your life already. But
> what I'm talking about is this...because of your bad experiences, etc.,
> you're not able to take full advantage of God's's like living
> in a big house with electrical outlets everywhere, and trying to live
> off of one little outlet. The power is there, but you can't use it if
> you don't plug into it. And it's a gradual process. Like any
> relationship, it doesn't happen overnight. It takes time to build the
> trust. It took me 13 years to build the kind of trust that gave me peace
> during my cancer. But think of the people you know and trust -- hasn't
> it taken time to trust them, too?
> Vicci, I have absolutely nothing to gain or lose by what you choose to
> do. My purpose is only to give you hope, and to be as someone once said,
> "one beggar showing another where to find bread." Don't take my word for
> it, and do not give any of this another thought if it makes no sense to
> you. But if you are curious, if you are trying to figure out that
> longing deep inside, put God to the test. Doubt is not anti-God, but the
> beginning of faith. God doesn't ask for mindless submission or fakey
> prayers -- he wants a relationship. He wants honesty, in all it's forms.
> He want's you to say it like it is. Try the journal, Vicci. In it, give
> God a piece of your mind, if that's how you're feeling. (Look at the
> Psalms, and how many begin in distress, but all end in praise.) Write
> letters to him with all that's on your heart. And then be sure to also
> write what happens in response. You will be amazed.
> Again, I hope I have not offended -- I can only speak my heart in
> response to your confusion and struggle. Lots of love, your friend,
> Joicy
> Vicci Ewen wrote:
> > 
> > Dear Joicy,
> > do I answer this?  First of all I would never take offense
> > a friend trying to help, especially you.  You wrote a very caring and
> > inspirational letter and I thank you.  I guess I just don't know how to
> > what your asking.  As a child I went to a little Protestant church in
> > neighborhood and had fun and put my little quarter in the basket with
> > brothers.  Then I started going to the Mormon church with the two girls
> > next door.  When I was old enough to stand up and give my testimonial I
> > quit.  I learned scriptures and verses and went till about 15 years of
> >  Got that far before I was being encouraged to testify.  I guess that
> > scared me.  Not wanting to talk to a group of people.  I've heard the
> > phrase, "Let go, Let God"  Most of the people I know that go to church
> > preach the word but don't live the word.  And many others I don't know
> > personally don't live up to what I assume they are being taught in the
> > church.  I know it's not fair to pray only when you need something very
> > badly but I find a comfort in living my life as best I can without
> > others.  I try to think before saying a hurtful thing.  I try to put
> > in the other persons shoes before criticizing.  I'm not making excuses
> > I just haven't felt the thing you have felt about going with God.  I'm
> > definetly open to it.  But what do I do, go to church and hope it
> > It makes me very uncomfortable when people start talking religion and I
> > know how they lead their lives.  I've often thought I would take my
> > granddaughter and go down the street to the little church.  Give it a
> > Maybe I will.  How come it's so easy for some to just all of a sudden,
> > believe?  Why is it so hard for some of us.  I do believe in a higher
> > but sometimes I just think about the karma of a situation and that's
> > to make me change something.  Like not throwing my gum out the car
> > because I know gum will come into my life somehow.  I'll step in it or
> > car in front of me will sling it up on my car.  I'm not making light of
> > this, I'm telling you exactly how I think about things.  I don't step
> > ants, intentionally.  I always let a driver pull in my lane.  Just
> > little things.  I'm probably not getting the drift of what you're
trying to
> > tell me but I swear I just don't understand.  I've often thought how
> > it would be to have some why doesn't it come?  Why aren't I
> > over the head, being I'm so hardheaded.  It sure would be easier than
> > trying to handle all this myself.  Maybe I'm a control freak.  Sounds
> > it took some convincing on your part also.  Maybe I will get that book
> > write a few things down.  Just to see what happens.  Just don't give up
> > me, Joicy!  Where there's a will, there's a way, huh?  Love you!  
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