Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity [02815] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity

Thanks, Carol, and never be afraid to just jump in! Our conversations
here are always open to all. It's great that people share what they
feel. Love, Joicy

Carol Stephens wrote:
> Dear Joicy,
> Thank you so much for the inspiring message.
> I just had to interject that I agree with
> your beliefs and that you have explained
> them in a wonderful way.
> Love Carol
> PS  Hope it is ok to squeeze in
> on this one just for the moment.
> Joicy Becker-Richards wrote:
> >
> > 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
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