Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity - Joicy [02886] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] The Meaning of Serenity - Joicy



Thank you for such a beautiful and heartfelt letter. It does give one hope
and I agree with what you are saying. I feel a relationship with God is
just like any other relationships, there are ups and downs, and the
relationship changes over time. I, like Vicci has said, have a hard time
giving up control and putting my trust in someone so completely.(I won't
turn away any help along the road of life though). I do believe.
Christine

At 11:40 PM 28/08/98 -0400, you 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 power...it'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,
>> Wow.....how do I answer this?  First of all I would never take offense from
>> 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 do
>> what your asking.  As a child I went to a little Protestant church in our
>> neighborhood and had fun and put my little quarter in the basket with my
>> 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 age.
>>  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 hurting
>> others.  I try to think before saying a hurtful thing.  I try to put myself
>> in the other persons shoes before criticizing.  I'm not making excuses but
>> 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 happens?
>> 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 try.
>> 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 power
>> but sometimes I just think about the karma of a situation and that's enough
>> to make me change something.  Like not throwing my gum out the car window
>> because I know gum will come into my life somehow.  I'll step in it or the
>> 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 on
>> ants, intentionally.  I always let a driver pull in my lane.  Just stupid
>> 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 easy
>> it would be to have some help....so why doesn't it come?  Why aren't I hit
>> 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 like
>> it took some convincing on your part also.  Maybe I will get that book and
>> write a few things down.  Just to see what happens.  Just don't give up on
>> me, Joicy!  Where there's a will, there's a way, huh?  Love you!   Vicci
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