Firstly, thank you to so many friends who have been amazing recently. I am so bloody lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.
Here’s this weeks’ tome:
I’m not sure if any of you have noticed, but my brain goes round in circles trying to decide what is right and wrong and what is true A LOT. And deary me, do I find it frustrating when I can’t even articulate the questions bugging me, let alone my part-formed and cloudy answers. I do find writing and re-reading this blog helpful for that.
I joined a church bible study group again, despite nearly all experiences to date involving feeling constrained and unfree and selectively honest in such places. Because they are advertised as being a place of safety and belonging, that has always done my head in, because I felt like a visiting alien and no way at home. But something in me still yearns for one which is truly beautiful with friends honestly sharing and building each other up and encouraging one another and being real.
We started studying Truth with a capital T.
Sheesh, I found it hard. My head latched on to the fact that the lady on the video would really not like me if she spoke to me, and would see me as a project. And my chest went into a vice the more she spoke, and then I cried. 100 questions that I thought I’d resolved leaped back into my head and started shouting. Some about sexuality, some about other things.
But I think I’m learning, very slowly, how to process this sort of thing better. And it comes from slowly believing that God’s word should be a place of freedom and knowing love, and not a source of panic-stricken chest vice. So I try to silence my mind a little, and listen more deeply, and trust that God has taught me slowly and gently over many years, and to trust that that is real.
The problem is, that when this lady talks of Truth, I am hearing ‘loud, scripture-declaring, mind-turning off, non-honest Christian self-righteousness’. I’m am not hearing Jesus saying “listen to my words and trust me”. I find it scary, as people seem to behave all sorts or ways based on it, and it seems to breed much Christian twattishness as well as much kindness and beauty.
I’ve come to realise something. It is really very hard for me from my years in evangelical church places to actually admit to myself what I honestly believe. It’s like a wonky database of snippets of scripture and quip quotes from talks leap into my mind and say “but remember you should believe me” before i can reach a place of honesty.
I can’t tell myself the truth about what I believe. I get half way there and then tell myself what I should believe. And honestly, that is just not the same as believing it.
But if God sees the real depths of our souls and sees the honest truth, and desperately wants us to know him and trust him and know that he’s good, and for some reason that I have yet to fully comprehend really cares what we truly believe, then I’m beginning to see that it is total bollocks not to allow myself to be real with myself, or him.
I need to honestly admit what I honestly believe.
And if this doesn’t resonate with you because you don’t have a faith, I think probably we all suffer this with a variety of things like being PC, and other variations on groupthink, so feel free to substitute that in.
A friend said recently to me ‘I think the word honesty is what is defining and shaping you at the moment’. I think it is. I’m trying to get real in this blog and be honest. I’m trying to speak more honestly. I think this is a good time to also try to think more honestly.
This I know. I make decisions based on a deep gut feel of what is genuinely right and wrong. I’m pretty sure we all do. My faith and scripture do affect the gut feel, but definitely don’t fill the whole thing. I’m mindful of a quote about us all finding the bits in the Bible that back up what we already believe and tactfully ignoring the rest, and that seems pretty accurate.
If I’m going to study Truth, might as well start by admitting my truth.
And this is one reason why I believe in the christian God despite the Bible being nuts. Because it’s about him knowing us and being with us and changing us and helping us. Not just about a book. You can see the effects of just the book when Christians are sometimes twats about things. But I’ve seen enough beauty and genuine kindness and wonderfulness that is similar in lots of Christians from all over the place, to believe that this is the results of Jesus at work in the core of people. (And yes, there’s a whole massive chapter about other faiths and those of no faith and their beauty and kindness etc that I’m not going into here, otherwise it would become a dissertation).
Then this is my prayer, that God would help me genuinely know his Truth in this core place that affects what I do and how I act. I do genuinely believe he is good, and if he can work on this core truth of mine, it will bit by bit bring freedom and peace and genuine goodness for me and through me. I’m still going to be a bit of a broken twazzock of course, and bollocks things up like everyone else, but I do pray for a general increase of love in between the moments of twazzockness.
No pictures today sorry. Don’t know how to draw a twazzock.