Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Okay To Be Glad He's Dead

In case you have not heard, Westboro Baptist Church founder/leader, Fred Phelps, has died. If you are unfamiliar with who WBC is, they are the folks who spew hate filled venom at concerts (I'm pretty certain they were at Cornerstone the year I went), are infamous for their 'God Hates Fags' signage and protesting soldier's funerals. They are known for nothing but their hatred.

So this week when the news broke that Phelps was near death/died, it's not surprising that there seemed to be a collective sigh of relief... There was also a monsoon of articles and posts from Christians crying, 'you must forgive!'  I found that mildly unsettling, but it took me a couple of days to figure out why...

1) Immediately proclaiming, 'you must forgive' is in a sense, glossing over a range of emotions. We are not robots. We do not simply flip a switch and 'turn on our forgiveness'.  Forgiveness is a PROCESS. It's a very personal process and one that typically only occurs after many nights spent soul-searching... And there's a lot of anger and confusion and denial and tears all mixed up in there in between.  You may reach forgiveness, but it's certainly not going to be because somebody TOLD you to.

2) 'But Jesus Commanded Us To Forgive'...  Yes. We know. We all know.  He also talked a lot about money, but that hasn't stopped a lot of you from being stingy to your wait staff. He did tell us to forgive... and to never stop forgiving... That's the radicalness of it to me - the fact that we are even supposed to entertain the idea of forgiving those who have truly wronged us.

3) Search your feelings (Luke)... but don't stay there.  Process the anger and frustration and whatever else... If you don't ever allow yourself to feel those things, you'll never ever be able to embrace the concepts of love and forgiveness. And that's the real win.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Two Things:

1) I'm getting divorced. This blows.
2) I've decided to try Jesus and church again. This scares me.

Isaac was the first real, stable romantic relationship that I ever had. We still love each other, though we weren't very good at being married. But god-dammit, if we didn't try.

There are a few take-aways that I've been able to muster over the last few months. First and foremost, I am a stronger, more productive, self-assured woman because of him. I have learned eros love because of him. I am 100% a better person because he loved me. How can I be ungrateful for that?

I know and have always known that he will be such a fantastic daddy to his future kids. My faith in that is unwavering.

I mourn for the loss of my extended family.  I was (am) extremely blessed to have phenomenal in-laws who loved me like I was their own. I was blessed with four fantastic sister/brother-in-laws and three really great nieces and nephews. I will miss them. I do miss them. I can't even have phone conversations because I'll just burst into tears. How do you thank someone for loving you like their own child for 8 years? How do you say good-bye?


My grandmother passed away in September. We weren't exceptionally close, but I never doubted her love for me. It was simple and pure and unwavering. Her last 5 years on earth were pretty crappy. Death never seems very gracious. It runs amuck, overturning and disturbing everything along it's path.  God's silence did not go unnoticed to me in the past years where my Grandma, my family and myself prayed for her return to Jesus. It certainly did not go unnoticed in the chaos surrounding my grandfather's passing. I was angry. And hurt. And I felt turned against.

In the final days before my grandmother passed, I felt a sense of peace for her. I felt Jesus. Like she was safe. And I felt loved in the most simple and pure way. She loved her Lord the way she loved me - unwavering. And in the end, it was the simplicity of her faith that led me to believe she is ok now.  And please believe me when I say that I realize how stupid and weak that sounds to some of you. It sounds simple minded to me as well, I not even going to deny that.

Between the divorce and the death of my Grandma, something in me has changed. Through the shards of brokenness and hurt and pain, there is some form of light that is shining through. It is not bright, but it is there. It is hope.

So now I sit here... weeping uncontrollably for dreams that have passed, but holding out hope for the newness that's bubbling through. I am not the same woman I was 20 years ago. 6 years ago. 4 months ago. I have changed - I am broken and hurt and dirty and untrusting (in others as well as myself and in God) and righteously angry about things. I am a vulgar, liberal, unmarried, childless woman who questions everything, including people who don't seem to question their faith. I'm deeply embarrassed and annoyed at what most American Christians seem to think is persecution. I'm humiliated at the way Christians treat other humans in the name of their loving God. But I'm betting on Jesus. I'm betting that even if no one else loves me or I ever find my place or if I never stop questioning my faith in humanity, that what he taught is true. What he spoke and what he showed by example is true love. I'm betting all on Jesus.

So if anybody knows of a place where hurt people go to heal. Where they are not looked upon for what they can give to further a fund. Where ALL are accepted and loved. Where the weary tread. Where the broken go for shelter and are loved for who they are and not who they have been, then give me a ring. Cause I need a respite in Jesus.