“It’s about the beautiful things we might reclaim and the stuff we may decide to kick to the curb. It’s a book about making peace with unanswered questions and being content to live into the answers as they come. It’s about being comfortable with where we land for now, while holding our hands open for where the Spirit leads us next. It’s about not apologizing for our transformation and change in response to the unchanging Christ.”
Sarah Bessey, chapter one, Out of Sorts
I used to think I had to have all the answers but now I think God is found in the “I don’t know.”
And as I learn to embrace the “I don’t know” in my faith, I’m learning to embrace it in my everyday life. I’m learning that God is found in the search rather than the answers. And that search can’t happen until we hit that vulnerable place of saying aloud, I don’t know. On the days I don’t know if I’m the best wife, the best mother, the best Christian, when I stop and recognize I don’t know, I’m suddenly freed from these self-imposed labels and am able to live in the balance of the unknown.
I still find hope and love and community in my church building. And I’m unable to give it up. Yet… On those Sunday mornings when we’re off and we just need to make scones and go for a hike, we do. And we find God and reconnect and are refreshed in this nature that is given to us. I’m learning that now is not the time to find all the big conversations in the right places – at seminaries and with theologians. For me, right now, I have those big conversations at playgrounds, where thoughts are constantly interrupted and I’m left wanting more. But, if I don’t start them (and stop them and start them again, all within twenty minutes) I’ll never have these discussions to begin with. I’m learning to take what I can get at this phase, and am learning that it is just as good as those devoted days of college discussions.
I used to think quiet time meant following a devotional and reading my Bible but now I think quiet time includes poetry and theology(lite) books and the Jesus Storybook Bible and actually taking quiet naps.
I’m finding that God can meet me as I read a Psalm aloud to a fussy baby. That I learn about the Bible from books snatched during quiet moments. That my one year Bible reading plan will most likely take two years because we just aren’t on a schedule, no matter how hard I try. I’m learning that self-care is just as spiritual as book knowledge and that God is bigger than a formula.
I used to think doubt was a phase to overcome but now I think doubt is a journey without scary finality but with beautiful questions that lead to more questions.
I’m learning to love the tension of doubt and belief and am finding that one without the other isn’t as sweet. I’m learning that doubt isn’t the opposite of the belief, but is part of it – like marriage. It’s a compliment and a push to go further, to be better, to learn more. Without doubt, I wonder if we could even have belief?
I used to think there were just a handful of ways to do Christianity but now I think Christianity is a tapestry with more threads than I can see.
This one still makes me uncomfortable but the boxes and definitions make me even more uneasy. So, I’m wondering what Christianity looks like without labels. Without denominations or even without one single path. I’m wondering about this mountain we’re all climbing and all the ways to get to the top. I’m imagining an amazing story, woven together, that needs plots and pivots and discord and mixed metaphors to reach that perfect denouement.
I used to think being out of sorts was a problem to be solved but now I think being out of sorts is the path that leads to redemption.
And I’m coming to terms with this idea that being out of sorts is how I best experience God’s love and mercy.
How have you changed and grown? What’s something big that has shifted?
Linked with Sarah Bessey’s blog celebrating the release of her newest book, Out of Sorts.
Out of Sorts just released this week and explores the idea that our faith is a dynamic, changing, living thing. That, as we grow and mature, our faith should as well. Sarah challenges us to examine our beliefs and continue to embrace the questions.