The secret benefit of “spiritual disconnect”?

Every now and then I get this compulsion to go back and reread some old journals – maybe in hope of finding proof that I am, in fact, maturing properly, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

This entry was written exactly a year to the day my father died: September 25, 2013.

journal

I know why God felt distant then: I just left seminary, feeling like I wasn’t “Christian enough” (after being labeled a Christian extremist in college the year before). The “justice” I’m referring to is regarding my ex-boyfriend, whom I was either brave enough or foolish enough to send a letter “officially” calling him out for what he did, which I didn’t have the courage to do as he was breaking up with me. I was deeply concerned he would do the same thing to his current girlfriend, and I regretted not ever reporting him, even if by then the statute of limitations had long since run out.

Heavy stuff for anyone to deal with, at any age or place in life. But it goes to show the difference a year can make: if I had to choose between justice for myself and getting my Dad back, obviously the latter is more important. I lost someone who mattered – someone actually worth grieving over. If I thought life was hard the year before…well, I had no idea what more was coming to me. I feel like I’ve been stretched quite a bit, and I could sure use a break. Not a stress-free life, just…well, maybe a slightly more boring one. Except I am a permanent resident in SarahbethLand whether I like or not, and I know better than to expect less than perfect chaos.

Still, to say there isn’t any grief in losing an abusive partner would be a lie. I lost five years of time I could have spent seeing other people, and I turned down a few guys who showed some potential because that guy was my priority. And he was – perhaps still is – the kind of guy who could make anyone say “He’d never do that” with absolute conviction.

This journal entry brings up a few questions. Is justice really God’s alone, or can humans make it happen, too? And are the times when God “pulls away” from us (or so it feels) really the times that teach and enrich us the most? Because if so, I must be in for a major spiritual awakening.

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