ThisWinterWoman

  • Loving these #puritan #valentinesday cards! 😂😂😂
  • This weekend my women’s group hosted a #ifgathering2018.@JennieAllen, founder of IF, vulnerably admitted her struggle with doubt, and I was blown away. I’ve never heard a person of influence admit their doubt in God in such a public way. .
 I mentioned earlier in my feed that while I didn’t 100% agree with everything said from the stage, I was still challenged by many of the speakers. @jennieallen is one of them.
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Thank you Jennie for your honesty and for inspiring this weeks post on ThisWinterWoman.com. ..
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.. #ifgathering #ifequip #leadership #leader #femaleleadership #blog #newpost #feministblog #blogger #church #doubt #love #faith #mystics #christianmystics #jesus #gospel #inspiration #feminism #feminismandfaith #christianity #religion #church #theology #searching #god #spirituality #thiswinterwoman #quest #prayer
  • Fixed it! .........#womenandreligion #goddess  #feminism #femininedivine #god #patriarchy
  • My promise to myself. ..
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.. #church #ifgathering2018 #doubt #love #faith #mystics #christianmystics #jesus #gospel #inspiration #feminism #feminismandfaith #christianity #religion #church #theology #searching #god #spirituality #thiswinterwoman #quest #prayer
  • Today? Well, today I’m learning how to accept everyone as my teacher.  No, I didn’t agree with everything said from the #ifgathering2018 stage last night. Yes, I find fault in parts of the theology presented. But I also was challenged from the same speakers I disagreed with. .
Im learning that maybe I don’t have to 100% agree with everything said in order to learn from it. .
Stand firm in your spiritual walk, but allow yourself to gather wisdom everywhere. ..
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#ifgathering2018 #courage #strongwomen #love #faith #mystics #christianmystics #jesus #gospel #inspiration #feminism #feminismandfaith #christianity #religion #church #theology #searching #god #spirituality #thiswinterwoman #quest #prayer
  • Tonight and tomorrow I’ll be joining thousands of women across the world as we encourage each other and challenge one another
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I’m so excited to spend the weekend with glorious leaders and soak in their wisdom
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I’m learning how to come back to my Christian roots and infuse them with new meaning. Taking familiar stories and ideas and breath life back into them, this weekend is another step in that process
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.. #ifgathering2018 #courage #strongwomen #love #faith #mystics #christianmystics #jesus #gospel #inspiration #feminism #feminismandfaith #christianity #religion #church #theology #searching #god #spirituality #thiswinterwoman #quest #prayer
  • “You cannot imagine all the places you'll see Jesus / But you'll find Him everywhere you thought He wasn't supposed to go”
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I had the honor of hearing @nicholenordeman perform this week. It was the first time I had ever heard her music and I was blown away by her song “Dear Me”, particularly this line. .
The song is a vulnerable and honest letter to her past self, looking back at her spiritual growth and how her well intentioned, but mistaken, theology hurt others. .
Dear Ones, we can be so well intentioned when we hurt others, thinking we know what they need to save them. . 
I am meditating on this line all day- looking back, looking forward, and looking for Jesus in my present. And remebering to “love, love, love, love /As you have been loved/ Love, love, love, love/ Like it's your own blood”
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What would you say to your past self?
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#dearme #moxiematters #nicolenordeman #mistakes #badtheology #vulnerability #courage #strongwomen #love #faith #mystics #christianmystics #jesus #gospel #inspiration #feminism #feminismandfaith #christianity #religion #church #theology #searching #god #spirituality #thiswinterwoman #quest #prayer

Re-Imaging God

 Welcome!

If this is your first time here, it may help to read my introduction and my most recent post introducing Re-Imaging. I’ve been applying the process Tony Robbins uses at the Unleash the Power Within conference to Re-Image harmful limiting beliefs in both my life and my faith.

 


 

In my last post I described how I worked to Re-Image a belief I had carried as an identity for decades. A simple, off-hand remark my father once said to me, and then repeated often when I’d let him down.

“You half-ass everything”

This comment, it still haunts me. A few weeks ago I finally managed to sweep in our bedroom, but left the pile of dust and the broom (and, let’s be honest- so much hair) sitting in the corner… for about a week. When my husband noticed and laughed about it, my initial reaction was to respond with some self-deprecating humor “yea, I just can’t finish anything, huh?!”

But instead I told myself- That’s bullshit. I’m an extremely passionate person and there are a million more important things pulling my attention away from finishing that task and I’ll get to it when I get to it.

It may sound silly, but this has been life changing. It is giving me a new lense through which to see myself. The old idea of my constant failing has been turned into a point of pride. I am beginning to see this part of my personality not as something I should be apologizing for but something to be proud of. I’m Re-Imaging it. I’m passionate, and my attention gets pulled in different directions and I love that about myself.

But I’ve needed to Re-Image portions of my faith as well. The truth is, I relate to spirituality as an academic pursuit and not as emotional experience. I have deep faith wounds which has caused me to keep my faith boxed into something I think about, and rarely something I feel.  Rational over relational. Brain over heart.

So I’m going to take you through my personal process of Re-Imaging a piece of my faith that has haunted me.

 

Step One: Identify what you need to Re-Image

This story is forcing me to be even more vulnerable and open. But here it goes. I have a deep and constant fear that something or everything will go wrong. Whenever life seems too good- just wait, because something bad will happen and mess it all up. I met my husband when I was 16, and I knew right away.  But I was so convinced that something would go wrong that for the first few months I resisted taking pictures with him because I didn’t want to have the pain of looking back on those photos.  Even now, every cell in my body fights against hope. “I’m not getting my hopes up” – because I’m sure I’ll be let down and it will be easier to handle if I hadn’t hoped for it to be a certain way.  I didn’t get excited for my wedding because I was preparing for rain, or catastrophe, or heartbreak. If things are going too well, if there isn’t something to be worried about- I’ll create the worry. When I was younger, I walked around terrified and convinced I would be assaulted because I thought God would want to use me to “minister”  to victims of assault and the only way that would work is if I had experienced it myself.  Sick, right?

The first part of the Re-Imaging process is clearly identifying in one sentence or two the limiting belief that needs to be Re-Imaged:

 

“When things are going well, something bad is going to happen. God brings and allows tragedy.”

 

In my mind, God uses tragedy to teach a lesson or to prepare you. God uses trials to draw people closer to Godself. I am waiting for something bad to happen to me or someone I love, because God wants me to learn something from it. Now that I feel financially stable and secure, I fear God will create a catastrophic event in an effort to focus more on God. In my view: God brings and allows tragedy to befall those who have faith in an attempt to either re-focus the individual or to teach a lesson.

I may be the only one who suffers from this view of The Divine, and I really hope that I am. But I don’t think the church realizes the damage they can do when they tell people things like:

 

“If God brings you to it, He will lead you through it”

“God never gives you more than you can handle”

“If God closes one door, He’ll open a window”

“Your faith is being tested”

“You can do all things through Christ”

“God must have needed another angel”

“This is part of God’s Plan”

 

I’m in the process of Re-Imaging this. I easily engage academically and theoretically with faith. But putting my heart into it means trust, and I do not trust that things will work out. I’ve been taught that God is not a God who leaves a beautiful life untouched by tragedy.

 

Step Two:  What impact has this belief had on your life?

The second piece is exploring how this has impacted my life. In case I didn’t make this clear enough in the previous few paragraphs I’ll sum it up: the belief that God brings tragedy and allows has grossly misinterpreted what faith should be in my life, and had stopped me from enjoying the gifts that life brings.  This is such a hard step. It is staring at a wound, picking at it, not letting it heal yet, because it would never really heal correctly anyway. Like having to re-set a broken bone. Yes, it is painful, maybe even as painful as the first break, but if you don’t do it, you’ll never walk straight again.

“When you choose to walk through the depths…you will come out the other side, knowing you were taken there by a Source larger than yourself. Surely this is what it means to be saved” – Richard Rohr

I am choosing to walk through the depths of this, I am confronting it even when it is embarrassing and it hurts. And I am putting it all out there for you, hoping it helps your faith journey in some way.

 

Step Three: Re-Image and Re-Image and Re-Image

The final step is to Re-Image. Over and over and over again. What does your sacred text say is the Truth? What has your experience shown you to be True? What is the deep Truth of your soul- the Truth that speaks to the deepest part of your heart that you keep hidden. Whenever you find yourself listening to that false belief, you consciously remind yourself of your Re-Imaged Truth. Personally, it helps me to add a bit of vulgarity to shock my brain.

 

“When things are going well, something bad is going to happen. God brings and allows tragedy.”

You know what? Thats bullshit.

 

The Truth is…

Psalm 27:10- Though mother and father forsake me the Lord will hold me close

Psalm 86:15- But You, O Lord, are a God who protects and is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.

Genesis 16:13- “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

 

It was not part of God’s plan for my father to lose his job and his family.

It was not part of God’s plan for me to find myself in an emotionally abusive relationship at 15.

It was not part of God’s plan for my parents to lose themselves and forget their children along the way.

It was not part of God’s plan for my brother-in-law to die.

 

The Truth is… that I’ve always been okay. I’ve been surrounded by love my whole life. My siblings and I have been forged through fire. We have survived and continue to live lives full of love. I’ve been cocooned in love and support and friendship.  The Truth is that although tragedy does come and there is pain, my experience has shown me that God comforts and heals wounds. God does not create them. I’ve been Re-Imaging this belief and striving to see this Divine Love in each act of love in my life.

 

 

 

 

The Truth is…

God is in my Grandmother’s hello

And in Marlo’s hugs

God is in tea with Linda

And in the sigh of love

The truth is that the Source of all life is running down any road to find me

 

Re-Imaging is a long process, I don’t think you’re ever “done”. In my case, until I really know and trust in how much I am loved, I’ll always end up with fear. I am in the process of re-training my brain. And more importantly, I am retraining my heart.

So that’s how I am Re-Imaging God right now. I’m working through language and imagery. I’m adding sacred practices and expanding my view of Divinity. And I’m digging deeper into my faith wounds and stitches this faith back together one stitch at a time.

 

 

What about you? How are you Re-Imaging God in your life?

 


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