IF: Gathering 2018 – Jennie Allens’ vulnerable confession of doubt

My woman’s group hosts an IF: Gathering each year where we join thousands of women across the world for a weekend of powerful speakers and calls to action (IF is a Christian conference, for more information click here.) This was my second year attending, and after the year of spiritual growth I’ve had, I honestly wasn’t sure if the messages would resonate with me in the same way they had in the past. I approached the weekend cautiously optimistic but with very real reservations.
Friday night we watched remotely as Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering shared her personal struggle with 250,000 women worldwide. She asked us: “What is the darkness that comes against you that threaten the flame of your faith?”

Great Suffering and Great Love: The Tension of Faith

This may come as a surprise to no one- but I identify very strongly with Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet of the Christian Old Testament. I feel things- suffering specifically-so very deeply I am sometimes paralyzed. A simple conversation with my husband about gender roles and careers has had me sinking into a quick sand of thousands of years of patriarchy and “this is what we do to women” in a matter of minutes. And before he knows it I am sobbing for all the women of generations past with unrealized dreams because they were unfortunately born with the wrong sex organs. I can hear a sermon with only male gendered pronouns and find myself weeping for girls being sex trafficked in countries 1,000 of miles away- the connection so clear to me it pumps through my veins and leaves me exhausted from pain.

You Stepped Down into Darkness: Suffering & Psalm 44

This week my hometown community lost someone very special-my childhood pastor, my only pastor, really. A man who was exceedingly loving and kind and passionate. He devoted his life to his church and to his faith. His family was a pillar in the faith community. He was the type of father a fatherless daughter couldn’t help but envy.

When I finally allowed myself to feel the loss it came in waves. My sadness and heartbreak turned into confusion- How? How could this happen to someone who was so faithful? If anyone deserved healing it was this man. If any family deserved a miracle it was this family.

This loss came on the heels of a rather rough few weeks for me. You may have noticed I’ve missed a few scheduled posts. Been a little absent. A little off the radar. I’ve brushed it off as “being in a funk”  or “seasonal depression”- and that’s probably part of it. But underneath that is something more.

Now Faith Is: Learning to be comfortable with not knowing.

Faith has not been easy for me, and calling myself a Christian has become harder over the years. As I find myself more and more “on the edge of the inside” of Christianity,  I’ve collected some sparklets of truth that keep me from giving up. These are my lamp posts- welcoming me further into the mysterious land of building my own theology. They are my north star when I feel lost and alone, the comforting […]

“For you’ve wrestled with The Divine”

Ever hear of Bluma Zeiganick? Yea, I hadn’t either until a few months ago. Bluma Zeiganick was one of the first women in Russia to go to a University. Upon graduating she became one of the first female psychologists in the world. Our dear Bluma discovered the Zeiganick Effect which links memory to incomplete tasks (and she had the audacity to name it after herself!) Basically, your brain remembers uncompleted or interrupted tasks, going back to them again and again.  You haven’t finished the laundry, you’re about to fly across the country, and so it stays on your mind all day. Conversely, once you cross an item off your list you’re less likely to remember having done that task. Perhaps this answers why so few of us can remember what we did the other day, but we can remember what we still need to do.