I was born on March 21, 1989. I grew up in a family of 8. Mom, Dad, four brothers and one sister. I’m about in the middle. Two older brothers and two younger brothers. My sister was born between my two younger brothers. We grew up 10 miles north of Arborg.
I grew up in church. It was a pretty conservative close knit community, quite set apart from the rest of the world.
My first memory is sitting in my bed in the middle of the night, crying. Because you see its so dark. And I’m alone and its scary. I feel alone.
At age 12 my guilt get the better of me and I knelt by my bed and said “the prayer,” the sinner’s prayer. It eased my guilt. For a while anyway.
A few years later, I imagine, I found myself once again reading from “The Scriptures.” I just wanted to please God.
Anyway, I found myself reading these words of Jesus,
“You can be forgiven for any sin, except one. If you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven.”
I didn’t really know what that meant, but to my horror I noticed the words slither through my mind.
“I blaspheme the Holy Spirit. I blaspheme the Holy Spirit. I blaspheme…”
-over and over and over-
And the more I tried to stop thinking it, the stronger the thought coursed through my mind. Terrified I rushed for the stairs to find my dad. Halfway to the stairway I again flung myself down onto my knees, “Please God, please God, please God.”
But I knew that it was probably too late. My soul was doomed to follow the devil’s bidding, straight into hell.
“You’re ok. Dont worry.” My parents consoled me, “If the Holy Spirit had left you, you wouldn’t be feeling this desire. He’s still here.”
I still remember the music I was listening to as I slowly drifted off to sleep. It was some kids music called “Psaltys.” Starting with the letter ‘P.’ Like Psalms. I could never enjoy that album again. And the horror of that night haunted me, for years.
I was baptised a few years later at about age 17 and became a member of the church.
I started questioning.
Should we always be nonresistent? Surely there is a just cause for war, sometimes. Is rock and roll really of the devil? Always?
I quit my church, moved to a new church. A church that didn’t remain silent about the supernatural, the miraculous, the demonic. A church that didn’t demonize the rock n roll. Surely now I would feel at home.
I did, for a bit. But quite often, I still felt alone. Alone as the people danced around me in joy. What’s wrong with me? Why so reserved?
“Is this it?”
A pastor told me, you won’t always be alone. That was nice.
But I still felt alone.
“Maybe the focus on the supernatural is not the answer. Maybe violence is never the answer.”
While reading a book, now unknown to me, the author challenged me to pray.
“God, do whatever it takes. Have your way in me. Wreck me.”
So, I did. And God did. Bit by bit.
“Please God,” I prayed
Then I came to the conclusion. Maybe big church and explosive shows and explosive growth are not the cure. I quit my “Signs and Wonders” church, and joined a smaller conversationist church.
A small group, that will aid in feeling connected, right?
A while later I distinctly remember realizing, “I don’t trust God.”
Shortly after, I was introduced to the work of Irish philosopher and radical theologian Peter Rollins, and the concept of deconstruction.
Then I decided, I’m gonna move away.
So I did.
In Alberta I remember a friend mentioning to me that sometimes she doubted God’s love. To this I responded with “great wisdom.” I noted that though I had questioned just about everything, but, God’s love to me had always remained a constant. An almost prophetic statement of what was to come.
Shortly after, I moved back into Arborg. But something had shifted. The radical deconstruction had begun.
“Who am I?”
“What is this?”
“Where are we going?”
“Who is God?”
It began by reading a rereading of the crucifixion. Brought it into a fresh light. It exposed me to my sense of alienation. Allowed me to acknowledge it. Jesus’ cry,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This opened me up to a new understanding. Jesus didn’t repeat the phrase, “I believe, I believe.” He didn’t pretend. Or attempt to put on a mask. Rather he openly acknowledged his sense of betrayal.
“Do I trust God enough to acknowledge that I feel like God has betrayed me? Or is my God too small?”
I chose to no longer run. Rather i choose to face the pain. The fear. The loneliness. The ‘what if.’ Slowly nihilism crept up to me.
“What is there’s no afterlife?”
“That means nothing matters.”
“If nothing matters why do anything?”
This was hard.
“Accept that you’re accepted, accepted by that which is bigger then you and the name of which you do not know” -Paul Tillich
Slowly some things came together.
“Even if you live in a meaningful world, but dont love, you will experience it as meaningless. But even if you live in a meaningless world, but love, you will experience it as meaningful.” -Peter Rollind
So maybe, “If we learn to love in each moment. Even if it were the last moment of our existence it would be meaningful. And if it goes on forever, but you live by love, it will be meaningful.”
This gave me great hope.
I still feel the loneliness from time to time. But slowly I’m learning to enjoy the unknown. The incoming unknown. And as I’m learning to experience both the highs and the lows. I’m experiencing a deep joy.
I’m learning to breath. In the letting go.
I call this faith.
-Love and peace