This is a season of introversion for me. As such, I am examining, once again, my life, and my faith.
I saw the musical Children of Eden at the college my daughter attends. It is an interesting interpretation of the creation story and the flood (actually it would make a fundamentalists head explode). See here for synopsis:
As I thought about the Eden story, I began to think about the progression of humanity, and the loss of innocence and the structures we all build around ourselves to protect ourselves from exposure to who we really are.
I remember back to my days of innocence, and only a couple fuzzy, faded memories still remain. The memories that stick in my mind, are the memories that destroyed innocence and sent me on a decades long mission to keep my heart and soul from more pain. Memories of being a disappointment to my father, inadequate as a son, a focal point of bullying from my peers, a mediocre husband and father fill my mind. Out of those experiences was birthed an internal critic that has always told me that I will never be any good, I am stupid, I am a failure, and if who I was ever come to light I would be rejected as well. So I pretended to be who I was not and pretending drove me further and further from who I was created to be.
My spiritual life and my view of God has also suffered terribly. I have been a Christian for 30+ years now and most of that time I lived in terror of a God of anger and judgement as He waited for me to screw up so that he could teach me a lesson. I drove myself to near spiritual breakdown about seventeen years ago, as I strove to be the best Christian I could be for a god that was the creation of American Evangelicalism. And also to prove to my fellow believers that I was actually holy, righteous , and good, when in fact I was/am, in general, not any of those things.
I am at a crossroads in life now. About three years ago I came to terms with myself, and accepted myself, as is, because I finally realized through the grace of God in Jesus, I have been accepted by God long ago, and the torment and fear I had felt was not from the Holy Spirit but from my inner critic. Yet at the same time, I am having to tear down high and thick walls that have protected me against rejection. And that is a fearful process. When they are finally disassembled my life will probably change dramatically.
Until that time though I am having to go through a time of great uncertainty. Happiness, focus, and enjoyment of life ebbs and flows, being suppressed by the lack of clarity in the steps forward.
Only one thing is certain for me at this point in time. God my Creator, my Sustenance, my Beloved, my Savior, and loves me with a never-ending fountain of pure refreshing grace. And He is/will be there in my “dark night of the soul”. and he will restore me to who I was created to be in His recreation of Eden, His Kingdom here on earth.