Monday, September 08, 2008

Hesitant

I want to put forth my thoughts on the quiverful thinking, but my thoughts don't and won't just stop there. They spill over into many areas and to cover it well, I think I have to tell my story, and I'm hesitant to do that.

I'd have to explain my original thoughts concerning children.

I'd have to explain how it feels to have a broken nurturer.

I might have to explain my newfound freedom in trusting God and knowing there is nothing rational about that.

There would be a lot to explain...and I'm more than hesitant. I'm scared. I'm scared to put everything out there to be judged or condemned by whomever might pass by.

But maybe it's necessary? Maybe it would help?

7 comments:

Mother to the masses said...

Georgia,
I encourage you to tell your story. Take a deep breath and put it out there! You never know who you may help in doing so. Sometimes, it helps to see all your thoughts written down. It helps me to organize and follow my train of thought. I would love to read your "story". As far as being judged/condemned -- God's approval is all you need. If you are living out your convictions from the Holy Spirit nothing else matters:-)
Cathy

Lindsay said...

Cathy's right...but I do understand what it feels like to be rejected (or lambasted) when you say what you believe. Even when you truly believe you are right, it can hurt.

I don't know that means we shouldn't say it anyway, though...aren't I a lot of help?! lol

I think we all have a story that leads us to the conclusions that we reach. We'll never truly understand each other's beliefs until we understand the story BEHIND those beliefs. We're studying James at church, and I'm finding it's impossible to understand the HEART of the book of James without knowing WHERE James came from and what he experienced that led him to write this book.

Anyway, know that I would love to read your story. I think it can encourage others to share their own. But you gotta be brave, sister! =)

Brian said...

I have been taking a long view on all these "movements." I guess I'm coming to realize the depraved niche we inhabit in the universe, and that nothing we can do will bring us closer to God.

You would think that among all these people who have been reading, rereading, and studying their bibles, parsing and proof-texting 'til the world looks level, that some of "grace" would've rubbed off. I'm certainly no biblical scholar, but it does seem to me that the central theme of the Gospels is "Love one another," second only to "Love God completely."

All that to say, I look with a jaundiced eye, for this reason, upon any human institutions and cultural constructs, especially those which seek to elevate themselves above the others with no inescapably obvious scriptural basis. Whether we're talking political affiliations, denominational doctrines, or extra-biblical movements, I think they're all equally wrong, because they're all equally man-made.

QF, it seems, parses out the "be fruitful and multiply" while ignoring the situations in which these edicts were given, namely, that the world was entirely depopulated. Sort of like how the patriarchy movements hang onto the husband-priest, the father-centrism, while ignoring the polygamy (a topic on which the NT is suspiciously silent, but about which many have drawn their own conclusions).

All that to say, I think there has to be great, vast, gigantic room for grace in our lives and in our nonessential doctrinal positions. I don't think the OT is a stand-alone for Christians; it must be read with your NT glasses on. And as the Spirit calls us all in different ways, we must take into account that who and how I am supposed to serve may not be the way you are supposed to serve, and not judge others' lives by the yardstick of our convictions.

In other words, not only "don't read other people's mail," but "don't assume everybody got the same letter you did."

Lindsay said...

Brian, thanks so much for your very accurate synopsis of a difficult issue. I'll remember the quote at the bottom of your comment for a LONG time.

Having been a part (for most of my life) of an organization that was basically founded on the "We are the only Godly people" philosophy, I know how subtle it can be. Only when you get OUT of it can you look back and realize the arrogance and hypocrisy that is involved. My husband and I intentionally committed ourselves to a church with which we disagree on several things (some pretty important, in my view) BECAUSE of what you referred to: Grace. We saw grace IN ACTION. And when we had to choose between "perfect doctrine" with no grace, and grace without "perfect doctrine", we chose grace - and would do so every time. [Especially since "perfect doctrine" is, well...not perfect.]

All of that said, I am definitely NOT implying that everyone who is involved in these organizations/movements is arrogant and hypocritical. Quite the opposite - I know several and I love them to death. It's just like you said: they are living the life that God has called them to, and I firmly believe we are doing the same thing.

Also, when there's room for grace, there's room for people on BOTH "sides" of the fence to be honest with the parts that they are struggling with. When we can be honest, instead of "closing ranks" and pretending we don't have any worries about the lives we have chosen, then I think we begin to see more clearly the direction God has for our lives.

One more thing: one reason I have been reluctant at times to communicate certain decisions we have made (homeschooling, having an at-home birth) is because I don't want people to see me or my decisions as part of a Movement. We've made each decision based on what we felt like was best, but we certainly didn't sign up for the 'Homeschooling is the only way to Heaven' and 'Birth at home means a Godly home' newsletters on the way. Sometimes I struggle with how to communicate that to people, while at the same time being excited about the choices that we've made - because we are loving the lifestyle that we've chosen.

I'm done now. Thanks for an awesome topic, Georgia!

Anonymous said...

I think it would help. Because you are part of a bigger story - and everything that has happened to you has made you who you are today - the mama you are, the wife you are, the woman you are.

If someone condemns you for your openness, then it says more about them than it does about you.

We need more honest people who are willing to be real and just tell their story. You never know who might really need to hear it. You just might be somebody's little beacon of light. Don't let fear hold you back from that. :)

Tell...

leisa

Georgia said...

Lindsay, I like what you said about choosing a church even though there are differences. That has been hard for me to reconcile. I tend to think that I need to be in a place in which I agree on every topic so I get nervous when I hear something that raises an eyebrow. I am finally getting to the point to understand that in dealing with people, not everything can be black and white.

Not that I love to see people struggle, but I love to see people, especially mothers and wives openly discuss how things really are. I made a decision shortly after we moved here that I was not going to pretend things were okay, even if they weren't. I don't know if that attitude helps or hinders me. I do know I have looked for comfort and encouragement in struggles and not received it. One, because I didn't know who I could "burden" with my problems. I didn't want to dump my problems on someone whose own cup was running over. And two, I wondered who in the world might relate to what I was going through and recently enough to provide some insight other than "it will end".

I'm asking a lot, I know.

Regarding life choices, I find myself vascillating. Initally, I find myself gravitating toward knee-jerk reactions based on emotions. My initial decision to homeschool was one of those decisions. I had spent time with other families and their well-behaved children and had spent time "training" my child to be well-behaved, too. I saw homeschooling as a protection. I did not want to have wasted my time. Maybe homeschooling is the right outcome, but the way I got there was wrong.

But that's the way it is for me. I have to trudge through everything the hard way. The good thing about it is that when I get done, I know that the decision is right, and I have peace. I'll be covering this further in my Quiver postings.

I think the key to explaining our hearts on these "touchy" subjects is to develope relationships with people, especially people who aren't the same as us. Learning about each other. That's the only way these discussions can be held without condemnation and where we can grow and learn from each other.

I'm very nearly to the point that I'm going to adopt the policy of "Don't ask, don't tell." Not that I want to keep my growth and understanding to myself, but that I don't want to feel that I have to "convince" people that I am "right". These things are highly personal and my opinion, life, experience, etc., should in no way take place over or instead of the Holy Spirit. People who ask, in my experience, or at least for myself, genuinely want to know.

The Savage said...

Lindsay said: We've made each decision based on what we felt like was best, but we certainly didn't sign up for the 'Homeschooling is the only way to Heaven' and 'Birth at home means a Godly home' newsletters on the way. Sometimes I struggle with how to communicate that to people, while at the same time being excited about the choices that we've made - because we are loving the lifestyle that we've chosen.

I could have written that!! I'm currently the only one at our (admittedly small-ish) church who's ever had a home birth, only one of two who have not had an epidural (even with my hospital birth), so far as I know we're probably the only ones not practicing any kind of b/c either (but then, I'm not asking around either ;-) ).

Frankly, I get treated like a freak. A nice sort of freak, but still. Nobody gets it. At. all. And most days I'm OK with that. But it's still nice to come surf around the web and meet other women who's views are more similar to mine (regardless of label claimed).

So yes, Georgia, speak as you feel liberty. It may help you sort through things, and will likely give affirmation to some other woman out there who has struggles like your own. The body of Christ is made to work together. :-)