A Battle Weary Soldier

There’s something about the past several years that has caused a callus to form around my heart; I miss the me that was more trusting, less cynical, and softer. I miss the me that expected the best from strangers, and was surprised at, rather than resigned to rudeness or aggression.

In the naivety of my youth, I carried in my heart such hope. My rose-tinted view of the future gave me something to look forward to, even in the gloomiest of seasons. I was going to marry a MOG (man-of-God – insert eye-roll here), become a minor, or dare I hope, major, Christian celebrity, travel regularly, and have a general air of importance.

In reality, I married a very good man, had two really schnoopsie, but delightful kiddos, and ended up getting a counselling degree and writing for a self-awareness app – a profoundly fulfilling job. But somewhere in the midst of this existence, which I may add is genuinely better than anything I could have dreamed up for myself, the reality of life has seeped in.

The kind of reality that is so often ignored in Pentecostalism, where the message presented seems to suggest that if you just plug your ears and hum a worship song loudly, the pain of life will eventually disappear.

The kind of reality that comes home to roost when your husband gets impaled when you’re seven weeks pregnant. Or when you watch a beloved family member struggle with debilitating mental illness for years and years and years on end. Or when you finally fall pregnant after several miscarriages only to get a beautiful baby boy, but with a side of chronic migraine that doesn’t go away. That kind of reality.

And added to this, along with general pandemic related stressors, I have felt a genuine angst about people of faith throughout this season. There was a time when I would assume that Sister Mildred, who always sits in the third row, believed pretty much the same things that I did regarding the outworking of faith and the Kingdom of God. But if this virus has highlighted anything to me, it’s that there is a massive disparity in the way that I understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ, and the way that some others understand it.

I say this not to point the finger at any particular points of theology, doctrine, or faith, but more to highlight the despair and confusion it has wrought within me to see certain people that profess faith, acting in a way that I just cannot align with my understanding of the way of Jesus.

All of these things, plus some I’m sure, have caused a defensive shell to form around my heart – it’s a spikey and sad fence, designed to keep me safe, but all it seems to have done is eat at the glow within me.

And I want it gone. I want the slightly naïve girl back – but perhaps with a side more wisdom.

I don’t know how to do this. But I do sense the soft presence of Jesus starting to warm my heart, and I am convinced that he is the key.  So, I’ll sit, and wait, and accept his warming presence, and pray that my battle-hardened shell would slowly begin to get absorbed by love.

Deb xx

6 thoughts on “A Battle Weary Soldier

  1. Your words cut right through my shell, my defence to that child like place in my heart. Wormed to know that I am not alone in this place, space and time. I too have only recently felt His presence. Reading what you wrote gives me hope that this is a new beginning. Shalom

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  2. As always Deb you have expressed what so many of the Christian brethren are feeling right now! Working in healthcare can be difficult enough without a side of pandemic panic and anxiety! Throw in a side of of normal family issues and living with a chronic illness it makes for trying times! Jesus is breaking through my spikey heart in the snatched quite times! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family x x

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  3. We each have our own journey but so grateful to have a sojourner like you who allows us into their authentic musings and has us saying, “I am not on my own” Thanks Deb…. Peace and joy, that cannot be shaken, to you and your family this season and beyond.

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