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One night I was laying in bed with my husband in our usual ritual: I talk a lot and he falls asleep quickly. I have learned not to take it personally – the man can fall asleep standing up. Me? I’m a night person. I can pull an all-nighter. I can burn the midnight oil. Road trip? I can drive through the night. He can’t. But then again he can wake up to the alarm clock on the first beep. Me? I can sleep through it for hours. I can sleep till noon then still want a nap at 2:00 in the afternoon. I digress…

We were laying there and I said: I’m not sure I’m good at putting Jesus and Heavenly Father first.

“what do you mean?”

God and his Son are supposed to be first in our relationship…

Well when I think about the next life I don’t really think about wanting to be with them… I just want to be with you.

I don’t even completely understand the Atonement. Christ suffered for my sins?

“yes”

Sins I hadn’t yet committed?

“well, yes”

So how does that work? Do I have a limited supply of sins? Am I destined to commit them?

And how does one night in the Garden of Gethsemane, and scourging, and the Crucifixion … all that incomprehensible pain compare to a life in a disabled body? Give me a week of the worst hell imaginable over 80 years in a body of severe cerebral palsy. An intact mind and not a single limb that you can move voluntarily, I can’t fathom it.

I worked in a nursing home, I saw a woman lay in the same bed for two straight years with no functioning ability except digestion. In fact, the mere ability to digest kept her in that situation. I wished death for her daily. It seemed like the most humane thing.

I just don’t get it. At all.

But I love you more than there are words for in our limited vocabulary. So if Jesus will keep us together, then I really love him for that… But I still don’t know if I can say He comes first….

Does that make me a terrible person?

Seconds before he fell asleep he said:

“No that doesn’t make you a bad person. I love you”

And then I heard him snoring. I whispered ever so softly…

What I was trying to say was – I don’t know if I believe anymore.

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5 thoughts on “Sleepy Talk

  1. I love love love LOVE this post, Janie. You’re so honest and vulnerable. And… yeah, it really resonates with me. It really does. ❤ I'm so glad we're on this journey together, friend.

  2. A lengthy study of doctrine and religion has a knack for stealing faith. It focuses us on the human behavior rather than the goodness of God. Humans are horrible beings through which all human suffering and sin and death was birthed. And yet – God is good enough to love us anyway and wait for us to see Him rather than the fallible and often ugly people who carry His name like a badge they haven’t earned but bought themselves anyway.

    If you don’t believe anymore, it is by the grace of free will He has given. Free will is the beautiful essence that He uses to love us without fail and that we use to make the world a horrible place of pain and suffering.

    I recommend stepping out of the muddy field and being nakedly honest with Him. Then listen in silence for a while. Answer or not – that is your answer.

    • I think my lengthy studies of doctrine and religion have stolen only the illusion of faith I once had. My faith now is stronger for the questions I asked through my fear. And my faith is based on more than simply doctrine now…
      As far as humans being horrible beings… I disagree. “There is that of God in all of us” – I believe that a piece of God can be found in each of us and I believe that it’s not “God is perfect/We are the opposite of God”… humans have the capacity for being horrible, but they also have the capacity for healing one another, beauty, love beyond measure, and selflessness. Those good things about humans aren’t just some expression of God through a human being, they are human in their very elements. I think the world is a place of beauty and wonder, sure, there are bad things that happen, things that don’t make sense, things that are wrong. But there is so much good too!

      I’m not sure how I view God now, after all my study, but I will tell you that I do believe there is that of God in all of us. I believe that we are all created with the PURPOSE of God, and that we all have capacity to be beautiful healing creatures on this earth. In some ways, I believe we are all God here on earth: not in the sense that I believe we are all gods, but in the sense that Jesus said we are his hands and his feet: we are the tangible essence of God here.

      I think Janie’s honesty in this post is exactly what God craves from her. Walking in the garden looking for Adam and Eve, God didn’t want to hear a story about how they loved him and had faith in him, he wanted to hear the truth, then he gave them a chance to be beautiful.

  3. Maybe it’s not that you don’t believe anymore. Maybe it’s just your beliefs changing. Embrace it! It’s a beautiful journey and sometimes we miss out on a lot of joy for a fear of changing our beliefs. We think this makes us weak or ungrateful. In reality, being flexible and willing to make changes on what FEELS right is the best gift you can give yourself and others.

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