As a skeptical believer, I can turn in many different directions in as little as 10 minutes or as long as 10 days. But since I’m on a slide toward the believing end of the spectrum this season, I want to share with you a good journaling exercise from Explorefaith.org. For the Easter season, which coincides with Spring and the need to “clean out closets” and do a little spiritual housecleaning as well, this web site offers good questions to get you started on the path of conversion, should you want to that is:
While some people have a dramatic and momentous conversion, most of us experience conversion more as a process than an event. Conversion simply means turning – turning from one way of being to another way of being. Turning from self toward God. This turning is facilitated through our life experiences, the encounters we share, the moments of quiet that overtake us, the joys and sorrows that come our way, the heights and failures we endure, the people who walk the earth with us.
What life experiences most stand out in my mind as moments of turning?
Who are the people in my life who have helped pave the path of turning for me?
When I still my soul and make it quiet, how does the desire to ‘turn’ rise in me?
What joys and sorrows have I experienced that have completely altered my life and my relationship with God?
While I have always claimed that I came to Christ in a momentous conversion experience, there are multiple times when I have deconverted and reconverted and deconverted and reconverted. I am in a season of turning yet again. But to answer the journaling questions.
1. The life experience that stands out most in my mind as a moment of turning was surprisingly not when I got married but when I had my first baby. Let me state emphatically that I am not of the cult of motherhood. I did not want children and really dislike children in general. I will tolerate them, but…. So when I had my first child I was terrified. I mean really, no one gives you a manual and the manuals out there are written by male doctors who know nothing of getting up at 2, 3, and 5 a.m. every night. So it was this event that precipitated by conversion the first time.
2. Well, that’s an interesting question. And I honestly don’t know. My husband helped. My evil step-father helped, if you want to call it that. And all of my Internet friends have contributed in some way or another. Thanks guys.
3. First, my soul is never quiet. But what causes it to turn? Honestly? The need for reassurance and comfort in a chaotic world.
4. I’d say that my childhood and teen years directly contributed to everything I believe right now: my real father’s abandonment of our family, my mother’s marrying our evil step-father and the subsequent years of abuse, the death of a boyfriend in high school via a car accident, and an abusive first marriage. All are the sorrowful influences. The joyful ones are my marriage to my patient, kind, gentle second husband, our three wonderful, now grown up, children who grew up that way in spite of me, and my now relatively stable home life. Now I have the luxury of being allowed to think too much. 🙂
Anyway, what are your “turning” prompts, either away or toward what fills your soul?