Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Five: On Overcoming

For those of you who don't know about RevGalBlogPals, these Friday Fives are a group activity at that blog ring. So, they'll generally be off thesis topic, though I'm sure I'll find some way to work my thesis into these Friday Fives on a regular basis. Sally provides this week's Friday Five:

I am preparing this Friday 5 just before I take Chris into hospital for a cardioversion, right now we are all a little apprehensive. But this whole thing has got me thinking, so many of us are overcomers in one way or anoither, so many have amazing stories to tell of God's faithfulness in adversity. And so I bring you this Friday 5;

1.Have you experienced God's faithfulness at a difficult time? Tell as much or as little as you like... Yes yes and yes. Though I am rarely aware of God's faithfulness in the valley. It's always looking back that I see God's hand. Why I can't seem to learn from the hindsight that God is always faithful is beyond me. But at the same time, just the intellectual knowledge and weak hope that God is faithful brings me through the difficult times. Other times, it's those around me who have strength, faith and hope for me that bring me through. The Body of Christ in action!

2. Have you experienced a dark night of the soul, if so what brought you through? I hesitate to say that I have had as dark a night of the soul as some but feel that I've had tastes of it now and then. Once, in undergraduate school, I went for about 3 weeks of depression that had me crying most days, and usually at the odd drop of a hat. Just the briefest thought about singing (I was a voice major and dealing with some throat problems) sent me spiraling down a thought path that led to a life with no music, no singing and basically destitution. So, that was definitely a dark night of the soul. Throughout this doctoral program I've had days here and there of serious doubt about more than just my ability to complete the program, but serious doubts about God. Sometimes these moments of physical, clawing, emptiness will last for a few hours, sometimes for a few days. I even blogged about it a little here. It's hard to say what has brought me through. I think for the most part it's those people around me who care for me. Sometimes, I will scream out to God and suddenly feel the darkness lift and peace overcome me.

3. Share a Bible verse, song, poem that has brought you comfort? Psalm 23. I have sung this one so many times, in so many different versions, and heard it read more times than I can count at countless funerals and it never looses its impact. So many verses and songs have brought me comfort that it's hard to narrow it down to just one or even a few. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing comes to mind. Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

4. Is "why suffering" a valid question? Are there any invalid questions? We may not get the answer we're looking for, though I'm finding that God's answers are always infinitely better than anything I could even think to look for. If we don't ask "why suffer" then perhaps we would not be moved to help alleviate suffering in the world and isn't that part of what Jesus calls us to do? Comfort those who morn, care for the widows and orphans, heal the sick, pray for those in prison, etc.

5. And on a lighter note- you have reached the end of a dark and difficult time- how are you going to celebrate? With shouts of joy in the courts of the Lord! And perhaps a glass of wine and laughter with friends. I can't imagine any where else in the world I'd rather be than in the company of friends and family in both times of sorrow and in times of joy. I was one of those weird people who loved living the dorms because I was surrounded by so many people and the part I loved most about living in New York City was the extreme close proximity I had to more than a million people.


Blogger Sally said...

Thank you for this thoughtful play Amy- I agree, there are no invalid questions!

6:58 PM  
Blogger Leah Sophia said...

I agree about being surrounded by lots of people (but I also need to learn to be alone), and I agree with you and Sally about every question being valid. Thanks for playing!

9:53 PM  
Blogger JAS said...

I love your blog. You are refreshing. Thank you.


5:55 PM  

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