Sunday, October 07, 2007


This is a Sunday Scribblings exercise...the topic was powerful.

I was sixteen years old with a fervent heart for God. It seemed the whole world was opening up before me--before my very eyes. The wall came down in Berlin. The Soviet Union was experiencing a new openness and tetering on the brink of a total fall of the communism that my sixth grade history teacher once said would never fall.

The Soviet government invited a Christian high school group I was a part of to come give talks in Russian classrooms about our belief in God. I was young, full of hope and wonder, and I jumped at the chance to take such a trip. It was a life-changing experience for me. A total privilege to connect cross-culturally with such a lovely people. My horizons expanded exponentially. I learned that America is not necessarily the greatest country on the face of the earth, rather one of many great countries. I learned that Russians are proud of their country, too. Oh, and I fell in love...with our Russian interpreter.

It might seem odd to say that those two weeks in Russia were the most powerful time in my life, but it is true. At least, it feels true. I saw God's hand at work in amazing ways. I felt used by Him. I was connecting with people in meaningful ways. I was connecting with a boy in a powerful way. For those two weeks, it felt like all was right with the world. It was a powerful season of life.

As with all seasons, they turn. Leaves change to brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red, but inevitably, they turn a crispy-crunchy brown and then they fall to ground like a million puzzle pieces. I had to say good-bye to the Russian interpretter, get on a plane and fly home.

So much changed in the next year or two of my life. I longsufferingly suffered over how much I missed the Russian interpretter--I didn't have an appetite and I was depressed. We exchanged letters and even saw each other again, but the romance I hoped for never materialized. My parents started to have serious marital problems. A month before I graduated from high school, they separated and they later divorced. Oh, and I mustn't fail to mention the question that shook me to the core. One day during my senior year in English class, a thought popped into my mind: How do you know that what you believe is true? How do you know that the God you so fervently believe in even exists? I tried with all my might to ignore the question, but it would not and could not go away. I have since studied the subject and come to a place of peace with the questions. But if I'm honest with myself, I still wrestle with them from time to time.

Life is not one big happy ending. My stepdad died of cancer. My Dad has cancer. Why does God allow these things? Why, when I have been faithful to pursue the career that God has called me to, is it so so hard to get work as an actor? I find myself another 16 (okay, 17) years down the road of life, and I don't feel the same power that I did as a 16 year old. The world feels so much bigger. Life feels so much shorter. The road feels so much harder. God feels more distant.

I still believe in Him. I still believe He is good. But I don't feel very powerful. And maybe that is the point. Maybe that is why Jesus said, "My power is made perfect in weakness." Maybe God will meet me in this place of powerlessness, and infuse this empty vessel with His Light. Please, Lord! I could really use it right now.

I hope I don't sound like an ungrateful whiner. He has given so many wonderful blessings, including a great family and the husband I have dreamed of having for so long. I definitely don't mean to discount those wonderful blessings. This was just a cathartic introspective creative writing piece.


J at said...

I thought this was a wonderful post, and one that many people of faith, and some of us not of faith, will find resonates with them as well. I remember reading that C.S.Lewis's faith was shaken by the death of his wife, and that those questions (and the directions they took her) were the ones where he found the most consolation.

ML said...

It happens where faith wavers from time to time, depending on what's going on in your life.

It doesn't make you sound ungrateful at all.

ally said...

You don't sound like a whiner at all. I think that God made us with brains that appreciate and question things. It'd be unrealistic and unbalanced to go through life only appreciating things. Questioning is part of life too. Even if you don't like the answers, you have to ask the questions. How else could you grow?

Beenzzz said...

Ally and I are sharing thoughts today. I was about to compose something very similar to what she said!!!!!

nagasaki_z said...

I was Google-searching "Philipines karaoke microphone plug into TV" and landed on your page, but your post about God made me pause and read further. It didn't sound ungrateful in the least to me, rather, it sounded honest and thoughtful. In the Bible book of Habakkuk, ch. 1 vs. 1, even the prophets asked God about suffering!
Ok, back to my karaoke search! :o)