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When trials come, what helps the most?

My social media reading has changed over the last six months. While I still follow pretty much the same people as I did a year ago, my attention focuses less and less on the articles out there that deal with issues about the role of women in the church. Don't get me wrong; I think it's an important topic, but it's become one of those "musts" which determine whether a blogger is worth reading or not. And let's face it: writers write to be read, and that includes bloggers. If we didn't want to be read, we wouldn't do it.

I am losing interest in the continual material on the subject of women in the church. I don't begrudge anyone wanting to write about it, but honestly, for women who complain that women don't have enough of a voice, why are they writing about women? Why do some criticize "mommy bloggers" for their focus on womanly arts when they are still writing about women's issues themelves? Yes, the issues may be more complex, but women are still writing about things of concern for women. Where are the women writing about theology proper? Some of the writers I enjoy the most write very eloquently about women, but I seldom see them write about theology proper. All is not lost, though; one of the women bloggers whom I've known the longest does indeed write about such things as do the women I write with at Out of the Ordinary. For them, I am thankful.

In the last seven months, I have been going through a very difficult trial. There have been days when reading social media is the worst thing I could possibly do, and there are days when I have been completely disinterested in blogging at all. Some days, the only reading I have been able to manage is the Psalms. Just prior to the onset of this trial, I purchased the first volume in the long-awaited series on the writing of William Perkins. It has sat untouched for six months now. I do plan to pick it up again soon, becauase things are improving.

What has helped me the most over the past months is not reminders of my womanhood in the church. Articles about how I as a Christian woman can "engage" the culture have not been helpful. Reminders that yes, I need to be an influence in the church have not helped. Being told what I'm supposed to do as a woman have not helped. Having friends who want to discuss how we as women can have more influence and break the shackles of male domination have not helped.

What has helped is continual reminder of who God is. And that is where the Psalms have helped. Over the past seven months, I have read through the entire book of Psalms every month. There are Psalms I have read over and over again (Ps. 4, 5, 6, 18, 34, 46, 91, 145). These have reminded me who God is, and by extension, who I am. What has helped are friends who continue to remind me that God is good, that he is sovereign, that he loves me. The articles and books I have read have reminded me of the same thing.

I have been teaching the bible in some capacity for over 15 years. I have a lot of knowledge stocked up in my head, but I still have so much to learn about who God is and who I am before him. As I stand before God on my own, through the blood of Christ, I continue to learn more about my sin, my pride, and my faith. I have been a Christian for 30 years, and in the past seven months, I have never learned more about these things.

Perhaps those who feast on the issues of the day have already learned what I clearly have not. Perhaps I am living in a state of spiritual arrested development. I still feel like I have a long way to go. Not that anyone was waiting for me to comment on such things, but until I have learned enough about God, you won't see me addressing popular topics. That, of course, means obscurity in blogging, and I'm okay with that. That's another thing I've learned during this trial: what's important and what is not. I have seminary to look forward to next month, and that goal is more important to me now than the goal of keeping this blog going. While the ambitious side of me would love to have people read what I write, I guess I'll be content with writing for my professors.

Some days are still not easy, but I've arrived at the point where I can say, "It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes" (Psalm 119:71).

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Reader Comments (4)

Psalm 119:71 is a very I have come back to over and over again in the last 22 years. It's always so arresting to read it and remember that a lifetime in a wheelchair is a blessing if it draws me closer to my Saviour. Kim, I think learning more about God and how to trust him is a lifetine's work, and our most worthy goal!

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I, for one, thank you for your blog. I am thankful for the things that you do write about because your articles focus on reminding us of "who God is" and point us to our Savior. Keep the blog going - I would miss it. I skip the bloggers who continual write about "women's issues."

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Your words have been a huge encouragement to me today! I'm not alone! I've been going through a very difficult trial for over a year now. In fact, it has been the most difficult thing that has happened to me. Like you, I've struggled with the fact that I've been a Christian for a long time, and because of this trial have discovered I still have such a mountain of sin lurking in me. Like you, I have never learned more about who God is and who I am before Him. I'm beginning to feel real thanks that He loves me enough not to leave me to myself. I'm beginning to understand His great love and that He is truly trustworthy. Oh my....I could write an essay on all I am learning...

Thank you for sharing your struggles! Please know that you have encouraged me. I'm sure others will be encouraged too. You are in my prayers today.

August 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Thanks, ladies, for your kind and encouraging comments. They are appreciated :)

August 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterKim

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