Real or Not Real? [Dear Addie Column #6]

Real or Not Real

I’m over at Off the Page again today with my 6th “Dear Addie” column.

Today’s question is from a young woman who recently found out that her youth pastor, who she’d been very close to and who’d been formational in her faith, was a “manipulator and a predator.” This new information has cast much of her faith story into uncertain light. She writes:

“Sort of like Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games, I found myself thinking back to ultra-spiritual personal moments and wondering, ‘Real or not real?’”

I was so drawn to this question because I think it’s one that many of us have found ourselves asking about our faith experiences. I know I have.

I hope you’ll click over and join us!

3 thoughts on “Real or Not Real? [Dear Addie Column #6]

  1. I absolutely love the Off the Page questions that readers send in, and your very thoughtful responses. As I was reading her dilemma, it never occurred to me that she was one of the lucky ones, but as I read your response, I realized how spot-on that perspective is.

  2. Some of these questions you get Addie…

    I just want to…I don’t know…give these people something.

    Not answers. Tea? Space? Permission to ask questions? Tools to seek answers?

  3. I don’t even know how to say my thoughts. These sessions from Off the Page have continuously wrecked me and healed me. I see myself in the questions, and I see the friend/mentor/leader/person I want to be in your responses. I keep coming back to them, over and over, to find the sense of camaraderie that comes with realizing that I am not the only one with difficult questions. And the sense of peace that comes with knowing that there ARE people in this world who don’t believe in swift, easy answers. Who find beauty in the journey, rather than the absolute certainty that I was raised to believe was a prerequisite for faith in Jesus.

    It can be really challenging to find these kinds of wide open spaces in the church culture. I wrestle constantly with not seeing it, and wanting to create it, and not knowing what the first step to that would look like. So I keep coming back here, to witness the interaction of messy questions asked to people who know how to provide open space and grace for working out the answers, over and over.

    Thanks for giving me hope for what could be, Addie. Really.

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