It’s officially summertime and we’re taking this opportunity to explore right-fit spiritual practices. Throughout the summer we’ll be hearing from guest bloggers about their spiritual hybrids and right-fit spiritual practices. Today behind the mic we have Jennifer McGuiggan from The Word Cellar.
Step right up Jennifer!
Jennifer (Jenna) McGuiggan is a writer, editor, and writing coach who works with creative souls and organizations with heart. To celebrate women in creative community, she published Lanterns: A Gathering of Stories. She also teaches Alchemy, a series of online writing workshops. Visit Jenna in The Word Cellar.
The Awkward Phase
by Jennifer McGuiggan
My husband recently compared my current state of spirituality to a haircut.
“You’re in that awkward ‘growing-out’ phase,” he said.
He’s right. My spiritual-hybrid is unruly, neither fully one thing nor another. I’ve left behind the close-cropped, predictable style that I adopted as a teenager. My theology, once so neatly defined by evangelical Christian doctrine, has grown looser. Those tendrils of doubt that I used to tuck behind my ear or pin up securely with a barrette have now worked their way out of confinement. They blow in the breeze and tickle my face. I can’t choose between letting my hair fly wild in the wind and pulling it back into a ponytail. The first approach feels daring – and dangerous. The second feels stifling – which is its own kind of danger.
I used to believe a lot of very specific things about God and salvation. Now I only know one thing: I still believe in God. Other than that, I live in the questions. I’ve been in this “growing-out” phase for several years now. In the beginning, I really thought there was a resolution to be found. I thought I would find a new concrete theology to replace my old one. If only I could think or pray hard enough, I I would find an answer. But now I’m beginning to suspect that there is no “there” there, as the saying goes. Maybe there is no destination when it comes to belief, only the journey.
I have to say: I’m not very comfortable with that idea. And yet, I sense a sort of freedom in it. If I don’t have to “figure it all out” and can just live…well, wouldn’t that be a beautiful journey?
So I wander through this land of questions. What first felt like a desert is now rich with signs of life.
To find my way, I pray. I write. I breathe in the scent of freshly mown grass or the salt brine of the sea and feel blessed. I practice kindness, honor beauty, and believe in a loving Creator even if I don’t know what to call that Being. I seek. I question. I wonder.
In the best moments, when the questions and the journey and the fly-away strands are enough, I feel less like I’m growing-out, and more like I’m growing-into something.
Ready to pay it forward? Jennifer supports Girls Write Now, an organization that provides mentoring for young female writers. As a thank you for her post today, Magpie Girl has donated $25 in her honor. Did this post help you? Consider donating.
What about you Magpies? What is your spiritual hybrid? What questions do you live in? Tell us in the comments below.
Relig-ish is a new series at Flock dedicated to exploring a new kind of faith — one that suites Y.O.U. Come along with us as we help each other find a spirituality that fits. Click here to read all the Relig-ish posts.
Thanks for being here today.
Much Warmth, Rachelle