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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

There is victory, there is peace. But not always, and not forever.

August 18, 2023


My mother is constantly telling me to “give it to Jesus”. She claims she has complete peace (she does not) because she prays and she gives it all to Jesus. What a drastic oversimplification. And a cruel one at that. The message has always been I’m not a good enough Christian because I have mental health issues and if I had enough faith I would be healed.


At times, I do experience some peace when I surrender my need to control so much and rest into the goodness of God. But there is danger in believing if I’m not completely successful at letting go and “laying it at the foot of the cross”, I’m not doing it right, or I’m not good enough. Those beliefs might well have destroyed me.


I once asked a friend, an atheist, who had cancer recur twice if he ever wondered, “Why me?” He looked at me and calmly responded, “No, I don’t. Because why not me?”


I don’t believe God caused this illness or allowed this illness or intended for me to suffer. I don’t believe God intends for any of us to suffer. Misguided Christian’s will posit suffering is the inevitable result of original sin. I reject that causal relationship. I now reject the entire premise of original sin.


I no longer claim everything happens for a reason, because some things are simply inexplicable. I no longer say that which does not kill me makes me stronger, because I’ve lived so close to death for so much of my life. I’m still here, for now. But there are no guarantees.


I can say that in my life, in my experience, nothing is all good or all bad. So, while I’m praying and wishing away my pain, I also see how it’s making me better and stronger in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I gain wisdom. That doesn’t mean I count it all joy. Far from it. There are times I will do anything to escape the pain I’m in. Yet, I continue to fight. I’m still here, for now. But there are no guarantees.


There is victory, there is peace. But not always, and not forever.

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