Thursday, December 12, 2013

disillusion, when we were on fire, part 2

In the second part of her memoir, Addie Zierman chronicles how her faith begins to spiral during college and her first couple of years marriage.

The summer after she graduates, she decides to reinvent herself at college and not allow the heartbreaks of the past continue to define her. Her freshman year in college, she ends up in a three-girl room, dreaming of forming lifelong bonds with her new roommates. What she finds is that she is the odd-girl out. Her two roomies are nearly identical, sweet, good-girl Christians who haven't had (or acknowledged) a break. Something that sets their faith picture askew that they aren't sure how to make it hang aright again.

But Addie has. She has sharp-edges now. Is not at ease with God as she once was.

Here is where Addie and I diverge for a moment. My break was delayed until after college. Although I too was the odd-girl out of a trio rooming situation my freshman year, I was the na├»ve one still following the rules and feeling anxious for my roommates who zigzagged across the boundaries without fear. Looking back, I wish I would have been less judgmental. Less frigid. But wouldn't until after my break.

She meets her husband, Andrew as a freshman and marries just before her senior year of college. Once they graduate, their second year of marriage is spent in China where her husband is teaching, learning Chinese for business. At this point, Addie has already figured out that she doesn't want to be a missionary wife and had actually avoided all the "missionary boys" specifically for that purpose. But here she finds herself for a year living basically how she feared she would if she did marry a missionary.

I practically chased the missionary boys in college. None of them would have me (wise men). During a summer mission trip in college, I heard God tell me "Go." I didn't know where He wanted me to go (He didn't care to elaborate at that point). But I was sure God was sending me somewhere, so naturally, I was eager to find a husband who thought likewise. I didn't find him in college. I found him after the real world had bullied and bruised me for a couple years post-college. My Mr. Amazing Dude was, and still is, open to doing missions, but we're reevaluating the "Go" part and what it truly means in light of how our relationships with God have changed. But that's another story.

During part of my first year and into my second year of marriage, Mr. Amazing Dude was deployed to Iraq. Although our situations were worlds apart, Addie's experience in China of losing herself, feeling cut off from God, was my experience during the deployment.

The deployment was my breaking point. When I questioned whether God was really good. How could He be trustworthy if He was silent in my paint? Here is where Addie's and my stories converge again.

Once back home from China, Addie and her husband, Andrew start church hunting. My husband and I also did this after he returned from Iraq. The same, awkward, tiring, discouraging search for a spiritual community. And like them, we found one after a new young adult pastor reached out to us the first Sunday we visited the church that was to become ours. And then gradually fall into the same cynicism. Same gray drifting.

The universals of the Millennial evangelical experience is astounding. Frightening.

And reassuring. It's nice to know you're not alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Did something strike a chord with you? Let me know your thoughts!