Being Born Again, Again. (And Again, and Again, and Again.)

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What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.
— Flannery O'Connor

If I am being honest today I could use electric blanket faith. I do not want a faith that is a cross today. Which is ironic given that it is the season of Lent. As much as I do not want a cross I know there is no other way but through. We can not avoid pain and hurt, wounds and broken hearts.

Death comes to every one of our doors whether we like it or not. 

But thankfully over the last few years, I have learned that nothing that does not die can ever be resurrected. Dawn only comes to those who let the wheat fall to earth. This is the natural cycle of all life. Things must die so others can live, things must come to an end so other things can finally begin. This hope for resurrection does nothing to negate the pain of this process because unfortunately, it does not change the fact that sometimes resurrection takes too damn long.  resurrection may sound like a delusional dream of an escapist but anyone who has ever seen it knows that it comes with nailed scared wrists.

There is no other way, but through. 

I have spent the last year and a half learning to breathe again. Learning to be with the church again. Learning to serve and participate in the life of a body that I can't escape even on the days I wish I could. Nearly two years ago I was hanging by a thread. Depressed, broken, longing for something that I left behind years prior. Overworked, sleep deprived and living on antidepressants I decided that my wounds were healed up enough for me to finally pursue ministry once again. I decided whatever pain came from being back in such a position would be heaven compared to the hell that our family was currently going through. So we took a chance. And a church took a chance on us.

Our family found ourselves finding life where we once lost it.

Finding breath for our lungs in the same place that had stolen it.

Finding healing in the same place that wounded us.

Call me a masochist. Call me mentally unstable. But the last year and a half have been one of the most important risks we have ever taken. Leaving our home behind, moving to a new city, starting over again, trying to follow the wild spirit of God through this winding wilderness. As life-giving as the last year and a half has been this week we are transitioning yet again. What was full of life is now coming to a close. It is dying so other things can live. I tell myself over and over that this is just the cycle of things. My chest aches and I do not know how to make that stop. But I am hopeful for what is to come. I learned years to go that I have to let these things go. That I can not play a desperate game of necromancy trying to keep the something alive in my heart that needs to die. I am heart broken to be leaving a church that I have grown to love. Everything is beautiful in it’s time and my time here, whether premature or not, seems to be up. 

I do not know what the future holds for our family. I do not know what comes next. Hell, I am not even sure where to begin. All I do know is that I am finding myself constantly in this cycle of death and resurrection. A cycle of being born again, again, and again, and again, and again. 

Ryan CagleComment