Liminal Luminous

The shining threshold
Spirituality

Bumbling, stumbling faith

Over a year ago my husband told me that I wasn’t a mystic, but a techie. It broke my heart. But I decided he was right, and this awareness might lead to happiness. So I started to learn to code. However, I was also trying to do my grade 5 Music Theory exam (having never studied it before) and it was taking all my brain power, so I had to stop.

Fast forward on a year and I am back coding again and loving it. My current industry is difficult at this moment in time and I am struggling to find work. I could go back to supply teaching, but a) it’s been 5 years and b) I am not sure I will be able to physically do it. My health is hard won and I hesitate to do anything to jeopardise it.

I hope that coding will eventually lead to a new, more sustainable career, to support my life to give me time to focus on photography and music. Interestingly both of these are creative pursuits, but are quite technical in their own right.

I decided I should just focus – coding, photography and music. Take what work I can to earn money and focus. Give this site up and, along with it any hope of eventually turning into Anne Lamott or Glennon Doyle-Melton, and focus on the things I need to do, and want to do too.

And I’ve tried. But, I really do find that writing for an audience (albeit it a rather tiny one at the moment) helps me to refine my thoughts, it helps me to understand what I am thinking.

There is also a part of me that wants to share my story – that of a bumbling, stumbling faith. At this time of year so many people are sharing stories of how perfect things are, or hopeful stories of those who have had a tough time, but continued to stay focused on God and are living a life full of joy. These stories make me feel useless and inadequate because I have lost at least 3 months this year to a wicked bout of depression which has left me on the floor. I tried to stay focused on the divine, but that is easier said than done when getting out of bed seems to require an inordinate amount of energy. None the less I really do try to keep handing everything over to God, and not snatching it back again in the next breath. There are even times when I can feel her presence in my despair.

I am sure there are others like me, who are doing their best, but are never going to have a super shiny life because they are not cut out that way. And that’s ok.

This post, and hopefully the blogging mojo, has been instigated by Renee’s great post on not doing advent. I have been reading Renee’s work for years now and it is one of the few blogs I comment on. In fact if you were to go through the archives you would see me as the various blog names I have had through the years.

7 Comment

  1. What a pleasure to see my name at the bottom of your post. I was happy as soon as I saw your post pop in my inbox, a nice distraction for the work I should be doing, sigh.

    Couple thoughts: have you read/heard of Mike McHargue’s book God in the Waves? Also, The Liturgists podcast. http://www.theliturgists.com/

    It’s science, art, mysticism, faith all rolled up into one. I adore that podcast, the work they are doing (would be a patreon if I could afford it). I’m reading Mike’s book right now (got it a the library, yay!) You might be both a mystic and techie, you know. Oh, and his faith axioms are fabulous.

    Keep writing. It doesn’t need to be your job, it doesn’t need to earn money (though wouldn’t that be the dream!). But it helps you live, and that’s worth something. I speak from experience here. And I totally get that having an audience, vs. just writing for self-reflection, helps clarify things. Because you are forced to explain yourself in a way that would make sense to others. You have to refine and hone your own thinking, and it therefore helps make sense of your world and your experience.

    Please keep sharing your bumbling, stumbling, not-so-shiny faith. It’s so real. You don’t have to be Anne Lamott (admittedly my favorite spiritual memoirist), you can be Jen Farrant. Just be you. Write you. It’s sounds so dumb and trite, but my dear, it’s all we have to give, our own experiences, our own words.

    I wish you so much light and love in your learning coding and career aspirations. I too am trying to find a job/career track that will, if not be the full expression of my creative gifts, at the very least will help support our family’s needs and allow me to continue writing and pursuing things that matter to me (studying philosophy, theology, psychology, human development, science, etc.).
    much love to you. Happy Solstice/Happy Christmas.

    Ps. if you’d ever like to write a guest post for my blog, I’d be delighted!

    1. thank you for such a thoughtful and encouraging comment Renee. I hadn’t thought about writing helping me to live and that being valuable in its own right. I like the thought of that.

      I have got the Liturgists podcast and I will look into that book… and hopefully it will encourage me in my mystical, technical path. I do struggle to balance things, I like thing to be clear black and white and this is all so, well it’s certainly not grey, but not clear cut at any rate.

      And thinking about work as something which doesn’t necessarily be the expression of our creative gifts, but allowing it to support the family and our own needs. I really like that idea.

      I’d love write a guest post for your blog, thank you! I’d be honoured!

      Happy Christmas!

  2. Do you know Diana Lorence and Innermost House? (I’ll put a link at the end). She speaks about Conversation — the leisurely ongoing dialogue through which we gather insight and understanding, and slowly progress; also a delight in itself. For me, the best of blogging is the conversation, the sense of a circle of people in diverse locations around the world, joining in to find and offer encouragement, develop wisdom and acquire insight. x

    1. not quite sure where my reply to this went!

      It is a lovely site and I have signed up for the newsletters. You are right, that is the best of blogging, the conversation and sense of community, albeit online rather than IRL. There is so much wisdom around, the trick is to find it and stay with it and not fall into the abyss!

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