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God Doesn't Hate Me!

This is, perhaps, the Part Three referred toearlier. I have been trying to write a post like this, on and off, for months. I’ve had so many goes, but until now none of them have satisfied me to the point where I've thought ‘This is almost publishable - I can work with this.’ They have all been frustratingly incomplete and at the same time ‘unfinishable'.

What I’ve learnt - in my heart rather than (or as well as?) in my head - is both complicated and very, very simple. Theologically, it’s complicated. I’ve read, I don’t know, more than twenty theology books recently. And that has allowed me to reach a fairly nuanced position - I know what I believe…

Umm. No, perhaps that’s not quite right.

Part of this process has been about decoupling my thoughts about God from my faith in God. The two need not be the same. The first is complicated; the second is simple. Looking back over recent months, I’ve been trying, mostly, to write about the first in order to explain the second. But I can’t. Well, to be honest, I probably could, but I’d have to write a book rather than a couple of blog posts. And it wouldn’t be a very good book - there are much better books, written by much wiser heads than mine, on that subject. What I think I can write about, meaningfully and (hopefully) helpfully, is my experience - my faith in God. So that’s what, for this attempt at this post, I am going to do. And I am going to endeavour not to write about the theology - because I’m not very good at it, and it’ll make the whole thing far too lengthy - and probably incomprehensible. I might, at some point, try to explain some of those ideas - but not now. For now, really, I have just one thing to say.

2018

In my last post, I promised a third part. This is not that third part - I’m still working on that. This is ‘merely’ my review of 2018. For some reason I’m writing it on my birthday. I’m not sure why that is - except that it seems apt at this point to take a hard, contemplative, look back at my year. It’s been a year of incredible contrasts - highs and lows, illness and wellness, from times of feeling as if God had abandoned me to times of feeling as though I was dwelling ‘within’ the Holy Trinity and partaking in the ‘Divine Dance’.

In some ways this year has been defined (not to mention limited) by the physical. I began the year suffering from two cardiac arrhythmias - atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Nine months were spent struggling against them, desperately trying to ‘keep going’, whilst waiting, impatiently, for a treatment which would ‘work’ and being desperately disappointed by those which didn't. The last three months have been spent recovering from the ‘procedure’ to ‘fix’ them. The procedure - a pair of cardiac ablations performed at the end of September - appear to have worked spectacularly well, given how well I am now. In typical fashion though, I am waiting - again - this time for the results of a 24 hour cardiac monitor which should, I hope, prove that it’s worked. And then, hopefully, I can stop taking the medication and really put it all behind me. In the meantime though, I do feel as though, to use a common euphemism, ‘I have got my life back’.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016