question the answers: genesis
This is the beginning or introduction to the Question the Answers (QtA) journal. Hence the reference to the first book of the Bible, Genesis.
Question the Answers is an outflow of a major life change for me. It seems strange that a grown woman with nine children and three grandchildren, as of this date, would need to start over. But start over I did.
a little back story to bring you up to speed…
I was born at the end of the so-called baby boom to two college-educated parents. Dad put in a few years in the Navy Reserve then signed on to Boeing till he retired. Mom didn’t quite finish college when they married, deciding to stay home, build a nest and raise my brother and me. Once we were in our middle school years, she returned to college to finish her degree and she began to work at Boeing till she retired.
Growing up was relatively uneventful. But it was great! Dad made sure we went hiking and camping – he and Mom are great explorers to this day). Mom got me into Girl Scouts and was my leader for many years. She and I got along so well – we could talk about anything. We lived in comfortable homes which Dad worked hard to provide. I finished high school well and planned to finish college – because that is what was expected. Frankly, I didn’t want to go to college and dragged through 2 years taking this and that.
Meantime, in high school, I started to bump up against my expanding spirit (I didn’t know it at the time, though). I began to really wonder who I was and why I was here. In school, I was exposed to all sorts of worldviews. Also, I didn’t belong to any particular group which was very hard for me as a teen – a time when we are just setting out to discover life. I didn’t want to smoke so I could hang with them. I didn’t like sports or want to be on the pep squad. I wasn’t a brainiac. Though I was a Girl Scout, none of my troop members attended the same school.
I was a wallflower. A very uncomfortable wallflower. Since everything inside me was crying out to belong at school, I began to notice the nice kids, the churchgoers. Fast forward, I went to church with a friend and I instantly felt like I belonged. I joined and the course of my life forever changed.
For one thing, my chosen church was rather rigid. Only members could go to heaven. Looking back, I can’t believe I bought into that line. But in my zeal as a newly reborn Christian, I informed my parents that if they didn’t go to my church they’d be lost in hell for all eternity. Dad was never very vocal about his pain, but Mom – she was heartbroken! Literally. And so was I. You see, I admired my mother (still do). But she wasn’t there during those blossoming spiritual growing pains. Needless to say, our closeness was rudely interrupted by my bigoted beliefs. I chose what I thought was a protected, safe worldview and she was on the outside.
I was embarking on a long lonely journey. I had lost the only thing that made sense to me but Mom was very busy with her schooling and then work when I was needing those answers. Looking back I realize now that the spiritual journey is one you take alone – even as much as I wanted to take it with Mom.
QtA was born from the need to stop and assess the deep questions in life. I learned that it is important to ask yourself Why? How? Who?
For my part, I hated the idea of touching those chewy questions: Is there a God? I wouldn’t even question it. I thought, “Of course there is a God”. To think otherwise is inviting his wrath, were my thoughts not so long ago.
But one day it was as though God himself asked me to question the answers, the answers that I thought were set in stone. It was as though He wanted me to discover him without religion, without preaching, without some man and his opinions to hide behind. It was as though God said, “I am big enough and I love you enough for you to question whether I exist.” It occurred to me that God is bigger than all the religions and loving enough to let me find him on my own in my own way.
So I started asking the questions: Is there a God? If I believe so, why do I believe it? If not, who or what do I believe in? If there is a God then why would he create hell, or even heaven, for that matter?
Then there were other questions. If I hadn’t met my spouse, how would life be different? What if I had chosen to finish college rather than opting out, who or where would I be?
A self-discovery journal
On entering adulthood, I was scared. I had already been laughed at, failed miserably at a menial job, disappointed my parents, said goodbye to too many friends.
I really just wanted to hide under a rock. I ended up finding my rock to hide under – a man who made me feel safe – and got married. 35 plus years later I am still married to that man but both of us have changed so much. So I asked myself if I would meet him today, would I marry him? That is a tough question. It made me look into what marriage is and what it is not – at least to my way of thinking. And that will be the subject or entry for another day…
So, I give you a self-discovery journal. One that I needed when I was transforming. I hope to ask a question on a daily basis or edit/update answers as I grow and learn. I hope you will find courage, inspiration and a bit of hope as you read through.