nevertheless, we persisted.

It’s a new year. And goodness gracious, do I know so many people who are happy to leave 2017 behind! It’s been a rough one for so many–politically, spiritually, practically, and on a host of different levels.

It was a pretty tricky one for me, too. 2017 was filled with transition, hard work at The Refuge to help nurture a healthier infrastructure, all sort of unexpected “omg, really?” moments and circumstances, and a boatload of angst watching the people and values I care about being violated by this political administration.

There were countless good things, too:  healing, focus, new life, so-many-fun-adventures-with-family-and-friends, and the joy of a vocation I truly love.

The resilience of the human spirit continually awes me.

God’s image in human beings consistently amazes me.

The downward ways of Jesus being lived out in people around the world despite all odds always inspires me.

Through so many hard things, people keep rising up out of the ashes.

Keep going. Keep trying. Keep moving. Keep hoping. Keep loving. Keep advocating. Keep healing. Keep persisting. 

Yeah, nevertheless, we persist.

Nevertheless we persisted in 2017 in all kinds of different ways, through all our different stories.

With an administration that was relentless in a constant onslaught on so many things we value and love.

Through the crumbling of a faith system we once held dear.

Despite divorce and broken relationships that crushed our hearts.

Through death of people we dearly loved.

Through death of dreams we fought for until the bitter end.

Nevertheless, we persisted. 

Through loss of a job, our health, our house, our immediate hope.

Despite having no money and some days not knowing how we’d pay the bills.

Regardless of feeling lonely and afraid and insecure.

Through failures and flops.

Nevertheless, we persisted. 

Through bitter breakups.

Through miscarriages and shattered hope.

Despite our doubts.

Through floods and fires.

Nevertheless, we persisted. 

With the pain of #metoos flooding our hearts and memories.

Through minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of maintaining sobriety.

Despite no support from our brothers and sisters who hold differing theological beliefs.

Regardless of our lack of ability to pray.

With kids who keep us up at night, sick with worry.

Nevertheless, we persisted. 

Despite news day after day after day after day after day of an unstable president with power to dismantle so much good work.

Through freezing cold marches and signed petitions.

Through darkness and depression and dark nights of the soul.

Despite people trying to silence us, shush us, tell us we need to stop rocking the boat and play nice (as in, by status quo rules).

Yes, nevertheless, we persisted.

Here’s to even more persistence, resistance, resilience in the new year ahead.

Here’s to more of God’s peace and courage and strength to keep going in 2018.

Your stories help me keep persisting, too.

Nevertheless, we persist.

Nevertheless, God is with us.

Happy New Year from Colorado today, Kathy

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

6 Comments

  • Happy New Year to you! Thanks for persisting, and growing… encouraging others that ongoing growth and learning is good, and important!

    Reply
  • Happy New Year, Ms. Escobar! I was greatly relieved when I discovered you were still posting on your blog spot. I found your “Friends of Faith Shifters” URL first off — but noticed nothing had been posted since 2015. I read your amazing book in early December 2014. I’ve been a shifter since late 2009; and became less than enamored with Church since then. Haven’t darkened a door of any church since, to be honest.

    During my initial struggles I didn’t understand a lot of what your excellent writings explained. So I just laid low and didn’t see or talk to too many “Christians” I once knew (and had related to). I was uncertain who to trust. Then I plucked up the courage in early 2017 and joined a small Christian “Men’s Group” locally. I soon learnt the deeper truth of your sentence “…once you know honesty, it’s hard to go back to pretending. I began advocating for deeper relational authenticity…” (p. 14). That’s what I experienced, too. The blokes were all about small talk — and whenever I tried pushing the envelope to promote deeper sharing, they would simply run for their default position (i.e. read your Bible, the answers to your issues are all in there!). Not very helpful.

    Thank you for your amazing encouragement, Kathy! I’m with Maggie who said, “Thanks for the hope, the honesty and the “broken hallelujah”.” (a la Leonard Cohen). I wonder if you might find a moment to recommend where a body could go online, to find others who are also Shifters and those wanting to share more deeply? Any ideas?

    Pax et bonum, Alan from New Zealand

    Reply
    • hi alan, so sorry for my late response! thanks for taking time to write and share a bit of your experience. new zealand is on my bucket list 🙂 a group that you might be interested in online is the lasting supper, facilitated by david hayward. http://www.thelastingsupper.com is the link (i think there’s a small membership fee but not 100%). some other groups on facebook are love heretic, facilitated by wendy francisco, christians tired of being misrepresented, and recovering from religious trauma (not everyone fits into that category). hope that helps a little!

      Reply

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