“Hey, can you guys pray for me? I’m going through a rough patch.”
These were my words to a group chat of Christian artists last week. The group is full of people from all sorts of faith backgrounds, and I know about two thirds of the people in person.
I received many encouraging responses. I received a new one today, which I found particularly interesting.
“How are you doing this week? Are you feeling a wee bit of victory?”
Uhhhhh. How to answer that? It would take an entire essay to answer it. So, I guess I’m gonna write an essay?
Yesterday I read a thread on Twitter by Kate Bowler that I found super fascinating. It was about the difference between Canadian and American ways of thinking, Americans tend to believe that things must be conquered, whereas Canadians tend to believe that things are to be coped with. I happen to be a stereotypical Canadian in this sense.
I don’t think in terms of victory/defeat when it comes to hardships in my spiritual life. So answering the question “Are you feeling a wee bit of victory?” is rather complicated. The question itself creates a false dilemma.
No, I’m not experiencing victory would seem like I’m either failing in my faith life, or I’m REALLY in trouble.
Yes, I’m experiencing victory isn’t true, because I don’t think in terms of victory.
I think in terms of health and wholeness, are my systems, my spiritual ecology working well together? There’s not just black and white, there is, What needs tending? What needs encouragement? Where are things out of balance?
I don’t need to overcome this rough patch. I need to integrate it, and to know I’m not alone in the process.