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A Mission Statement

A Mission Statement

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” 

This familiar Bible verse from Psalm 42, is one of my favorites. When I ran across it this morning during my daily time with God, the column that I’d planned all week flew out the window. I got up, went to my computer, and knew I had to share this with you, instead.

I write my column in the first person, because it’s an opinion column. I share my journey of faith in the first person because I want you to understand that I am not preaching to you or telling you what to do.

I am neither qualified nor desire to do either.

What I want to share when I tell you that God hasn’t answered my prayer is what my faith looks like in ‘real time’.

There are many blogs, books, and even churches of encouragement. I read and listen to them all. They are a real help and often show up when needed. For example:

This past Sunday, as I spent an afternoon sewing, I listened to a podcast by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the wildly popular Purpose Driven Life. Pastor Warren’s Bible-based series entitled, “When You’re Hoping for a Miracle” is where I learned that Jesus prays for us.

Last Saturday evening, during Mass, Deacon Jim talked about the need to listen to God, and how he uses daily prayer and reading Jesus Calling to do that.

Last month, Barbara’s husband sent his copy of New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, just when I needed to read about seeking God’s direction.

Although I have attended church all my life, my faith often feels quite child-like to me. I pout when God doesn’t answer my prayers immediately. And I have been known to throw a low-key but dramatic temper tantrum when my frustration at understanding God’s silence reaches a tipping point.

I share my disappointments, questions, and doubts with you because I hope it will encourage you in a different way.

As I experience yet another set-back, my relationship with God isn’t weakened. Strangely, impossibly, it is strengthened. In the fog of disappointment, I receive glimpses of God’s grace. There, I am filled with a certainty that this pursuit, and the writing of it, is the purpose my heart has longed for.

Of course, at the next bump in the road I lose that sure sight of Him. I retreat again until I remember that it is not God who has left me, but my fear has made it impossible to perceive His presence.

As you see, I’m not there yet.

That’s why I am so open with you. Walking with God is not a linear, upward path of meandering through the wildflower-strewn meadows. For me, it is a winding trail through dark valleys and bright mountaintops.  

The darkness that accompanies me like a sine wave only deepens my pursuit of God, and my love for Him.

Yes.  

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” 

That is the heartbreaking beauty of faith.

My hope is that as I share mine, you will be inspired to consider your own walk of faith, where it started and where it is taking you. Is your relationship with God all that you imagined it would be? Do you want more?

Writing this column has shown me how shallow and inadequate are my understanding of God and faith.

But it has also made clear that writing to, and for God, is my heart’s desire and life’s vocation. I want to grow closer to God, and to become a better writer, so that I can better share what I learn with you.

Thank you for joining me.

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Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of “A Map of Heaven.” She lives in Breckenridge. Join her at www.Facebook.com/suzanneelizabeths or  www.suzanneelizabeths.com



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