loss of faith

Envy is when someone walks around with a pocket full of “That should’ve been me”.

Insecurity is when you turn up the volume on all the wrong voices.

Hate is what happens when you put a shotgun to the face of understanding and it cowers in the corner.

Courage is ripping your heart from your chest and saying “Here, hold on to this for me”.

Truth is everything you tell yourself when you realize you are the only one still paying attention.

Self is whoever you become when the door is locked.

Trust is jumping into someone’s arms and knowing you won’t have to pick yourself up when it’s over.

Love is a tablespoon full of hemlock that I’ve been dying to try.

Faith is doing what you love and watching the bills pay themselves.

Failure is when you talk yourself out of becoming something amazing.

Victory is standing in front of the school bully with no intention to back down and a fist full of irony.

Success is explaining to your mother exactly what you do for a living without feeling ashamed. It’s falling asleep at 2 A.M., waking up at 4 A.M. and going to work with excitement stitched into the fabric of your smile.

Success is a thank you letter from a kid who lives in a city that you’ve never even been to. It’s breaking up a fight between a person and everything that’s telling them they will never be more than what they are.

When I was fourteen, my friend Adam stole a dictionary from his English class. He brought it home and we set it on fire.

Since then, I’ve been defining things for myself

—  Rudy Francisco, Definitions

It’s a very cool feeling to hold a book you wrote in your hand.

Writing this one meant a lot to me as it contains real stories from real people with heartache, loss, and (not-so-easy) redemption. I often recounted these stories with tears and prayers. Life doesn’t always wrap up in a bow-tie with a neat little lesson at the end, but people still choose to endure despite all that has happened. Even brokenly, they crawled forward and went on.

I hope you’ll consider picking up the book. It’s on sale for less than nine in paperback and less than five in ebook. It’s meant for you if you’re hurting right now, and meant for your friend if they’re hurting too.
Be blessed and love y'all.  — J.S.


I was having anxiety about the finale and I handle anxiety with poetry so here

I possess more feelings
than easily handled
My heart beats for you
even while your own is paused
And if it’s heavy faithful thud
Never picks up speed again
My soul will lose the magic
You thrust onto me
and didn’t let me deny
I don’t want to lose conviction
But I need to save myself
You deserved more
than you were given
You still do
In my arms I carried your vessel
While the universe carried your soul
Tell me it’s ok without you
Scream it from your nirvana
For so often it feels your presence
is just a whisper
You encompass the wind
And show me new paths
of protection
You become the stars
and light my way to survival
Though not thrival
You claimed you understood
What you understood is not yet clear
Burn these hands
that once held yours
I don’t want to feel anymore
Or maybe
I want to feel anything but this

XVII: The Star

Information used: Biddy Tarot

Upright card meaning: Hope, serenity, inspiration, spirituality, renewal

Reversed card meaning: Despair, discouragement, loss of faith.

Usual image of the tarot: Naked women holding two clay jars with eight stars.

Image includes:
- Star (SAVE Point)
- seven souls
- mysteryman (Entry Number 17?)
- [Undertale OST] Track 17: Snowy
- Sans
- Flowey

It was pleasant scribbling away at this during lunchtime, until my coworker recognized who I was drawing. Or that I was drawing.

Then I had to stop.

It Is Well With My Soul - original print from The Worship Project.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story behind this hymn, allow me to introduce you to a story of love, loss, and incredible faith and resilience.

This hymn was written by Horatio Spafford in 1873. He was a wealthy business man from Chicago. After the Chicago fire of 1871 had completely destroyed his business and home, he sent his wife Anna and 4 daughters ahead of him, on a ship to France from New York.

At around 2am their ship collided with another ship in the mid-Atlantic. It took only 12 minutes for the ship to sink, killing 226 passengers - only 61 passengers survived, one being Horatio’s wife. She was found unconscious on a plank of wood at sea. Once recovered in France, she sent the now-famous telegram to her husband “Saved. Alone.”

After receiving Anna’s telegram, Horatio left Chicago to bring his wife home. On the Atlantic crossing, the captain of his ship called Horatio to his cabin to tell him that they were passing over the spot where his four daughters had perished.

As he sailed over the waters where his 4 daughters died, Holy Spirit inspired the words to this beautiful hymn, which he wrote on the voyage.

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.”

Wow. What incredible faith and hope amidst such pain, loss, and heartbreak. I pray that no matter where you find yourself today, these words touch your life, and give you the strength to put one foot in front of the other, as you follow Jesus through it all.

The Visual Hymnal #7

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This is a message for all those who give far too much. Don’t be afraid to let go. Allow me to be the first person to say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your pain. Believe me, I know you are haunted by all that you’ve invested. I know that you feel it was all for nothing. But please trust me, none of that matters. The only thing that matters is your peace of heart *now* and moving forward. Let go of the past. Let go of all you’ve given. Let go of the ending you thought you wanted. Let go of all the unanswered questions, and all the parts that made no sense. Once you do that, only once you do that, something amazing happens. The loss becomes a memory. At first that memory is a beast sleeping outside the door of your heart. But, with each passing day, that beast gets smaller and smaller. Until a day comes when he’s gone. And you actually begin to forget. That’s when the real peace starts. This doesn’t happen overnight, but believe me… it happens.
—  Yasmin Mogahed

Me, watching Daredevil: I recognize that the system is completely messed up and does a completely shit job at protecting the people it was theoretically designed to take care of, but what else do we have if not the nominal rule of law and a system to punish transgressors against it?

This week: *happens*

Me: I’m not a douchebag like Phoenix Jones, I could make it work. Let’s fuck some assholes up.

Okay I honestly don’t know how I feel about posting this.

But I wanted all my followers to see just how much progress one can make and that they’re not alone on this journey! Its a long and tough path changing your lifestyle to a healthy one. But let me tell you its worth it. I never thought I would make it this far but I did and even though I’m still not done I’m so proud of myself for not giving up! You can do this, we can do this!


Sam and I and Metin talked about how we wanted this distance to still remain between them and we didn’t want them to touch until the grave scene because there’s a line that Sam has that is so beautiful and it’s that the weight of this pain is too much for either of them to bear on their own, that it’s only together that they can carry it, and I thought that that was such a beautiful, beautiful moment. But up until that point, for Claire, I think she has been so destroyed by the loss of Faith that in many ways she had built up this wall around her heart and it’s so hard for her to let go of the anger, which is mostly at herself. She, in some ways, is showing this anger towards him, but it’s because she doesn’t even know what to do with all of the pain and anger she has at herself. But then, when he tells her that he forgives and he’s forgiven her a long time ago for anything, you see that wall begin to crack and crumble and it’s the pathway to her being able to start forgiving herself.

on my loss of faith

  My parents were both Lutherans. My father was a pastor, my mother a devout follower of the same religion. From birth until my fourteenth birthday I was for most of my life either in a church, on my way to a church, or otherwise engaged in some sort of churchly activity. Among my earliest memories outside of wild animal encounters as a toddler take place in churches. I sang my first public solo, at the age of ten years, on Christmas Eve, to a packed house, at a church in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

  All around me were devout and loyal Lutherans who all sang the same songs in the same fashion at the same times of year, their practices unchanging from one decade to the next. While I, in general, have no problem with people engaging in religious practice, I realized recently (after deep and introspective thought) that I had abandoned my own faith at a very young age. My belief in an invisible god, as well as any respect I might have had for the doctrine of the Lutheran church, these things faltered as early as the age of six or seven; by my teens, they were long gone. It is well that I was a shy and quiet child – if I had told anyone about my doubting, they would likely have forced me into re-education classes, so as to keep me enslaved to The Church. (I have never believed that thinking “bad” thoughts, doubtful thoughts, would get me in trouble with a godhead whose main message is love, forgiveness and compassion; thankfully, I recognized at a comparatively young age my fellow Lutherans’ fear of eternal damnation for what it truly is: a thinly-veiled effort by the church hierarchy to keep the people in the pews hating themselves for sinning, and begging the pastor to do something about it.)

  I was a young boy standing in a front-row pew watching my father perform the service. I can remember looking at all the people around me, their heads bowed, their lips moving in unison, and I thought they were all going to look up at some point to spring the joke and laugh. I can recall looking at those docile individuals standing in that wood-paneled church, looking at them and bouncing the backs of my legs against the dark wood of the church’s benches while laughing to myself quietly. I have since that time not stopped laughing at and mocking any organized religion that happens to cross my path. The complexity and self-contradictory nature of the thousands of different teachings found in the Christian bible had become overwhelmingly foreign to me at that young age, so foreign and confusing that I knew, in my deepest of knowing-places, that they could not all be true. At the age of ten, for some reason, I was able to see through the smoke-screen of canon and verse, and pluck from the brambles of dogma the few tender fruits of pure and honest meaning. In time, I have been able to utilize these fruits outside of the framework of the artificial, and inherently corrupted, structure of organized religion. (I wish sometimes that I had not lost faith, that I could somehow become faithful again, and believing, that I could abandon perpetual doubt, that I could once again with impotent fury shake a fist at the sky and curse the god who made me, but I do not believe in an external god, only in the Majesty of the Human Spirit – I hold myself responsible for my place in the world; I fix my problems instead of bitching about them.)

  Of course, standing in that church and doubting quietly, I feared Yahweh, that terrible and jealous god whom I had been taught from birth to fear with abject and abiding terror. Once I had in my own mind mocked him and laughed at him and shown him my young and tender behind, however, I realized that the might of His Wrath (an emphasis on paternalism pervades the Christian bible to the point that I am shocked that any woman would practice that faith willingly) existed only in myth, or in the tales of old. I knew at the age of seven years that religious indoctrination was very much a form of mental slavery, and I was abhorred by the fear-mongery and intimidation used by most organized religions to perpetuate their existence.

  Now, many years later, I am so very happy with my young self for his brave and clandestine decision to rebel quietly against the culture within which he had been so enmeshed. That seemingly simple act of doubt, along with Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching, has helped me to find the path to inner peace, to primal simplicity, to a life without need for self-aggrandizement or self-justification; now, the action is the goal. I let the chips fall where they may, no longer constrained by the stultifying and stagnant framework of a desperate and failing religious organization. Now, my mind is free and elastic, while my heart is empty and still.

  Three cheers for doubt, and for quiet and patient rebellion.

Spes Mea In Ratio Est – 場黑麥 John Paul Roggenkamp

After all the events that have occurred within the past 24 hours, I’m just in total disbelief. Yesterday morning, 150+ citizens of Paris woke up and went through their day normally. Most of them were probably looking forward to something in the future; a wedding, graduation, party, etc. Those 150+ did not return home. Yesterday morning, the citizens of southeastern Japan had a very rude awakening as they were hit with a 7.0 earthquake. Yesterday in Baghdad while mourning the loss of someone, a suicide bomber killed at least 19 people. Yesterday morning, a few children in Lebanon never had the chance to say goodbye to their parents because of two suicide bombers who killed 44 people. Right now, we need God more than ever. If anyone is capable of fixing this, its Him. I encourage you all to pray, right now, for everyone affected by todays tragedies. 

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen; They are created.