The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

To receive cohort emails, join our Google group.


A little on Suffering

I think much of my life has been spent trying to avoid and reduce suffering. I tried the obvious—controlling things. That doesn’t go very far. Although I knew I couldn’t eliminate suffering, I actually thought my obedience to God would reduce suffering, but it didn’t. This past year I thought…if I could get closer to God, I would at least be stronger, have more faith and experience less pain.

Suffering came into my life by way of crumbled relationships and circumstances far beyond my ability to cope. And I will honestly admit that when I asked for more of God, I did not expect to experience anger, rejection, or abandonment.

I did not expect doubts of my theology to completely collapse my religious foundation.

I did not expect my life to fail so miserably.

However, something quite magnificent is happening in this process of loss and suffering. The thing that I wanted–less pain--didn’t come about at all. In fact, I have become more vulnerable, been more humbled, have risked more and I have probably felt more pain than ever.

And yet…I have hope like never before.

This is not because of any certainty of Heaven or that God will bless me or right my circumstances, but I have hope because I know that no matter what I suffer and how much loss comes my way, I can live out the words from James 1:3-4--God is quite simply making me whole.

I thought I knew
how to suffer less.

I would pray for more.

God empty me.
Fill me with a depth of love for all.
Flood me with a hope that could lighten heavy hearts.
Grant me a destiny that would fulfill my life and Your will.

I thought I knew
how to suffer less.

But I found love through a broken heart.
I felt hope after wrestling with despair.
I gained a destiny that calls me to be wounded again
and again.

So what of my prayer for more?

God empty me.

1 comment:

Kristen Kuzmick said...

Thank you Nancy. Your vulnerability is moving and inspiring.