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Old 06-21-2017, 12:08 PM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,062 posts, read 1,143,804 times
Reputation: 2481

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I had a meeting with a few of the pastors at my church, about working toward acceptance of LGBT folk in our church. Since I am the first that anyone is aware of, I was included in the meeting, and we talked about me sharing my experiences and journey. Senior Pastor Ed gave me an article that a friend had sent to him, about holding space for one another to change and grow, and I thought it would be a good thing for us to talk about here. So I asked Kaitlin if I could share it here, and she said it was ok.

People Who Hold Space Will Heal The Church
Copyright belongs to Kaitlin Curtice, publish date was June 11, 2017


When I married my husband, hed just cut off his dreads and was an avid rock climber. He married me a girl from a small town, comfortable in everything that I knew, in everything that Id been and was going to be.

As Johnny Cash says, we got married in a fever, and before we knew exactly what wed done, we were home from our honeymoon, beginning the long journey toward figuring out who we weretogether.

When he married me, he loved who I was, but also saw who I could one day become, and he held that vision steady. And it wasnt a vision for what he thought I was supposed to be, but a vision still unknown to him, held by the mystery of God.

He took me climbing in one of his favorite spots not long after we married. I had a dislike of nature, but was idealistic about it, and there was abounding irony in the fact that Id married someone like him.

He took me to a place called Lincoln Lake, a climbing spot in Arkansas that had been home to him for a long time.

All that I remember thinking is that the lake water was really brown and there were a lot of bugs. I couldnt see then the way I see now.

Nine years later, close to our anniversary, we went back there. He took me to the top of the rocks to set up the climbing rope, and I sat and drank my coffee. There were large black ants crawling across my feet and the humidity in the air was rising little by little.

Its beautiful here, I said.

I didnt appreciate it before. I looked back with tears in my eyes.

I know, he said.

There seems to be a difference between being with someone to change them and being with someone as you hold space for them to change.

My husband has always held space for me.

Hes held space for me to grow up from the 19 year old who married him.

Hes held space for me to learn motherhood.

Hes held space for me to ask questions in my faith.

Hes held space for me to walk into my Native American culture without fear.

In holding space, he has loved me.

And he continues to hold space for who Ill become tomorrow.

Im convinced that space holding people are the ones who will heal the church.

They are the ones who bring justice and shalom, because they are patient people who hold onto a long-off vision. We need them in our churches, because they will not force change. They will not sit in pews and bear judgment over the people around them, but they will sit with those people and wait for God to show them the way.

The church has very publicly become a place that tries to manage others, and it often leaves people wounded. It wounds the church by distorting who the church should really be, and it wounds individuals in the church by making them feel like they arent good enough for Jesus.

So we need to learn to hold space.

Like my husband saw in me, we need to see what is good in each other, to hold onto the longer vision that God holds for each of us, and we need to wait.

I did not understand as a 19 year old who I was marrying or who I was. And in the process of learning, I needed someone who could be gentle yet steady with me, just as God is gentle and steady.

People like my husband, who hold space, show the unique character of God in a way that we are all hungry for.

So lets practice holding space instead of holding one another hostage to our own ideals.

Lets remember that God has an individual vision for each of us, and its worth waiting for.

As I climbed up the rocks that morning, I felt like I was communing with a space of the world that Id never known existed before. I felt drawn in by my inability to know exactly where to put my foot or my hands, but that unknowing gave me energy to try anyway, like I was trusting this thing that was calling me back to God.

And on the one climb when I reached the top, I turned around and scanned the treetops with my eyes. I looked down at the brown water and across the horizon of that Arkansas day and thought, I am so glad I am alive.

If we hold space for each other, we learn how to truly be alive with one another, as we cast off judgment and wait for the grace of God to journey with us into unknown and sacred places.

And my friends, its absolutely worth the wait.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:34 PM
 
17,689 posts, read 8,866,529 times
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The space to grow is always an open-place, not one of confinement.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:42 PM
 
15,004 posts, read 7,530,359 times
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:24 PM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,062 posts, read 1,143,804 times
Reputation: 2481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerwade View Post
The space to grow is always an open-place, not one of confinement.
Yes. Very true, Jerwade,
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
15,547 posts, read 6,995,657 times
Reputation: 1603
Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:22 PM
 
17,689 posts, read 8,866,529 times
Reputation: 1485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerwade View Post
The space to grow is always an open-place, not one of confinement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekigurl View Post
Yes. Very true, Jerwade.
Thank you for being who you are; an open book.
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:49 PM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,062 posts, read 1,143,804 times
Reputation: 2481
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerwade View Post
Thank you for being who you are; an open book.
You're welcome, both of you.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:39 AM
 
7,858 posts, read 6,662,302 times
Reputation: 1371
Yes Let Jesus Holy Spirit do what He does , as legalism stops grace
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:58 AM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,554 posts, read 22,715,248 times
Reputation: 7625
Wonderful..but it seems I have read about this "holding space"as practiced by another some 2000 years ago...He too held space for everyone, and still does today--if only the church would remember this and allow itself to accept the reality that growth and change come with understanding and knowledge--not with FEAR and OPPRESSION..

Thanks for reminding the church how it really ought to be.
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Old 06-22-2017, 09:44 AM
Status: "More than chromosomes." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Anderson, IN
4,062 posts, read 1,143,804 times
Reputation: 2481
Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Wonderful..but it seems I have read about this "holding space"as practiced by another some 2000 years ago...He too held space for everyone, and still does today--if only the church would remember this and allow itself to accept the reality that growth and change come with understanding and knowledge--not with FEAR and OPPRESSION..

Thanks for reminding the church how it really ought to be.

Amen, Z. Thanks for being a space holder. <3
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