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Matt Kinnaman

The Possibility of Renewal

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Is Renewal Possible?
Questions of the Suffering Soul

  • How far down can I fall and still be able to climb back up?
  • How can I aspire to achieve a goal for which my abilities seem so inadequate?
  • How do I face the future after what has happened to me?

You may have asked these questions or similar ones. You may be asking them now.

Other hard questions are not far off. Here are seven hard questions of the hurt and broken soul:

  1. Can I ever recover from this?
  2. How do I possibly find my way forward after this loss?
  3. Will I ever be happy again?
  4. Is there any reason to care anymore?
  5. How could this go so wrong?
  6. What can I possibly do now?
  7. Will life ever make sense?

These questions of the hurt and broken soul weave common threads through our human experience. Every one of us, if we have lived long enough–and it really doesn’t take very long–feels the weight of one or more of these questions. Many of us are feeling that weight today.

In hard times, we can feel like we don’t know anything with certainty. But even during the worst of those times, maybe especially during the worst of those times, the suffering soul knows this much: There are no perfect words to speak or to hear that can possibly make everything alright. 

And yet, we still need words. Even though we find ourselves in places where no words work, we still need to speak and hear. 

Add this truth to the list of the unavoidable mysteries of life. 

We all experience it. Just as suffering is unavoidable in this life, so too are mysteries unavoidable. And in that realization, we come to perhaps the first and most important note of hope that begins to faintly open a path we just might be able to follow as we try to find our way through the unanswerable hard questions above and through the difficult days and seemingly insurmountable challenges and seemingly unhealable heartbreak that sometimes envelops us and makes it impossible to see a way forward. But maybe it’s not impossible. 

Maybe a mystery will unfold, not to provide easy, quick answers, but to provide something far deeper and far better than quick and easy answers and ready-made formulas for personal success.

Maybe the answer is the mystery itself, and maybe the mystery (or multiple mysteries yet to be discovered) will appear before you to create a path toward not easy answers but new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing, and new ways of receiving the gifts of the soul carried on the breezes of these mysteries.

  • Not answers, but new understandings. 
  • Not what we expected or previously experienced, but surprises.
  • Not limited by the past but ever-unfolding and ever-expanding. 

And so, this blog. We are here together as if we are circled up around a campfire. Sometimes it may seem that we have very little light by which to find our way, but at least we have a few embers, and we also have the possibility of kindling those embers into something brighter. 

The words will not be perfect, neither the ones we hear nor the ones we speak. This is especially true in hard times, but it is also especially true that in those hard times, we must nevertheless speak and hear together. As we do, as we work our way through the mysteries of this life, the mysteries of hardship, heartbreak, challenge, and ultimately overcoming, we can be confident of this: The possibility of renewal is real. Our mission is to find it. Welcome to the circle. Welcome to the campfire. Welcome to the possibility of renewal.

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