Benediction

By Sarah Bessey

may you keep searching


a prayer for seekers who continue to explore their faith.


Sarah Bessey is the author of “Jesus Feminist” and “Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith.” Born and raised in the Pentecostal tradition in western Canada, she lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband, Brian, and their four children. A self-described “recovering know-it-all,” Sarah is also an avid knitter, a hockey fan, a bookworm, a church lady, and a total hugger.

Below are excerpts from the last chapter of her book, “Out of Sorts"

...there’s nothing romantic about the arduous task of sorting through a lifetime of questions and wonderings. We sort on the threshold of grief and change, it’s a liminal space, and I hope you know I’m just as dirty and disheveled as everyone else. Because we never stop. You’ll set out on this journey with your trunks and baggage, boxes and piles in tow....

...every single one of those items you leave along the trail—your cynicism, your hypocrisy, your lies, your numbing techniques, your apologetics and doctrinal statements, your worldview, your pomposity, your opinions, your carefully constructed personas, your sins, your righteousness, your secrets—all of it will become filthy rags, and in the end, you will be nearly flinging them off the wagon, glad to be rid of them at last,...

Beloved one, I pray you won’t be afraid. I pray for bravery and guts, for honesty and discernment. I know you have a lot to lose—we all do when we lay down our certainties and our black-and-white thinking. It’s terrifying to grow up, if you really think about it....

I pray you would come to know Jesus, deeply and intimately. I pray you would fall in step with the man from Nazareth and that His way of life would become life for you—life more abundant....

I pray for you to find your place, whether it’s an official four-walls-and-a-tax-status gathering or a homemade mismatch of misfits in a basement. I pray for friendship and community to become a source of life for you.... I pray for authenticity and realness, for the shedding of masks and expectations. I pray for the real to show up in the Body of Christ. I pray you would learn how to champion and celebrate others, to put others first. This is not time for pettiness and who-is-in-and-who-is-out. We’re all in. May you make time for fun and for joy, to be silly and go on adventures....

I pray that you would know that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, that you would be able to look back and look around to see that you are part of a big and glorious story, a big messy rummage sale that’s been going on for millennia....

I pray for the active and intimate leading of the Holy Spirit. Oh, yes, I’m going there. I pray for signs and wonders, for dreams and visions, for miracles and intimacy....

I pray for Spirit-led boldness and gentleness. I pray that you would bear the fruit of the Spirit in your life as you abide in the Vine of Christ. May you become a person of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May you be perfumed with the scent of heaven and may you be a thorn in the side of the enemy. I pray that you would honor your hunger and your thirst....

I pray for your heart to be broken and your anger to be woken up.... I pray that as you push back the darkness, painful step by step, that you would be empowered by the Spirit for mighty deeds. I pray for courage and for perseverance and humility....

May we be the ones who hold the doors open for others, who hold hands, who hold faces, who hold secrets for one another, who hold space for the pain and the brilliance, who hold the light and the salt, the complexity and the simplicity, the silence and the storm, the ones who hold our opinions loosely and yet love ferociously....

I pray that wherever you find yourself—on a stage or in a position of influence or perhaps your kitchen table or beautiful obscurity—you would find God in all the days of your life, in all the callings, in all the places. I pray for the holy to invade you daily....

In the mighty and the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. Sarah Bessey Epiphany 2015

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