by Dale Bequette
Real life for me began after I had seriously contemplated ending it. That was along time ago and yet seems like yesterday. The thing that triggered this event was a relationship with a girl that had really gone wrong and not having some safe place to go where I felt I belonged. I had moved so much when I was young, leaving home at the ripe old age of 15 years that I had no sense of family, extended family and community. I had become a loner, an outsider looking in, not ever really connected in meaningful long-term relationships.
I was living in my van at the time to save money to travel; I was quite lonely and had become depressed. I asked out loud, God if you are there? Why am I here and what is my purpose? I want to matter and if not I don’t want to be here. Almost immediately I felt a peaceful presence come over me with a sense that I would be OK and that I would come to know the answers to my questions.
That was 1979 and was the beginning of my faith journey, searching and finding out about truth and about love, about purpose and meaning, about what is real or what is not, the list is endless. I think I always believed in a creator or great spirit and that creation and every thing in it, including us human beings were the handiwork of the creator. I had never really thought that I could know the creator and that there was a part for me or anyone else to play in his creation. I had a lot of questions I needed to ask, especially regarding how or why human beings could be so cruel and abusive to each other and the planet. Was there another way to live other than survival of the fittest or by the laws of the jungle or things happening by chance?
This column will be about my process of getting to know God, his Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I consider myself a Christian and my writing will come from that perspective. I have explored other religions and philosophies with an open mind along the way, but have usually found them lacking in one way or another. This would bring me back to more deeply exploring the Bible, especially the New Testament. which is all about Jesus. Being the independent rugged individual I was, it took me 11 years (1990) to realize I needed to get baptized and another four years to realize I needed to seriously get connected with other believers. It has taken me a many more years to find a church community where I feel I belong. I don’t consider myself religious, but a believer and serious student of Jesus. I have struggled with some denominational and individual church differences in interpretation and practise, but generally feel I have learned important things from every church body I have participated with.
Another really important part of my with faith journey is my wife and best friend of 20 years plus. Life has been at times seriously challenging and messy for us. Humbly and prayerfully we have been given the ability to persevere, overcome and even prosper. We feel we have been blessed and are full of gratitude and hope for our future and what lies ahead. So out of this overflow of gratitude and thankfulness I hope to share through writing some of the practical and sometimes most basic lessons learned on my faith journey. I sincerely hope others will join me in sharing their faith and life stories.