17 Comments
Dec 28, 2023Liked by Nadia Bolz-Weber

I just subscribed to The Corners not too long ago so I appreciate your list! Especially the post about the after-life. My mom died unexpectedly in July and I've been missing her terribly this Christmas. I noticed the post date was October 10 - I turned 62 that day and it was my first ever birthday without her. She was a life-long Southern Baptist and her faith was very important to her, including her church "small group". She understood and respected that my spirituality was much different than hers. Now that she's gone I'm sorry we didn't have more conversations about it. Your post and the comments gave me some resources and another way to think about the wonderful things she left behind - including her example of deep unpretentious faith.

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There have been so many posts that spoke to me, I really can’t pick out just one. I enjoy The Corners so much, and have given several subscriptions as gifts. Maybe the best ones are the ones that helped me understand that “NO” is a complete sentence and affirmed that I do not have to be “all things to all people.” It’s important, at age 84, to continue to do what I can.

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PS. And I love that I don't have to wait for a book to get more of your writing--so thank YOU.

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Love your title, Nadia, „guess I should do a year in review thing.“ Guess I should, too! Substack gives us a lot of „should“ feelings, doesn’t it? 😇.

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HNY Nadia and followers!

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I am subscribed but would like to make another donation to your ministry. How might I do thus?

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The post on forgiving ourselves was powerful. Loved that one.

I have enjoyed reading Matters of Kinship by Katharine Beckett Winship. Her eloquent writing and passion for nature and humanity makes her work so gently inviting to read.

The end of October marked me writing basically consistently every week on Substack. It feels good to have given myself that gift of consistency. I'm proud of my own work and love how much I have learned from other writers here.

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Just in case you think this is the first time in world history that it looks like the world is FUBAR may I suggest a perusal of Genesis? Okay, I get it's not "history", or "science" or "factual" (it wasn't written to be any of those anyway - doh!) and it isn't the first (and probably not the last) time it looked (and felt) like we were headed for a hot place in a handbasket, but - but - while the richest 1% of 1% of 1% is focused on (a) getting richer (b) getting to mars, or somewhere far, far away, while the rest of us are either f

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I have just joined your readership. I cannot even explain why I chose your writing from amongst the overwhelming number of choices presented in Substack. I am sitting in a huge puddle of metaphorical grief after having survived a seventeen year journey through Frontotemporal Degeneration and Motor Neuron Disease with my first wife of 40 years; she passed away on January 28, 2023. It was a very slow motion metaphorical plane crash in our lives; introducing dysfunction and trauma for twelve years, during which my wife was misdiagnosed with a host of physical and psychiatric maladies which sent us down a score of exhausting dead end allys of wasted counseling, therapies, and failed treatments. I was a teen convert to Mormonism in the 70s; having run away to the LDS Church to escape the trauma of alcholism within my birth family. I was the “golden convert” and blossomed within Mormonism, providing empirical proof to other lifelong members that “the Gospel saves!”. But my wife’s FTD-MND (MND is ALS..Lou Gherigs Disease) was too much and did too much damage to our faith narratives, and I eventually was excommunicated in the 13th year of the disease journey for choosing to stay and take care of her and not divorce her, while concurrently choosing to find a partner who could love me when my wife’s treatment of me had been reduced to disdain and abuse. For the final five years of the disease, Jennifer stayed by my side, propped me up so that I could provide the financial, medical, and emotional support my wife and adult children needed to endure FTD to the end. Nadia….FTD did so much damage; that is why I call it the “slow motion plane crash”. There was nothing sudden about it; and we were forced to see every distructive moment in painstaking detail. My first wife and I raised six children together; or should I say, we were raising six children together. Our two youngest sons endured their mom’s illness from the ages of 9 and 11 until her death, when they were 25 and 27, respectively. And they cannot remember a mother who was “normal”. Our older children are stuck with the paradox of a most beautiful person; and then a woman who seemingly only cared for herself for much of their lifetimes. Our oldest son has a PHD in Neuroscience. And together, we have made a multi-year study of brain function and how our cognitive capacities inform everything that we come to believe about what it means to be a human, “to believe”, and to endure. And now, at age 62, I have arrived at a place of complete “not knowing”! Uncertainty is now my friend, when the certain narratives of faith were crushed under the reality that none of my former answers for the “whys” could provide support in enduring my wife’s illness. Six years ago, I met a lovely athiest woman who chose to walk with me and our children through the final years of my wife’s destructive illness. And she quietly lifted, loved, and provided, when all of my “faith friends” faded away. My faith friends, who mostly abandoned me, like to point to my now new wife as proof that “God provides”. I simply respond to each of them with my new life’s moniker: “I would rather be lucky than smart”. And despite it all, I am a most lucky human. And we have suffered beyond anything I could comprehend before; and now I see it; there is deep suffering everywhere. And faith often acts like a covering for our eyes; causing us to dismiss the suffering with trite phrases like “God provides” and “he will never give you more than you can handle”. No, life often crushes people, and our refusal to see the carnage left behind is often a statement of our limits as beings; some things are simply “too much”. And I have come to accept it as an element of “I don’t know”. There is peace in “not knowing”.

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I am so thankful for your Substack. It has blessed me so much and encouraged me along the way during the hardest period of my life. The one on self forgiveness was powerful. I'm still working on that one! Thank you dear, sweet, wise heart. 💕

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Nadia, you are so darn wise. Is that from education, persons in your life sphere, or Heavenly Father or the sum of all. I do enjoy reading your “sermons” or episoles. I love your ecumenical spirit and wish more people of faith could follow suit.

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Jenny Lawton’s substack is absolutely awesome. If you have not seen her drawings and read her wonderfully human writings you are in for a treat!

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You picked the two that I brought into an AA meeting as a topic when I was chairing: #2 and the honorable mention. On the AI one, people were looking at me like "where is she going with this?" when I was paraphrasing/setting up the topic, but it sparked very rich sharing and discussion after the meeting. I'm fascinated by the shadow side part of the human experience.

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Thanks Nadia! I look forward to re-reading these!

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