Tip #32: Do something and see Abolitionists the movie | Ask Angela

I went to see The Abolitionists last night – it’s a documentary about Tim Ballard and his team of abolitionists who are fighting to end the trafficking of children. 

For me, it was a moving film. I was moved by how much Ballard involved his faith in his quest as well as the ability of young rescued children to still find meaning and hope in their lives after enduring such terrible circumstances. 

I was also moved by the facts about how large the problem is – Human trafficking is the fastest growing international crime you can read more here.

Like most people in the audience I left the movie thinking a variety of things – 

  1. How can I help? Like, help for real?

  2. Even if I did help, would that help make a difference?

  3. Are my problems even real?? Comparatively speaking?

I don’t have answers for these, I’m still thinking. But a very powerful thought that I had all night last night was the idea that while we can’t do everything, we can do something. And a big and powerful focus of our lives can be to do something. This applies to challenges as large and as pervasive as human trafficking, but it also applies to the simple struggles that you face in your daily life. Maybe it all can’t be changed, fixed, or improved at once. But you can still do something. 

So what do you want to do?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

 

Love,

Angela

Dear Angela: I’m a Lutheran, man of science, and university student and I’m losing my faith

BackToFaith

I was raised lutheran and I am confirmed in the church, but recently I have been struggling with my faith. I am just going to speak my mind so I can get help. I am very smart, I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA in a top 10 university, and I am a man of science. I am also a man of logic, and facts. However, science cannot explain the essence of who we are, and I do believe God has something to do with it. However there is no hard evidence, and it is very hard for me to believe in something that I can’t see. Has anyone here had a similar experience to me? Please help me regain my faith.

Lutheran Man

Dear Lutheran Man, 

We’re all human and so I think many people will be able to relate to the feelings you’ve described above. Something that has helped me when I encounter doubt is to think about the things that are tangible about God. When I list what I’m grateful for, I can see where He has blessed my life. When I read through old journals, I can see how He’s helped me through difficult times. When I pray for guidance, “should I take this job?” “How can I learn to be a better writer?” “How move on from this breakup” and a million other prayers that I’ve prayed – I can feel real inspiration coming from a loving source – My Father in heaven. 

Even though we don’t see God with our physical eyes, there is still beautiful evidence of Him all around us. 

Hope this helps!

Love, 

Angela

Readers: How do you strengthen your faith when you encounter doubt? Share in the comments or twitter #backtofaith @askange_column.

 

 

Dear Angela: My Christian friend keeps trying to convert me. I love the relationship but hate this part of it. What do I do?

jesus

I have a dear friend who is Christian. I’m Agnostic. I understand how much his faith means to him and gives him comfort, etc., and I respect that, which I’ve told him.

I’ve made it clear that I am an Agnostic  and spiritual but . Is not Christian. Unfortunately, it seems that he’s on a mission to convert me. I’ve told him many times that I respect how much his faith means to him, but that I don’t share it.  

I think it’s time to tell him I don’t want to discuss it any further and to please stop trying to “help me find my God,” etc.
But, I worry it’s going to be a friendship ender. Since he’s convinced that his God is real and that I’d be happy if only I “knew Him,” etc., I worry that he won’t give me the same respect I’ve given him regarding his religion, with an equal respect of my lack of one.

There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of acceptance of non-believers. What can I do to save this relationship?

Dear Agnostic Friend, 

Say this,

“I love you and this relationship means a lot to me. It’s important for you to know that I feel uncomfortable when you do X, Y and Z because it feels like you’re trying to convert me to your religion instead of respecting where I am in my spiritual journey. Is that your intent?”

Then listen to his response…He’ll likely say because he cares about you he’s sharing what’s precious to him – and I think that’s great – what you want to communicate is not necessarily “don’t share with me” but rather, understand that our opinions are different and I want to feel respected even though we’re different.

I know nothing about this man but if he’s a good guy that you’ve been friends with for a long time, I’m confident that he’ll hear you out and make moves to adjust to your needs. 

Stay kind, give him a chance to talk, and reinforce how important this relationship is to you, this conversation will go just fine. 

 

Love, 

Angela

 

Dear Angela: I don’t have a relationship with my high school aged sister, but I want to. Help?

sisters

I have a little sister, and we’re not too far apart in age, but the gap is just wide enough that we’ve always been at different stages in our lives. Because of that (and the fact that I was moody and not particularly nice to anyone in my family between the ages of 12 to 18), my sister and I are not close at all. It’s something I’ve felt more and more guilty about as I get older, especially because so many of my friends are very close to their siblings. I’ve found it difficult to reach out to my sister after so many years of us not really getting along, especially since she’s in her terrible teens now. I’m currently in college out-of-state and my sister’s in high school, so we don’t interact a ton beyond the occasional snapchat. Any tips on what I can do about this?

 

Dear Older Sis:

You can be as candid with your sister as you have been here. “Hey we’ve never been close – but I want to change that. What do you think?” Decide prior to this conversation that you’re going to forgive her for any of her past wrong doings and start fresh.

Let her share her feelings about the relationship, but ultimately make a plan to talk at least once a week. Sunday at 2pm – it can be your “sister church.” 

Strong relationships don’t happen over night but with time you’ll get there.

Love, 

Angela