A reader writes: Advanced chronic CRIS

I have been reading your books (and blog posts) for several years now – and yes, admittedly with a hermeneutic of suspicion. I wanted to let you know that my Wednesday morning book club is starting your recent book Why Did Jesus… this week (the first two chapters). I am very much looking forward to our discussions and questions. We have a great group that is open to various views and we all act kindly toward one another. It’s really a great group…and mostly all from conservative evangelical traditions.
I’m going to by-pass some history of my life here, but I wanted to let you know that I have been dealing with a case of CRIS for quite some time – and really not having a good name for it. So much has happened the past few years that has required me to rethink much of what I know (or thought I knew). As I continue to wrestle with what I believe to be a real paradigm change in my thinking, practice, and worship of God, I honestly struggle with a desire to just return to the ways of old. And yet, even as I consider a return, I’m reminded that sometimes God moves us to simply “let go….”
As you’ll see, I don’t have clear answers still – and oddly less convinced that I need them. At the same time, I’m thinking your text has arrived for “such a time as this.” I’m looking forward to learning, adapting, and changing however the Spirit may lead.
With anticipation (and probably more questions),

Thanks for writing. As you say, a bona fide paradigm shift is one of the hardest experiences of life. Exhilarating at times, yes, but also scary, exhausting, sometimes depressing, and fraught with social as well as internal struggle. If an honest hunger and desperate thirst for truth, justice, and peace didn’t drive us on, I doubt any of us would have the courage to make the journey.
Here’s how M. Scott Peck described the process:

“Since mentally healthy human beings must grow, and since giving up or loss of the old self is an integral part of the process of mental and spiritual growth, depression is a normal and basically healthy phenomenon. It becomes abnormal or unhealthy only when something interferes with the giving-up process, with the result that the depression is prolonged and cannot be resolved by completion of the process.”
~M. Scott Peck M.D., Wisdom from The Road Less Traveled, 2001.