Questions of faith keep whacking me over the head. For the past 5+ years I’ve gone from gung ho believer, to angry at God, to asking all the big questions with no big answers, to feeling the church was hypocritical, and ultimately I’ve landed here – feeling like I don’t fit into most of the examples of faith around me.
A couple weeks ago my writer friend Shawn shared this blog, i don’t believe in God. Now before some of you start jumping on me about the name of the blog before you read it, here’s what I loved about it:
“Since I’ve moved to Los Angeles, I’ve never stopped missing Oklahoma and I’ve never stopped missing Jesus. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve confused the two. Is what I miss about church just what I miss about childhood? The innocence? The faith like a child? The community?
A moment ago, I pulled my hands back from the keyboard and stared out the window to a warm California day. Instinctively I prayed about these words. Should I post this? Should I even think this?
I do believe in God. I do believe in God. I do believe in God.
Some part of me does, anyway. I believe something is listening, somewhere. What to do with that, with all the rest of it, I’m still wrestling. I want to seek, but that is tiresome. I want God to come to me, but then again I really, really don’t want that at all. My crisis of faith began a long time ago, I’ve just ignored it. If I could, I promise you that I would just keep on ignoring it.”
I read this and nearly shouted at my computer screen “YES, YES, YES, THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN THINKING FOR ALMOST 5 YEARS!” but I’ve been too scared to write it out loud. Thank you Hollywood Housewife for having the guts to type what I have been unable to admit.
Faith should never be about being strong all the time. There’s a reason the saying is “crisis of faith”. And I’ve had it, for a long time, for longer than I’m willing to admit. Probably for about 9 years. When I began getting out into the world, exploring, traveling, meeting new people, acclimating to different cultures, befriending people who were very different than myself, people who didn’t even go to church I began to wonder why they didn’t fit into my heaven and my salvation. How could they not?
So I began to wonder, do I want to believe in a God who doesn’t let my husband live, who doesn’t accept my friends who are different than me, who doesn’t belong in other cultures. No, I don’t. I want to believe in a God that gives me healing after tragedy, one who loves each of us equally, one who gives salvation for all who seek faithfully. And that is the God I believe in.
The concern I have for this meager amount of faith that I’ve held onto is that this is not the God I see reflected in some of my acquaintances on social media. This is not the God I see portrayed in the verbage of those who supposedly speak on behalf of Christianity. I see God in all those who volunteer to help others, who donate anonymously even when it stretches their budget, who take the time to wish someone well in spite of their rush, who goes above and beyond to simply love their neighbor on a daily basis. That is the God I want to see in my newsfeed.
I posted this on Facebook tonight:
As much as my faith has struggled immensely over the past 5+ years, I still know that my God is a God of love, of second chances, of acceptance. Mark 12:31
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
I don’t know much about my God – I have some very big questions for which I know I may never find answers, and that springs the tears in my eyes tonight. Because I wonder how my faith can survive without getting some answers. But I do know love, and I know healing, and I believe in salvation, otherwise I shudder to think where my Kevin would be right now. I believe in all of that. So even though I don’t have the answers, I do have that. I have love.
And you have love.
It’s a tool – it can be used for some wonderful benefit. It’s a tool we’ve been given to share, and this Holiday Season, and every day from here on out, I hope you, as a believer in some type of God, know that love should be the tool you use every time – the tool you use above slander, above guns, above judgment, above disappointment, above worry, above cynicism, above hurt, above grief, above everything that brings us down. It is God’s love that has been given to us to share and to heal our hurt.
The God I believe in is love.