Every single time I have read through the blogs in my book in the past 5 years I feel two ways about the words of faith that I read:
- I was naive to think that (and then I go back to, “well, I had to have hope!”)
- Where did that faith go?
I’ve been wondering where my faith went for a long time. Part of me feels like it’s just not there, it no longer exists in me, but that’s not being honest with myself. Being honest with myself is saying that my faith has completely changed and I’m scared to think what I believe because I feel like I will be condemned in my Christian circle.
The faith in which I was taught growing up is no longer what I feel in my heart. This isn’t to say I don’t believe in a God. I just am not sure it’s the same God I was taught. Or maybe I should say the same denomination I was taught.
I believe in a God that loves everyone in spite of themselves. I also believe that if we love that God, then we too need to love one another. I believe that bad things still happen to people who believe in a higher power. I believe that Kevin is healed and whole. I believe that someone amazing created this stunning landscape I behold each day.
That’s what I believe, but it doesn’t feel like enough. My original faith included a lot of rules, guidelines, and expectations. I failed a lot of them, repented/asked for forgiveness. I prayed for miracles, which often didn’t happen (still working on that blaming God thing). I believed that with prayer comes action.
I no longer believe a lot of things I was taught. I don’t believe in judgement. I do it because I’m human, but as a believer, that isn’t our role in life. I believe that you can be given more than you can handle in life and whether you believe or not does not determine what will happen to you. Life is going to be very hard and faith doesn’t save you from that. I believe that none of us are right. I can’t say that someone who practices Islam or Judaism is wrong and isn’t going to be healed and whole after they die. Because I simply do not know. I don’t have those answers. So I love them all.
My list of things I believe versus no longer believe is very small and simple. It’s where my life is headed, I hope – simplicity. I believe we’ve complicated things too much and pushed a lot of people away because of it. So many expectations. I try to live a good, whole, moral life.
I support and give to my community, I help my neighbors, I volunteer, I try my hardest to empathize and sympathize with those who are hurting. These were the things I was taught as a child-the simple gifts of faith that I want to get back to without over-complication. If I’m wrong, OK. But I have to believe that my God will stand with me for being a good person even if I didn’t get it all right.
Who’s right anyway?