There are so many aspects of my Faith in God that are personal and intimate (mainly the struggling parts) but, on the flip side, I always want to be transparent about the highs and lows of the journey as much as I can. I'm not saying my "walk" is special, by any means, but I'm sure there are others who are like me...people whom faith and belief and trust don't come easily...and somehow, I hope that by sharing, God will use it to speak into their lives and say, "I've got you."
I struggle with those things I listed above (faith, belief, trust) even when I can reach out and physically touch or talk to someone. So, you might imagine, there are times in my life where I've really wondered and struggled through the idea that some unseen God could have carefully and specifically mapped out Creation, set it all in motion, and then somehow still manages to intimately care about my life and the things and people that I care about.
Even as a Believer, I've had these moments of struggle where I've felt so alone and wondered, for instance, what kind of God would leave my prayers for a child unanswered for so long. There are other "seasons" of life where I've lost Sight, not just in that season of infertility. I remember standing in church one Sunday (ok, many times Sundays in my life), when my pain was great - overwhelming even - and everyone around me was singing, some raising their hands to God, some with their eyes closed and I told Him, "Lord, I can't. To praise you like that right now would be lying...I don't feel like praising You" and I stood there quietly, my lips unmoving and holding back tears and wondering instead:
"Where are You?"
Inevitably, He always shows up. Somehow, even in my darkest moments over the years, there was something inside of me that knows He will. I did (and will) claw and scratch and dig in and fight to keep my Faith when Life does its worst and tries to convince me to give up on God. When I can't see Him in the big things, I remind myself constantly that, if I look closely, I can always find Him in the details. And when that approach fails, or when my heart grows weary and my memory gets hazy, well, I reach deep and pull out my imaginary "History" book, blow the dust off, and take a walk through all of the times in my life He has been so good and so faithful to me. At the very least, I can always take myself back to that place where I say, Ok, what have I seen You do in my life, God? And then, after thinking of those things, I remind myself: He can - and will - do it again.
You know, there have been times here (on the blog) where I've written things that I've been uncomfortable sharing but, in the long run, was glad I did. Other times, I've put down words I wasn't ashamed of in the least only to go back and read them months - sometimes years - later and I literally want to dig a very large hole, jump in, and have someone go ahead and throw the dirt on me. How could I have written that for the world to see? I've thought on many occasions.
But, hey, that's part of the journey, I guess. I realize that I've done a lot of public sharing of my inside thoughts over the last 8 years on here...even the not pretty ones. To some, I may sound like an insecure, emotional person with trust/vulnerability issues. And to those people I say: Yes. You're right. At my very deepest core, if you saw me without my emotional "clothes" on, without Christ that is who I would have been. Emotionally nekkid is not a pretty sight. But I'm more than that...most of all, because He has loved me anyway but also because He's changed me.
Not to say I don't still struggle with those things, because I do. I am insecure at times, I have always been and always will be a feeler and thinker (so if you decide to stick around and keep reading, get used to it), and I'm learning to trust more but its not super natural for me. I'm learning each day to see myself differently when I see myself as God sees me instead of looking in the carnival mirror that is the world. But why do you feel the need to talk about all those unattractive things about yourself so much? you might have asked yourself.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9
I guess I just believe that if I can be my real, true self, I'll know that the ones who "like" me, actually like me. And the ones who struggle (like me) might think to themselves at some point: if God can rescue her, He might care to rescue me, too.
I don't know...I really don't have a point today except that I sat down with a strong cup of coffee and these are the words that came out this morning. (Can I blame the coffee?)
I'm in the opposite of what I described above when I talked about the person saying: "Where are you?" I feel close to God right now (maybe mostly because I'm in a season where I need Him so much), I am craving His Word, and I'm asking for Him constantly to help my passion and my purpose in life collide somehow. I guess I find myself writing this because, I woke up praying for someone(s) who is fighting to hang on.
I truly don't know how people can wake up each morning and face the struggles of each day without Christ in their life. If I boil my Faith down to the cheapest version of itself, I'm glad I believe if for no other reason than it feels good to have someone bigger than myself to believe in. If God doesn't exist, I've simply lived this life trying to be a better person and not feeling quite so alone.
But if He does - and I believe He does - I've had someone walk this good and bad and great Journey with me. Leading, guiding, challenging, prompting, protecting, taking my abuse, forgiving, orchastrating good, holding, loving, and saving me from my very own self.
And that, my heart says, is just too dang good not to share.