Facing ourselves as we are, and not as we wish to be
“And if I’d never denied God, then I’d never have been found by God.” UGH! I feel this so deeply! Absolutely had my own version of an on the carpet moment. Breaking through the restrictions of my upbringing was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and yet oh the joy and freedom that came after I told God the truth. Thank you for your beautiful words and your heart that sits with so many as we walk this messy faith-grief road
Thank you so much for this. I keep coming back to the post, and I'm still in awe at how you published this at a time where I needed to read it more than ever; it really blessed me (as does all of your writing!). God moves in a mysterious way.
He loves to answer those honest prayers. Thank you for sharing this.
Amen to this. I wonder if your lack of vulnerability at this time of faith crisis protected you. Would the others been like Job’s friends? I am always amazed how God sees and hears in those moments when we lose our faith and find it for the very first time in a way that makes us know for sure we’ve experienced God’s presence.
About not bringing others into my struggle when it was starting - I really felt like my struggle would drat others down. I envied that they still had (if they did, though who can say) the kind of faith I used to and wanted them to have it as long as they could. I didn't wish the pain I was in on anyone. And sometimes people get scared when you express these things. Every time I thought about really talking about it, I decided not to. It was so lonely! But I get why I didn't.
Thank you for sharing. This calls to mind one of my favorite passages from Christian Wiman in a letter to his children: “But if you find that you cannot believe in God, then do not worry yourself with it. No one can say what names or forms God might take, nor gauge the intensity of unbelief we may need to wake up our souls. My love is still true, my children, still with you, still straining through your ambitions and your disappointments, your frenzies and forgetfulness, through all the glints and gulfs of implacable matter—to reach you, to help you, to heal you.”
Yep, a lot of people leaving right now. And yet I don't feel like that's necessarily a bad thing like I might have years ago. It seems like a lot of folks are leaving for the right reasons - they're not finding that the Christianity they've experienced is actually leading them to Jesus. I think a lot of the folks leaving want to find Jesus (even if they wouldn't all say that - though many do). I'm hopeful, I think something good is going to come out of this exodus.
Inspiring honesty. Thank you for sharing.
Yes, thank you. Over and over again at the crossroads. <3
So good. I said almost those exact words to God when I was 17. And the response was so utterly clear and gracious that I have not shaken it in the 23 years since. I may not know much. But I know the One who heard those words and loved me through them. Wouldn't trade that experience for anything.
Wow, I needed this tonight. Thank you.
This is so good. I too have experienced the presence of God in those desperate prayers. The crying out, the fear, the anger - and then the overwhelming peace. I've felt it, too. And it's the main reason why I still believe - because I've known Immanuel, God with us. What a gift.
Sheesh Lore, this is a whole damn word.