Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'm lost.

And the harder I try to find my way back, the further away I slip. So I'm waiting, as something dark and unsettling moves over me. I'm waiting for direction. I'm waiting for rescue. I'm waiting for a lifetime of answers to chase away this shadow that veils my heart.

I was barely six when I felt the tug. I'd been to church a handful of times when my parents remembered to put me on the church bus. My oldest sister talked to me about God. I knew he existed and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know him. If there was pure, unconditional love to be had, I wanted it. I sat under the pinball machine in the room I shared with my brother and sister, with a blanket thrown over the top to make a tent. The blanket was pink and inside my solitude, surrounded by dolls, I prayed to him. I asked him to love me and I would love him. Nothing ceremonious or poetic. But an open heart, filled with an honest belief that God heard and accepted. It was beautiful and simple and sacred to me. And so began my journey.

Now, something like rebellion is rising up within me. I've lived my life within his rules, willingly and happily. I've shed tears of agony, longing to be near him. I've sacrificed and given up things in an effort to be close to him. Today I feel cheated, like somehow my life has been spent following a myth. Like I haven't been given the whole truth. Like there is something I am missing and I have to solve the impossible puzzle to get the answer. I can't deny God. I know he's there somewhere. But who is he? What is he? What makes us, as mere humans, think he wants anything at all to do with us? The good, maybe seemingly simple, answer, is, of course, the bible. But it was men who wrote it. Yes, supposedly inspired by God, but men make mistakes. Haven't we all followed a path we thought was God's idea only to find it wasn't? Haven't you ever thought you had an answer from God then weren't sure? How do we know these men really heard from God? How do we know anybody does? How do we know everything we have believed hasn't been part of man's scheme to manipulate us all?

I'm exhausted from a life of trying to fit in to a mold that makes me more fit, more desirable to him. I've been made to believe the things I do or don't do can possibly alter God's plans. If I prove myself willing or offer up a certain prayer, does that really change anything? I can't get away from these questions. And I'm not sure where to go for the answers. I'm angry. And I'm scared.

I want to be six, in my little tent, where I was safe and secure in knowing what little I knew. Where my childish heart didn't know the difference. Where I could simply love him and believe.


Sarah said...

Supermom, thank you for this post. I think we all have had the same questions at some point. I think the key to where you are now is when you say, "I'm exhausted trying to fit into a mold." The good news is -- you already fit! None of us will EVER fit the perfect mold, so he extends His glorious grace to all of us. Think of how you feel about your babies -- love them dearly, want them to have all in the world that will bless them, and can't wait to love them more. That's how He feels about you. I know it's hard to see sometimes, and just as frequently hard to feel it. I'm not AT ALL blasting you for feeling this way or the questions/ doubts you have, but I am "jealous for you with a godly jealousy." (2 Cor. 11:2) I will pray that God will reveal Himself, His abundant love, and His overflowing peace to your heart.

h b said...

I understand, as much as possible. However, allow me to share the same point of view only skewed in time line. I was raised in Christian private schools, singing children's songs and reading Bible passages daily. One day, in 8th grade, while standing next to my desk reciting the Pledge of Allegiance I heard echoes of those same children's songs from down the hall. These classrooms down the hall were filled with 1st through 4th graders singing their hearts out because that is just what we did, it was normal. I could barely hold back the tears as doubt came rushing over me. Did these kids really know what they were singing about, did any of us? Was this real or just some nice idea to fill the space where evil thoughts might be if room permitted? That summer I went away to Dwight Presbyterian Summer Camp as usual. One day, after our Bible Study the group ran off to the pool while two of my friends and I sat and talked with the youth pastor. We were scared, we didn't know why we were questioning our faith. We weren't sure it was real, any of it.

The youth pastor assured us that until we could question our faith and come up with an answer we could never be fully satisfied or in love with God. I didn't come up with the right answer.

I skipped school, drank, did way too many drugs, had sex, anything I could do that was wrong. Honestly, I should be dead.

I lived though, only to find myself dropped out of school, pregnant, and in a relationsip with a man who had already decided that God was not listening and probably didn't exist.

At the lowest point in my life, I literally stumbled into Rivendell. I was awaiting negative glances and dissaproval of my situation, none of which I found. Instead I found Angela, Cathy, Kyle, Daniel, Chad, Janine, Laura, Todd, Ben, Ann, Lindy, Jodie, and a host of others who said I was OK and that God did, still, and will love and want me.

The only justification I have found for these claims is in the BSU on Sunday mornings. When the band is playing and I see my friends singing with their eyes closed, or hands full, and the energy that exists in that room, I know God is real.

When Kyle looks me right in the eye and says something about God wanting, loving, and accepting me even in all of my wrong-doings, it takes everything I have not to burst into tears.

It is OK to reach the point I did that summer of 8th grade when you are in your thirties. Given your personality and God's strong embrace I doubt you will run off to Talequah doing every drug you can get your hands on. Allow someone else to watch the kids some Sunday morning and experience the incredible presence of God when Cathy M. has her hands raised, Lindy has his shoes off and his eyes closed, and Ally is standing to worship God.

It brings me to tears weekly that I am able to believe again. That this love has existed my whole life and I spent so much time trying to avoid it. It is true, it is harder to appreciate something when it has never been taken away, but please let me assure you, this place here where God is, is millions and millions times better than anywhere I have ever been. I know its hard to take someone's word for it, but know that you are incredibly fortunate to have had this life long relationship with our God. I love you, let me know if there is anyway I can help you find some peace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts rather than hiding them.

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

You might be relieved to know that... even while you question everything you've ever believed about God and His Word... He will still be there when it's all said and done. He keeps His covenant with us, even when we break it. So, no worries. Just keep asking Him to make Himself more and more real to you. Tell Him that you are having doubts and that you need His help.

You said something like: "I've been made to believe that the things I do or don't do might alter God's plans." I think you need to label that line of thinking as faulty. Who do you think you are to be able to alter ANYTHING about God? He is much bigger and greater than anything you might do or might not do. You're giving yourself too much power (sovereignty). Does this make sense?

Faith is a war, my friend. Keep fighting. Don't forget to use your Sword.

LiteratureLover said...

You know, I think doubting God is a part of the Christian walk. Even Thomas doubted and he'd been with Jesus to see all the miracles and heard Him say he was coming back again. Doubt causes us to take a look at what we really DO believe.

"I'm exhausted from a life of trying to fit in to a mold that makes me more fit, more desirable to him." Then stop. Grace. It's a beautiful word. As I read your blog I wondered if all of this was a result of you feeling like a failure and that you will never live up to God's standard. You're right. You can't live up to it. That's why He provided the sacrifice for us just like he did with Abraham and Issac. You're safe. Don't worry about doing it right. He just wants your love. Coming to Him as a little child, that's exactly what He desires. Just like you did under that blanket. Love you girl.

heartsjoy said...

I'm sorry you are feeling this way, I know personally it is not fun. I have felt lost and confused before myself. Wanting to see answers and not seeing it. Knowing He was there but at the same time wondering. I believe God is big enough to take our questions. At a point like this in my life I felt I needed to search. You mentioned the Bible but still have questions there too. I can relate. However, I had questions and did begin searching in scriptures because I found that the words always helped me. If it was only myth I didn't believe it would have that power. The power God gives to give mercy, healing and love. I also sought Him, sometimes finding silence but other times He ministers to me with His presence and word. At that point in my life He gave me scripture, song and His presence so real when I was begging Him to show Himself to me that I was given what I needed. He will meet your needs too. At that point in my life, a lady that I highly respect had told me to go to Him with bible, pen and paper in hand and ask Him to speak to me. She said to be quiet for 5 minutes and only listen, writing down anything He gave me...brought to mind etc. It helped me then and has helped me since...I enjoy longer listening sessions now but at that time 5 was enough to make a difference for me. I don't know if this is helpful to you or not but I did want to give some personal testimony to a point like that in my life. love you girl.