If you’d asked me a little over a year ago about God, I could have told you.
For 8 years, God, Jesus, and Christianity were the main focus of my life.
I did all the things.
Studying, praying, attending church services 3 times a week unwaveringly, and even taking a very public platform to propagate the message of Jesus Christ to others.
I was the perfect “good girl”. Especially to those who didn’t know me but knew the image of me that was portrayed.
I never liked it that way. I knew very well that I was not worthy of the pedestal I was thrust upon.
I wanted to be seen.
Not as the “good girl”, but for the person I really was.
I envisioned a life where I loved God and served people on a deeper level while also being loved through my own wildly outrageous failings as a human being. (Rather than having those failings wished away or ignored)
It was my deepest desire to show that love to others as well.
So, I made the intensely difficult decision to step out of the spotlight and into the quieter pursuit of community and behind the scenes work.
I had every intention of building this new life I had envisioned.
I would get involved in a local church, volunteer, travel, write, and discover more of God and more of myself in Christ.
…And then the unspeakable happened to my heart.
It was a massacre like nothing I had ever experienced before in my life, and it left me questioning EVERYTHING I believed.
Is there a God?
If there is, how could He not save me from this?
Why are my prayers not enough?
If this is my fault, where is His mercy?
Where does faith come from?
Does He even care?
How can I do all of these things He expects me to do?
Is He really who He says He is, and if so how can I get to Him?
Do I even want to get to Him?
Why did He make me?
Why did He make anything? Because it seems so pointless and so selfish…
I was so angry at God and so conflicted with these questions and so very, very alone as I tried to hang onto my beliefs.
My year of more meaning became a year without faith.
No faith in God, no faith in people, no faith in hope for me.
I studied worldviews and gave audience to atheism, naturalism, postmodernism, and transcendentalism.
Truly, some days all that kept me reaching for God was fear of losing my soul, not out of reason or trust.
I became twisted. Hateful. Self-loving.
It was F*** me and F*** the world like the angst-y teenager I thought I’d left far behind.
Yet, in all of my writhing, I saw people.
I mean, I saw people.
I saw Atheists, Muslims, Gay people, Transcendentalists, Politicians, Criminals, and especially Christians.
And I realized so clearly that we are all simply doing the best we can with the information we have been given, but we have all been given different information.
Whether through DNA or circumstance not a one of us in unbiased in our beliefs.
All of the questions about God and all that He entails therefore, cannot be answered by any one of us.
No religion, including Christianity, has all of the answers either.
Christians will say that Jesus IS the answer. And that may be true, but even if you follow Him to the point of martyrdom as some do, He would still keep some mysteries of the universe to Himself, as they are perhaps not ours to know.
It scared me to question God at first.
Who am I to point my finger at the Creator and say things like “Why have you made me? I’d rather not have been made”. But now that I have wrestled, I truly believe that Jesus is it for me.
Life seems unbearable without the hope of something better. There is much pain here.
Our bodies will fail us, our friends will fail us, our families will fail us, our religions will fail us, our possessions will fail us, our fame will fail us, our works will fail us, our talents will fail us, our goodness will fail us. And we indeed will fail ourselves sometimes without even realizing it.
People are complicated and confused and broken.
I need to believe in something that will not fail me even if it turns out not to be true. And that I believe is true for everyone. It seems to me, that Jesus is the safest place to land and that there is in fact evidence that He IS true.
For those that do not draw the same conclusion as I do, I do not judge you nor do I blame you nor do I think you are an evil person for doing so.
I especially hope that the drawing of differing conclusions does not divide us. It makes more sense to me that it would UNITE us. Having respect for the fact that we all had to do some serious work, wrestling, and thinking to arrive at our individual conclusions.
We all must question and never stop until we’re satisfied with legitimate reasons. No matter the path you follow, there will be consequences, pain, more questions… and hopefully ultimate peace.
From all of my questioning I am a better human being who very much just wants to explore truth with my fellow human beings.
I want to listen intently and compassionately to every doubter of the Christian faith. Not dismissing their questions but validating them and answering them as completely and comprehensively as possible as a fellow confused human who has plenty of questions herself.
No one needs a superficial conversion. No one needs fake faith or “good enough” strength.
Whatever conclusion you draw about this life, question it. Wrestle with it. Be certain it stands. It will take time, tears, more time, work, uncomfortable conversations, and unanswered prayers, but it is worth it.