Monday, January 21, 2013

Crashing Down

The comment:
What do you do when your spiritual world comes crashing down on you, and you're not even sure all the things you've believed about God are even true. Everyone else carries on like everything's normal and nothing's happening (cause it's not for them). It's awkward to talk about it. You don't feel like people will understand. You sometimes get silly, cliche answers that don't help at all. The answers you at one time might have given. But this is something so much deeper. 
Can we just acknowledge that sometimes things do come crashing down around us spiritually and we feel lost, and thats.. maybe even OKAY. Not to sin. Not to turn from God. But it's okay to be real about where you're at and it's ok to be there, and to wrestle, and to not settle for easy answers. It's okay to be an "bad" or "weak" Christian, if that is what we are.
I think we can acknowledge that. Mostly I think we just need to strip away any adjectives that we tend to place in front of Christianity that make us feel like we're on a higher or lower playing field with other believers and the Lord...but that's kind of a tangent I'll avoid going on for now.

You're right. It is a little awkward to tell other people that you're struggling with fully believing...because, there's not a whole lot they can say to help. It's easy to rattle off a lot of verses and wonderful cliches that we keep stored on the tip of our tongues, but when we're in the midst of questioning those very things it doesn't seem realistic that they would be the things to draw us back into  fully believing.

I think one of the best things someone told me when I was doubting was that it was okay. They didn't try to 'sway' me back to believing, or tell me things I already knew (which is often another annoying part about telling people things like this)... but they actually pushed me to look at others who have doubted before me. They pushed me back toward Scripture. They reminded me that I was not the first to ever doubt God's existence, His plan, His goodness, His love, His faithfulness, His ability to save, heal and redeem. I was not the 'worst' Christian around. There was hope in that for me...because beyond wrestling through these hard issues, I didn't feel as alone in it.

If you've read much of my blog, you know I'm a your comments resonate a lot with me and my own experiences. There is a distance that's often created between ourselves and the Lord (and then naturally other believers), as we process through these things to try and figure out what we believe. In the midst of feeling like a foreigner to the cliches and the truths that flow from their mouths, it's easy to feel misunderstood and then immediately not cared about. I don't think we can blame them though.

I think one of the best things we can do in these moments of doubt, in these moments of wrestling, in these moments where we feel a bit lost.... is to press further in. What does that mean? I think that obedience is really key here...and I think pressing further into what He has commanded of us becomes the thing that carries us. And sometimes when we don't feel like we can love God, we desperately seek to love others (and through our love for others, we are actually loving's a viscous cycle). We do things that take us outside of ourselves and our over-analytical brains and in the moments when we are serving others, when we are considering them better than ourselves, when we are not so focused on trying to figure out what we believe...I think those are the moments when God reveals Himself to us.

It's a shifting of focus off of ourselves, and diving straight to the heart of the Gospel. I think when we do that, it makes sense... and the fullness of what we say we believe, what we want to becomes what we actually believe.

I realize I'm a little all over the place...
But, I give it a resounding yes- it's okay to admit where we truly are at, even if that means we are doubting, feeling lost, or feeling like our whole spiritual world is crashing down around us. But no- it's not okay to dwell there and let it become something that's defining. And it's not okay for us to avoid talking to people about where we're at just because it's awkward or uncomfortable or we're scared they won't understand us. You might be surprised.

I guess for me, at the end of the day, the most reassuring thing is that God is faithful. Even in the most intense times of doubt and denial, He has continually beckoned me back. And, as cliche as it's also true.

You're not alone in this.
Press further in. There is something so much deeper.
Seek to find it...and don't settle until you do.

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1 comment:

  1. The reason I put "bad" and "weak" in quotes is because I don't truly believe you can compare Christians--that there are good ones and bad ones. The only reason I used those words are because I felt so weak that I could not lead or encourage anyone else. It is hard knowing you are unable to pour out and have nothing to give.