If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, you'll notice I recently went through a long season where I had questions and doubts about my faith. I wanted to be transparent with my struggle, hoping that it would invite relationships with others and perhaps offer comfort or encouragement for people who have walked through it - or are in the midst of it themselves.
I did many things in this time as I sought truth and wrestled with doubt. These are not things I would necessarily recommend to anyone seeking, but I am sharing to show how God uses the unlikely to glorify Himself. I believe the things I experienced now enable me to have a more authentic, restored relationship with God.
Here are a few things I did:
- Reached out to a pastor about my feelings and desire for resources
- Looked at several well-known arguments for and against the existence of God
- Took a break from reading the Old Testament (which partially prompted my doubts and questioning)
- Pruned my social media to "hide" religious perspectives that were speaking against people groups or soliciting a political stance as though it were Christ's (It helped to clear my head about who God is vs. who people are.)
- Communicated with a friend about his experience and spiritual journey with the involvement of his wife and my husband (and kept an ongoing dialogue with a small handful of girlfriends about my experience)
- Remained open to attending church and praying, but didn't force myself out of a sense of obligation
- Journaled questions and doubts to ponder and answer over time
- Continually talked with my husband about the highs and lows of processing my evolving beliefs
- Discovered a compelling argument for God, and came to a place of acceptance that I may never have answers to all my questions
- Continued to learn about the diverse history and current diversity within the Christian church
- Searched for resources to construct a more stable foundation for my faith
- Found a community where my family could walk out our faith from a place of honesty and openness
After making it through this season of doubt, I was stunned as to how God used what may frighten some believers to revive my faith and answer many of my troubling questions. It makes me think of the several times in the Bible Jesus did things that shocked religious folks. Has God used surprising things to get you through a season of doubt - or another challenge in your life?
I recently heard an image described to illustrate how are are "tethered to God" as believers (via the God Centered Mom podcast). In this illustration, Hayley Morgan describes how you can picture a pendulum swinging. We are like the pendulum swinging at the bottom and are attached to God at the top. We may go one direction and then the other, but we don't get very far from God. We're always connected. That's how I feel in retrospect, looking at this spiritual journey and many other times it looked as though I was far from God. This concept of being tethered to God really speaks to me and keeps me feeling centered despite my human tendency to wander and wonder.
Thank you for your interest in this season of my life! I hope sharing my story openly reminds you of times God's will has been brought about in your life in a surprising way, or encourages your faith for yourself or someone else you care about. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if parts of this story resonate with you. I no longer feel ashamed for having questions or for being a seeker of truth by nature. I believe God loves hearts that long for the truth, and He is indeed big enough to hold us and our doubts in His hands.