Before continuing with my story, I’d like to pause a bit and share a few things.
On day 2 or 3 of this blogs series, I started having second thoughts about everything I’m about to write in the coming weeks. Having already started, I knew I couldn’t quit. But I still felt a little worried about what effects my writings may have on others. It’s something I’ve worried about the very few times I’ve told someone my story.
You see, having your faith and entire worldview challenged is not an easy experience at all. It’s brutal. It’s confusing and scary and disorienting. And I want to share my experience because I know others will relate to some degree or another. I feel my story needs to be told. I need to tell it for myself! But truthfully, I am concerned about how my story may affect others who have never dared question their status quo.
It would be a hard pill to swallow knowing that sharing my faith crisis triggered a severe faith crisis in someone else. My journey has been hard but I fully believe I’m in a better place than I was before my crisis hit. But I can’t say that everyone who has similar crises turns out ok. I don’t know. And even if they do, the journey there is very difficult. I don’t recommend everyone sign up for this challenge.
This is where I have matured from my younger days. I used to want to change the world. I wanted to “awaken” others (because I was so woke?? Ha!). I was not sensitive. I was careless. All I cared about was the bottom line… all I cared about was opening people’s eyes to the truth (because I had the truth? HA again).
I failed to take into account how costly awakening actually is because even I had not truly undergone such a transformation. My changes have come about through extreme heart-ache and massive blows to my fragile ego. As the saying goes, I had to lose myself in order to find myself. It sounds terribly romantic, but this isn’t like watching The Lord of the Rings from the comfort of your own home. It’s actually living the story, fighting the real battle, and you don’t know how it’s going to end. So I currently cannot, in good conscience, excitedly recruit others to sign up for this journey.
And so, I share my story and thoughts with a bit of caution. If you don’t want to be challenged, then don’t bother reading anymore. And even if you do want to be challenged, keep in mind that it could possibly upset your world. Are you prepared for that?
My journey is my own to share, and I feel a deep need to do so. I remind myself I am not responsible for you, dear reader, or your journey. I am not telling you what to think or what to do. I am simply telling my story and offering another perspective that I feel is lacking in the Christian community. I just want to help any one of you who has found or will find themselves in the same position as me. We are not alone.
When it comes to my faith crisis, there have been moments during deep anguish when I lamented, “I did not ask for this!” But that is simply untrue. I absolutely DID ask for this, many times in many ways. My deepest desire spilled out into a prayer one day in 2012 and in no uncertain language, I asked to be broken. I asked to see the truth by any and all means necessary. I just had absolutely no idea how excruciating it would be. It is clear that everything which has since followed has been a direct answer to the putting forth my prayer/intention.
November 21, 2012
We pray that God opens the eyes of the heathen, but forget to pray that our own eyes be opened. We try to remove the speck from our brothers eye, while ignoring the very log within our own. We are so proud to believe we have correct doctrine and we’ve got it all figured out, and we pray that those around us would come to believe the same.
How many of us take the time, as individuals, to pray that God reveals the Truth to us personally and that He teaches us correct doctrine? I’ve spent too long being concerned that everyone else come to the Truth that I am so convinced I know. Now I spend most of my time praying that God open MY eyes. Wherever it is that I am blind, God, please reveal to me. No matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be, strip away every layer of deception that covers my spiritual understanding and leaves me in the dark.
It is the most humbling experience in the world to realize your solid foundation is indeed just sinking sand. That those doctrines you have held fast to so tightly and tried to convince the world of are simply incorrect. And yet, I know of nothing more freeing. To be set free from the lies, and being able to walk in truth.
I want the Truth and I’ll never stop searching, never stop re-evaluating what I think I already know. Dear God in heaven, I plead with you to do whatever it takes to help me see.
I dont care what sacred cow you have to slaughter!
I dont care what comfortable set of beliefs you must shatter!
I dont care what sense of security you must dissolve!
If I am not standing upon your Truth, then I am already lost!
Though my house may be well constructed, decorated, and operating fine, if it is built on sinking sands, then I am in grave danger. If I invite others into my home, I put them in danger as well.
A house built on sand will not hold up under the onslaught of rain and flooding. If I remain in this home of unstable foundation, I will be swept away and destroyed by the coming storm. And even worse, what of those who I invited to my home? Will I be responsible for their deaths?
Lead me away. Lead me into that vast unknown outside my door. Lead me to the Rock that is higher! Lead me to your truth, that I may rebuild my life upon that solid foundation.
If you must drag me out screaming, so be it. Show no restraint. Do not relent. If I fight, overcome me with your strength. Please do not allow me dwell in danger because of my pride. Break me, however you must, so that I submit to your wisdom and authority. Prove Your love for me by correcting me!
I WANT THE TRUTH. Help me humble myself before You and see that You alone are all-knowing and I am not. My pride is not worth saving or protecting. My pride cannot feed my starving heart. My pride offers me no safety or protection, but leaves me naked and vulnerable to the evil all around.
The knowledge and wisdom I think I possess cannot help me in any way unless it is the knowledge and wisdom from You.
So open my eyes. Whatever veil of deception that may cloud my vision, take it away. I want Your Truth, by any means necessary.
Am I ready? What an odd question. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
My flesh will never be ready for crucifixion, but my Spirit is willing and desirous to be resurrected.
God answered my prayer, and has continued to answer it over and over again since that time.
My first test came four months after I wrote this when the unthinkable happened. My daughter died, and I was forced to reexamine all my ideas about God’s love and justice…
To be continued.