This post is going to be difficult to write. A big part of me feels as though I’m not allowed to feel some of the things I’m about to tell you – that I’m supposed to be 100% sure 100% of the time. That I’m going to be ridiculed for sharing this with you, or worse – condescendingly encouraged. But share I shall – I’m not typically a girl who lets fears or rules keep her from saying what needs to be said. And this is my blog after all – I’ll write what I want.
For some time I have felt a bit disconnected from the Lord. I can’t explain what it feels like – it’s almost as though I had eaten something funny, and my heart just wasn’t settling well or something. I just didn’t feel good. A few weeks ago, I finally was able to identify this unsettled feeling, and I quickly talked to Matt about it. I informed him that I thought I was having trouble really connecting to God in worship. I’m not sure what it’s from. I really do enjoy his sermons, and learn from them every week. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m not connecting with the worship style at our current churches or if I don’t feel I can truly be myself or what. I just know that something isn’t connecting for me.
Something that might be a huge factor in this is that I am a little too involved in the “doing” of church, instead of the “being.” We talk about worship planning; I help set up for prayer service; I keep an eye out for visitors or late-comers; etc. Let’s also remember that my professional life is all about the church as well. I am surrounded by church on all sides! Perhaps this constant exposure to it has made me a little callused to church. There’s not much that can be done about this though. I’m not about to quit my job or divorce my husband!
Yesterday during Sunrise Service, as I listened to one of the scripture readings, a tiny doubtful thought crept into my mind and immediately derailed me. “What if this story is just made up? It all seems so far-fetched, doesn’t it? I mean, of course all the disciples died defending this story, so it must be true, right? Oh my goodness – what am I thinking?” I just couldn’t shake the doubts out of my mind. This isn’t supposed to be happening, right? On Easter especially!
Last night I confessed this to Matt. I was shocked that he admitted that there are times he questions as well. He then shared that in those times he reassures himself by remembering that even if this is all just a fairy tale, that he’d rather spend his life living as though it were true instead of in the void of it being false. That’s a great point.
I then admitted that perhaps this is all my fault to begin with. I mean, my lack of personal bible study and personal prayer time could certainly have something to do with this momentary lack of faith. Also, I am sadly without a group to study and share with. When we were in seminary, I seemed to be surrounded by wonderful women of faith who were great for discussions, prayer, study, etc. When we moved to our first appointment, I locked in with a group of women who knew how to have fun and love the Lord together in very real ways. I have had a hard time coming up with something here in Veedersburg that measures up to either of those things. There is a very small group of women that I was meeting with regularly, but busy schedules and complicated life events have really put a damper on our meetings. Now Matt and I are getting ready to move, and I’m going to have to somehow find a whole new group. It’s all very exhausting to think about.
After I wrote my last post, I told Matt that, even though we spent hours talking about it, writing a blog post helped me to see things more clearly. Today I’m experiencing the same sort of clarity. Somehow writing about this makes it pretty clear that my personal faith isn’t going to just happen. I’m going to have to put some work into it to deepen it and strengthen it. Doubts and distance can be dealt with if I would only just devote some time to God.
As I type this, I can’t help but think of an old Nichole Nordeman song, “What If.” This video is quite terrible, but it’s nice to have the lyrics with it. Perhaps I’m not the first person to think “What If?”
So thanks for hearing me out today. I hope you all had a great Easter!
Great post, friend! I love your authenticity and honesty, and I love you. 🙂
You are not the first, and thanks be to God for this post to remind me that I am not alone in doubting either. God is easy for me when looking at nature, but Christ has been a more difficult faith for me over the last few years. Tears in my eyes at Easter service yesterday. My prayer has been lately oh how I want it to be true, but help my faith/unbelief. I stumbled upon an article last week that chronicled Mother Teresa’s journals and doubt.
I too miss the community at Asbury. The two-year Academy of Spiritual Formation through the Upper Room was a real gift when we moved. There is a new one starting this summer, and they do offer scholarships if it is something you are ever interested in. I’m guessing it is even more difficult as a pastors wife to find places that offer an environment that welcome authenticity.
I’m am always moved by the true nature of your personality. It is honest in every way regardless of what others think. It is never an “in your face, take me as I am” slap in the face. It is always a pure display of someone whom does not need your approval, for she knows that she is only what she is, no more, no less. I gladly volunteer to become part of any group or bible study when you arrive in Greenwood. I often talk about how I miss our group at Center, when we were young because it accepted all just the way they were. It was open and honest, just the way it should be.
I will take you up on that Jenni! It will be good to be in a group again – growing together. Thanks for your kind words. Love you!