No, I don’t think my faith is fake. I know it is very real and sustains me through the solid rocks as well as the muck and the mire of life. I more than realize without God, I’d be rocking in a corner somewhere repeating ineligible words to myself. Or worse.
Even still, I find myself right smack in the middle of my own crisis regarding my faith. I spend a lot of time questioning my depth. Am I really rooted in the word of Christ? Rooted firmly such that the storms of life can’t blow me down? I would say yes…. yet, my heart still feels unsettled. Something short of peaceful. Lacking a certain element of joy. Wouldn’t a truly faithful person have peace that passes all understanding? A joy in the middle of sorrow that only Christ is the explanation of? I’ve been there before – even when things seemed they couldn’t get harder, I was peaceful. Where does that peace go? And what do you do to find it again?
In the middle of these personal battles, I push myself to remember the truth of the word of God. The truth about exactly where that doubt and confusion comes from. And well really, where it does not come from. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” My struggles delight the enemy and break the heart of my Lord. The Good Shepherd protects his flock and would lay his life down for them, how can I believe he would have left me or forgotten me? Although, I do. Forget.
For those of us who believe in the word of God, this is relatively easy concept intellectually to grasp… God loves me and will protect me and wants to bring the best for those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Rom 8:28). I guess just due to the amazing complexity in which we are created, our hearts struggle to grasp what our mind understands and times our mind can’t grasp what our heart feels. At least that’s true for me. It’s hard to believe the goodness of the Lord is meant even for me with all my many faults and times I have let him down. Then, on top of my own self persecution, add in all the outside forces of a fallen world pressing hard into our fears and insecurities reminding us daily we couldn’t really be that loved. If you really understand grace and mercy, you are full aware none of us deserve God’s love – but that’s a different subject. Don’t get hung up there – grace and mercy are to be celebrated, not more cause for fear. Remember, fear is not of God!
Like me, if you have times of such deep heart struggle you convince yourself you’ve just been faking faithful all along… don’t fake being okay. You only hurt yourself and potentially, your relationship with Christ more. Be real with what you are going through, feeling and thinking. God’s shoulders are plenty big enough for our frustrations and discontent. Only at the foot of the cross will we find the peace we so long for.
Find a trusted source of Godly wisdom to remind you the things your heart is currently forgetting. Whatever you do – just don’t let it stop you from seeking Him. Don’t give up. I won’t.
Remind me? I’ll remind you too….
In His Grip, Ashlee
Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father God, thank you so much for never loosening the grip you have on me. My soul grows weary and I question so many things in myself, yet you hold on. I even find myself questioning you, Lord, and even still you hold on totally understanding my personality enough to know where my weaknesses are. Where I am weak, God make me strong allowing YOUR power to work in my failings. God, may my struggles allow someone else to face their struggle stronger as well. May we all continue seeking peace in you. In Jesus name, Amen.