The Value of Losing Our Faith

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I’m not sure what I believe these days.

I think I’m losing faith.

I don’t even like going to church.

I don’t know how to be a Christian any more.

Scarily honest statements. Beautifully raw. Terrifying to admit even to ourselves.

If you said them to the wrong person, they might have freaked out. And you may have gotten an earful of Christianese…those secret phrases and well known statements that only make sense to other Church People. There may have been panic on their faces. They might have interrupted you with Bible verses and prayer chains. I’m sorry!

Perhaps you have kept your doubts and questions to yourself because you don’t want to deal with the drama I just described. Maybe you are quietly drifting away.

If you are asking these kinds of questions and dealing with these types of doubt, I’m glad. I’m more than glad, I’m ecstatic!! I might also be crazy. 😉

I believe there is great value in losing our faith. In realizing that we don’t know everything. In living in the mystery of unanswered questions. It’s not something we should be afraid of…it’s something to welcome. Too often religious Christianity delights in straight answers, cut and dry theology, and blind faith. There isn’t room for doubt or questions. And that’s not okay.

God is definitely big enough to handle our doubt, confusion, and questions. They do not scare Him. I think He loves them!

Struggle isn’t a bad thing. Wrestling is good. Lean into it! Be fully present in this scary place of doubt. It is okay! You are okay. 🙂

Here’s the truth. There is much in modern Christianity that is just tradition and religion. We get so caught up in doing Christianity that we forget it’s about knowing and being. God gets neatly packaged in a pretty box, and we forget that He is not tame or containable. Our god becomes more of a concept than a Real and Powerful Being.

Guess what? We need to lose our faith. I want every one of you to lose your faith!

Because too often our faith is not actually in the real God. Our faith is in the Christian religion we were taught and the fake god we think we understand.

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Becoming disillusioned with our faith, feeling like we are losing it, is the first step to finding the real God for ourselves. Because He is real. He’s just might not be who we thought He was…

The real God will NEVER fit in the tiny box we make for Him. He is way too complex, enormous, and seemingly insane. I love that about Him!! We will never understand Him. There will always be more of Him to experience and explore.

And God wants to be found. He doesn’t make it hard for us. Even in the darkest seasons of history, He has always been available to those who sought. The Real God does not change.

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Will you come with me? Let’s struggle and wrestle, question and doubt. Let’s hunt for the Real God. And as we search, let’s remember one thing. There aren’t just two options…this complicated world isn’t just black and white. There are many answers in the middle ground. Truth is often found in tension…within two seemingly opposing realities. It’s not less of a truth just because we can’t totally wrap our minds around it. We are dealing with the God of the Universe after all.

So, go ahead. Lose your faith! It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. 🙂

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Peace that Doesn’t Make Sense

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Peace that doesn’t make any sense.

This is the kind of thing that proves God’s existence to me. There I am in a situation where I feel powerless, emotional, empty, stressed, worried, etc. But as I chose to give it to God, He supernaturally gives me “peace that surpasses understanding”…

It was my second miscarriage. It was also Valentines Day and I had to spend it in the hospital delivering my tiny, dead son. We had no living children at this point and had just experienced two late-term miscarriages all while being newly married and living eighteen hours from family. The nurse came in to ask me what I wanted to name my baby. We had no answers. This wasn’t supposed to happen again. How could God really be in control?

We chose to name our son Trust, (click here for the full story) taking a step of faith that we did not feel. And as I chose to trust God, I instantly felt powerful peace, peace without logic. My circumstances hadn’t changed, but my heart was at rest. It was so strange and so beautiful!

 

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A few years later my husband and I dealt with a tough situation where we felt used, abused, and then cast aside by someone we respected. We were left with hurt, anger, and bitterness. I struggled with that bitterness and anger for over a year. It was impossible for me to let it go, far beyond my own power to accomplish. But Jesus broke through, convincing me that it wasn’t worth holding on to. I didn’t think I could do it, but I gave Him my hurt and anger. He worked a miracle in my heart; even though nothing changed and no one ever apologized, my anger and bitterness dissolved and I was left with peace that made absolutely no sense.

 

I have recently been going through something that feels completely out of my control. For days my stomach was in knots, I had a sick taste in my mouth, and my heart would randomly start pounding. My emotions ranged from anger and frustration, to deep sorrow and despair, to worry and fear. Sleeping was a joke because as soon as I laid down my brain wanted to relive and process everything, AGAIN. I was a mess.

I knew that I needed to give it all to God, confess the parts where I was wrong, let go of my anger, and move on, but it seemed impossible. One night as I was checking Facebook before getting into bed, I found this post from Lysa TerKeurst.

“That battle? The one for which you’ve run out of solutions and answers… the one that makes you weary and worried and worn out?

God’s got it. I don’t know who else needs this truth, but I sure do.

My job is to be obedient to God. God’s job is everything else.” Lysa TerKeurst

That night I slept like a baby for the first time in a long while. And when I woke up?

I was at peace.

There is no way for this to humanly happen. Absolutely nothing in my situation, past or present, changed. But Jesus is real, friends! And He took my burdens and gave me peace that doesn’t make logical sense.

I know that many of you are desperate for this kind of peace, supernatural peace that only God can give, regardless of our circumstances. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible! I have seen Jesus do this in my life over and over again. Will you let Him give you peace? Will you let go and chose to trust Him regardless?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

When Life Falls Apart

 

choose to believe“Is any of this real? Does God really exist? If He does, is He really good? Does He really love me?” I sat at my desk, mind reeling, stomach in knots, staring at my phone, the recent call playing in my head.

Have you been here? I have, more than once. The place of heartbreak, disbelief, doubt, questions… It’s not fun. It hurts. It’s hard!

I was a couple of years out of the cult, had been on my own for about six months, was going to college, and working as a live-in nanny for a challenging family. It had been a hard six months. I did not love my job, at all. Suddenly, I discovered my dream job working with troubled teens! God brought it into my life in a way that HAD to be Him. I applied and got an interview; it was all going so perfectly! God was going to bless my hard work and faithfulness by giving me the job of my dreams! (Or so I thought.) But, then the phone call came…they hired someone else.

I thought I had a strong faith, until the bottom fell out. Now I was questioning, doubting, struggling with my beliefs…

Guess what? That was twelve years ago when I was a young (less mature) college student, but I just had a similar struggle this morning! (And there have been plenty in-between!) Doubt happens. This world hurts.

I don’t know what you are feeling today or what has happened to you. Maybe its the death of a loved one too soon, cancer or other illness, someone you love is still making bad choices, prayers that have gone unanswered for years… Or maybe you are just looking at the mess this world is in and feeling discouraged and drained.

Is God really real? Is He really good? What do we do with our questions and doubts?

I honestly don’t have any perfect answers, just my own experiences and the beliefs I cling to despite my doubt.

I think we embrace the doubt and we ask the questions. Don’t feel guilt or shame for doubting. If God is real, then He is big enough to handle them. And if He is good, then He will love us anyway and understand our struggling humanity. We wrestle through our emptiness and look at what the Bible says and the evidence around us. We remember the things God has done in us and others over the years and the prayers He has answered. I like to find someone who I know will speak truth to me, someone who will love me and not judge or condemn, someone who’s faith is stronger than mine at the moment, and I ask them to encourage me. But…

Ultimately, I just have to choose to believe.

Every time life falls apart… when I don’t get the job, when my babies died, when my prayers don’t get answered, when the childhood friend I’ve loved and prayed for forever still doesn’t love Jesus, when my husband and I are fighting or when he disappoints me, when people hurt me, when death happens… I have to choose to believe.

I choose to believe in the God I know exists even when I can’t feel Him. I believe in His goodness, and sovereignty (that He never loses control), and love for me. I believe that He has a plan and that nothing can stop Him. I believe that Jesus is always the answer. I hold on with determination even when I can’t feel Him. And so far, every time, He has come through, and met me, and held me. This strengthens my faith for the next time.

Where are you on the journey? Are you struggling? Doubting? Questioning? Determinedly holding on? Choosing faith? Trusting? Can you feel Him holding you?

I really didn’t want to write this blog this morning. I was a mess and I didn’t have anything to say. Then Jesus came, just in time, and now I get to write in humility and vulnerability. 🙂 I might be passionate, but I am not perfect. Not by a long shot! But I believe in the God who is!