Friday, April 29, 2016

On Faith: Where Did Mine Go?

"Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.  When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory."       
-- 1 Peter 1:7, The Message

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'd know that I am a Christian.  I've been a Christian all my life, but I didn't really start "walking with the Lord," as they say, until maybe four or five years ago.  I started going to church a lot, and I joined bible studies.  I even started a prayer group at my job.  Most importantly, I learned what it really means to have a relationship with God--what it means to talk to Him, and hear from Him and to really live your life in a way that honors Him.  

I think everyone's faith is tested in hard times.  Jesus had to walk a desert for 40 days, and He was tested and tempted.  And the bible is filled with examples of these types of tests, as well as a few tips on how to "pass" them.  

I don't know what I'm even trying to say here..but maybe I've failed my test.  After my miscarriage, I stopped praying. I stopped going to church. And I stopped reading the bible. I still have a relationship with God, but it isn't how it used to be.  I still believe in God, and I think I always will.  I tried to imagine myself as someone who doesn't believe in God...and it just didn't make sense...not for me.  

I believe in God, but I've stopped believing in other things, like other promises and scriptures I learned throughout my life.  Actually, I think I still believe them, however I read and interpret them differently. 

Sometimes I wonder, maybe this all happened--the miscarriage and all my kidney issues-- to show me whether I really have what it takes to be a Christian.  And lately I've been thinking, maybe I don't.  

"You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box.  But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice.  Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?"
--C.S. Lewis, from A Grief Observed

I went to church for the first time recently, after being gone for about six months.  I decided to return for my church's monthly women's service, which only view as "half church."  I managed to sit through the songs and the message, but left before prayer.  A prayer without faith is meaningless.  

Maybe it's OK to be shaken, in what we believe. Maybe every negative thought and every doubt that we have about God or who He is or "His promises" as we Christians like to say, maybe it isn't all a "lie from the enemy."  Maybe it's just us trying to wrap our heads around every fucked up situation that comes into our lives.  Maybe every emotional breakdown can't be fixed with "God is good" and "God has a plan."  Who knows. I definitely don't know.  

Anyway, I don't know where I'm going with this post. But I really felt the need to be open about where I'm at with my faith because I have so many posts on this blog related to my beliefs.  And the ups and downs with my faith are part of my miscarriage story, and my transplant story, so I can't leave those parts out.