Believing Again

a-walk-in-the-garden.jpgOnce upon a time (it has to start this way you know) there was a little girl who believed in God and Jesus and in angels.  She believed that no one was ugly and that people everywhere were good.

Of course, as stories go, she learned that not everyone was good.  Still God seemed to be someone she always felt close to, despite the way that other people around her acted.  As a teen, she talked her family into attending a non-denominational church and found comfort in the music and the words that sometimes touched her heart.  Her love for God and his son grew to be a desire to serve and to love.

So, when her family changed churches and became active in a very strict church, with lots of rules and guilt and unbending ideas about what God wanted from her she did her best to conform.  Believing that God asked these things of her, rather than man, over a period of 20 years, she burned herself out in the service of others.  Once she married a man from the same church and had children she became obsessed with her devotion and commitment to making sure her family did all that was expected.  What a good and honorable person she thought she was!

And then she fell.  Like Alice she fell a very long way down and she lost God and she lost Jesus.  She suddenly wasn’t sure if they even existed.  She didn’t fall because she did something wrong (though that’s what they all thought and said while whispering behind their doors), it was because she began to ask questions.  The questions were intense and they went against everything she had been living up to that point and against everyone in her life.  If she didn’t believe the answers she could stay comfortably numb.  If she did believe she could become angry at having spent most of her life sacrificing for something that wasn’t correct. If she didn’t ask questions she could spend a lifetime in servitude to a God she didn’t recognize anymore.  If she did ask the questions she could be shunned, lose her relationships, be hated and avoided; she would be alone.

Loving truth more than security though, she asked. And as quickly as the sun can come up in the morning she was suddenly very alone.  No more friends and no more family to support her daily.  Only her children were there, confused by the anger of the others toward this mother everyone used to love and now called names; this woman the family said they needed to be rescued from. It was all very upsetting but the answers she got were even worse.  The answers made God seem like a very unkind God. The answers she got made Jesus seem like one more locked gate to God; one more hoop to jump through.  So she stopped thinking about it all together for many years.

Then one day she heard the music and those comforting words again.  She wanted to believe but, instead, she fought not to drink the Kool-Aid.  She missed God; the apprehension about the desire to find Him was stronger than the fear that she actually wouldn’t be able to. She was afraid to put herself out there; afraid to trust God again and afraid to even say the name of Jesus out loud.

And then, in all of these questions, in all of these small moments of prayer, all these crazy moments of grief and of understanding, all these moments of asking for answers that made some type of sense; In all of these moments she became quietly Christian.

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Responses

  1. That is very good.

    Like


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