I've been hesitant to write anything too personal lately due to several reasons. One is that our blog is becoming more about our little adventure. Two, I've been in such a funk lately I didn't want to write something I would regret. I had thought about starting a new website for personal reflection (and still might) so this can continue in the same way. But, for tonight I'm veering from baby talk specifically and moving towards a more general post.
There have been times in the past few months where I honestly believed I had lost faith. I felt like a pragmatic agnostic. I knew God existed but I'm not so sure if he cared about me. Nothing in the past year has gone according to plan. So, I thought if God had turned his back on me then I would return the favor. I was going through the motions of a loyal servant knowing in my head that my emotions were not right but I could do nothing about my heart. I was as lost as I've felt in a long time and alone. I had been burned out on the institutional church and continued to be disappointed. I knew my bitterness and anger had reached a breaking point when I wanted to basically tell God...well, something that would be inappropriate here. I was driving in my car to pick Tayler up from school and an older song came on the radio. It was "wake me up inside" by Evanescence. The words hit me hard- it probably sounds cheesy but the phrase "save me from the nothing I've become" just rang so true. I felt like I had become nothing doing nothing. I felt if I had disappeared I would barely be noticed. I know every person struggles with feelings of insignificance and this was my time.
It's been a long time since I've been pruned. Church had become comfortable to me- a routine. I was more comfortable with the routine of the Church rather than the being confronted by the Person of Christ. I did my duty, lead the Bible studies, said the prayers, offered counseling and hopefully inspired others to follow Christ. However, my heart had been wrapped in fear, worry and doubt for far too long. I was talking with a friend of mine who is a youth pastor and he said working with jr. high kids is good because they tend to just beleive and not question their faith. He figured we should follow their example sometimes. For me, I've stuffed the questions down for so long. I toed the company line with whatever particular church I was serving. Just in the past few years have I started really questioning and seeking real answers regardless of what is "acceptable". I want to get to the truth- and yes, I can handle it (I hope). I started wondering about what I really believed about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity, salvation, baptism, the Church and prayer. I even interviewed with a church and was able to discourse orthodox Christian beliefs. However, the truth of my struggle came out when I preached.
I am at a strange place in my journey. I feel a sense of loss and have, until recently, sensed very little hope. One of my greatest fears is to live a wasted life. I don't want to be searching for answers only to come to the end of my life and see that I was too afraid to move forward. One of my friends rebuked the spirit of fear over my life. I appreciate his prayers and have sensed more hope since then. But, I have to be honest and say that I am still at a place of confusion- which is probably exactly where God wants me to be. I just don't want to be at this same place in five or ten years stuck asking these same questions.
Update: You can go to here for future thoughts and writings.