This is part of my series 100 Days: Waiting for a Rainbow.
So far on this 100 Days journey, I’ve said very little about my faith. If you’ve been around a while, or browsed back through my old entries, you’ll see a lot more of it. Faith, hope, trust… they’re there, sometimes very blatantly, sometimes more subtly. This new series hasn’t ventured into that territory much.
I’ve been feeling a bit convicted about it, because I want to accurately chronicle the things weighing so heavily on my heart and mind, and honestly the faith angle of things has been buried under all the other thoughts and emotions and feelings. But at the same time, it isn’t gone and it is a very real part of this journey. The bedrock I suppose, which is why it often feels so buried.
It is no secret that since William, my walk with Christ has been a challenge. A deep challenge. A shake-you-to-the-core-what-do-I-do-now challenge.
There have been dark moments on this path. Moments that I’ve looked at my husband and said “I don’t want to do this any more. Having any sort of faith is too hard.” Sunday mornings where bed is the only place I want to be, and life group meetings I’ve missed with the comfortable excuse of pregnancy exhaustion.
Those are the moments when all of the complex matters of theology and doctrine begin to war with one another. Where the compassion of Christ is lost amid what I should believe, and what faith says, and what the evidence of every day life on this earth seems to describe. Where text book training and decades of sermons seem to contradict one another. When you want to believe that God is good and loving and kind, and yet you live in a real world where children die and marriages hit rock bottom and families are starving and wars seem unending…. well, its hard to feel there is anything good or loving or kind in this universe.
I’d reached a bit of an impasse with God. Through the early months of my pregnancy, I kept telling Him I was withholding judgement on who He truly was. If He would let this baby live, than maybe He wasn’t so awful; but if this baby died too, that would be the end of us. I would find something else, or nothing at all, to believe in.
I had some light spotting at one point early in my pregnancy, and that moment was so indicative of how my walk with Christ has been since William. As we sat in the doctor’s waiting room, my husband was busily texting pastors and prayer supporters asking for prayer. I was sitting there, too scared to pray. When you have prayed and begged and hoped and trusted for healing, and it doesn’t come, it is very hard to put your fragile soul on the line and pray and beg and hope and trust again. It was as if part of me believed that if I didn’t ask for everything to be okay, I wouldn’t be disappointed if it wasn’t okay, and I could preserve the delicate shreds of my faith.
So God and I sat at this impasse. I waiting for Him to move, He sitting silently and patiently for only He knows what.
Then there was Easter.
As I sat in church Easter morning, I was trying so hard to feel happy and content in a God who doesn’t always preserve the physical lives of our loved ones, but is fully capable of preserving their souls for eternity. I was trying to settle into the trust that William is safe within His arms, and that should the worst happen with Squishy, he would be safe too. It was a bitter pill to try and swallow with anything resembling joy. So I confess I wasn’t paying much attention to the sermon, but instead mounting yet another Jacob-esque wrestling match with God.
As I wrestled, I heard the still, small voice. The one that is too quiet in this loud, screaming world. The one you really have to try to hear. And we started a form of catechism.
Who do you think I am?
Honestly, I have no idea.
What has you so confused?
Everything. Free will. Predestination. God’s love. God’s sovereignty. God’s goodness. Healing miracles. Life. Death. All of it. Everything is confusing.
Do you believe I love you?
I don’t know.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ was a real, physical person.
Do you believe that you are a sinner in need of salvation.
Do you believe Jesus Christ suffered death in the form of crucifixion and that this can save you?
Do you believe Jesus Christ rose again and that this gives you eternal life?
My dear child, you believe the very core of the Gospel. You believe the one and only thing required to be my child. As we walk, you will grow in other things. You will grow in faith and hope and love and charity. You will come to know Me as I truly am. For now, be content in what you do and can believe. This is the faith of a child, who does not need to know of complex doctrines and difficult theological concepts, and it is enough. Be still and know I am God.
It isn’t much. It’s small and weak, a bit like my rose bushes after this harsh winter, twiggy and lacking leaves, finally chopped back to the ground. It took some time, but those rose bushes are growing like crazy. They’ve just now burst into bloom and look radiant. I’m trust my faith will, too.