I’ve been a Christian for more than 2 decades, but I feel like those first 15 years don’t count, because all though I was engaged in Christian worship from an early age, I was ignorant of what most of it meant, and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I discovered some of the deep, soul-searching questions that ought to begin a person’s faith in God. It is for this reason that I believe I am struggling with my faith now. It’s why I struggle with putting my whole-hearted trust in God. When I strip away the Churchenese Platitudes and the over-preached Bibleisms, when I’m alone with my thoughts, my pain, and my confusion, I have no idea who God is.
I have hit this wall before in my journey. I made it to a place where, after I had backed away from church and Christians, I started to pay attention to the things I told myself I believed and thought, stripped down to the bare minimum, and asked God to help me get “back” to a place where I could trust him. Now, A year later, it seems like none of that happened. I don’t know what I did to screw it up, or if it’s just a part of this “journey,” but I feel like once again, God has hid his face and I don’t know who he is or how to trust him. I’m in a season of famine in my life. Spiritual, emotional, financial famine, and I can’t seem to find a way out of it or a way to be okay during the process. I get frustrated with God hourly because I feel like I can’t trust him again. I feel like this “barren season,” is actually just a barren life and that he’s telling me to just deal with it when I don’t know how.
It’s in the midst of this anxious circumstance that I am trying to find out who I’m supposed to be putting my trust in. I’m reading the book of Ephesians and Paul’s prayers for the saints all mention something about knowing God, and my prayer is, “yeah, God, show me who you are, because right now, I don’t know.” I’m finding myself doubting everything I’ve ever been taught about God…again, and having to find reasons to believe that yes, he is good, and yes, he does love me. The Bible is full of scriptures that talk about the goodness of God, but it’s really like reading statements about some relative I haven’t met. I can’t remember the last time my relationship with God felt real and solid, and I can’t remember how to get back there.
My prayer up until this point has been something to the effect of “God, fix my life,” and “God, where are the blessings you promised for those who serve you?” Now, I think I have to shift it to “God, give me a reason to trust you,” and “Show me who you really are.” Once again, somewhere in my core, I can’t deny God’s existence, even in the midst of my deepest anguish. I believe there is a God, and I believe that Jesus Christ is his son, but I need to have a better look at him, because right now, I’ve got everyone else’s word for it, and I need proof. I need a reason to hope, because I’m weak and discouraged. I need to know that I’ll be okay, because people quoting arbitrary scriptures at me that tell me all is well is not cutting it anymore. I need to know for myself that those words are true, and right now, darn my honesty, I don’t. Again. Why can’t my faith just be established. If my entire life is going to be a roller-coaster of doubt and fear, then I don’t know how I’m gonna make it.
God, I believe you’re real, so prove to me that those who trust in you will not be put to shame.