Besides the very real pandemic fog, the survival mode within my walls, the struggle to step outside of the walls at times, I did not expect to hit the proverbial spiritual wall that happens when your faith is finally worn down.
But, I did.
And, it became apparently clear when something of this American Church Culture triggered the blinders to fall from my heart's eyes and unveil a germinated seed of doubt. It's creeping roots had entwined my intellect, my worldview, and the belief that I had proclaimed all along.
It's easy to ignore growing doubt when you've weathered the storm of a spouse's deconversion and find yourself still active in church. At least going through the motions is distracting enough to get you by.
And, it's fairly common, I think, to ignore the growing doubt when you're choosing sides based on agendas and social issues and science--justifying social constructs and ideas according to God makes us feel like we are on solid ground, even if it's a manipulation. At least doubt's warning is suffocated out by the noise.
I had focused all my energy on Who I was in Christ, and lost sight of Christ only. It's easy to do in this culture of Me, Self, Identity, Redefining. Self-centered, seeking for fulfillment, wanting to get something out of it FOR ME.
And, unfortunately, many of us...I am first in this...have bought into this focus. When the people of God are fickle in their foundation--swayed by intellect and explanation--there is little sacred space left to fill with fresh air. There is only a vice of certainty clamping hard on the vessels of the Spirit.
A few weeks ago, I stood with my back to the wall, and I dared God to not let me walk away from Him all together. The mud and muck of human fingerprints on every aspect of Him--on His Truth, His Holiness, His creation--made me so sick of the fabrications that I thought life might be easier without the "Him" whom folks have been attaching to every single decision and response.
I want nothing to do with faith if it's so easily manipulated to conform to an agenda.
So, I sit with an empty coffee mug, an open Bible, and a charging cell phone, and my heartbeat crashing into all my perceptions, bound and determined to obliterate my doubt once and for all.
And, maybe God is using my doubt to transplant me on a new path in this journey. Because, feeling along the wall--instead of walking away or climbing up and over, God is drawing me down into the roots of His own heart, revealing--or perhaps reassigning--what faith in my life should really look like.
Through delving deep in theology, experiencing worship in renewed ways, in hanging on for just one more season, and mostly forgetting myself for now, He is showing me sacredness, purity, and His purpose again. I am suddenly aware that the Holy things that I gave up along the way in pursuit of finding myself, are desperately needed in pursuit of laying self down to pursue Christ. I am discovering how to quiet the noise by the acceptance of mystery and not needing answers. By realizing that no matter what I think, God is to be glorified and worshipped foremost--without any agenda or explanation.
So, What do I do with a faith crash?
I forget myself. I put my opinions and ideas and judgements on pause. And I seek out places where He alone is worshipped, with no persuasions on how I should think or be, because it really isn't about me. If I am going to continue on a faith journey, then for Heaven's sake, please don't let it be about me.
Only God. Only He whom every Scripture was written to reveal. No agendas or platforms or identity-crises. No cultural trends or necessities. Only all things pointing to the One who is at the very core of humanity.
And in so focusing only on that, may my heart and mind and soul find its center again.