Quest for Faith – Part 2

One of the compelling things about the House of Night series is how much Zoey trusts in her Goddess, how she has conversations with her Goddess, and how she tries to make the decisions that Nyx would have her make. Of course Zoey struggles with her faith in her Goddess Nyx just as I struggle with my faith in God. There are many times where Zoey messes up, however, she never distrusts Nyx. I want to be at that point with my faith in God, where even when I mess up or when life is just tough, that I continue to put my faith in God despite the circumstances around me. Morgan in the Sweep series is the same, she’s entirely devoted to Wicca and immerses herself in it, she learns her history and her heritage and while she doesn’t understand everything, she is devoted to the Goddess. While I realize these are just stories, they show me where I want to be, they inspire me to trust.

When God says that all this crap works together for good for those who love him (of course, that’s my paraphrase), I need to believe that he really means that. When I can’t see in the dark, I need to trust that he means what he says. Yesterday my counselor and I talked about God and my perceptions of him, and how I thought that some people meant less to him than others, and that I was cynical and couldn’t understand why I had to go through certain circumstances while other people’s lives seemed so cushy right now. He challenged me to look back into my past, and see all the good and bad that happened, and how God used all of it to work good things in my life. While I have lost my husband, I don’t regret marrying him, I had four beautiful children with him and I got saved during the time I was with him. If I were still back in Australia I would quite possibly be dead or in jail, but God brought me to a completely new environment with just two suitcases full left of things out of the lifetime of things I had accumulated, and changed my life. Looking at it that way makes me grateful for the things I have gone through.

Since God has worked out all the other ugly things I’ve been through and used them for good, I need to trust that he can do that with my current circumstances, especially because I have seen him do it time and time again. My situation does not have him confused, nor is he surprised by it. I need to trust that he knows what he is doing and what he is allowing. But some days that just ain’t so easy, and my faith does waver. Jesus is the light of the world, so when I am walking in darkness like I am currently, I need to look to him, so that I can see the path. I don’t want my faith to be driven with the wind and tossed, not only is it confusing and unstable, but it completely sucks. In the words of Psalm 23: ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, thou anointest my head with oil; my cupt runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ Psalm 23:5-6 (KJV – King James Version was what I memorized this Psalm in when I was just a small child).

There was something that I read today that just spoke to me in a major way. ‘After this a lot of his disciples left. The no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?” Peter replied: “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”‘ John 6:66-69 (NIV). This is an important Scripture and an important declaration. That is why even in the hardest things I have ever yet had to face, I am still a Christian. Like Peter said, there is nobody else to go to, Jesus is the one that has changed my life. I’ve already committed my life to him. So while others in similar circumstances might turn their back on God, I have not been able to do that, and it’s more to do with Jesus and his beauty than any great accomplishment on my part. I’m mesmerized with Jesus and I can’t forget what he has done for me.

This is just scratching the surface of the things that I have been meditating on lately, but I have to say that I am thankful to the few people who have really stood up and challenged me and made me rethink the very way that I view God and the way that I “do” faith. There is so much more that has been going through my mind, so many more thoughts to put down, so I will be back.

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Quest For Faith – Part 1

Over the past several months, my faith has taken a beating, and it has wavered, like it talks about in the book of James, tossed by the wind any which way. I’m going to be writing a series of posts about my quest for faith, because I find that writing helps me sort out my thoughts. But I want those of you who read this to know that I am not making definite statements in this series, I am merely asking questions, trying to figure out where I need to go from here, and ultimately answer the question: “do I choose to trust God, or not?” 

I mean, I know I *need* to trust God, but actually doing it is so much harder. There are times (many times lately) where I have my doubts about God’s goodness, my doubts about whether he truly loves me or values me or even really cares what goes on in my life. Many times I have felt like I didn’t matter to God, and that I am invisible to everyone else. I’ve been asking tough answers, and frankly I have been assuming that God was doing things that he may not have been doing that I have blamed him for anyway. 
My church family is my family, they love and support me when everyone else is turned against me. I’m certainly not perfect and not even a person that is vital to the church. Right now I’m prickly and emotional and can’t always relate to people the way I want to, and yet they still love and support me. I’ve screwed up so many times and rather than condemn me, they’ve been there to help me up and to grow and to change. I can’t express how much I love these people, and am thankful that God placed me in this particular family. He knew it was the one that I would need. One day, I hope I am as valuable to the church as they have been to me, I hope that I can help and support them the way they have me. But right now, while I’m hurting and there is darkness that I cannot see through, those in the church who can see further than I, who have been further than I, are there holding my hand and guiding me through this. And every time I’ve been a jerk and screwed up, I’ve been met with forgiveness. 
I have so many thoughts going around in my head, several things that I have been struggling with that some people have really challenged my thinking about, as in, rocking my world. As I cried in frustration and said some of the things that I was feeling, a friend challenged me to quit blaming God for things that seem really crappy right now, and to trust God instead. She directed me to the verses in James chapter 1 where it talks about those whose faith wavers are just tossed every which way by the wind, letting every little thing that happens change the direction of their faith. Her words were convicting and they stung deep down in my soul, and while I jokingly told her I didn’t like her right now, God was using her. She never told me I was an idiot to be doubting God, never told me off, she just calmly and softly spoke to truth to me even though I had just been yelling at her in frustration. She’s a gem, and she will know exactly who she is when she reads this. I was ugly to her, but she was beautiful to me, and challenging me to think about the bigger picture, and the implications of my faith being tossed around in the breeze. She said that faith that didn’t trust God wasn’t really faith at all, and I know she is right. She usually is. 
So here I am re-evaluating some core issues of my faith. I still believe in God, I am a Christian and Jesus has been doing some amazing stuff in my life and I love him. But it’s time to get down to business and really think some of these things through, and then choose whether I am going to trust him completely and with abandon. It’s what I need to do and I know it, but in the meantime I have a couple questions and struggles that I have been working through, and today was a major breakthrough for me in a major area, but alas, I shall have to leave the details of that for another day. 🙂