faith · Grief · grief support · On My Heart · Uncategorized

Wavering Faith- with a wide open heart

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Recently a reader wrote to me and shared about her losses, and the struggles she has had with her faith.  She said,

“The reason I’m writing you is because your faith has never wavered…..I guess I just want to know how you do it.”

First, I’m sorry if I have painted a picture of unwavering faith. I am so very, very sorry. It is so untrue. And as I tell my story, I have promised to tell the truth.

This “wavering faith” part of my story is a hard truth for me to tell.

As our therapist explained recently, it is not uncommon during loss to have matters of faith either driven deeper or to become shaken up a bit (or a lot).

So here I am. And I don’t know what to say.

But I’ll just say it.

My faith has wavered, vacillated, and been shaken to the core.

I have asked many questions. Questions that have no good answers. I don’t have to tell you the questions. If you’ve struggled with your faith in any crisis in life, you don’t need me to help you formulate the questions. They are there.

I’m still asking them. I still don’t understand. This still makes no sense to me.

It never will.

My faith is being stripped down to the bare essentials.

I have chosen to believe that God is good even when I don’t get this mess we are in.

I have chosen to believe because my history with Him has shown this to be true.

Yet, trust me there are days when I question that too.

That He gave us Matthias, that one little boy exuded love with such intensity, speaks of God’s goodness. I have that, as well as many other points in my history that clearly cry out to my heart, “Remember that God is good.”

But there are strings of platitudes and trite expressions that fall very short of explaining this great loss. They get thrown around like a bandaid given to someone who’s limb is severed. They don’t work. They are much better left unsaid.

My hand are shaking, my faith is broken, my eyes so weary from searching for answers, yet I try to keep my heart open to hear Him when He’s ready to speak to me again.

For now, it has been very silent, but I sure am ready to hear Him say something.

So to you, my friend, to you who has lost, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry for the pain. I’m sorry your heart has been shaken too. I reach out to you without answers, but with Love and Grace and Compassion.

I’m going to leave you with these thoughts from my friend John Pavlovitz,

Right now, at the core of it all is this simple truth: I so love you and I so hate this for you.

And because of that, I too find myself now with only tears and terrible sounds as an offering.

This is far less than what I wish to give you and much less than you deserve, but it is all that I have of worth as you suffer and wait.

Read full post HERE. 

And I tell you this one thing, in the midst of the shaking hands and the wavering of my spirit, I have chosen to keep my heart wide open. And what I am finding is that slowly in precious, sacred moments I am feeling LOVE, and LOVE always points me to Him.

And to those of you reading in, unable to understand this,  I ask you please do not answer back with words that could bring pain. Consider this:

I sit suffering in solidarity with you, here in the absolute wrongness of it all. 

I don’t come with easy, lazy platitudes about the greater plan or the silver lining or the valuable lessons of all of this hell you are now enduring. Those are things that only time can show you anyway.

– John Pavlovitz

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5 thoughts on “Wavering Faith- with a wide open heart

  1. Almost 3 yrs ago – I was just a regular nerdy homeschooling mom in A small Georgia town.I had 4 biological kids (aged 16, 11, 10, & 9) as well as a 2 yr old boy and 1 yr old twins that had lived with us since their birth. Yes, almost 3 years ago – we were THAT FAMILY. The one that had those ‘3 extra black babies’ and everybody looked at us funny. Almost 3 yrs ago my heart was gloriously full. And then…almost 3 yrs ago, my husband of 15 years…very calmly… told me he was gay…got in his car…and drove away. We have never seen or heard from him again. I am now a single mom of 7 kids. My husband KNEW the bible. He could quote scripture all day. But when he left, he told me told me to ‘put them all in foster care if you can’t take care of them’. Really. It sounds so made-up and silly. But…it’s not. So now…almost 3 years later…we are THAT FAMILY. The one with all the mismatched kids and a mom that relies on God every minute of every day. Not really because I WANT TO, but because…well…because its all I’ve got. He knows what I mean by that. He’s not upset with my honesty. He knows I don’t even have the right words to make sense of it all. Anyway, your blog brings me…relief. Yes, I think that’s the right word. Relief to FEEL. RELIEF TO KNOW ANGUISH. TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT. RELIEF *NOT* TO APLOGIZE FOR THE CRUSHING WEIGHT OF IT. So…thank you. Thank you for the RELIEF of your real-ness.

  2. Oh dear one, thank you for your vulnerability and for trusting me with your story. I’m glad my honesty brings you relief.

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