A year ago May, I hit my first real patch of doubt after more than 35 years of being a Christian. It was a scary time and I wrote several posts about doubt, starting with Doubting at Last.
I pulled out of that phase sometime later in the year, only to be hit last spring with a distance from God and new bouts of doubt that I described in My Dusky Hour of the Soul
The summer wasn’t so bad if only because I was having fun being creative with our kitchen and bathroom.
Since the job hunt began in earnest, I’ve become more aware that I waver between feelings of doubt, distance, and tentative faith.
A recent email to some friends indicates how I felt last week when the job searches for both my husband and me appeared very bleak:
I would appreciate prayer. At this moment, I think God exists and prayer works.
But last week, and off and on over the past year or so, I’ve suffered a loss of faith, a loss of my assurance that He IS and He is with me, and a loss of hope.
And I get very angry and depressed about it.
… I took up job hunting when I returned from [our seminar] and the kids went back to school. My husband has decided to look outside of the church for a job, too. And I gotta tell you, it ain’t pretty out there in job hunting land…
I met with [a local spiritual director] the other day, who many of you know…. We shared our stories and his now sounds like my husband’s and mine used to: strong sense of God’s calling, being part of a huge [ministry] movement, seeing God work through us, being part of a community, being taken care of by God, etc.
Instead of feeling encouraged, however, I felt depressed. Instead of being excited about how God was using this guy, I was jealous and angry.
Have you forgotten us, God?? What about the “good works that You prepared beforehand” for US to walk in??
For years, I mean YEARS, I never understood why Christians complained to God and about God’s plan for their lives. Heck, didn’t they get Romans 8:28 and 32??
Now I am one of those whiners.
I dreamt last night about some old church friends and the dream conveyed just how angry I am at the church, too, for letting me down.
Oddly, God (or is it just some psychological event??) has been doing some very disruptive things in my life [recently]. But despite these happenings, I sometimes feel like an outsider looking in. Oh, I know all the lingo, but is this just because I’ve been part of this Christian subculture for so long? Or is it true? I came to [our seminar] feeling exactly this way, and left a bit more tied in and believing because of you all.
But I still have bad days when I honestly think that the only thing that keeps me going is the fact I am a Mom. I don’t feel much hope otherwise.
But on the better days, I am pretty sure that God is doing some major surgery, that He wants a new Copernican revolution in my heart where my greatest longing is to pursue Him and to live for His glory, not just for a sense of His presence or guidance or calling or purpose….
Anyhow, if you BELIEVE, could you pray for us and for our jobs…? And if you’ve been here before, I’d love to hear your story.
That’s the end of my email and the end of this post…. More in posts to come