It's no secret that I have struggled with the issues of faith since Joshua died.
At first, I struggled publicly, through my blog- posting my most deep and personal thoughts. Thoughts that scared me. Feelings and struggles with faith that, we, as Christians, aren't "supposed to" have.
I wrote honestly and from my heart about being angry at God. Often times using extreme words of anger and distrust.
I have somewhat shied away from writing what has truly been on my heart in an effort to really work on my thoughts and my faith. It's not been because I was worried what others might think. It was because I felt like I truly needed to examine who God is to me and take a deep look into my faith and figure out what is really important to me.
While it has been a good time of reflection for me, I would be lying to you if I didn't admit honestly that my soul is (still) weary.
I would be lying to you if I told you that finding a new church home and family is a first priority to me right now. It isn't.
I would even be lying to you if I told you that I was reading God's word every day. I'm not.
Gasp. Awkward Silence. Deep Breathe. Yeah. I'm going there with you and I'm not going to lie.
So here I am. Once again, sharing my struggles, openly and honestly. This doesn't mean that my faith is weak. It means that I'm dealing with some real issues that I think most believers deal with at some point in our spiritual journeys, but are too afraid to talk about. You know, because "Christians don't feel or think any of this because it would make God angry and prove that we aren't as strong as we say we are."
By admitting these things, it shows others that the world doesn't become all butterflies and rainbows after we accept Jesus' into our hearts. It shows that faith is often times hard work and extremely messy- something we don't like to think about.
But to be totally honest, there is a tension and a battle going on between my mind and my soul. This tension has become a thorn in my side, and I feel like if I don't do something to get rid of it, it's going to fester and become infected, causing greater damage in the long run.
My soul longs to love God- to trust Him with my past, present, and future. My heart loves Him with it's every fiber. My heart wants to praise Him for everything that He has done for our family- for the ways that He has brought me closer to Him, for the love that He has shown to me, even when I don't deserve it (which, since Joshua's death has become more and more frequent.), and for never abandoning me. My heart longs to feel Him near.
But I can't get my mind to listen. My mind tells me that I am hurt, that I miss my baby boy, and that it would be SO. MUCH. EASIER. if I would just blame God and forget about it all. My mind tells me that I have felt abandoned and alone, left to pick up the pieces of my life without anyone to help. My mind tells me that because I am thinking these things, that I'm really not worthy of God's love anyways.
It seems that lately, I struggle with the "petty-ness" of others problems.
I struggle with the "fairness" and feel nothing but bitterness about the single mom of 3 (healthy) children, all from 3 different fathers, who just doesn't seem to care for or even like her children at all.
I struggle with the words that have been said to me by those that I thought were there for the long run- "You don't have 3 children anymore- you only have 2." "You aren't grieving well." "You aren't healthy." "You need to be over this by now." "My perspective is so much clearer than yours, you need to stop questioning God."
I struggle with feeling abandoned in my greatest time of spiritual need- those around me too scared of getting dirty with the mess of my life. All the while, I don't want to be a "debbie downer" or a spiritual drain on anyone else.
I struggle with paralyzing fear that I am not in control. That any of my children or my husband could be taken from me at any time, and there isn't a darn thing I can do about it.
But here is the thing: My mind is a liar, but I just can't figure out how to get out of this slump. I can't find my desire to dig into God's word and truly let Him wash over me. I can't figure out a way to make my mind believe my heart. (even though I know my heart will win- I do TRULY love God.) I know deep down inside that God is still good. I know deep down that He deserves my praises. I know deep down that His plans are to prosper and never for harm- but how do I get past this mental road block?
I see God working in my life. He is bringing people into my life who truly love me and will walk, step by step, side by side, to help me figure this stuff out. I know that God loves me, despite my struggles and that His grace covers me. I know I will continue to move towards Him- He is rooted deeply in my soul and I AM NOT walking away. I just need to get past this road block.
As I continue working through it all, I covet your prayers and I thank you for sticking with me.