The title of this post pretty much sums up how I have felt the last few months. At one point I wondered if I was having a faith crisis. That turned out not to be the case. At other times I have felt like I was living on people’s prayers. I was somewhere in between having a little faith and living on a prayer.
Now take a step back though and picture this . . .
Think of someone taking your life as you know it and writing down all the aspects of it, then taking the piece of paper and ripping it into small pieces. Now picture a fan starting and making all the scraps of paper fly around into the air. You try to grab on to them but they are flying around and you can’t quite grasp them. This is exactly how my life felt a few months ago. Chaos had struck. I started to think, what is true in the world? Who is trustworthy? Is anyone even trustworthy?
Everything I knew to be true and right in the world ceased to exist. When my life got to this point, I still knew that God existed on a cognitive level, but I felt lackadaisical about everything in life. Crying out to God and feeling a strong sense of wanting for anyone or anything just didn’t happen. I was numb. Angry. Hurt. Mad. I was in a fog.
I believe that Christians are saved by grace. Since we are saved by grace we can do nothing to earn God’s favor and we do not deserve God’s favor. This saved by grace mentality affects how I think of suffering. I do not think God owes me a happy life but I didn’t trust anything. I knew in my head I didn’t deserve anything but I wanted so desperately to cling to something.
Knowing that God understands about the loss of relationships and suffering kept me rooted in my faith. In Tim Keller’s book entitled The Reason for God, he discusses the significance of God sending His son to earth and the effect this has on suffering. Keller points out that if we lose the relationship of an acquaintance the effect is not nearly as large as when we lose the relationship with someone much closer to us. He went on to say, “Christian theology has always recognized that Jesus bore, as the substitute in our place, the endless exclusion from God that the human race has merited” (pg. 24).
I also realized that the way people treat us can affect the way we see God’s love. Even though God’s love is perfect, we may relate it to how people love us and confuse the two types of love. This skews our view of God’s perfect agape love.
Skipping forward, eventually the fog slowly lifted. Friends and family lifted my head and led me in the right direction. I found some people who were trustworthy. Instead of taking care of other people, I had to let people take care of me. In these circumstances, some of the most unexpected people helped me see clearly. All I could say was thank you. I can’t repay these people for their help and kindness; I can just express my gratitude.
I started to feel more emotion. As I did, the song entitled “blessings” by Laura Story comforted me. I still listen to the song almost daily. (http://bit.ly/laurastoryblessingsong)
Part of the lyrics say:
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.
How true are these words. My healing has come through tears and sleepless nights. Now I am forming a new life and, as I do, I am excited about what God has in store for the future. My life will look much different than I thought it would a year ago. This can be scary, but it’s my new reality.
My faith is still there. God never left, my emotions just numbed out. I am still not one hundred percent back to normal, but my emotions are closer to normal than they were a few months ago. When my emotions and old self came back, feeling that sweet connection with God feels that much sweeter.
Thank you to all my friends and family for all your prayers and support. I wouldn’t trade my friends for anything. They are rock solid and loyal. Tonight I lay my head down singing praises to Jesus and as I do I will be singing Amazing Grace . . . thank you Jesus for saving a wretch like me. I am hanging on for the ride . . . http://bit.ly/amazinggracesong
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
This blog post was originally published on Sarah’s personal blog.