In case you didn't know
I'm surfing a major wave of doubt. Not necessarily doubt in God or the existence of God...it's more about the parameters of faith, specifically MY faith. I'm coming from a fairly conservative background and currently in a pretty liberal setting, so there's a lot of input to sort.
In talking to, and reading from, others who, like me, have undergone radical shifts in their understanding of Christianity, I've found a common theme: doubting almost always comes with a sense that God is not near. When your faith is strong, you feel close to God. When you begin to falter, or question, or re-evaluate, God feels further off.
Faith is more than feeling
I won't heartily sing praises for every aspect of my faith upbringing, but there are some important foundational things that my family and my church got right. One of these is the understanding that God isn't the one who moves closer and grows distant. It is we who are moving. We shift, and so our perception of God shifts. But I was always taught that, no matter what, God is here, right here, and that we either live in that truth or fail to see it.
I remember sharing this with friends when they would lament about God's distance. I would read the Psalms wherein David was wailing about how God had left him, and I would hope that somewhere, at some point, David would have realized that what had changed wasn't God's distance, but David's ability to see God in his circumstances.
Back in 2006, I learned some lessons about God's faithfulness - big, huge, life-altering lessons that had an immediate and lasting impact on me. Though I can't say I never doubt the existence of God or the role of the Bible, I can't conceive of God without faithfulness. If there is a God, then he(/she/it) is faithful.
The feeling remains that God is on the journey too.
For years, and maybe since day 1, I've included a statement from St. Teresa of Avila somewhere in the layout of this blog. (For a while now it's hung out in the About Me section.) I don't remember where I first read this statement, but it has served as a comforting reminder for years now.
Not only is God faithful, but God is on this journey - every journey - with me. If I could ever be sure of God, I would be sure of this.