To celebrate the October release of my book Thrashing About With God, and to expand the conversation beyond myself, I have asked 31 brave people to share a guest post with the theme of #IAmThrashing. These are people I have personally dialogued with, people who I know have risked a lot to wrestle with the hard stuff that comes with spirituality. Our faith may not look like yours, but we welcome you to the discussion.
It was about seven years ago that my Christian faith began to change. It was happening for both my husband and I, so I could trust that there was validity in what I was experiencing.
What we’d been taught growing up, the beliefs we held close, began to shift. I should clarify that it wasn’t as if they turned from white to black, but that we began to see them in a new light. As if a lamp on an arm had been moved to reveal things we’d never taken in to account.
Over the next several years our perspective changed. The things we had thought so important weren’t. I guess the easiest way to describe it is that we felt our hearts becoming more aligned with God’s in view of the world, church, etc. For us it was no longer about right-winged conservatism or having the best programs provided at church for the church crowd. It became about loving those far from God, the orphan, the poor; and not with an ulterior motive to “get them saved” but simply because that’s what Jesus did. Because that was what we saw when we read the Bible.
We began desiring “better” things when it came to our faith. And when I say “better” I mean things that aren’t tied up in morality for morality’s sake, but the willingness to get dirty in order to live a missional life.
Two years ago we saw outlets begin to open where this might occur. Answers to prayers we’d been praying for years. We began to see a light at the end of the dark road we’d been walking.
And then it happened. Or I should say, didn’t. Doors were closed. In a single night I watched as I lost my faith, my ability to hope & dream, my trust in God.
I felt utterly abandoned. I couldn’t trust God; I couldn’t have faith in Him any longer because what I expected to happen didn’t, and all I could believe in was that God didn’t hold up His end of the deal. I was beyond angry. My walls of defense went up quickly. Anything I heard about having faith and trusting God I allowed to slam against these thick walls and I turned a deaf ear and allowed my anger to fester a little more because really...
In the time since that night it has been a long road of healing. My faith was completely lost and I still am wondering if I have it, and if I do what that even looks like. I fight to allow myself to trust. The things that came so natural for me two years ago are now the things that require the greatest amount of effort.
I struggle to allow myself to be vulnerable with God, while still being honest about how hard this is. So many times I still feel that twinge of abandonment. I still see us out there adrift in the middle of the ocean.
I never thought I’d lose my faith, but it happened. I’m still thrashing, still trying to find everything I lost that night. It’s been a rebirthing and a relearning how to walk. Frankly, it’s been a relearning of everything, and the most painful of healings.
I still have walls up. I don’t want to hear someone’s platitudes about "letting go, and letting God" or "just have faith." If I can speak honestly, unless you’ve been here, unless you’ve had your faith plucked out like feathers, unless you’ve thrashed about with God, you can’t know what it feels like to stand empty-handed where faith once was.
And in all of this, in all the pain, with all the atrophied soul muscles, I’m learning that even this is part of my story.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences, and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.