Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Crisis of Belief

Today is my spiritual birthday. I'm 19. I had Little Bit sing Happy Birthday to me all day. She loved it, but kept wondering why I didn't have any presents. I found the "spiritual" birthday was a little hard to define for the 2.5 year old brain. But I just told her I shared this birthday with Jesus and that seemed to suffice. She's a big fan of His.

Carter's comment, on the other hand, was "Oh, your 19? Hmph. I've been in the Book of Life 2 years longer than you!" Uh...thanks my sweet husb. I wanted to tell him my life expectancy was 2 years longer than his so we would even out, but I kept quiet. Didn't want to be the one-upper. :)

I've been sort of following a story (blog) of a lady I don't know, very near my age and stage of life, who has faced the most tremendous loss I could ever dream of - her child. I have been moved to tears, I've laughed my head off, and I've been given more to think about than anything I've read in a long time. I guess it's because it's her very real, everyday thoughts about her faith, or lack thereof on a lot of occasions, and God's triumph in her life. I have followed her story for a while now, seen the highs, seen the lowest of lows, and seen a faith I couldn't imagine. But what moved me the most was hearing her come to a complete crisis of faith. She quit believing. Quit loving. Almost quit life. But she kept her head in the game, so to speak, even though her heart took a timeout. She prayed to her "glass ceiling", she loved through gritted teeth, and she kept living. Eventually, her heart began to follow what her head hadn't stopped doing. She began believing again, loving again, living again. To see someone come through that, and even stronger, has challenged me (and my faith) tremendously. Is my faith strong enough to take a hit?

Then, within a week of each other, I've learned of 2 good friends in a current crisis of belief. Long ones. The ones that last years...that have lasted years. Completely numb, yet still aching, still wanting to believe, but unable to for various reasons.

Again this topic came up at my small group this week. Is my faith strong enough to take a hit so large it would cause a crisis of belief? Could I come out stronger on the other side?

I hate that this has been on my brain and in my heart so strongly in recent days. Kind of like when you figure out the car you want to buy and then you start seeing it all over the roads. People had been driving them all along, but until you put it on your brain as the one YOU wanted, you didn't notice it much. Or when you pray the forbidden "Lord give me patience" prayer and you're hit with anything and everything in the world to cause you to draw the patience card. That's how I'm feeling. So much in what I read or in who I talk to, this "crisis of belief" theme is all over it. I don't want to pull my crisis of belief card anytime soon. I really don't even want to be in preparation for it. That would require me to think of all those situations that could cause it...and frankly, things are going just fine....I like it that way.

Maybe it's a wake up call. Waking up my faith...not just to take a hit, but to learn to release what's out of my control into God's hands...and be ok with it. I think that's the key. To be ok with it. From the little stuff to the big stuff. And maybe to find strength with each release. To me, that's a truer sense of faith. I guess my 19th spiritual birthday would be a good place to start (or start again) releasing control of the big and the little.

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