Faith: The Rough Patch

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I don’t know how to start this post so I’m just going to dive right in.

Today was the first day in a LONG time that my spirit felt moved to talk about God. It’s been a while since I’ve truly desired to pray, worship or anything else pertaining to my faith.

You see my faith is complicated. My beliefs are complicated. I don’t like labels but if you tried to put one on me I’m not even sure you could call me a christian though technically I am. I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to even connect myself with the title and I still struggle with that.

You see a few years ago I was struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts and panic attacks (and sometimes still do.) I won’t say my faith in God struggled, I’d say my faith in myself and others did and as a result my relationship with God suffered.

What that means is because of the amount of hurt I felt due to family circumstances and overall disgust for myself, my faith in everything suffered. I mean everything and everyone. I never stopped believing in God but I stop seeking a connection with him.

How it began 

When I lost my big brother at the end of 2013 my relationship with God completely diminished. At that point in my life I was suffering internally quite a bit, the only person who knew was my husband and it affected our relationship tremendously.

When my brother died suddenly in a car accident it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back but in this case it felt more like a brick being thrown at my head.

The negative thoughts I already had came at me full swing and at the time I blamed God. I stopped praying, I stopped going to church and I stopped seeking connections with other believers.

    The silent period

For me my faith and my relationship with God had always thrived on me hearing His voice. Call me crazy but I always felt that I could hear His voice. I’m sure you’re thinking “well if you’re hearing voices in your head you have bigger issues” but I’m fairly positive if you listen, I mean really listen… a very deep meditative practice I’m talking about here… then you can hear the voice of God. Yet since late 2013 I’ve rarely experienced this.

It’s given me a very empty feeling.

It’s hard to explain but for years I’ve felt a general disinterest for most everything and I no longer seek relationships with others… there is really only one relationship I’m interested in and that is one with God… yet I make no steps to have that connection. I don’t try, I don’t even have the willpower to try.

       My issue with “Christians”

I think one huge reason why I won’t try to repair my relationship with God is my thoughts and feelings toward most evangelicals. The past few years have shown me just how hateful and judgmental many of those who claim to be “God’s people” truly are.

I never try to generalize an entire group of people (trust me as a black woman I know how terrible that is.) but sadly I’ve been disappointed time and time again by evangelicals and it’s hard for me to desire to visit any church, in fact I’m very uncomfortable with the idea at this point in my life.

I’ve watched many people I once admired spew hate towards anyone who is different than they are. In my head all I can think is “Well if they feel like that then what do they REALLY think about me.” It’s hard for me to believe that many of the southern evangelicals I’m surrounded by could view me as a “sister in christ” when every other Facebook post are clear signs they think otherwise.

I’ll also add that I have tried visiting many churches here and none made me feel at home. I felt uncomfortable and unwelcome at every church I’ve been to despite promises that I would love it.

 The lonely burden

Needless to say it’s been a lonely struggle. Yet one of my biggest issues is with myself, I’m not happy that I let my feelings about other believers impact my relationship with God because I truly believe God is good and I do not believe many evangelicals truly represent the goodness of God.

Though I can’t blame evangelicals completely … this brings me to my next point.

Grief

If there is one BIG thing I’ve learned this semester (I attend a Christian University) it’s been that grief presents itself differently for different people and one impact for me personally is that I distance myself. I distance myself in every way possible to prevent myself from further hurt or disappointment.

I’ve experienced a lot of hurt and disappointment and a lot of loss in one way or another. I’ve subconsciously build walls, walls so big that I’ve even pushed God out. I don’t let anyone in… I rarely let my vulnerabilities show.

The pain is there but I push it back and distract myself with work and projects and even blogging. It’s all a big distraction because I know God is there waiting for me to let it all out but I avoid Him.

Now this may seem a bit poetic and I tend to get a bit deep when discussing my spirituality but for me God is like the father I never had… He is like the brother I lost.. the mother who was actually there for me… the sister who was never murdered… the grandmother who was never sick… for me God was and still is everything that I never had.

Admitting that though is hard because it requires me to accept all of the loss I’ve experienced and that. is. hard.

I know that things have happened that have truly hurt my soul but I haven’t let that truly sink in. I know that connecting with God after it all will be taking that last step in the grief cycle and I’m not ready to do that.

 One last thing

Deep inside I really do desire to rebuild my relationship with God. I just don’t know how to let myself let go of all the things I’m holding onto that is standing in the way of that.

Also this may be the most confusing, conflicting post I’ve written but I’m leaving it that way because it’s a perfect example of how this feels for me.

I know I may not be the only believer struggling with this and I hope for my sake and yours that it passes.

Feel free to comment if you can relate to this, it’s both reassuring and comforting for me to know I’m not alone and thanks for reading!

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