suppress reality?, pt. 1

sdfddI’m in some sort of unique transitional phase of my life.  I think we really are always in transition of some sort, some more drastic than others.  Things are always changing, whether it is us or the things around us.  We can choose to stay where we are and determine to not transition, but nothing keeps our environments, circumstances, people around us from changing, and by default, this means things are always changing in our lives, and to continue living in it all is to be in transition.

This transition is a difficult one to admit to and be totally honesty about, even with myself.  That is because I’ve found myself in a place of questioning.  Not that I’ve never questioned, but something is different in this season of life.  Doubting.  And I know… “it’s okay to question, Katy…God can handle your questions…remember doubting Thomas?”  I know.  But when we say that, what do we really mean?  How far do we really think it is okay to ask our questions and have our doubts?  What is too much?

Because spoken or unspoken, I’ve felt that implicitly, it really isn’t okay to question and to doubt outside of certain bounds.  It needs to look a certain way.  And then I’ve heard, very explicitly, that to truly doubt is to not have faith.  And we know where this train leads. …To not have faith is to not be living in grace, and to not be living in grace is to not be saved.  Right?  So no wonder such a line of thought says it is not okay to have doubts..at least not for too long.  Right?  Because if this is the case, of course you’d be afraid to doubt..

So what do I say to this kind of thinking?  Or what do I say to myself?  To my doubts?  “Doubts…it is not okay for you to exist in me the way you do…even though you are already here, I’m going to pretend you are not…I’m going to push you away (suppress you?) in the name of faith, acting as though you do not exist (yes, even though you already do). So I guess I’m going to pretend that reality isn’t what it actually is…”

Because if we have doubts we have doubts, right?  If we have them, then they are reality, right?  Does Jesus really want me to suppress my reality?  If so, I’ve got a hell of a lot more questions! But if ignoring isn’t the answer, what is the alternative?  Allowing the doubts and questions to exist…asking the questions?  Trusting or hoping they will be answered?  And what if they are not?  What if they are the kinds of questions that cannot be answered, but can only be taken by faith?  Can I have faith and still have my doubts at the same time?  This is a question about the nature of faith.  Someone once told me real faith cannot exist without doubt. That to be totally certain does not involve faith, to be certain is to know.  This is a loaded topic for some, but if you’re curious, I’d suggest this book I’ve been attempting to read: “Benefit of the Doubt” by Greg Boyd.
gwevd

I’ve found so many discrepancies with the way I lived and thought and believed and processed the world.  I’m thankful to God for counseling lately.  I’m dealing with inner reactions and emotions that I wish I didn’t have to:  cynicism, lack of trust ..especially among christian folk, anger, embarrassment…  some ugly stuff.  But I also sense a greater outpouring of grace…grace that I think can heal, and freedom…freedom that I think can lead to more holistic living, and acceptance…acceptance that allows me to be in this place and season during this time, because to be somewhere else would be to live in unreality.  What’s the use in that? And if I truly can connect …for real..with a real God, well I certainly think I’d have to be living in reality.  And if I’m not fully seeking to live in reality to the best of my ability, and I think I’m truly connecting with God… might I be fooling myself?

But I might actually be finding that life is even more mysterious, more messy, more inexplicably beautiful, and full of a lot more faith and a lot less knowing than I ever realized…

A favorite of Mary Oliver’s…seems fitting.

The Journey
 One day you finally knew 

what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice—
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
“Mend my life!” 
each voice cried. 
But you didn’t stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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