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Crisis of Faith Part 2: Are the facts true?

So I originally (and naively) thought this faith journey or this discovery of what I believe, rather, would only take a few weeks. I thought I’d be able to figure this out. I mean it can’t be THAT difficult right? To know what you believe? I’ve found that this journey may continue for a while. I’ll update you when I learn something new, but I also want to continue blogging about my “regular” life as well. Today, however, you get a view of what I’ve been learning.  I have to give kudos to friends and family for lengthy discussions about God, religion and faith as well as to a book I’ve been reading called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Athiest by Frank Turek.  I’ve also done some research online.

I left off with legalism and set out to discover why I believe in Christ as my Savior. I have, quite honestly, come to a point where I’m not sure what I believe about Jesus Christ. In order to find out, though, I realized I have to begin with what I believe about God. This has been difficult. What do I know to be true? What is fact, and where does fact end and faith begin? And do I have more fact than faith or more faith than fact? And are the facts that I have even true? So here’s where I am in my journey.

1. I believe that the Big Bang did happen, and I believe that God made it happen.

2. I believe that everything in existence came from something and that something can’t come from nothing.

3. I believe that an almighty being, greater, more intelligent, more powerful, and more knowledgeable than anything I could ever fathom created everything in existence.

4. I believe that is possible for there to be life on other planets in other solar systems. Why limit God to one?

5. I believe that a Creator who not only created people but a world with such wonderful, beautiful and magnificent things as our world has – food, shelter, beautiful animals, the ocean and astonishingly beautiful places – is a Creator that wants his creation to be provided for in every way; hence, he is a Creator who shows emotion, love. He could, quite possibly, have created a world that was uncomfortable, a world where all of his creation had to struggle for food, clothing, shelter, etc. I know that there are people out there that do have to struggle for these things, but it is not necessarily because the provision isn’t in existence but more what we do with it and how we get it to others. And obviously those areas where people are suffering have not always been so lacking in provision.

6. I believe that the facts are true because I have nothing else to go on. Sure, our human minds are small. There are plenty of other theories about humans and about Earth that could exist that would mean that the Creator isn’t all knowing, all powerful, and omnipresent. For instance, what if we were an accident?  What if God intended on creating something else but He did mess up?  What is nothing?  Was there really ever nothing?  How can even God create something from nothing?  Who created God?  These questions may never be answered, but that’s ok.  I choose to believe based on the evidence I have been given.

Does all of this mean I know for 150% certain that there is a God? No. No one can honestly say that because they have not seen God. It means that I have a lot of fact and a little faith and that’s enough for me to believe.

Mediocre Drama

Have you ever thought about what your friends do in the privacy of their own home?  Or even what they look like doing it?  For instance, there are some friends that I have that I simply can’t imagine cleaning their home.  I just can’t picture them bent over a toilet scrubbing away.  Having been in their homes, though, I’m almost 100% sure that they do (or at least someone does).

I keep thinking about the things I do on a daily basis.  I’ve been pondering how mediocre my life is yet how dramatic is our story….even as it still unfolds it is dramatic.  Yet I don’t do anything amazing during my day.  I haven’t done anything spectacular, invented anything, done anything that people would consider crazy.  I haven’t built a self made business or worked my way to the top of a corporation.  I don’t have a high paying job (more like a pro bono one).  I vacuum two times a week.  I clean our toilets (aren’t our guests thankful?).  I feed our family.  I do dishes (by hand) and sweep, clean up toys, make beds, change diapers. I buy groceries and generally keep our household running while my husband works.  I don’t feel like I do anything that important.  I know I know.  Raising children is important.  But I don’t feel like that’s anything extraordinary.  I mean really.  We’re all capable (meaning we all have the capacity to, not that we all DO) of raising well behaved, productive, and generally socially acceptable children.  We can’t make them believe in the Lord, but we can expose them to it, live as unto the Lord, and attend a good church.  That’s not extraordinary.  That’s normal.

At the same time, my life is so very dramatic.  My family has been going through some rocky times for going on four years now.  We had an unexpected pregnancy (Peanut) in 2004 when we had no money and had just bought a home (that we really couldn’t afford).  The pregnancy was very difficult and the labor was traumatic.  We had another unexpected pregnancy 11 months later that we terminated at 20 weeks (yes, that’s half way through) due to severe neural tube defects of the baby, baby dying, and potential death risk to me.  Six months after that we got expectedly pregnant (the Bean) and my husband had finally landed a good paying stable job.  However half way through that pregnancy my husband admitted  some disheartening news, some devastating news which definitely brought me to my knees just in case giving birth to my 20 week old baby wasn’t enough.  This news forced Bloke to quit his job.  So then (2007) we were expecting a baby and had no means of income.  Bloke found a job rather quickly, but this lead us to another city.  Well out of respect to my husband and family, I can only finish the story with a few details.  Bloke and I wound up separated.  He was jobless in a city where he knew no one.  The girls and I were completely supported by my family here in my hometown.  Bloke wound up in a homeless shelter begging me to pick him up.  While I didn’t pick him up, God did.

And so our story is still dramatic.  We have ups and downs.  We have good times and bad.  We are really just about polar opposites. We have baggage.  We have stories.  We have hardship.  We’re still poor, and we own nothing except the furnishings in our home and our car.  This leads to my pondering.  How mediocre and dramatic every person’s life is.  How relative each person’s story is to the next person’s story.  Hardship to me could be a life of ease to you.  Mediocrity to me could be extraordinary to you.  So either way we are all, I suppose, living some form of mediocre dramatic life.

Are we, as Christians, supposed to live this sort of life though?  Is life supposed to be about our drama and our average every day comings and goings?  Maybe.  Maybe we are called to use the life we are given, the life we live,  in a way that glorifies the Lo rd whether it’s dramatic or not.  Perhaps this tendency to be unhappy with the average life I live is God’s way of drawing me closer to him.  Perhaps this sinful tendency to feel self pity and unhappiness with my lot in life, this temptation to be angry that I have not done better in all areas of my life and to envy others who have, is breaking me to lean on the Lord for my purpose and my filling.

This life, the strife, the drama, the mediocrity and averageness of it has led me astray…or I have let it. I know that right now I am unsettled.  I am a bit listless.  I am not joyful, and I am not at peace. I am weary. I am not abiding in Him.  I have voices pulling me in different directions.  I wonder where He is amongst them.  I wonder which voice He is using to speak to me. What will it take to bring me back to Him?  What will happen before that?  I’m scared to go to Him, but I’m not sure why.  I don’t want to be rebellious, but I am.  How do I find him?  Where is the peace that I should have?  Where is the light in my life?  The light that isn’t average but bright and beaming through the mediocrity and struggles.   I’m tired of the darkness, the dreariness that inevitably accompanies time away from God.  I’m tired of this mediocre drama.

“The voice of Truth tells me a different story.  The voice of Truth says ‘Do not be afraid.’  The voice of Truth says this is for My glory.  Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.”  – Casting Crowns, the Voice of Truth.

Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.   Psalm 43:3