Growing up, I felt like I had to have a picture-perfect faith in God.
It’s not that people really put pressure on me, but I felt it anyways. Growing up in a Christian family, my testimony always seemed to start with Christ, almost as if there was nothing before Him.
“I grew up in a Christian home, and I met Jesus when I was 5 years old…”
Don’t get me wrong- my testimony is beautiful. God made His way into my life as a child! But without meaning to I actually began to fall under the illusion that my entire life was going to be easy-peasy and struggle free.
And, though it ills me to admit it now, I found myself prideful about my “strong faith”.
How arrogant and naive!
But it was true. I believed that my un-tested faith was something to be proud of.
And then I went to college. These last two years have pushed and pulled me in 27 different directions. Uprooted from my family and home, I was placed in a new state with new people, and life began to slam into me wave after wave. Whether it was friend troubles or anxiety or loneliness, I began to feel how hard this world can be.
And yet, I fought the difficulty. I fought the uncertainty because I was terrified to ask God questions. My life was an unlit candle and I had no idea how it would handle the heat. Through it all, I began to realize that not only did I not want to struggle with my faith.
I believed I wasn’t allowed to.
This summer has taught me a lot. Being cut off from everything and everyone familiar, my faith has never felt so tested. I am in a new town, living with new people and working a new job. With only a phone to connect me to the people I love, I have found myself thrown into a life I was not prepared for, with only God for company.
And I’m struggling.
Suddenly, I need God, but I worry He won’t be enough. I’m fighting the life He has called me to. I read His word and I have question after question. I wonder where He is taking me, and I wonder if it really will be good. I question why He allows the bad to happen, and I crumble when it does. My easy-peasy, care-free faith just doesn’t exist anymore, and it freaked me out for a while.
Then God gave me a new perspective.
Through a conversation with a coworker, I realized the most freeing truth. To be a Christian is to struggle through the biggest questions that only God can answer. He is too big for me to comprehend, too vast for my mind to wrap around. He can handle my crying, and when I’m on my knees at a loss for words. He smiles when I think deeply about the Bible and when I ask Him about things I don’t understand.
He’s not afraid of my questions. He’s waiting to answer them.
Friends, how incredible it is to realize that!
For years I settled, and I held onto a stagnant faith that kept me in one place. But not anymore. It’s ok not to be ok. Don’t be afraid to have uncertainties and to bring them before God. Believe me, He can handle the heat. Struggling with your faith means you care so much about it that you need to wrestle it out with God. To contest Him means that you can no longer ignore Him, and that will only strengthen you in the end.
God is huge, and we are small. Of course we have trouble comprehending Him.
So, yes, I’m struggling with my faith. But I’m growing closer to God because of it.