Friday, January 22, 2016

Unbelieving Believer?

I think at some point I stopped believing. (I will pause here to let that statement sink in)

Through the financial struggles, health issues, and just plain daily life struggles, I stopped believing in a God that would never fail me. A God who will someday end all suffering and take us all home in sweeping glory. If that were to happen in the recent past...I feel like I would have been standing on the sidelines unsure of whether or not I belonged in the Kingdom.

This was not the overt sort of non-belief. I did not suddenly become agnostic, atheist, Buddhist or any other -ist. I continued to go to church (even singing heartily with honest tears streaming down my face), I read my Bible, I worked on my prayer team ministry, I prayed.  But I felt removed from the presence of my Savior. I felt far away.

My mother has a sampler that her mother stitched that hangs over her bed that says, "If you feel far from God, guess who moved?".

I had moved. Not Him.

Now, let me pause here to state, this is not about loss of salvation. That is a topic that is beyond my theological understanding and not something I have any authority to speak on.  What I am talking about is a period in my life where I grew cold. I still believed, with all of me-every single ounce (and there are a lot of them), but the fire had cooled to smoldering embers.

There is a song by Laura Daigle that describes exactly where I was-where I am slowly emerging from:
I am guilty
Ashamed of what I've done, what I've become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
You break my chains, you overcome
You gave your life to give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be, how can it be?

I've been hiding
Afraid I've let you down, inside I doubt
That you still love me
But in your eyes there's only grace now
Like Adam and Eve in the Garden-I was hiding myself from God because I felt ashamed and guilty for my sins. I was afraid I had disappointed my Heavenly Father. I doubted His love for me. I couldn't grasp the idea that He knew all I had thought and done and still loved me unconditionally.
But there is a better end to my story than Adam and Eve's. Because of the gift our Heavenly Father gave of His son on the cross, I do not have to be ashamed. I do not have to hide. I can lift my hands and face to my Lord and gaze into the grace in His eyes.