I have been a committed Christian for a long time. At first I believed because my parents did, and they defined my reality. Then I did because I saw the difference it made to people I respected and loved, that it shaped their lives and gave them direction and peace. And then I did because I experienced the presence of God first hand, in dramatic and quiet ways, in murmerings and hints of grace in dark times and in the occasional technicolour burst.
Lately I have been questioning everything, and it has been terrifying. When I was researching “Keeping Faith” I was immersed in the world view of those who had, like me, been raised to know Jesus, and with all the same information to hand had come to the conclusion that he had no significance to their lives. I wanted to listen to their stories openly, not through the sieve of my own paradigm. Listening like that undermined my security in the truth of my perspective.
I tend to live fairly transparently, so my doubts have been externalised. I have grilled my friends and chewed things over with Shawn and thrown uncertainties like grenades into gatherings of the faithful. I have pondered and read and tried to have integrity- not just bury uncomfortable thoughts because the answers might be inconvenient. I have tried to live a life that won’t strangle my spiritual life, continuing to engage with the Bible, to show up at church, to pray as best I can.
Two things have encouraged me hugely in what has been a rather unsettling period, and maybe they will you:
1. Doubt may be taboo in some Christian circles, but when you begin to talk about it you realise that if you don’t allow it to freak you out, it is a normal part of growth towards spiritual maturity, and most of us live with degrees of doubt most of the time.
2. Jesus can take scrutiny. He wants to be scrutinised. And he wants to ‘help our unbelief.’