My favorite time of the year has come and (almost) gone. The changing leaves, the dropped, cooler temps, the cozy sweaters and hot drinks… all of these make me in belonging. If I were a season, I think it’d be fall… or at the very least, fall would be my best friend.
A few things have changed around our little abode. I was working part-time (a few hours a week) and finally transitioned into a full-on house wife. Being a stay at home wife has been something I’ve wanted to do for so long. A little dream and passion that I tucked away for the future and the “if only.” I get so emotional when I think about where God has taken me. I’ve talked a little about my faith-based walk and it has been extremely rocky this year, to say the least. I have lost my faith completely and found it once more, more times than I really should count. The journey with God has been rough. It used to come so naturally to me. I grew up around God, been in christian schools all of my life, and went on to work for several churches after college. I have studied the Bible a literal hundreds of times, and helped and baptized many women, but this year – I think I finally had the faith and resolve to uncover some doubts and discomforts that I’ve had as a Christian for a long time.
Why, as a religion, are we so exclusive? Why, as Christians, are we so strict and hard on each other? Why, as a community, are we so divisive towards homosexuals? Why is God, as an omnipotent force, allowing all of these shootings and political terror? Is God even real? And if He is, do we have Him all wrong? Every time I read the Old Testament, I receive a God that is strong and steadfast… but loving and interested in wholeness. He wants us individually to be whole and he wants us as a community to be whole. So I struggled with feeling like I didn’t see that in my church and in a lot of other congregations. I worked to change that in myself for 2 years… hoping that maybe if I’m the change, I can help inspire the change… but realized that more than anything, I needed to take a step back from church all together. Over the last year, I’ve kind of hit a “reset” button for my ideals and doctrine. It’s been lonely and emotionally catastrophic at times. When it comes to my faith, my identity is in pieces. I tend not to mourn or grieve it because – well – when tragedy strikes, isn’t there always even a small part of us that still doesn’t know what to do? But even still, even when I feel the bitterness and anger and just a complete lack of faith, I see God smiling on Adam and I with little blessings here and there. We’ve gotten the enormous opportunity to travel a ton this year and we just recently booked our first Europe trip (another huge dream of mine). He’s given Adam raises and success at work. I’ve gotten to sort of build my own little side business through this blog and some freelance advertising that I’ve picked up, and now I get to fulfill an almost lifelong dream of mine to be a stay at home wife.
I keep thinking, “Shouldn’t God be punishing us? For leaving and doubting?” But I think ultimately, God knows our hearts. We are truly seeking and searching. We want to be whole like He is and we want to love people above ALL else. I could be wrong, but I think He is taking us on a road less travelled and leaving little breadcrumbs here and there to help us find our way back. I hope and pray that when we do find our way back, it’ll be in a community that is ready to embrace everyone and in a community that is full of grace towards themselves and each other. I think this is who our Lord is.
Have you been in a similar position or maybe are going through one now? Maybe you’re in between jobs but don’t really know who you want to be “when you grow up.” Maybe you’re a new mom and have no idea how to incorporate motherhood into your already established identity as a wife and woman. Maybe you’re going through a loss of a loved one (whether still alive or passed on)… All of these things can send us into panic. Who am I? What’s next? Will I ever be the same again?
Whatever your situation is, I can relate. I’ve chosen to throw myself into the things I do know and feel secure in. Like family and certain relationships, my blog, my husband, even little silly things like home decor and photography. I think if we just give ourselves some time and walk that path that is set before us, we will eventually find ourselves in the place we’ve been longing for… little by little. The road might be long for some, short for others, but there is an end, another side for all of us.
We will get there. And be whole once again.