By: Jenni Taylor
I’ve never had an easy time staying away from extremes, or the a + b = c method. If killing living things is evil, and ants are alive, then isn’t killing ants evil? If Christians believe the bible, and the bible says sell all your possessions, then aren’t you lying if you say you are a Christian and you’re rich? If God is love, and we are loved by God, why the hell is there pain and agony in the world?
Common questions, at least, I hope I’m not the only one that ever questioned the morality of destroying an anthill. I was taught to ignore these questions, or look for answers later, when I was older. But how can you ignore what is right in front of you?
I’m a daddy’s girl, and my dad is the best man on earth. If you’ve met him, you know what I mean. Once upon a time my dad was a pastor, the best. But then all of a sudden he wasn’t, and then he was a truck driver, and sometimes a roofer with broken red hands, and then he was sad for eight years.
Every day he would pace and pray in our basement. The rest of the family would go about our day, still sneaking down to do laundry in the corner, or grab something from the freezer, trying our best not to interrupt. The more I saw him pray, the angrier I became.
If God wasn’t listening to my dad’s prayers, he sure as hell wasn’t going to listen to mine. I was taught all my life to love God. Not anymore. Not when it was pretty clear that he doesn’t actually love us back.
So I stopped loving God.
But not really.
Because if I really had stopped, it wouldn’t have hurt so much. I wouldn’t have felt so betrayed. I would have gotten over it.
But I didn’t get over it, and it was ripping me up. I couldn’t stop crying, because after all this time it still hurt like hell to know that everything I believed wholeheartedly was a lie. God left, closed up shop, went home. He wasn’t listening.
I had lost something, and it hurt in places I never knew could hurt before. It took leaving everything and moving to the middle of the jungle for me to even begin to work through my anger.
Sometimes it feels silly to even talk about this loss of faith when so many people experienced real loss- the loss of family, of love, of a parent, of a child. Standing up for a round two in the fight to win back my faith was so hard, and brought up so much pain. Why didn’t I just quit? Was it even really that important?
Yeah. To me it was.
Looking at it now, it’s not a loss anymore. I thought my dad had lost something, but he hadn’t. It took a long time, but his life is finally exploding in incredible ways. He never doubted the faithfulness of God, and now it’s my turn to give that type of faith a shot. Instead being lost, my faith has a whole new beginning now. I can really say it was worth it. My boxing match with the universe now feels more like holding hands and keeping my eyes open wide enough to listen and learn.
Combining the loss, the anger, the betrayal, the search, and the peace slowly creeping into my soul I’ve gained a weird sort of patience. I might be so bold as to call it gaining a little wisdom.