Childlike Faith And Growing Doubt
As I've mentioned before, I grew up in the church. I fondly remember attending Sunday School and Children's Church as a child. I listened to the Bible stories, my eyes wide with wonder, and never once doubted if they were true or not. I did not have a hard time believing in God. The Bible, God, Jesus, all the miracles and good ole' Father Abraham were as real and true to me as George Washington was the first president of the United States.
I remember the first time I asked a question about God that my mom couldn't answer. I asked where God came from. It was hard for my little six year old brain to comprehend that God has always been and will always be there. That while we are finite, He is infinite. Honestly, it's still hard for my 31 year old brain to comprehend. Still, even though I didn't understand how that could be possible, I never doubted that it was true.
I remember entering high school and getting into debates with my classmates over whether or not the Bible was true. I must admit, I was not very good at defending my faith. It's hard to convince someone else to believe in something when your biggest argument is "I believe it's true!" Even though I had a few people mock me at times, I still didn't question if God was real. Never doubted that the Bible was His word and every last word was an accurate telling of His story though history.
I also remember the first time skepticism crept in. It was while I was in college taking a Biblical Theology class. Hearing my classmates — other Christians — argue over different theology really struck me. It was one thing to argue with someone who didn't believe, I had done that before and it never really shook me. But listening to students and even professors debate different theologies about a Bible we all agree is true was something I wasn't used to. I never used to question the Bible, I would accept it for how it was written (then again, I hadn't read Revelations before I went to college). After this class, I started to question. And I started to feel uncomfortable.
Fast forward a few years and I was caught up in a tidal wave of postpartum depression. My anxiety was through the roof and I was so low I didn't want to get out of bed. In these months I found myself questioning if God was even real. Questioning if I had wasted my life believing in a fairy tale. Wondering if prayer was nothing more than talking to the ceiling. I dreaded going to church because I felt like a fraud.
I'd like to say that God appeared to me in a vision and made me whole. Or that I had an amazing experience one night at the altar which made everything clear to me. Or even that I've never questioned God again. But none of that is true. It wasn't an overnight process and there was no single thing that turned my life around. It was trusting day by day. Reading a little more. Praying a little more. Talking with others and sharing my questions and doubts. One day I woke up and realized I was out of the pit of depression but I couldn't tell you exactly how I got there. I also realized that while I lost my "childlike faith" I had gained a new kind of faith.
I Still Believe
I still believe in the Bible, God, Jesus, all the miracles, and Father Abraham. I also still find myself questioning why some things happen, why God doesn't always answer how/when we want, and what some of the Bible means (I finally read Revelations). A healthy dose of skepticism, like we discussed this week, is healthy and I've found it can make your faith stronger.