Some Wilderness

Time for me to get real honest, guys: for the last few months, I have been walking through a very bleak wilderness season.  And the ugly truth?  I don't know that I've cared enough to do much about it.   While it may be true that I have been busy and disconnected, there really isn't a good enough excuse that justifies my lack of spending time with Jesus.

And let me tell you a little bit about the wilderness, because it can be deceiving.  Yes, it can look like a desolate wasteland where you can't seem to find water or sustenance or... well, anything.  There is no hearing or seeing or feeling God in this wilderness.  But I've learned that it can also look like life moving along pretty smoothly and seeking the things that don't really matter.  This is where I have been: stuck in the routine of the every day, hustling through the mundane to the point that I have been spiritually desolate.  He has been present... I've just been too busy looking in every other direction.

In the same spirit of honesty, I have also been wrestling with some tough questions and doubts in this wilderness.  I've been walking with Jesus for a decade now, and when I made that decision in high school I had no questions and no doubts.  He was so real to me then, meeting me right where I was and giving me more than I could have imagined.  But ten years does a lot to a person, especially as a young adult.  You stretch and you grow; your heart is exposed to all kinds of people and passions and heartbreaks; your mind is stretched by thoughts and opinions and worldviews of those both similar and different than yourself.  Ultimately, you come to know yourself in new ways and establish your core beliefs and opinions.  And until now, I have not needed to question much regarding my personal faith.  I have seen God do so many amazing things, namely completely changing my life's trajectory... because I should seriously be living a very different life.  While He has taken me on some of the greatest adventures (seriously, so great, and I know He's just getting started!), I have found myself questioning much over the last few months.  Maybe some of it has been a reaction to the current state of the world - because I am sure we can all agree it's a little nuts, right? - or the fact that I am approaching 30 as a single (and kick ass) gal.  Maybe it's that I've been settled in the Bible belt for a while after growing up in a non-religious area or maybe it's that complacency has been easy to settle into lately.  I don't think there is one thing to pinpoint; in fact, I think it's probably a combination of all of it.  

I love Jesus, that is without question.  I love Him and trust Him and know Him as kind and loving and powerful in my life.   I do not question His existence or presence.  But there are some things that I read in the Bible, that I see in the Church, and that I hear amongst His people that cause me to question some stuff.  And this is a very new feeling to me: questioning God about such things.  It's uncomfortable and challenging and, honestly, can feel isolating.  But after opening up to a friend (read: crying unexpectedly as I spilled my guts on her couch), I was reminded that questioning is not a bad thing in itself, because it forces one to actually ask those tough - and very legitimate - questions, to search for answers, and - ultimately - to seek more of God's presence in the midst of it all.

This is some wilderness.  It isn't pretty and it's sure as hell not easy, and I don't know what getting out of it looks like.  But I do know that, however uncomfortable I may be, this is a necessary season.   In this place I am being stretched, I am undoubtedly growing, and I believe that I will walk away more confident and convinced in what I believe.  I do not have all the answers and I never will, but I refuse to sit back and let life happen without asking the questions that find themselves on my heart.

Sticking to my personal motto of keeping it real, I hope this post might resonate with some of you.  Are you or have you been in a similar season, questioning or doubting parts of your personal beliefs/faith?  If so, know I feel you and am 100% here for you.  God can handle our questions, and He can handle our doubts.  They do not surprise or anger or frustrate Him.  Keep pressing into those hard things... I'm rooting for you.