I posted an entry recently on my blog for my missing daughter, http://www.DearMichaela.com, in which I talked about my feelings of my faith in God having been betrayed. When I posted it on facebook I received a reply from someone I care very deeply for, who said she had been having some of the same kind of feelings. I immediately felt a deep sadness, because I was afraid that I might have influenced her in this way.
It is a well known fact that I like to post my thoughts on the internet for everyone to read. I’m not always sure exactly why I need to do this. I think sometimes I am looking for validation, and at other times I am actually looking for answers. I am looking for people to tell me I am right or I am wrong, and why, because anybody who has known me for any length of time can tell you that I go back and forth a lot. I may be very adamantly strong in my faith one day and a rabid unbeliever on another day, with a number of very painful steps in between. When I am strong in my faith, however, I still always have questions that bother me, that have never been adequately answered. And when I am a rabid unbeliever, I still sometimes feel that mysterious tugging at my heart, tapping on my shoulder, that calls me to belief. I can’t tell you how much I hate this back and forth back and forth. Wherever I am, I feel like a fraud. Wherever I stand, the ground always seems ready to open up for a fall. And because I talk about this on the internet, everybody know this, and everybody, I’m sure, thinks I am dumb, unstable (double minded in New Testament parlance), and they don’t want to talk to me anymore.
But what has really bothered me over the years has been the fear of being a negative influence on other people. The first person I felt this with was my son, Robbie, who was a warrior in God’s kingdom, who was on track to become a pastor. We attended the same church, and I was very proud of him. Then I left my faith. And then he left his. And I was broken hearted about it. Over the years I haven’t impacted many people that I know of, for better or worse. I hope that I have not impacted my dear friend in this case.
Why this is, I can’t tell you. It’s one of the eternal mysteries to me, why I want to toss my own faith out the window but feel so devastated when someone else tosses theirs. But I especially don’t want to be the cause. At this point, on this particular day, I genuinely do not believe. But there are people I know who do believe, whose faith is a thing of beauty, something that makes me feel warm and safe and just plain happy.
I will undoubtedly continue to blabber on about whatever is going on in my head, and be forewarned that I may be prepared to argue for it like I know it to be true. I really appreciate it if you take the time to read my words. I appreciate it even more if you write back to me, whether to agree or disagree. I am always looking for thoughtful answers to all these things that bother me. But if you are considering being influenced by what I may have written today, read what I wrote on several yesterdays, and know that I don’t know, and also that I know I don’t know. In fact, not knowing has kind of become my go-to position on God, faith, belief.
So hear me, but don’t feel you should listen to me. Listen to your heart. And then, if you don’t mind, tell me what you heard it say!