Fighting for faith on a winding path

I’m currently in the middle of reading The Winding Path of Transformation for the second time. The first time I read it was first semester of second year. It was transformational like the title states. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’ve never written a whole post about it. It’s one of those books you stumble onto, and you wonder how you stumble onto a little diamond hiding out in the rough. 

Well, I wasn’t feeling the best this past weekend and didn’t have the energy to dedicate to writing the post I wanted (Reflection on Third Year) so that’s coming next week. But as for this week, I decided given my current read to fall back on this post – a quote series post! Hope it serves you in some way or gives you some thoughts. Let me know in the comments down below

“Depth comes from hearts that are restless. Hearts that are cautious of too easy answers. Hearts that aren’t afraid of complexity. They are willing to follow the threads of their doubts. They push against the supports. … There is an uneasiness to searching. It lacks certainty. It is uncomfortable. Which is why depth, almost always, includes suffering.”

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I don’t often talk about my faith on here. It’s something I’ve wrestled with, often behind closed doors and in many, many journals. I’m not so certain that stumbling through and figuring out what to believe in front of eyes is the best thing. And I don’t necessarily want to brand myself as a Chrisitan or a faith content creator. I’m not fond of labels in that sense. I am a Christian, but this blog is about so many parts of me – me as a student, me as a lover of music, me as a reader, me as a struggling writer, me as a 20-something who’s so darn earnest to figure out my life path. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself to faith, so I steer away. 

But the books on my to be read this summer list are ALL faith related. And that’s not by accident. I so desperately want to learn more about faith, what it means to be a Christian and how other Christians live that out in their own lives. It’s just not something that comes up in the blog a lot. 

Christian or not, I think we all can relate to Jeff Tacklind’s quote above. 

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Growing up, we’re all so eager for answers. Children are known for annoying adults with their questions of why. They’re not trying to be “annoying” but their curiosity for all that this world has to offer conflicts with the way we settle as we get older. Our dreams morph into smaller versions of what they once were. We stifle our restlessness, taking the easy answers like a pill to swallow even if the aftertaste leaves much to be desired.

At some core level, somehow, the restlessness stays. It just shifts into some other form. 

The more I discover about faith, the more overwhelming my questions become. From church history to the culture wars we are witnessing current day, to rifts in church walls about how to treat the refugee, the LGBTQ, the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated, it’s no wonder that many just up and leave this whole religion thing behind, or decide themselves spiritual but not religious. But I think that is an easy answer.

I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt to leave behind a beloved faith tradition because you see the church splitting apart. I’m saying it’s a lot easier to walk away, not to engage. I want to be clear. This isn’t a moral judgement. There are times when walking away is the best (and is the hardest) thing to do for your health, your family and your future. This message is for the person who would much rather walk away because it requires too much time or energy to engage. I think you have something to offer, and you won’t know how valuable your voice is if you don’t stay.

Following your doubts isn’t easy. There are plenty of people who will tell you to abandon your doubts. To drown them at the bottom of a river tied to a set of rocks and never lay eyes on them again. The places where our questions are often feel fragile. This is especially when our doubts are at the bedrock of our belief. 

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In my experience, to walk away from my doubts would be to walk away from what brought life in my faith. The very thing that caused me to consider Christianity viable was the very thing that caused me to question it. My questions, my curiosity played a huge role in my desire for reading the Bible in the first place. You have to trust. You have to trust that the threads of your doubt are leading you to the right place. 

At the very least, you’ve got to let yourself ask the hard questions without condemnation. And if anyone wants to condemn you for your doubt, that person doesn’t want your flourishing. 

This isn’t an easy journey for one person. But when you invite others into it, you may find yourself walking alongside some unexpected companions. Some people will reject your desire to go deeper into your faith, perhaps their faith never endured a tussle. But others will recognize that their journey is aligning with yours because the questions that are clinging to them are clinging to you.

We all desire some sense of security. A place where we can rest our heads and know that we’re safe. It’s an uncomfortable feeling recognizing that there might not be a place in this world that feels completely at home, and knowing that if that feeling comes, it might not last. That sounds depressing. But I think it can be hopeful.

We can hold those moments of at home-ness dear and we can look upon this life as an adventure to unknown territory. I’m not sure where my faith journey will lead me. I just want to know God and to know the reality of his love so completely that healing flows out of me. I want a deeper faith. Maybe we have to suffer to know Jesus more, but that will ultimately lead to our humility and our resounding glory.

Signing off, 

Gigi

Let me know what resonated with you! I would love to know your faith background or any belief system you follow!!

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