My whole life I have struggled with faith. With trust. Even when I was a mostly devout and practicing Christian, the nibble of doubt was there, gnawing at my insides like a maggot. As a child I questioned everything, as a teenager I blindly accepted opinion as fact, but as an adult, I denounced faith as an option at all and officially decided I was incapable of it.
Trust has always been hard for me too. Faith and trust go hand in hand, but shouldn’t one trust their closest friends and family? Sometimes I doubt something as small as whether they’re lying about not tickling, sometimes it’s as big as thinking that they’re lying about liking me at all. Even as my loved ones expect that I trust them, still the doubt lives there, in my chest. Certainty and consistency have never been a theme in my life.
As a child, we bounced around a lot. My parents split up when I was ten, my dad was locked up shortly thereafter. I naively thought at 17 that I had found the one truth, the end all be all of faiths, though I had barely begun to scratch the surface of the number of options really out there. Around age 20 is when it really began to hit me: that I was living for a faith that I didn’t even have faith in.
Four years I’ve spent since: faithless. Curious, but unwilling to learn. Directionless, but unwilling to seek. Lost, but unwilling to be found.
That changed recently. I’ve started to feel a gaping hole in the middle of my life, not understanding what could be missing (believing it definitely couldn’t be a faith in a higher power). I’m madly in love with my future husband. I have a supportive and loving family. I lack just a little in the friends department but it’s my own fault for pushing people away because of my anxiety and fear. But I do have a few very close, wonderful friends who make sure I’m okay.
I always say that I am, but I’m not.
I am very, very lost.
The thing about being lost though is that you have to want to be found. You have to have faith that someone or something will come along and show you the path. But if you don’t believe that someone or something is out there at all, if you doubt its very existence, well… you spend a lot of years wandering.
Recently I’ve begun to pray a little. Those that know me know that this is not something I do often. I pray very seldom and usually only when I really need something; when the something is that which I cannot achieve myself through my own sources. But I’ve hit some rough spots in the road lately, and having once been a practicing Christian, prayer is the only last resort that I know of to fall back on.
But here’s the thing. I’d started to believe again. Just a little. Just enough. One small little prayer was answered, and then another. I was getting to the point where I was thinking, maybe I should trust again. Maybe I should find my faith.
Twice now this has happened. Twice now, I’ve prayed for something fairly big, and my prayers were answered.
And yet… twice now, those prayers were answered, then something worse happened. I can’t go into details, but let’s just say I was, no, I am frustrated and beaten and broken and so absolutely and completely FULL OF DOUBT.
How can I have respect for a being that teases me with a moment of joy but ultimately steals it away? How can I have respect for a being that allows bad things to happen to good people? I don’t know how to trust someone like that. I can barely trust my family not to tickle me when they promise not to.
What this all adds up to is one very lost and broken girl, wishing there were a higher power she could put all of her trust and fears and hopes and prayers and dreams and anxiety into, but believing that no one could ever live up to her expectations. A girl full of doubt. A girl without faith.
Or, more accurately:
A girl filled with faith, who has no one to put it in.
Til next time,