I am Renewed, Revived, Loved, and Redeemed.
If you have been following my blog, you know that my last blogpost was about my time of doubt(If you have not read that post, I advise that you do). In this post I am going to write about what it feels like to be put in the fire and taken out again.
**I keep my specific doubt confidential because it is a major one, and I would not want to cause anyone to doubt the same thing I had because of my revealing it to them.**
The Fire: I was in a place of doubt that tore my world apart. My life, purpose and mission had been shred. I had never before faced something of this magnitude, either spiritually, or elsewhere.
The Recovery: I knew that there was a God, and I even believed he was the same God I had always believed in, and that what I had once believed was worth believing, even if, in the end, it was not true. That was my starting point. I then read an article that addressed my doubt specifically, and I spoke to two friends and my girlfriend on the night of my worst doubting point. All of these things helped.
The following Monday, I met with the associate Pastor of my home church. He came to my school in the morning and we went for coffee, and went to my classes together. We did not talk about my doubt for those two hours at Starbucks, but we did talk about theology. I was able to state opinions, back them up logically, and be comforted in the belief that I firmly believed them. This was HUGE in my recovery. But I was looking for more…I wanted that emotional “spiritual high”, that “rebirth” feeling; but it didn’t come. My pastor explained to me that he thought it was much better and healthier to live a life of constantly seeking after God, than relying on emotional/spiritual highs from time to time. I have since agreed.
What I have learned: When people are in doubt about major stuff, even some minor stuff, quoting the Bible will not help much because, at their current state, they may not even know how to view the Bible anymore. They need some “facts” to lean into. These “facts” may not be absolute facts to everyone, but they have to seem logical and factual to them.
For instance, I though that it was factual that my faith was something worth striving and living for, even if it turned out to be false. Because I had that base, I was able to seek help for my doubt to get back to what I once had, and eventually, I was able to get back to believing what I had believed before. I also looked at how Jesus came, and how it was not how the Jews expected him to come; so it didn’t make sense that someone would make this story up to base it off the Old testament prophesies, and it didn’t make sense that the prophesies were written after Christ came to earth because The Dead Sea Scrolls were found that contained full books of Isaiah, with some dating back to around 200 B.C. Logically, the validity of Christ’s story panned out. This advanced me further in my recovery.
Logic and Philosophy may be the best things to help someone think about who is going through doubt. Maybe its not for everyone, but for me, this helped. But this thinking cannot go unguided because the doubters mind is vulnerable. It is very helpful to have Christian brothers and sisters around them, as well as pastors,elders, or deacons.
Now I have the experience that will help me to at least know where to start in helping someone who is in doubt. I will tell of my own story of doubts and how I overcame them. I will ask some of the questions that helped me through, and I will show them love and openness where their Church or Christian community might show them rejection.
Church, we need to be open to help people answer their questions, for we cannot afford to be closed.
Lets Overcome The Apathy.