08 April 2013

Crisis of Faith: Part II


I try to just tell the obnoxious voice of Cynicism to “get thee behind!” 
It’s Satan for sure, planting these thoughts in my brain. 
But now that the doubts have really settled in, and I am wondering if God is real, that answer is not satisfying.  If there is no God, there is no Satan. 
So how does one go about discovering if God is real?  The quandry that most haunts me is what exactly is "divine intervention?"  If God is real, does he intervene? And if he always intervenes, if he takes control of all things, what IS he point of prayer? Or does he selectively intervene? And if so, how can I know when he HAS intervened?

The idea occurred to me to write a gratitude journal, to recognize God's hand in my life.   But this is a frustrating effort.  It is easy enough to make long lists of my blessings.  I have many blessings for sure.  But where is the proof that they come from God?

One night I was talking to Pete about all this.  “Just ask” he said.  But I know I can’t.

I can’t ask because I’m terrified about what it will mean if he doesn’t answer.  It’s not that I think that if God doesn’t answer me, it means he isn’t real.  It just might mean that he isn’t really involved in my life. 

So for now I don’t ask.  Or I ask half-heartedly, hoping for some answer but being able to quickly explain it away if he doesn’t answer.  In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, I sit in the dark room, waiting for someone to flip on the switch.   

What I do look for are signs that he is real.  And I see them sometimes.  I see them in faces.  I hear it in the lyrics to a Disney song. (Because people, that's the Pandora station we listen to around here.)

"I can show you the world, shining shimmering splendid.  Tell me [Jane], now when did you last let your heart decide?"

Heart? Decide? No way.  All important decisions are made with careful intellectual consideration after extensive study and adequate research.  Heart? Do you take me for a fool? I want PROOF!!!

A guy walking down the street falls into a dark and deep hole.  The walls around him are steep and high.  He calls out for help.

A doctor walks by and hears his plea.  The doctor writes a prescription and tosses it down into the hole. 

The guy calls out for help again and a bishop walks by.  The bishop writes a scripture on a paper and tosses it down the hole.  The guy is discouraged and hopeless.  He calls out for help again.

A friend walks by and hears his cries.  The friend jumps down into the hole.

The guy says to the friend "I appreciate your kindness, but you're an idiot.  Now we are stuck in the hole." 

"No." says the friend.  "I've been in this hole, and I know how to get out."


  1. LOVE that story! I'd so jump down in the hole with you, but I'm not entirely sure how to get out, so for now, I'm running to find a rope...

    I have a question for you. (or I guess a few...) WHY do you think you will find out that you blessings are not from God? WHY do you feel that God is not involved in your life? Do you think you are not worth it? Do you feel that there are people with bigger problems? Do you think He does not care? And WHY, if you are His child, would He not care?

    LOVE you my friend!

  2. hello! just found your blog a few days ago and i want to thank you for sharing your story - it's valuable to me! i can really relate to all the questions about God. for me, a big part of my recovery so far has been completely redefining who God is to me. my understanding of God is so completely different than it used to be. that said, i understand what a difficult process it is, and that it can really shake the core of who you are. also, for me, the beginnings of resolution that i'm seeing now have brought me more joy than i've known in my life. it's one of the most difficult journeys to walk, but it doesn't last a lifetime. i'm sending you some moments of serenity and peace today - i hope they find you! :)

  3. I think I was born questioning. I have had several times where I have felt as you feel. I've had to deconstruct what I believe and stack it back up differently.

  4. My heart aches as I read this because I have been in that hole many many many times and I know how painful and sometimes shameful it is. Mostly it feels confusing and gut wrenching- like you're being pulled by both arms by fast black horses in two directions. But try not to shame yourself, let yourself take as much time as you need, take a break from it if you need to. This is your crisis of faith- its a time for you to be angry for awhile, and deal with it how you need to. Much love and prayers.

  5. You are loved my friend more than you know. I am praying you will find what you are seeking. Holland said it best, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief."

    Even if you have the smallest desire to believe, let that desire work in you.

    I can testify he is real, but you need to discover it for yourself and take you time like K said.

    Okay, I am going to share my testimony...I know God is real, because there have been so many times he is given me the direction I've needed in the moment I have needed it. I have felt guardian angels comforting me in my deepest sorrow and pain.

    If God is not real, how do you explain when someone is thinking about suicide and hasn't told a soul, but pleaded with God to send someone to help her? Then moments later her visiting teacher calls her and says, "I felt I needed to call you...are you okay?"

    That was me and my visiting teacher saved my life. I have no doubt in my mind that God put the thought in her mind to call me.

    Jane, look for the tender mercies and you will see the presents of God in your life.

    Love you:)

  6. I think we all relate to this in one way or another. I've had to make serious effort to choose to continue to be a faithful purpose. And really, the only reason is because when I think of my life without it, it seems dark. The cynic says this is because faith is all I've ever known. Maybe so. I recently found a lot of reassurance in the book A God Who Weeps: http://www.amazon.com/The-God-Who-Weeps-Mormonism/dp/1609071883/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365623880&sr=8-1&keywords=god+who+weeps I haven't gotten very far in the book, but the initial premise is all about how there is no definitive proof one or another when it comes to God. We have to make a choice. If there wasn't room for doubt, there would be no choice, no agency. Anyway, I found that interesting and comforting that doubt doesn't make me a "bad believer" It's normal and natural and NECESSARY.