This year I experienced something major – my grandma died. She was basically a second mother to me, and her death shattered me. It challenged everything I knew about myself and the world, especially my faith in God. Prior to her death, my faith wasn’t particularly strong due to a lack of confidence in myself. I had just started the discernment process. I had a feeling that God was calling me for ordained ministry, but I wasn’t confident in myself and consequently doubted my call.
So when my grandma died, I had a hard time connecting with God. But I realize now that what I wrote this all in haste, as I’m apt to do from time to time. I sometimes (okay, frequently) vacillate between extremes. I’ve read that this is a common characteristic of an Aquarius, but I digress. Now that I’ve sat with what I’ve said this post for a little bit, I realize that the language and ideas are too extreme for me. I do still believe in God, though my ideas about God deviate a little from some of the traditional Christian understandings of God. I still feel like I’m called for the ministry, and I needed to sit and explore that doubt before I begin the journey. I have also reached a place where I understand that doubt is a normal part of faith. This was an important lesson to learn.
I am now feeling more confident about pursuing ordination in the Episcopal Church. I also know that I will most certainly experience doubt again, but now that I’ve acknowledged it and explored it, I feel better equip to deal with it when it happens again, and that it will happen again. This has taught me that doubt is inevitable, but I am capable of sitting with it now and allowing myself permission to feel it. Plus it is in the doubt that faith is strengthened and growth is achieved.
Writing and publishing this particular blog post has been a challenge, an instance for me to actually practice the purpose of this goal – to be honest.
I know that everything I say in this blog needs to be said in order for me to grow as person. I can’t ever become the person I want to be if I just bottle all of this inside, which is why I shared all of this, and also why I ultimately decided to keep both of my Atheism blogs up. They might not be true at this moment, but they were honest pieces about where I was at the time. To take them down would be deny that brief but important part of my faith journey. To take them down would deny my imperfections, and in essence my humanity, and that just won’t do. In order for this blog to truly be an honest reflection of my journey, it must hold my imperfections with my triumpths.
Yeah, that’s easier said then practiced, but I’m working on it.