First off, let me clarify that I do not choose to label myself as Christian. I believe in God. I believe He sent His only son Jesus to show us the way, and this son then died on the cross and rose again and now looks out for us from the Kingdom of Heaven. If someone held a gun to my head and asked me whether or not I believe in Christ, my answer would be yes every single time. I don’t like to be called a Christian because I don’t affiliate with any church and choose not to, and I don’t engage in other practices certain Christian faiths do, such as proselytizing. I valiantly defend and hold tight to my faith, but I do not see it as my duty to make sure others do the same things I do.
Despite how the contents of that last paragraph may read, I have an immense amount love and respect for Christians. One of my best friends is the most Christ-based person I know, and the most influential people in my life have been Christians. My parents are Christians too. This isn’t a Christian bash post.
Regardless of what religion you practice, the truth is this: Holding on to your faith is not easy because we live in a world that is constantly tempting us not to. Worry, jealousy, anxiety, anger, comparison, senseless acts of violence, the need to be perfect, the need to tear others down, and a whole laundry list of other nasty things our world contains all serve to chip away at faith. I define faith as your will to take a step even though you can’t see the ground in front of you. It’s about wrapping your mind around the idea that things can and will be okay even though what you see in front of you is anything but okay. Most importantly, faith is about letting go, relinquishing, giving up control.
Turning this inward, while I won’t ever let go of my faith, I don’t think enough people with faith tell about how hard it is to hold onto. It’s like a greased up watermelon at the bottom of a lake.
In the face of adversity, it’s hard to choose to let it go instead of clenching your fists and fighting back.
When your intentions were good, but people still called you a traitor, it’s hard to find solace in prayer alone.
When you’re fighting an uphill battle and pray incessantly for relief that doesn’t seem to ever come, it’s hard to keep kneeling down before the Father.
When bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people, it can be easy to lose sight of the idea that there’s any order of a higher power at work.
And I’m here to say that these emotions, reactions, and thoughts are okay to have. They don’t make me or anyone else a bad person. They aren’t all of who we are. But they are part of the human experience.