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The Time I Struggled With My Faith & What To Do When Your Faith is On Struggle

Has there ever been a time in your life where you questioned your faith? Between you and me sis, I want to be transparent. There have been times where I question my faith. Times where I have asked, “God are you there?” or “Is what I’m believing really real?” But what brings me back is the fact that there are things that have happened in my life that I can’t explain. Like I KNOW it’s God. I know it’s God’s hand because there are just too many “coincidences.”

Lately, I’ve been seeing people drift from God and walk away from the faith. My heart hurts for them but I also have sympathy because I’ve been on the brink before. I can remember being at a crossroads in college. With prayer and time, I began to have a relationship with God on my own merit. So if you’ve questioned your faith or still are, this blog is for you!

I’ve asked God Many “why” Questions. I' ve had to come to terms that there are just some things I won’t know on this side of heaven. And that’s incredibly hard for someone like me who has to know-it-all. It’s hard to not have all the answers but that’s where faith steps in. If we could see it and have all the answers, we wouldn’t need faith. But that’s what makes our relationship with God special, we need him. We depend on him. This life is like walking in a dark room blindfolded. We don’t know where to go and what to do without his direction.

As someone who has struggled with my faith before, here’s what I realized on my own:

1. I had to stop looking at Christianity as a religion and see it for what it truly is, a relationship. Now that I know better, when I hear it described as a religion, I cringe. Why? Because I hear religion and I think rules and regulations that keep me from living my best life. This is not the case. Point blank, it is a relationship. I had to view my relationship with God in the same way that I view my relationship with other humans; In order for it to grow, communication is necessary. I’m telling you sis, it’s a lifelong journey of learning God’s complex nature and character. It's seeing God move in your situations time after time. It is in feeling his love and acceptance when you feel you have no one at all. When we realize it's about a relationship, we see things differently and read the Bible differently.

2. I had to come to know God for myself, NOT through other people. Sometimes we have to feel like we are about to lose our faith to find it. God has no grandchildren, ONLY children so we can’t rely on our parent’s faith. I did this for so long. Truthfully, I didn’t have an authentic relationship with God until sophomore year of college. I grew up in church but it’s like I knew OF God. I didn’t really know him. You could say, I was dragged to church. Not literally but anyone could tell I didn't really want to be there. I had to find him for myself. You do too. But sis, don’t be discouraged if this is where you are.

3. The greatest truth I had to realize is it’s not about the people. It’s about the God who created people. I had to separate a flawless God from flawed human beings, even if they are Christian. If I can be real, some people who rep Christianity don’t rep it well AT ALL. If you've been hurt by "church folks," I’m so sorry about that. But I challenge you to look past those people. Unfortunately, hurt people hurt people. I heard something recently that resonated with me, "Don't bring God down to humans." If we could only judge God through the actions of God's people, I can see how many people walk away from the faith. If this is you and you've walked away, I kindly ask you to give it another try. Here me when I say this, the basis of Christianity is love. We don't always get that love thing right but it is a daily effort to work on it and keep that perspective.

4. Whenever I feel like I am missing God's love, I have to change my perspective of the Bible. I have to see it as a love letter and not a rulebook. When we learn to view God as the loving God that he is, we will read the Bible as a love letter from a loving God who wants what is best for us and not a rulebook to keep us from living our best life. It’s like hearing tough love from a friend vs a stranger. When someone I don’t know says something bad about me, I take it much harder than my best friend. Why? Because I have a relationship with her. I know her. I know she means well and the tough love is coming from a genuine place of love. Same with God. When we know him, we will see the Bible as a guide. We see it as sound advice. We see it as truth because we know he loves us. It may take some time to get there but I know that if you stick with it, this will be YOUR truth.

5. I don't know about you but in my emptiness, I just need God to speak to me. God seems so far and the Bible seems so difficult to read and understand. Well sis, the Bible is extremely poetic and filled with metaphors. It’s literally coded with God’s promises. This isn’t to frustrate you but we literally can only unlock the full meaning with God’s help. This is why If you read the Bible for the first time, it makes no sense to you. Why? Because it’s filled with metaphors and poetry. It’s beautiful if you think about it but frustrating if you aren’t familiar with that. Don’t just toss it. I literally ask God, "What are you trying to say to me?" Ask God to help you understand it and I promise it will come alive. Keep reading it even if you don’t feel God speaking back to you right away. He will.

6. In times of struggle, remind yourself of what God said. And hold him to it. To do this, we have to read the Bible for ourselves. What does God say? Ask God show you how what you are reading applies to your life. The Bible isn’t just a book of stories but strategy. Read it as such! Put yourself in the Bible stories. Read the lessons they learned. Those people in the Bible are there for a reason. And guess what?! They are flawed just like you and me. They struggled with their faith. Think about it. These were real people who walked the earth. The Bible isn’t outdated because it isn’t just about the stories but the lesson and revelation (meaning) we get from it. The cool part is we can BOTH read the same verse and get a different meaning. Why? Because the Bible is made to speak to us individually and to our individual situations. Many people in the Bible struggled with their faith from time to time, I encourage you to read how they handled it!

So sis, I just wrote these to help you with your faith walk. Make it your own. If you’re struggling, I’m praying that God will make it real in such a way that only He knows how. That is what I had to do. In my low moments, I first prayed for God to simply give me the desire to know him and dive deeper in his word. Then, I have to set aside time in my schedule to be intentional with spending time with him. The more time you spend, the more your faith will increase. Just be real with Him and where you are at. Let Him know how you feel and he will meet you where you are.

After reading this, I also challenge you to Ask God the tough questions. He knows you’re struggling anyway! I’m praying your questions lead to lasting revelation. Don’t give up on God because I promise He’ll never ever give up on you!

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