I Found God
I wrote a piece earlier this week about the intersection of sexual assault and Christianity. This is a follow up of sorts.
It’s easy for me to doubt God. It’s easier than having faith some days. Faith is hard — it’s getting out of the boat and walking on water, trusting that you won’t drown.
It’s believing that even when bad things happen, God is right there with you. Sometimes it’s easier to be angry at God for abandoning you than it is to reconcile an all-loving God with evil.
God has this way of sneaking up on you: just when you think He’s gone for good, when He’s left you for a newer model, you hear Him whisper in your ear, or you see His feet sticking out from behind the curtain.
At least, that what He’s done in my life.
The night I attempted suicide for the second time, I was so tired. For one second I stopped fighting the voices in my head; I swallowed some pills, and I laid down in bed and watched the snowfall outside my window as I waited for the fight to be over. But then, God whispered in my ear, You’ll be ok. And that was enough to keep fighting.
But somedays, I still doubt.
I doubt because there’s no quick fix.
I think we all need to acknowledge that there are hurts in this world that humans can’t fix. All we can do is be a listening ear, an ever-present support. None of us can do life alone. We need people willing to sit with us when we’re in the rough places, to walk alongside us as we work our way through the pain. Because that’s all humans can do.
The only thing we can do is give a name to the darkest parts of ourselves and let God do the rest. We have to admit our weaknesses because it’s only in our weakness that we realize how strong we are. It’s only by letting others see our brokenness that we start to create a true community.
In her book Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans writes, “What makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out, but who it lets in.” It lets in the sinners, the broken, the unclean. It lets in Peter, who denied Jesus three times; the murderer on the cross next to Jesus at his crucifixion; the prostitute who wiped Jesus’ feet. It lets in me and you and those who have done us wrong.
God isn’t Mr. Fix It. He’s Mr. Redeem It.
Right now, I’m oh so weak. But God, He’s strong enough for the both of us. He’s carried me through things I wouldn’t have made it through on my own.
And even though I have so many questions: Why did this happen? Why did I survive when so many people do not? What on earth kind of plan do you have for my life? Does beauty really come from ashes?, I know that there are things that my finite brain can’t even begin to comprehend.
About a year ago, I received an email that simply read I found God. The guy who sneered at me, asking Where is your God now, has found the God he once mocked. God extends grace to all. And grace? Grace is bigger than my doubt.
I hope he’s found the God he needs, not the angry, all-powerful, judging God, but the God who redeems, who extends grace, who said to the murderer on the cross: Today, you’ll be with me in paradise.