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“the story you will wrestle with forever”

April 10, 2012

“Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith. And yet I continue to live in a world the way a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left alone. I doubt; I am uncertain; I am restless, prone to wander. And yet glimmers of hope keep interrupting my gaze.”

“What you promise when you are confirmed…is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that this is the story you will wrestle with forever.”

Lauren F. Winner, Still
I came across this on RHE and felt these particular quotes reverberate strongly through my bones. Still is the newest book by Lauren F. Winner, a writer whose honesty in her writings has been invaluable to me. These simple sentences feel true at a deeper-than-bone level, a level that is more honest and real than the surface level that sometimes is falsely cheerful and chirps, “Why, OF COURSE I will always believe in Jesus! He is so good; why wouldn’t I?”

Frankly, there are so many moments where it’s all I can do to stutter out, “I just don’t understand. I really just don’t know. You’re good, right? Like You’re actually good? Okay…?” My story is riddled with moments of intense thankfulness, of a belief in the truth of who Jesus is that is deeper than anything else I have ever experienced and compels me in a way that nothing else could. Yet alongside those moments are ones of doubt, of brokenness, of not understanding, of shouting at the heavens and shaking my fists; moments where the only thing that makes sense to me is to collapse like a child on the floor, weeping and scraping my forehead on the ground, whispering, “It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair.”

But those moments are what have made my faith my own, moments that have been a part of writing a story that is true to who I am. In these recent years when I have learned to allow myself space to doubt, I have found a depth to my love for God, to my faith, as I practice living as one who is saved by grace and is allowed to not understand.

[photo credit here]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Nancy Carr permalink
    April 10, 2012 2:31 pm

    Caroline – I find….that as my years on earth multiply my story gets sweeter. Remembering the times, and there are too many to actully remember, that “something” held my head so that I could only look forward and not behind. That “something” promised over and over, “keep going, keep trusting, it’s going to be ok.” Now I know, without one single doubt, Who that Someone was and is and will be. What comfort, what peace, what certainty to know that the foot prints that have walked with me through my story were pressed into the sand by my Lord and Savior. I love Him so! Blessing to you and much love.

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