I struggle with my faith. Growing up I didn't question anything and I hated anytime that doubt seeped in. As I've aged, I feel the doubt increase and I hate it. I long for the days when I blindly followed. Yet, I realize that blindly following is not faith, or at least not strong faith. Faith is believing when it's not easy. Faith is trusting. Faith is hoping.
I remember hearing a sermon one time about how doubt was a sign of faith. I wish I could remember all the details of it, and I may find it in notes I once took if I look. I imagine the gist of it is that faith does not require certainty. There is room for doubt because it's real and it's honest. It's vulnerable. It shows trust in God to be open about the fact that I have questions and fears.
I also find that guilt seeps into my religious life very often. I loved going to church growing up and through college. After college I struggled with finding a church I loved and, thus, going to church became a chore. Even now, although I love what our church stands for, I find more joy in spending Sunday mornings at home with my family. It gives me incredible guilt. I feel like I need to go to church. But, why? I don't think that God's goal is to be someone that inspires guilt. I think he would much rather inspire love, giving, kindness, goodness, joy, selflessness, action, and so many other values well before guilt.
Can I be a person of faith and not go to church? I say yes. Can I question and doubt and still have hope and pray to God? Yes.
After all, Jesus met with the least of these. He met with those who needed him most. I hope he would want to walk and talk with me.
I don't know the purpose of my post, but I was inspired when I noticed my first post in this section. I wrote a prayer for my childbirth and delivery the day before my son was born. I don't think the timing was coincidental. So, even though I may have questions, fears, or doubts, I can take comfort in the fact that I believe there is a God who cares for me and I believe there is purpose in our lives. I have faith and hope and I trust. My fears and doubts will always probably always be present, but maybe moments like these when I feel a surge of faith, God is saying to me, "Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?" and then calming the storms of my heart.