Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Faith Isn't Big Enough

You know what? I think God is out to get me. I hate that I think that. A friend of mine told me recently that sometimes she sees God as a teddy bear who gives her whatever she wants. It made me think about who I really think God is... No. Not who I think He is, but what I really believe in my heart about who He is in my life...

When I was younger, and before my parents came back to their faith, I used to go to youth group and sometimes church by myself. I always felt inferior. I always felt like I was being judged and found wanting. There was plenty of evidence to support this feeling and I don't think I have ever fully recovered from it.

I fell in love once before Glen... At least I thought it was love. The guy I was dating was a great Christian. I looked up to him, I wanted to be like him, and I was so grateful to have him in my life. We talked about getting married and I felt so blessed. Then he broke up with me because "God told him to." Maybe God did, maybe He didn't, but at the time, I believed him. It was easy for me to believe that God took away someone I loved because He wanted to protect one of his favorites from me.

I want a girl baby. I want one so badly it hurts sometimes. I know I won't get one though, way down deep in my heart. I know it because I want her more than I want anything. I know it because God wants to punish me, not bless me.

Isn't that terrible? In my head I know that all of the things I just wrote are lies. I know that God loves me as much as He loves anyone. In my head I know that. In my heart I know that I will never be good enough for Him to love, I know that I am not deserving of His blessings... And that's okay, because none of us are. What's not okay is that I don't have the faith I need to believe that God's love is big enough to overcome those obstacles. What's not okay is that what Jesus did on the cross for me is somehow not speaking to my heart the way it should. What's not okay is that even though I tell myself otherwise, and even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary... I still think God doesn't like me as much as He likes "good-Christian-so-and-so" or "perfect-Saint-happy-face"... I still think... Oh, I can't believe I am actually "saying this out loud"... I still think... Jesus wouldn't have died just for me.

Sometimes, I find myself turning away from God because I don't want to be hurt by His rejection. I have this big dark fear that if I let myself love Him the way He wants me to, He'll break up with me too. I've always had this disturbing feeling that once people really get to know me they won't love me. I've never really noticed till just now that I think the same thing about God... And since He does know me, better than anyone... He can't love me.

Another thing for me to work on... Or for God to work on... Or for us to work on... Yeah... Us. Together.

19 comments:

  1. Okay people. This is me telling you what to comment again...

    Please don't write comments telling me all of the things I know in my head. I am not putting this out there to have a whole bunch of people tell me how wrong I am and how much God loves me. I know these feelings are wrong. I know I am blessed. I know I have a lot to be thankful for... I know...

    I just don't want to shut off comments completely in case some of you have things you want to say about your own walks or beliefs...

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  2. Thanks Becky for being so honest. There are circumstances in my life that make me feel the same way. I keep striving to reach some far off, pretty much unatainable level of goodness or spirituality so that I can be as loveable as so and so. I have been living with chronic pain since I was 21. I have had surguries, x-rays, bone scans, been to countless Dr's and recieved much unprofessional advice and diagnoses. I have prayed, been annointed with oil and had the elders pray over me. I have pleaded with God, begged Him, cried buckets of hopeless tears and as I sit here and write this I am still in pain. I don't understand why God doesn't heal me. All kinds of thoughts run through my head as to why this is. I KNOW THAT HE CAN. I have seen miraculous healings take place. I have prayed for people and seen them healed. So many times after being prayed for or sitting up in the middle of the night with some TV evangelist who is praying for people to be healed, I have truly believed that I have been healed, only to move and find out that I am not. Then I start that whole "I'm not worth it to God" downward spiral. And like you, in my head I know that that is wrong because " Jesus love me this I know, for the Bible tells me so". It is so easy to believe that for other people but in my heart I sometimes find that difficult to believe for myself. I do find that at this point, after dealing with stupid Dr.s and having a bunch of tests done again with no results, I am sadly lacking in faith. I feel like a this stage in my life I should have it more together than I do.

    I kind of feel like a hypocrite going to chuch this morning.

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  3. Becky, you have know idea how I wish I had the courage to open myself up like this to the world. I am such a coward when it comes to showing my family the real me. I know that I will come up so short of what I want to be, and that scares me skinny. So I put on this act that I have it together, but deep down I feel like everyone looks at me and thinks "there goes our crasy sister margaret again".
    Strangly, though, I know God sees the real me and loves me anyway. My insecurities are more around my family than with God.

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  4. Thanks for the honesty! I love reading your blog for that reason.

    I feel the same way as you quite often. If our van breaks down I think it's because God is punishing us in some way. Maybe for not praying enough or reading the word enough. When we first got married we went through financial difficulties and I always thought that God was mad at us for something and that we would were destined to be broke forever. I have to remind myself all the time that Jesus loves me and He is a gracious God! But it is hard sometimes.

    I think what you are feeling is shared by many people!

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  5. i HAVE been there - and i AM there. i KNOW my faith isn't big enough - but i have no idea how to get there. is it spending more time with God? is it constantly focusing on all of the blessings He has given me? is it realizing that "what else do i have - and what do i have to lose by trusting He can do it." ? i don't know - i'm right there with you.
    right now it's in regards to having a baby. we tried for over 2 years with Kamryn - but He still DID bless us with a baby...and i learned alot along the way. but do i have the strong enough faith right now that He can do this miracle again? no. i'll admit i don't. but i want to...and i'm trying to. because i have come to the conclusion that i don't have any other choice. if i don't believe that HE can do this for me - no one can do it...and i'm just not ready to face that yet.
    so, i'm not sure what to tell you - i don't have any great advice. because this is my biggest struggle right now.
    thanks for being so honest.

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  6. Believe it or not. I feel the exact same way -- esp. that paragraph about worrying that people/God won't like you if they really knew you. (You wouldn't think that about me, given that I reveal pretty much EVERYTHING about me on my blog...)

    But I think that's what God has been telling me today. Even this morning at communion, I wanted to apologize for always screwing up and God was saying "shut up. it's not about how much you screw up. stop thinking about yourself and focus on what I did."

    So, I can fully relate.

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  7. You know, I really appreciate this post, Becky. It really helps me to know that in order to be a Christian, you don't have to be perfect. Maybe you don't have to have this complete unfailing faith in God's love for you. I always feel like I'm not quite good enough for God, and I would feel like a fake following him. I sing with a church choir, and though it makes me happy to be there, I always end up feeling like I shouldn't be there.

    I can completely identify when you say that you fear that if people see the real you, they won't really love you. I'm paranoid about it, it sometimes completely controls my actions. Even my loving fiance, whom I've been with for nearly 8 years, I'm afraid that one day he'll put it all together and see what an awful person I really am and just leave me. I'm afraid to have close friends, because maybe they'll all ditch me like they did in junior high. And I always get this feeling that when I do let something of myself out, and I don't curb my behavior, I get a strange feeling from other people. People tell me how great and talented I am, and I think the reason I don't take compliments well is that I always think that they're lying to me, or they're just saying it because they don't really know... if they did know me, they wouldn't be saying those things. I don't feel good enough for anyone... my family, friends, myself, and especially God. I wish I could, but His love is so awesome and amazing, I just can't see how someone like me could be worth it. I know that He's supposed to love everyone, but maybe I'm that anomaly, that one person exempted from His love. Death scares me a lot because I feel I'm not good enough for heaven, nor ever will be. I feel that no matter what I do, I'll never be good enough, so why even try? I hear of other people's faith, and it seems so sound and perfect, and I think, "I'll never be able to be like that." But the funny thing is, I can't really say why. It's just something I feel deep inside.

    Seeing this post, and comments, is encouraging, because I always felt like everyone in my family had it all together, and I was this one person who didn't, and it made me feel awful. Seeing this doesn't make me think less of anyone, I still love them all just the same. It's strange, maybe letting people know about our insecurities is one of the strongest things we can do.

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  8. *looks back at comment* Holy crap. I didn't realize that was so huge. Sorry 'bout that.

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  9. It is great that you made this comment. It makes us feel that we are not the only ones who feel that way. Life is certainly a work in progress.

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  10. Becky - first off, I wish I could give you a (((hug))) as affirmation. Your openness and honesty are fantastic.

    Second, I really think God finds His greatest pleasure in those that know they have troubles and difficulties but struggle through them with Him instead of just sailing through on an apparently spiritual high. Stuff you know? Maybe, if you were my 'kid' and I could see you pushing through like that I'd be really proud of you.

    Do you like Monty Python? One of my favourite insights is from MP + the holy grail. King Arthur and the knights have just seen God in a vision and are all flat on the floor saying "sorry Lord". God tells them to stop saying that and "DO stop grovelling". I can laugh because so often I've been like that - aware of my sin and failure and focussed on that.

    I've seen little bits of your heart Becky - I think you're a lovely person, and someone I'd like to know better if we were closer.

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  11. Okay, these comments are way surpassing what I was expecting from you all. I never expected people to identify with this post because, like Carrie, I think I am that one exception to God's love...

    I want to write more, but I am processing and having trouble putting words to my feelings. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your openess... Somehow it makes it hurt a little less to know I am not alone in this struggle.

    *Group hug.

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  12. Oh and Toni... I love The Holy Grail. Love. It.

    "She turned me into a newt."
    "A newt?"
    "Well I got better..."

    Ha ha. I know the part you are talking about. LOL. I've never looked at it that way. Good stuff.

    Ahhh... My day just keeps getting better and better.

    :)

    Thanks for the hug.

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  13. Hey, Becky. I appreciate the honesty you provide in your blog posts. This one in particular I could definitely identify with. As sad as it is, I think there are lots of us out there who "feel" this way. I'm not sure what the cause of all of this is. I've drawn my own conclusions about myself personally, but I think for each person it stems from something different, because we've all had different life experiences that have somehow "taught" us these misconceptions. I'm thinking that the reason it's sometimes unfathomable for us to believe that God loves us as much as He does is because we are human . . . and although we were created in His image, sin is part of our world . . . Satan's lies are part of our world. I hope you are encouraged by the abundance of support you've received by posting on this topic. You are an amazing person whom I feel privileged to know. Keep being real. Keep being you.

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  14. *accepts group hug warmly*

    Also, the mention of Monty Python makes me grin. I LOVE Monty Python, that's my sense of humor. I can't even think of my favorite line, because they're all great.

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  15. Yes Becky, you do know this stuff. So do all of you who commented on this post, as well as those of us who felt like Becky, but couldn't put our feelings into words. But somewhere between the truths we know in our heads, and the place in our hearts where our beliefs live, is a huge chasm that seems to swallow up these truths. The only thing that seems to make it out of that chasm is the lies and half truths. One of the questions I hear in church that make me very uncomfortable is "if you were to die today do you know where your soul would spend eternity?" This makes me think, do I truly know. Does God really love me? Will he actually let me into heaven? I have so much junk in my life that I don't think I can get to heaven. Am I really a Christian? Oh man, what if someone were to trully see the real me. Sometimes I see God yelling down from heaven. "He's a fake, he is not worthy of the trust you put in him. Aren't you people listening." I am so scared that one of these days someone is going to hear God shout this stuff, and I will be found out.

    To all my family who ever reads and comments on this post, I am so happy you are who you are. I can't think of a better family that God could have put me in than here. To all of Beckys friends, I hope that sometime you will be able to meet these same people that we call family. You will than understand why my heart bursts with love and pride everytime I think of any of them.

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  16. This is a good website about being saved and what it means to be saved www.wayofthemasterradio.com

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