I’m on my knees- scrubbing the shower with all my might, watching as the white emerges. My tears are falling as I scrub, requiring me to start all over again. I can wipe away the grime of the shower stall but what of my soul?
What of the sin that hides so well in this culture and sneaks up on me and entangles before I even know of its presence? What of the loneliness that crushes my heart as I try to reach out to people who just don’t get it, as I watch on facebook as the ones who do live their lives in a country I ache to be in?
I just want to escape it all… but there is no escape. I’m stuck on a college campus and there is nowhere to be alone. The library, the cafeteria, the lounge- I am surrounded by people. My room where I just want to curl up in my bed and cry is full of a roommate. I go to sleep and sleep before the sun sets and wake after it rises, because this brings the only escape from it all.
My week has been emotionally exhausting with one drop of big news after another. I don’t know if my girly emotions can handle anything else. I am so so tired. And feel so so wretched. And I cry out for grace but my flesh blocks it from coming and I sink into the hole of my self-made pit of self pity. I am so very weak.
I read blogs of people living the life I desire and I know I can’t do that. Here I am curled up in a ball over an onslaught of emotional news and whining about the lack of solitude. Africa never allows for solitude. Africa throws emotional news at you day after day. If I can’t do it here how can I do it there? How was I so prideful to think I would avoid burnout? I’m not even there yet and I’m fighting it; fighting so many feelings of inadequacy that my legs buckle beneath me.
I’m sick of blog posts that finish with happy wonderful spiritual endings. I’m sick of people writing about their struggles but wrapping it up with a reminder of Christ’s promises and their resolve to hold on to them. I don’t doubt their faith- I just wish I had some. I wish there were more people out there that wrote about their faith struggles- who admitted that sometimes when things get rough they don’t feel like God’s there or they don’t want to reach for him.
I know all the church answers:
Lean on him
Approach the throne of grace with confidence
But what we don’t talk about much in Sunday School is what to do when you can’t make yourself do any of that. What’s the answer to a faith crisis that hinders the ability to approach the throne of grace? What do we do with the anger and self hatred when we see ourselves as what we truly are instead of what God sees through Christ’s blood?
I wish we talked about that more. Maybe I’d have more answers if we did.
There is such a temptation to not post this... or at least wait until I feel a little more Christian. Wait until the faith does come trickling back and I can pick myself back up and take hold of Christ's promises, and approach the throne of grace with confidence, and lean on him, and do just what they taught me to do in Sunday School- and then pretend like this faith crisis never happened.
But if I did that I would give the illusion I am one of those incredible people who can make it through thanks to my monstrously strong faith. The truth is i'm not. The truth is I have no idea how i'm going to make it through. The truth is I fail like you wouldn't believe.
So if you ever join me in this faith crisis, if you ever feel completely inadequate and weak, if you ever struggle with leaning on God and bringing hope to the darkness...
know that you are not alone. I'm right there with you.