My heart was heavy as I pulled up to the church on a cold December night in Texas. Our annual Night of Hope was finally here, an event the congregation was looking forward to, and I had no hope at all.
Just two months earlier, my sister, Kay—my friend and closest confidant—went home to be with the Lord. Several of our family members, myself included, had spent her last days on this earth by her side at her home in North Carolina. We were blessed to keep her with us two years longer than her initial 6-month cancer prognosis. We thanked God every day for the miracle of life! But nevertheless, watching her slow decline and eventual death stayed with me in ways unimaginable. I tried my best to stay afloat as constant waves of grief crashed against my heart and drowned my mind day after day. It was especially painful on a night that was dedicated to the promise of hope and possibilities.
Not only was losing Kay difficult to deal with emotionally, it also profoundly tested my faith. I found myself having downward spiraling thoughts and even at times audible conversations with God that I never imagined I would have. I remember getting ready that night and explicitly having an all-out disagreement with God: “You know I’m not a faker, and I’m not sure that I can continue to tell people you are who I’ve always told them you are. How can I continue to tell them you are a healer? How can I tell them that you answer prayer? How can I ever again chime in with everyone when they say, ‘God is good all the time, and all the time God is good’… How?”
To this day I find it hard to articulate the level of anxiety and internal conflict I wrestled with as I made my way to the stage that night. Fighting back tears, I declared that no matter what I was feeling or facing, I would let NOTHING come between me and the LOVE that God and I had shared for years! I echoed Romans 8:35: “Death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”
As I finished that night, something in me changed. I felt a confidence in God that overpowered my doubt and fear. I was convinced more than ever that He was my God and I was His child. My hurt was still real, but my God was more real. I learned so much out of this entire process and although I miss Kay every day, I’m better as a result of my experiences.
Fluctuations of Faith
If you find yourself at a crossroads in life, I want you to know that the fluctuations of your faith do not equate to the absence of your faith. Faith is in some ways like the stock market: Some days it’s high, and others it crashes down. I used to believe that something was wrong with me when I struggled with my faith. But the longer I walk with God, the more I know that the fluctuations of faith keep me balanced.
There’s something about our “faith-muscle” that grows when we don’t feel like growing, but we press on to do so anyway. Don’t be afraid to embrace low moments in faith. It’s ok to ask God questions when the purpose of asking them is to better understand him. Your questioning actually acknowledges your belief in Him. You wouldn’t question something you didn’t believe existed!
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sheryl Brady