I don’t think I talk about my faith a lot. I think I try to live it, I try to let what I do speak for who I am. I try to be kind, try to treat people how I would want to be treated. I try, to the best of my ability to make good life choices that reflect who I am, not who others are.
And today, in church, everything felt electrifyingly silent.
This silence isn’t new to me.
A couple years ago I wrote a piece for a now inactive online journal about my faith becoming broken and sitting in silence.
“It was a weird silence.
Like Jesus, playing the part of the creeper in a horror movie, when just after the power goes out, calls your house so you can hear him breathe and then when the police track the phone call you find that the call is coming from inside the house.
Jesus was apparently in the house still.”
Normally, I write in an effort to untangle something. I write to figure out how to get to homebase.
Right now I am writing to remind myself that I do have Christ inside me.
I think that, for a while now, I’ve forgotten that.
I know the words to say, I have full confidence in my ability to access my faith and my spirit.
But, I’ve lost something.
Recently, I had a situation occur in my life that knocked a lot of faith and grace out of me. I’m realizing how much it effected me as an individual, as a Christian, as a human who tries to extend grace and love to those around me on a daily basis. I’m realizing now, how much it broke off a part of me and caused me, subconsciously, to want to step away from those parts of my life.
It has caused me to question the foundational things of my life. Those things that cause me to love and be kind are still in me, but activating them and using them has taken more effort.
I didn’t realize that it was causing me to question my faith and feel tangible silence, because I was stepped on in a way that I don’t believe I have ever been stepped on.
Back in 2014 while I was in Spain, I had an instance where Kellen, someone who was an adamant speaker of truth and life and hard realities in my life, told me during a stressful, somewhat overwhelming portion of my six months that “I was the leader and I needed to love them through their shit”.
I think that’s what I’ve done since then in different aspects of my life.
And about a month ago I text him to yell at him because I felt like I’d been kicked in the face because of it.
When I started writing today, this isn’t where I was meaning to meander. I just wanted to figure out what was blocking me, what was causing the world to feel shockingly silent.
And over the course of these 500 words or so, I’ve realized that I’m feeling more broken and hurt than I gave myself grace for.
I’ve realized that a new wall was formed and my actions and the way I love people, albeit probably not as much as I feel, has changed.
My whole heart isn’t in it.
But, in that regard, it pushes me on, to know that I am capable of big love.
My need to protect, to be wary, shows that it is still there.
You don’t protect something a castle if there isn’t anything inside.
And the silence I’ve felt isn’t bad.
I guess, what I want to say, at the end of this is that even when it seems like something natural for me, loving people and being kind and giving grace is a choice for me.
Actively. Every day.
Part of it is tied to my faith in Christ, part of it is just inside.
But it’s still a choice.
And that’s ok.
I believe I will get those pieces of me back.
I believe that I will continue to choose love and grace and kindness even if I need a moment to make those decisions.
It’s who I am.
Please, give yourself space to feel. Space to figure things out.
Space to be.
Deep breath to the toes friends.