After my last post went up, I received a lot of private messages and comments from people in my life. Comments that I definitely appreciate. It's nice to know that many people care.
But I also think a lot of people got the wrong idea from the post. Many of the messages I received were telling me not to give up, trying to tell me that things will get better and I have to trust God.
As much as I appreciate the encouragement, the post wasn't about me giving up, or even about me losing faith and not feeling like life will work out. In fact, for the most part, the ending of it was supposed to be a fairly positive one.
The post wasn't really about struggles -- it was about the realization of a large change in my faith, in my beliefs and in what I believe about God and how He intends to take care of us.
I have no doubt in my mind that God will be with me through every struggle. I've never believed the old saying that God doesn't let us face more than we can handle. I call BS on that one, because if God never let us face more than WE could handle, we would have no need for Him. Everything that He let Satan throw at Job was far more than Job could handle on his own. But Job's strength didn't come from himself, it came from his faith and trust that no matter what, God was in control, and God would bring him through.
It wasn't easy though. Job became angry with God frequently throughout the trial. He cursed the day that he was born. He was tormented, and there were moments where he was without hope. All the while, not just other followers, but friends, condemned Job, told him that the afflictions he was facing were caused by sins he must have committed or a lack of true faith.
And yes, God restored Job's life, made him wealthy again and helped him get his full life back together. But Job was an extreme case. His afflictions weren't just life. They were caused by a test of his strength and faith in a short period of time. The fact that God blessed him immensely at the end of that trial can't be used to measure our own circumstances. To say that everything we face is an attack or a trial on our faith is giving too much credit to Satan.
The truth is life can suck. It can be really hard. It is really hard. There are things I am facing now that will never cease in my life. They will be there for the rest of my life, unless God sees fit at some point to remove them.
I don't trust that God will though. I don't believe that God is going to work to make my life 'okay' because there is no need for it. In order for me to survive, my life doesn't need to be okay. In order for my needs to be met, for my life to move forward, it doesn't need to be okay.
And that's what my last post was about. The realization that I have stopped believing that God intends to bless us continually and bring our lives to what we consider to be okay and bearable.
Am I discouraged, frustrated and stressed right now? Hell yes. Am I without hope? Sometimes, yes. Am I frustrated with why I have to face a lot of this? Definitely. But that doesn't mean that I'm losing my faith entirely.
The problem comes from the fact that this is new to me. I haven't spoken to God in months because I haven't known what to say. I don't know what to make of this change in faith. I don't know what to make of this change in my beliefs. And while I'm getting closer to being able to talk to Him again, at this point, I still don't know what to say because I don't know how it changes me.
But I can assure you, I am not entirely without hope and I am not giving up. There is a reason I have Jeremiah 29:11 tattooed on my arm. I fully know that God will never abandon me, and He will never leave me to face total destruction.
I'm just learning that this concept of "plans to prosper you... plans to give you a hope and a future' have been taken the wrong way by a good chunk of us.
The fruits of our own lives, the blessings we receive and how well our lives flow are not the results of having stronger faith than others or being better Christians. I'm not less because I have less. I'm not faithless because I haven't been healed, and I'm certainly not giving too little or tithing too unhappily because I'm not being blessed financially.
As I said at the end of my last post, this poses a struggle for me because it simply means learning to accept that. Learning to rid myself of this idea of entitlement through faith and accepting life for what it is. Learning that God isn't always to make everything better, because again, if He fixed everything for us, truth is, we'd really take Him for granted.