As human beings with all our emotions and complexities, we go through periods of desolation and consolation. From a Christian standpoint, this is simply: periods of being far from or close in our relationship with God. Over the past few months, I’ve been in a state of doubt and dismissal of my faith (desolation) and didn’t really recognize it. As I begin to make my way out of the ‘doubting cloud’ again, I feel the need to make note of why I have to believe in a God. It might not be the perfect answer, but this is what I’m thinking at this point in my life.
Sometimes people are reliable. You may have family members you can trust, who do what they say they’re going to do. And you may still be living by a schedule- such as precise times for classes or work hours. You know these people would be there for you if you called them up and you expect your professor or boss to be punctual and present at the designated time. And to some of us, having these people and these circumstances to depend on is a good thing. It’s ideal and comforting.
But what happens when the reliability breaks?
You may have some really good friends who understand a lot about you, how you feel about things, and how you relate to others. If you’ve ever had a friend you’ve made an instant connection with, who just “gets” you, you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to have a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife whom you’ve shared your heart with. You give each other all your effort to care for and know one another. You have this beautiful bond of trust and understanding.
But what happens when they cannot fill your void?
For me personally, I like basic schedules and routines. I like knowing what hours I have to be at work each week and knowing what I am expected to get done each day. So when there’s a sudden change I’m not prepared for, I get anxious. When my co-workers aren’t at work when they usually are, I worry. Granted, this may seem silly to some people, but I can be an overly-concerned person. I know this about myself. I know my days will have interruptions and that nothing goes according to plan, but I take some comfort in a general structure.
And when the reliability does break, I turn to God.
I guess I have to believe in something greater than myself to know that things are going to be okay. I have faith that there are better things ahead than those I leave behind. If I didn’t have God to rely on, I don’t know where I’d turn. I can get overwhelmed and stressed out by (really dumb) little things. So I have to step back and tell myself that most of this life is truly out of my control. It’s more comforting knowing the world does not rest on my shoulders.
When it comes to relationships, I have a hard enough time letting people into my head. But I do have some close and life-long friends who understand pieces of me deeply. What is interesting is how each friend specializes in understanding just a few parts of my character. (These are usually traits we share). But no single person is exactly like me or has been through the same situations I have (and vice versa). I am blessed to have parents and siblings who love me unconditionally. We know how to laugh together as well as get under one another’s skin. But as much as we try to learn about each other, our lives will never mirror.
When the people I am close to cannot fill my void, I turn to God.
God knows me. God knows you. He knows every single significant and (what I may deem) insignificant thing me. I believe that He chose my characteristics and personality. I believe He carefully selected my likes and dislikes, my talents, and gifts. God gave me a passion for music and the gift of writing. He knows me more than I know myself and I find being understood comforting. I get really frustrated trying to explain my feelings to other people, so it’s really nice knowing that I don’t have to defend myself when I talk to God. He knows why I have the opinions I do and he knows my honest intentions. There aren’t any walls with Him. And that’s a pretty awesome feeling.
There are probably always going to be doubts (usually infused by logic) in my mind about if there is or isn’t a God. A lot of people give exceptional explanations as to why they don’t think God exists. And honestly, they make a lot of sense. But when I find myself in times of trouble and darkness, I just have to believe in something brighter than all the sadness. I have to believe there is someone or something looking out for us, keeping us safe and loving us.