My Tiny Little Faith and I

The familiar words wrapped around me like my favorite childhood blanket. I stood in church, singing the words, enjoying the melody, but tormented on the inside. Something inside of me burst out, "Oh, how I wish I could believe like I used to again."  I prayed that same prayer I've been praying for so long I can't even remember: "Please. Just show me. Show me that You care about all of this. Show me how the God of the Old and The New are the same. Because, honestly, I'm just not seeing it right now, God." 

What's funny is this prayer is so much closer to the intended meaning of the word "prayer" than nearly any other prayer I've routinely said as an adult. There's earnestness. A deep desire for truth. A heart searching for a response. Pleading for some small answer.

My prayers of the past were much more like rubbing a lamp for the magic genie. "Lord, please help me with this." "Lord, please heal that person." I'm ashamed to admit I even prayed to find the right size of the right color at department stores, or for the kids to just find their stinking shoes! And truly believed it was God when it happened. What a silly little faith that was. How useless to anyone. Do I even want to worship a God who cares about if I get the shirt I want? I don't know. Especially while I know there are so many more things that need a big God to fix them.

There was a  part of me that thought that I don't even need the truth anymore, just a conviction, and I could move forward. But I know that's not true. I've tried that. I've told myself that this is what I've chosen and there's no changing that now. What would it do to my family, my life, my kids if I suddenly decided I didn't want to be a part of this Christian life anymore? I don't see how me "being true to myself" would do anything good for my kids. So I shoved the thoughts, doubts, and fears down. Told myself to just believe.

I tried it again a few Sundays ago. My little conscience on my right shoulder whispering, "Just believe. That's what faith is."

Suddenly, as if I had just woken up, I told that conscience NO. No. I can't "just believe" in a God I don't know. I can't have faith in a God I don't understand. I don't have to understand everything. We're not talking about knowing my entire future. We're talking about understanding something fundamental. Is the God I worship one of anger and revenge? Or love and peace? Or, somehow, both? If it's the latter, I need to see how. I need to understand how this puzzle fits together. Or I can't do it. I can't simply force myself to have faith when my doubts are so huge. I don't care if I understand the Trinity or the Virgin Birth. But I have to - need to - understand the person of God. I need to know if he cares about me and my daily life. I need to know if he punishes Pharoah when He was the One who "hardened his heart."

It's as if I've had this Tiny Little Faith that I thought I just needed to boss around. Then, that day, my Tiny Little Faith gave me the finger and threatened to leave if I didn't start listening to her. So, I'm listening.

As Rachel Held Evans wrote in this blogpost: "The Scandal of the Evangelical Heart": "The bravest decision I’ll ever make is the decision to follow Jesus with both my head and heart engaged—no checking out, no pretending."

That hit me like a ton of bricks. If I don't have both my head and my heart fully engaged in following God, if I just try to bully around my Tiny Little Faith without trusting the legitimate questions I had in my heart - then I was just pretending. That's not authentic faith. It's playing at being a Christian.

I'm also going to follow some of my other favorite bloggers (Beth Woolsey, writing Five Kids is A Lot of Kids at and Fiona Merrick, writing Tea With A Friend at and just throw my insecurities, my doubts, and my fears out there. I'm not even sure why, other than, reading these other women's doubts made me feel like mine were just a little less scandalous. Maybe because life - even the confusing, doubtful parts - is so much better when done together.

Let's walk this path together, friends.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to follow along! I smile and understand=)


Beth Woolsey said...

<3 this. <3 you.

Also, check out this post by Heretic Husband:

I think you'll get it.

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