These first few postings are things I've written in the past few years.
A good friend asked me once why I believe in God. It was a hard question to answer –harder than I would have expected to verbalize my reasons for belief to someone who didn’t believe that God is real. At the time, I hadn’t really had any life-changing events that I could detail, except for the miracle of my oldest daughter’s birth. After struggling to put my feelings into words, I finally sort of gave up. I said “you know, it would be a lot easier to explain if God would come down, right here and now, and sit with us in your living room and answer the question for Himself. For me, it’s a matter of faith – I believe, even though He isn’t visibly sitting with me.” It was a poor explanation, I admit, and we went on to some other topic of conversation.
These days, I can detail specific instances where God has changed my life, and when people ask me, I can give these examples that point me to the truth that He’s here. This still isn’t actually sufficient, I realize, but it’s the best I can do. My belief in God is sometimes incredibly strong, sometimes seemingly a matter of hedging my bets, sometimes incredibly weak. I hope that we all have these moments of weakness – I’d really feel inadequate if I was the only one in our community that doubted.
However strong or weak my belief is, I keep plodding away – trying to develop my spirituality, trying to teach my children to honor God, trying to honor God myself. And through this plodding, I continue to have moments of clarity when I can say “wow – God really is here – look at what He showed me today.” When I’ve been weak, God has given me someone strong to lead me. When I’ve been strong, God has given me someone to lead myself. When I pray, I have a hard time asking for things for myself. But, amazingly, the times that I’ve prayed most fervently for someone else I’ve gotten a gift myself. One time, I inadvertently betrayed the confidence of a dear friend, and although I desperately wanted my friend to forgive me, I prayed only that my betrayal to not lead to further hardship for her. When I went to my friend, told her what I had done (a very difficult thing to do I might add!), she forgave me in the most gracious of ways – telling me that she loved me and that she knew that I loved her – enough said.
It is extremely easy to lose sight of faith during weak times. I try to keep in mind those times when God has shown me His love in specific ways, so that I have something to get me through those weak days – those days in the balcony when the distractions are too numerous, or irritation or sadness are so overwhelming that I can’t see anything else.