How many of us have seen a stock photo of a “perfect” family as part of an advertisement for a church or ministry?
It’s jarring, but often Christian environments are marketed as if anyone and everyone who participates in them is happy, blessed, and wholesome. Christian testimonies often feature a one-way narrative, from the pit of darkness to the mountaintop of bliss. No matter how dark life’s circumstances are, we are told to be positive, joyful, and filled with faith.
Of course, there is a kernel of truth to these stories.
But the life of faith is far more complex and multidimensional. If our relationship with God is honest, we will also feel anger, sadness, disappointment, and frustration in our faith. At least, the Psalmists could experience these realities - and express them to God, often with desperation - even with accusation.
If emotional honesty was good enough for those who wrote the Psalms, it is good enough for me!
How about you? Would you say your relationship with God is “complicated”? You’re not alone!
We all have times of doubt, confusion, anger, or disappointment. I endured a prolonged season of apathy toward God, and deadness toward life, after experiencing spiritual abuse at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). I still have flashbacks and painful responses to triggering events. It’s hard and I haven’t found any easy answers.
I do feel that there is hope - God can heal us. And knowing that I am not alone, but struggling with other brothers and sisters in Christ, provides comfort.
In the confusion and disorientation, I reworked my understanding of who God is and what it means to know that God is my friend. It’s taught me lessons I could not have learned any other way, and tenderized my heart. I have no desire to repeat or relive what I went through, but I can also start to thank God for what he did in me through this painful season.
While none of us, to my knowledge, are licensed professional therapists, nor is this the environment for counseling services, it can still be a consolation to share our stories and be encouraged by one another.
If you have a complicated faith, you’re welcome here. Feel free to share your story, ask a question, or tell us what’s helping you get through it.