I recently wrote a piece about my faith journey, which you can read here. I didn’t feature it as a stand-alone post because honestly, it scared me to put something so personal and vulnerable out there on center stage. But ultimately I decided it has a place on the blog, mostly because I don’t believe my experience is isolated. Even though it is unique to me, I’m pretty confident that I’m not the only one who has undergone some serious soul reflection, or “faith surgery,” as I like to call it.
A Closet Clean-Out
After I wrote that initial piece, I sent it to Autumn. She wrote these words back to me: “It makes me think of that one closet you had in your old house and how it would get messed up and in disarray over and over and you’d have to weed out and reorganize. Each time you’d finish organizing it, feeling it had vastly improved and would be tidy for awhile. Then time would go by and it would be helter skelter again and you’d tackle the project and create an even better system. I feel like that is kind of how this journey with your faith is.”
First of all–I wish I had thought of that metaphor myself! I nodded in agreement after reading her words. Yep, faith surgery is similar to a closet clean-out. It’s not a one time process and it’s really not that uncommon! I am learning that it’s something that I will need to tackle multiple times in my life.
I don’t think a lot of women feel comfortable sharing their fears, doubts or qualms about their faith (or lack thereof). And I get it; it’s an uncomfortable thing to talk about sometimes. But at some point or another, we will all have to face our beliefs head-on. I mean, we can definitely run away and hide; it can be a scary thing to confront unfamiliar doubts or issues we may have with the church, our spirituality, or religion in general, but what good does that do? Besides, a HUGE benefit to my faith deconstruction is that it has forced me to practice RELIANCE. Reliance on myself and reliance on God. It’s a humbling process but ultimately it is honorable because everything I gain is MINE. It feels good to be able to own my beliefs (even if they are constantly changing or evolving) and know that I’ve earned them on my terms and in my own authentic ways.
Doubt Is A Doorway
I guess the point of today’s post is just to say that it’s OKAY to feel like you’re standing on shaky ground. There will be times in our lives where our faith and spirituality feel solid. Yay! But there will be other times when we feel unsteady and afraid. I 100% believe that doubt is not a dead-end, but rather a doorway to something higher and holier. When we approach our doubts and fears with TLC, we can learn a ton! We don’t have to be afraid.
In fact, I believe God wants us to doubt because it opens the doors for a new kind of relationship with Him–one that causes us to become like a curious child yearning for truth. With that mindset we can depend on Him, or whatever higher power we choose, PLUS ourselves, and literally co-create our lives with the universe. With just ourselves and God, the loud voices of orthodoxy simply become background noise. Maybe there was a time and place for all that in our past, but as grown women we have a right and responsibility to make room for ourselves at the table; nobody will do it for us.
Whether you’re a church-going person, an independent spiritualist, or somewhere in the middle…there’s room for you and your doubt. Let your doubts guide you to a higher and holier place and leave the certainty behind. In my opinion, this is what it means to be evolved and spiritually mature, and it’s a brave journey.
I’ll close with a few more of Autumn’s words: “The contents of your faith and your soul are continuously trying to reveal themselves and pushing unwanted or unnecessary ideas out of the way–so you are re-examining everything and opening your mind to the authenticity of your spirit. It’s just becoming repackaged into what fits better!”
Can I get an AMEN?! Trust your doubts. Deconstruct. Rebuild. Own your process. Evolve.
This is a home run, Lindsay. I love how you wrote this additional piece to expand your ideas from your original faith surgery piece — it really had words that I think resonate with everyone. Way to go, partner. Well written.