“People like to talk and dish out advice like they can feel your pain. But they don’t know your pain and they can’t feel it. Yet they will talk. Some will say he is not strong enough. Some will say he should suck it up, he is not the first and neither will he be the last, easily forgetting that even if the experience is not peculiar to the person, the pain felt might be unique. Then you get some, the bloody inspirational writers telling you you are strong enough; it’s a phase that will pass and you just have to hang in there.
The Pastors! Oh, you can’t escape those ones. They feed you with a whole lot of horse shit that you almost start to believe them. They will tell you your pain is a process through which God can build you. They talk about having faith that goes beyond your pain and crises. After all, that was the kind of faith Patriarchs’ like Abraham, Joseph and even Jesus had. The stories are touching. The sermons about God having a plan, hope and future for me are touching. But how will this theory help you when you are at the end of yourself?”
At this point, he raised his head up and looked at his mum. She was looking at him with so much love and understanding. He expected to see concern and disappointment in her eyes but her eyes lacked those. It was just love and complete understanding. Even if she doesn’t have the experiences that brought him to this place he now is, she has had her fair share of neck breaking experiences. She understood that sometimes, life and God don’t make sense. The words in the Bible don’t add up and in our minds, we are floating into this abyss and nothing seems to work. Words of life become noise and it’s so hard to believe. Some are able to navigate through this phase and still keep their faith above the waters, but for some, this can feel like hell on earth.
“There was also a time I stopped believing. Going to church became a routine, something I had always done. So I would go to church so as not to appear like a backsliding Christian but I was never really there. There was no fresh hope, no excitement. The pain I was feeling had taken over and the encouraging words some said to me fell on deaf ears, so did the sermons by the Pastor. I remember vividly the day the choir sang a song that had my eyes welled up with tears. And for the first time in months, I felt something. It was then I realized that my going to church to occupy a seat was not a wrong decision. There was a high possibility of me finding God again in the church. So I kept on going even when I felt nothing. But one day, I believed again.”
Her face lit up as she said that. It felt like she was back in that moment that happened many years ago.
“Believing again changes everything honey. It makes you wake up every day expectant. You stop seeing the words of those inspirational writers as bullshit. You see that you are indeed strong enough and a perspective shift will help you wake up the next day and the day after. The words of the preachers become gold that you keep close. You know that indeed God is in the midst of you and he knows exactly what’s going on with you. He knows there will be times when you wouldn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Times when you wouldn’t want to talk to him or about him and when you choose to talk about him, you talk from a place of a friend who was betrayed. He knows all these things, but yet you keep waking up and every day you wake up, it’s a miracle. It’s an evidence of his faithfulness. It shows love hasn’t given up on you and whether or not you feel his arms around you, he is holding you through the trial”. She paused, and then continued…
“When you choose to believe again, you see sense out of the pain that doesn’t make sense. You praise even when the pain mocks you and you see no way out. You see strength out of a failing battle. You allow faith in again and just then, you start to see God in everything. Darling, you are able to believe again when you trust that God has you and even when that trust in him is dragged through the mud, you fight to make sure that not all the trust is lost in the mud. That’s when you pick yourself up, slowly, but gradually. Then you live again. That’s what believing again does. So don’t shut your heart honey. The phase truly passes.”
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