Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fractured Faith

In the past few months of my life I have had a few key thoughts, lines of a song, scriptures, etc running through my mind:

"Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord...The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14: 13-14)

"Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me." (Hymn #97)

"Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." (Matthew 9:24)

"Be not afraid, only believe." (Mark 5:36)

You can probably see the pattern.  I have been lacking faith and patience in my own life. As a therapist I spend my days listening to others peoples problems, sorrows, etc. I try to exhort patience, empathy, sympathy, and a listening ear. When I get home and need to deal with my personal life I find I have no patience left for myself. I wrestling with the Lord and want Him to make things happen in my life that I think will make me happy. 

I want a regular, adult-like job, where I get paid a salary and I don't have to scrip to pay my rent and feed myself. I want a man in my life who wants to be with me, who I confide in, who will protect me from the world, and listen to my heart. I want the Lord to fix/stop the hurting hearts of those around me that I adore. I have the hardest time watching people I love suffer.

After I have thrashed around enough with God and I'm exhausted the above words come to my heart and mind. I KNOW of their truth and comfort but for whatever reason I can't seem to let them in. To borrow a phrase from one of my mentors (Chris Wallace)—I have "Fractured Faith."

I don't want that kind of faith. I want the faith that moves mountains, parts the sea, closes the mouths of lions, and raises people from the dead. I want a Fortress of Faith! I want to be believing. I want to be patient. I want to be happy with one step of light ahead of me instead of wanting the entire path to be lit. So I been really trying to be present in my life. I have tried really hard to be vulnerable, open, honest, and more patient with myself. I continue to fail but try again.

To help I decided to start what I call a Patience Project.

I never grew up in a family that puts puzzles together. We pretty much all have ADHD and this would have never happened in our family. So I never really got the value of puzzles. Then a good friend of mine, Lincoln, introduced me to the magic of puzzles. It is less about the puzzle (though they are awesome—especially if they glow-in-the-dark) and more about the entire experience. Sometimes it's about the people you put the puzzle together with and other times it's just about slowing down and using your hands to create. To me a 1000 piece puzzle= patience.

My patience project is about time I set aside for me. It is time I let other things drop out of my life. It is time to be creative and practice patience. Don't get me wrong this puzzle is also frustrating to me. The puzzle I chose is 87% blue pieces and I have no idea how I am going to put it together but I always remind myself, like life, one piece at a time, one step at a time. When it gets too frustrating I leave it alone next to my bed and do something else. But lately, I find myself more and more comfortable sitting down with my patience project puzzle.

1 comment:

Shaun Roundy said...

Your post title caught my eye as I've been dealing with similar things lately. I gave a talk last week on faith with a point or two worth sharing, then I'll tell you what has probably helped me most:
1. Faith has two parts - the hard part and the easy part. The hard part is where you trust and wait. The easy part is the clarity, power, inspiration, etc. that floods into your life with the Spirit (faith is a spiritual gift).
2. You are stronger than you know. If you knew who you really are, faith and hope would come a lot easier.
3. Faith is a choice. We tend to say we want to believe, but we can't, because we just don't, and how can we until we do??? But our lack of faith often boils down to nothing more than EMOTIONAL REASONING. We doubt because we feel like it. This points out what may be obvious - that you don't have to let feelings rule your life. CHOOSE faith, hold on, and watch it take hold on you.
What's worked best for me, though, is just to choose to be grateful for the trials and challenges. Somehow the acceptance that follows turns into patience and then the forces stacked against faith (impatience, doubt, fear, etc.) lose their urgency and power. The storm calms and faith remains.
Good luck, Kylee. You are an INCREDIBLE person! I love your determined, positive, ever-eager-to-serve-and-change-the-world attitude!!