You Have to be There

I am so small on this earth, I am nothing without You;
Daring to doubt You at all turns the knife in my heart...
"You Have To Be There" from "Kristina from Duvemåla"

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Psalm 22:1-2 

photo by Mutasim Billah Pritam

Can I be perfectly honest? Some days I just don't have this whole faith thing figured out. I stand in church and I mouth the words to songs that skim like a skipping stone along the surface of my day and I don't know what any of it means. I sit down in the mornings, coffee in hand, with Bible and highlighter and it's all just words that crumble if I try to grasp them. I pray and I wonder if anyone is listening. I wonder what the magic trick is to figuring this all out, to being one of those so sure and steady in their faith.

Am I too much a cynic?

I scan back through words written over the years. Some days it seems that I understood it, that I grasped this idea of God-love pouring over our lives. Or were they just words? I wonder if I'm all talk and no substance.

Am I a fake?

I read through the picture Bible with my boys and they want to know why Isaac is on the altar and I don't know the answer other than that God told his dad to sacrifice him and Abraham said 'OK' because he loved God more than anything. I don't know how to tell them this without raising the specter of "What if God asked you to sacrifice me?" And I don't know how to tell them that if it came down to that I would choose them over God any day.

Am I a bad Christian?

I have not suffered. I have never lost a child, a job, a house, a life. I have never gone hungry, never known the pain of terminal illness, of famine, of war. I am loved by my husband and my children. I have friends. My petty trials have been so very easy, so fleeting in the grand scheme of things. How can I have all this and be so small in my faith compared to those who have suffered loss, pain, sickness? How dare I doubt?

Am I simply weak?

I know that God can handle my questions. I know that I don't have to have everything figured out. But sometimes I feel like the least certain of his children, the one in the back of the crowd trying to get a glimpse of him but always falling off of whatever I've climbed up on for a view. And yet I stay here, because where else would I go? Even if I can't see him, he HAS to be there.

Note: I first heard this song almost a month ago, and have spent the past month writing and re-writing this post trying to articulate why this song resonates with me on such a deep, gut-wrenching level. And thus the quiet on my blog, because every time I opened it this post was staring at me, daring me to finish it before I wrote another word. I can't be all light and happy and 'oh, look at the room we just painted' at the cost of being authentic. So here it is. Here I am.

Sharing this bit of myself on Life: Unmasked at Joy in this Journey.

Life: Unmasked


  1. I love your honesty! All this means is you are a normal girl, you don't think you are too holy or too much a sinner and God can do amazing things through you! I wrote something kinda similiar called I'm an imperfect Christian I would love for you to stop by. You have a beautiful blog here!

  2. I have such similar doubts and fears and questions, and I too wonder why do I when so many around me appear not to struggle with these things at all? I wonder if some of it is my personality, what makes me who I am. I wonder if it is something that I will always struggle with, no matter what it is I'm trying to believe.

    I'm glad that you shared. I'm right there with you. Holding on all the while wondering what it is I'm holding onto.


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