I hate how I feel my faith is pulling me every which way. Part of me longs to return to my Nazarene roots. Being born and raised Nazarene, I want to go back to how I was raised, what was familiar, what I know.
Part of me wants to explore Lutheranism, as my new college is Lutheran.
Another part of me pulls towards borderline agnosticism. And another part of me pulls to not believing in anything. Logically, I know faith should boil down to the old hymn:
“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
But the other part of me wants to have a strong assurance. I want to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs. I want to belong to a certain denomination, crazy I know, but still.
But this means exploring theology.
This means exploring dogma and doctrine.
This means figuring out what i believe.
And I don’t know how to figure this out.
I have several different study Bibles in various translations, I’ve read the Bible numerous times. I can argue theology, I can spew out Bible verses at the drop of a hat. I did Bible Trivia as a child (and did rather well in the Southwestern Ohio Nazarene District) and know my Bible well.
I struggle with the concept of love. I don’t love simply or often, but when I do love I love deeply and I become fierce with my love. My love protects, calms, comforts, teases, enjoys, hangs out… it’s a special relationship and bond and I love it. But I am afraid of receiving the love I so rarely give out. And I think that is part of why I struggle with a faith and religion currently – all my book knowledge tells me that there is a God who loves me that deeply and more, and the scared, abused part of me cowers in fear of that love. But yet at the same time I long and crave for that love. The love that I never really felt as a child. The love that I want so badly, but I fear.
At times I want nothing to do with Christianity. I see a religion that spews out hate in the alleged name of Jesus. I see a religion of people who walk the talk, but don’t talk the talk or walk the walk. I look at my own life and want to yell at this alleged faith. I look at one of my favorite worship songs from high school:
In the long hour of my sorrow,
through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me, and sustain me
My defender forever more
When hope is lost, I’ll call you Saviour.
When pain surrounds, I’ll call you Healer.
When silence falls, You’ll be the song in my heart
Part of my issues with Christianity were the way I was treated at old school. Please note that I know people who have gone to Old School, and are still there and loved it. I do not intend to bash the place that is, for them, wonderful and healing and a good fit. However, for me, it did a great amount of damage to my faith and even my mental health. Please know that just because Old School wasn’t the right fit for me, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good school. However, because it was damaging to me means that I will often talk of it. It is not an attempt in libel or slander at the school.
All that stated, I came out of that school damaged. I came out the school a wounded spirit. And I don’t know what my faith is. I don’t know what I believe. I don’t know how to explore it without reopening wounds that I’m not ready to heal. I hate this turmoil that’s taken over my soul, and I don’t even know how to begin repairing it.