The Trouble with Christianity

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In our eighth year of marriage, my husband and I faced one of our greatest decisions yet. I’d be lying if I said strong emotions weren’t central.

After several months of consideration and prayer, our future seemed to be falling into place. Except for this one ever-present question: Is this best for our children?

I remember a conversation I had on the phone with my mother, shortly before my husband sealed our fate.

“The problem is, Mom, we’re not baby Christians anymore. We can’t look for signs. We have this annoying faith to know that God will take care of us no matter what we choose.”

I’ll admit my lack of gratitude, but, truly, how much easier is life and our walk with Christ when we hunt for a magical road illuminated for us – when, at least mentally, we escape the burden of our own responsibility?

I grew up in the Church, and I can tell you that faith has a way of beating you out of desperation. After His hand has “saved” you for the millionth time, you begin to understand that maybe His promises actually do protect you when your own judgment falls short.

A few months ago, I sat down to grade papers at the local box bookstore. If there is one thing I would change about my little Southern town, it would be the sustainability of a Mom and Pop bookstore. But I digress…

Just to the left of me that afternoon sat two young women – organizing their freshly packaged Bibles with brightly colored books of the Bible tabs. They were loud. They were new Christians. But, man, were they excited to prepare their hearts for study. In many ways, I envied their crisp pages and unjaded perspectives. Oh, the ease of belief before marriage and children!

It’s funny. In the midst of intense decision-making, I often forget all about the believer within – the little girl who emerged from cool waters nearly two decades ago. I have no doubt that – deep inside – she’s still furiously flipping through her illustrated children’s Bible.

So what, then, did weeks of sleepless nights yield? A more prayerful wife and mother.

For the first time in our marriage, my husband and I had to weigh all options – including the life we hope to provide for our little people. We had to sacrifice dreams for our family that may never be. We had to embrace uncertainty.

And we chose to believe that God never fails.

But, you know, I think back to those young ladies in Books-A-Million often, especially the one who pronounced Job as “job”. And I’m thankful that – in His perfect love – God stands ready to redeem.

You. Me. And every strung out parent in between.

One Year Ago: The “Oh, Crap” Moment

6 thoughts on “The Trouble with Christianity

  1. “The problem is, Mom, we’re not baby Christians anymore. We can’t look for signs. We have this annoying faith to know that God will take care of us no matter what we choose.”

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding.

    This seems to imply that as we grow in spiritual maturity, we grow increasingly independent, making decisions less and less based on what God might be communicating to us through signs, and more on the wisdom we’ve been given.

    Is that what you’re saying?

    Like

    1. What I intended to share, at least in this specific passage, was that I was foolish earlier in my walk with Christ to think that – as many new Christians do – God will only “illuminate” one specific way, and it will be dramatic like in countless movies. Not to say that it couldn’t be from time to time, but it’s unlikely to be at each fork in the road. As I’ve gotten older and come to mature in my beliefs, I see that faith in a mighty God gives us peace in knowing that He will guide us through every decision. For myself, I’ve learned to fixate less on perfect decision-making and more on prayerful listening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s key. Sometimes God does give us the giant neon flashing “GO THIS WAY” sign in the sky, but I’ve found it much more likely, especially with big decisions, that God will help me to look at the decision from His perspective and consider the repercussions of each path, but leave the decision to me. This has the dual purpose of looking at the decision making process as primarily relational rather than transactional, and helps us to focus on the fact that ultimately where we go is less important than how we get there. It’s the journey, not the destination.

        Liked by 1 person

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