I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions over the last few years. Simple ones like, “what am I doing with my life?”, “Why did I cut my hair like that?”, “Oh my gosh, I just said that out loud, what was I thinking?” (you know, simple, stupid questions). I’ve also asked myself for complicated questions, like “how can I be living more intentionally?”, “how can I be a christian and believe in certain things?”, “what is my role as a white women in this century?”, “how do all of my roles and beliefs wrap up into a pretty little package?” The answers for these are not as simple.
I am inspired by a lot of people, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Junior, Ellen Degeneres or Beyonce. Even people I encounter daily – Haley, Amy, Dayna, Amelia, Kristian, Jennifer – the list could go on forever (seriously, even if you’re not on that list, trust me, you inspire me. I’m not lyin’.) Yet, even with those inspirations, I still find myself struggling to answer a question that is constantly on my mind.
How can I be a Christian as well as a..feminist, democrat, activist, pro-choice(ist?), humanist? The bible says so many things against the beliefs that are so dear to my heart. So, how can I be a devoted and selfless Christian, while also standing firm in my beliefs and values?
And as I’ve thought about this question, I think the answer has become more clear to me than ever before. Jesus stood firm in his belief. He took care of lepers, disabled, people of all beliefs – he was for all of them. So why would I not be like Jesus? That is the goal, right? To be a reflection of God through your actions and beliefs.
So a year and a half ago, I fell away from God. While I was asking all of these questions, partying my weekends away too hungover to go to church most Sundays and leading a bible study I barely had faith in – my relationship with God fell through the cracks. The only light my bible ever saw was when I would open it to prepare for study – some weeks passing by with no one in attendance. My fire had been dwindled down to ash.
I looked to people who I saw as the “perfect” Christians and knew I was nothing like them anymore. I felt disobedient to God when I would take on another extracurricular. I felt further from him when I found worth in guys paying attention to me at the bars. I felt lost and confused – like I was running without a purpose.
So I started to pray. I started to ask God the questions I had been asking for so long. I asked if my beliefs were okay with Him, because I so deeply believe in an equal world. Where everyone has value and are accepted for how they look, who they love and what they do. And for the first time in over a year, my heart felt at peace. I had always told people – my God changes with His people. His creations are made with no mistakes. And that night I knew my beliefs were okay.
Now I know not everyone sees it this way. But after the experiences I’ve had in my life, meeting who I’ve met, I have faith – restored faith – that I have a God who believes in and loves His people. I am not one to write about my religion. I am not one to shove my beliefs down other peoples throats – that is not my purpose or my calling. However, if others have been struggling with these questions, I hope my story can aide you in some way, shape or form. Every day is a struggle for me. No one ever said it would be easy.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4
I encourage any comments, questions or thoughts on this. Maybe your beliefs differ from mine. That’s okay – if you’re cool, I’m cool.
Thanks for reading,