Empowered to Embrace the Wondering (Empowered by the Spiritual Life: Guest Post)

Posted By Tammy Hendricksmeyer on Oct 28, 2015 | 0 comments


Guest Post: by Adela Just

 

{I remember, a couple of years ago, reading Adela’s first blog post. She drew me in with her topic on failure and then had me at, “That moment when your child publicly decides to air his grievances and all the other parents are staring at you as if none of their children ever pitched a fit in all their born days.”  As parents, we live these hard and humilitating blips in time. But survival makes us tougher (and humble-r).  Adela lives a couple hours down the road from me. You’d think we’d be sipping tea together, more often than we do. As it is now, we remain online (only) friends and writer’s, journeying our faith seasons in similiar ways. Perhaps that’ll change, one day soon. Her guest post resonates with me. I too have allowed the Holy Spirit to guide my questions and my answers. Please welcome, Adela!}

 

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Over the past two years, my spiritual journey has taken me to unexpected places—deep into the heart of my own questions, doubts, and frustrations.

 

It scared me. I’ve watched people “wrestle with theology,” until suddenly, they didn’t want anything to do with God or church or Christianity. I thought I’d made peace with my own questions; I didn’t expect them to re-surface. What had I missed?

 

I didn’t want to lose my faith, but I couldn’t stop the unraveling. I grabbed hold of familiar truths only to find them crumbling in my hands. Many things I had been taught, had wholeheartedly believed, simply didn’t hold up against the reality I faced.

 

Several months ago, I wept my way through worship once again. I felt incredibly lost, when I sensed the breath of the Spirit on my heart: Don’t you remember who I am? I’m the One who guides you into all truth. And how do you find truth? You ask questions. I’m guiding your questions. It’s Me.

 

I can’t describe the burden lifted from me in that moment.

 

The Holy Spirit guides our questions. Have you ever pondered that? It’s a breathtaking reality. Doubt is not always a bad thing. Sometimes He wants us to doubt that thing we’ve clung to because it’s become entangled with something He never meant for us to be anchored to. Sometimes He wants to unravel our foundations, so He can build better ones.

 

If you want to find your way out of faith all together, you’ll find it. There are holes, things that won’t make sense this side of eternity, things no human being can explain. It can drive you crazy, and it can drive you away.

 

But if you want the faith He always intended you to have, trust Him to guide you. The mistake people make is taking their questions only to other people, especially to cynics. And while I firmly believe that God uses others to shape our faith, when all is said and done, we have to bring the questions back to Him. After all, if I really want to know something about someone, nothing beats going straight to the source.

 

I am learning to recognize the difference between the Holy Spirit seeking to guide me and the enemy seeking to derail me.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit’s questions always draw me to places of deeper love and grace, while the enemy’s questions always draw me to places of bitterness, anger and frustration.
  2. When my questions are prompted by the Holy Spirit, I can still find rest in His presence, but when they are not, I begin to feel cut off from Him.
  3. I give space to the voices of those who are really seeking to love Him with their whole hearts, even if their doctrine or theology is different from that which I’ve always known. In the midst of their struggles and frustrations, they maintain open hearts. On the other hand, I limit the influence of voices that are either very bitter toward the church and Christians in general, or skeptical about the character of God. I am always willing to listen and validate their personal stories and experience, but they do not get to shape my convictions.
  4. And perhaps the most telling indicator is that when God Himself is reshaping my thinking and beliefs, I experience humility and tremendous patience with those who are in different places than I am in. But when it is the enemy, my thinking becomes critical, harsh and irritable toward others.

 

I’ve not arrived the other side of all the questions and uncertainties. Are we ever really past it all? But I am at peace with the process, and I am able to embrace the wondering without fear because I know who is leading me.

 

And when God feels silent among all the other voices, I find overwhelming comfort in these words C.S. Lewis penned in Till We Have Faces:

 

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face, questions die away. What other answer would suffice? Only words, words; to be led out to battle against other words.” ~~C.S. Lewis

 

 

If you find yourself in a season where your faith feels shaken and everything you thought you knew seems uncertain, take heart. The Holy Spirit is comforter, encourager and guide. God’s got you, and when He’s got you, He won’t let go. Lean into the questions, and be empowered to embrace the wondering.

 

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adela photoAdela Just is a writer and editor, living in Texas with her husband and two energetic, creative munchkins. She blogs at adelajust.wordpress.com, where she wrestles through the beauty and tension of choosing creativity, rest, health, meaningful relationships and faith in the rhythm of everyday life – an intentional pursuit of the sacred in the midst of the ordinary.

 

 

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As part of the #Write31Days series, I’m writing everyday. However, I’m not publicly publishing every day. But I will be posting more often. You may find mistakes such as grammar or spelling errors. It’s the conversations that matter, right? Feel free to share your thoughts too. 

 

To find the whole series, click here–Empowered by the Spiritual Life.

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  1. Day 28: Embrace the Wondering (31 Days of Simple Truths) | Adela Just - […] Today, I’m over at The Art of Fear Not with Tammy Hendricksmeyer, writing about leaning into the questions and…

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