Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fragile Faith

My faith has been tested in recent years. Well... let me rephrase that. Perhaps I mean my trust has been tested. In terms of faith, there have been times (Omg omg omg. I just killed a spider crawling on my arm. Deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Okay. Okay. I’m okay. Continuing on....)- there have been times, days, weeks, long stretches of barren wasteland, where I thought my faith was being wrenched. But I've realized, in retrospect, that the times when I thought my faith was gone, it was there all along, a steady, tired beating. Sometimes I may have managed to tune it out. But the rhythm of the steps that kept me plodding on through those dry, aching times, was the rhythm of my being. The core of my faith. Whether I knew it was there or not, it kept me. It held me when I wasn’t strong enough to hold it on my own. My faith has never wavered. But my trust... now that’s a different story.

My trust is being stretched again. I’m not a naturally trusting person. I think I can say that along with many of the human race. We are not a trusting species. We’re wary, and cruel, and biting. Those who do trust are considered naive, chewed up and spit out in a bitter pile. I learned early not to place my trust in people. Certain types of people especially. If my initial judgment of someone is too harsh, it’s merely out of self defense. And yet, somehow, these certain types of people seem to always reel me in. Against my better- or baser, at least- judgment.

So what call do I make? Do I back into a corner, hissing and spitting, ready to bite any hand that reaches out to me, merely because I mistakenly placed my trust in a fallible human being that I knew would break me eventually anyway?

Or, do I exercise this fragile faith of mine, knowing that it’s very likely I’ll be hurt, broken even, and people I love along with me? Do I take that LEAP I’ve been maundering on about, forgive what needs forgiving, and love with a vulnerability I don’t feel? Do I let others make mistakes in front of me, leading me down thorny, gravelly paths, and trust that my true Guide won’t let me get lost?

I don’t know. It’s easy for me to sit here in the middle of the night, and bravely beat my chest, saying, “Oh yes! I’ll be strong! I’ll be resilient! I’ll trust and be broken, and broken again, knowing that He can put me to rights!” It’s easy to type those words out. But when faced with a choice to trust or run, odds are good that I’ll run right back to my corner with my hackles raised like a suspicious cat, my eyes dilated and reflecting the darkness of my brokenness.

So here’s what I’ll do. For now. I will plod through these wastelands with a steady gait, trusting that the rhythm of my steps will not be lost on Him, because His heart beats with mine, bleeds with mine, and breaks with mine. I will take this fragile faith, and I’ll place it in the only One in my life thus far Who has truly earned it. And I will trust Him to nurture it, nourish it, and make me well.

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