Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I am thoroughly frustrated right now.

For a lot of reasons, only one of which I will blog about now.

In case you haven't noticed, this blog has been a little, uh, quiet lately. And by "quiet" I mean I think I only had three posts last year. (My computer crashed and I checked, and it's more like 6, but still. I also had two drafts that started with "I am frustrated." They never got published. We will see about this one.)

I thought by now I would be better. I wrote in my last blog about how much I struggled to go to church and that is still so hard for me. The experience is completely exhausting (even though my church is awesome and I love them.).

But ultimately, I realized that if someone were to ask me what my faith was like right now (and I was being honest), I would have to laugh and go "What faith?" Because that's where I am right now. 

It's not that I doubt the existence of God (though I have). It's just that I'm stuck in some sort of theological paradox. And I don't feel like I see (read: perceive through any of my senses) God anywhere.

Trying to pray fills me with an overwhelming amount of guilt that ultimately just makes my throat feel like it's closing up and I can't do it without just breaking down entirely. And not in the good cathartic kind of way. In the "I spend the rest of the day feeling anxious and miserable for a reason that doesn't even make sense." I've never really understood prayer, anyway. It always seemed ridiculous to me. But nothing like THIS ever happened upon trying to pray.

Most of this stuff wouldn't bother me except that it doesn't feel like I'm making any improvement at all. I hope that this state is transitory and that I won't feel like this forever, but I don't know what to do to make it better. And things just don't spontaneously get better on their own, you have to do something.

I just don't know what.

I'm at a loss.

If you have any suggestions, real, concrete suggestions, I am all ears. Because I don't know what to do anymore.


  1. I have thoughts- to be taken or not taken, but just thoughts/opinions.

    The first is that our relationship with God is just that, a relationship. Like all relationships, it changes because we are human (we change). It's ok to doubt, to feel isolated, to feel abandoned.

    If that's what is happening, my biggest advice right now is Stop Feeling Guilty. Period. You are the one making yourself feel guilty. The Old Testament way was to make people feel guilty if they did not follow "the law." Jesus came to straighten us out on that- "love God, love your neighbor" are the commandments He gave us. You can't develop a healthy relationship if all you feel is guilt. We had gotten so far away from God with our guilt at not obeying a set of laws perfectly that Jesus had to come and set the relationship straight. Stop the Guilt. Just Love.

    Finally, if you can't pray but want to, just Be Still. Prayer is the conversation you have, and if you are doing all the talking it's not a conversation anyway. Just listen for a while.

    It will get better.

  2. I would give you advice, but I really don't think my kind of advice is the kind you're looking for...

    Keeping it simple, and without getting into my very strong opinions of things like religion and prayer, I would say that the thing I think will make the biggest difference and help you the most would be to just try and take the pressure off yourself when it comes to changing where you're at, being comfortable at church, or forcing yourself to pray. Faith shouldn't be something that makes you uncomfortable or stresses you if that's what's happening, then maybe you need to take a step back and give yourself a break while you try to work out why.

    I don't know if any of that even really makes's kind of hard to give advice while simultaneously self-censoring...


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