I used to think Faith meant having all the right answers and being absolutely sure of them. And if I'm honest, I still struggle with this. But I'm learning that faith is a lot more about trusting than it is about knowing. I read somewhere that doubt is not the opposite of faith; doubt and faith are more like two sides of the same coin and on any given day I can be full of both. I love how Sarah Bessey's new book, her story gives permission to us all in our wandering and our wondering and our questions. And I've been so encouraged just to know I'm not alone on this twisting and winding faith journey because isn't that what we all want to know: that we're not alone? We just want someone to say "I see you. I understand. You're not crazy. You are not alone."
As Sarah wrote, I used to think I had it all beautifully sorted out, but then I didn't.
I used to think God was mad at me all the time, or at least disappointed in me. And again, if I'm honest, I still struggle with this. But what I know to be true and what I am just really trying to believe with my whole heart to be true, is that God IS love. And he loves me and you so much more than our minds can comprehend. and the thing is I believe it for you whoever you are reading this I believe it 1000% that God loves you deeply, truly, he's crazy about you! He made you! In the image of God he created you! The thing is, I need to read these words and hear these words, and repeat them over and over again until I believe them for myself.
I used to think the only right way to read the Bible was literally, but now I think we need to read the Bible more literarily than literally, taking into account the genre and historical and cultural context, etc.
I used to think that because I'm a woman I could never be called to preach or teach men. That's what I was taught growing up. But now I think that God wants to set us free as women. He doesn't want us struggling under the weight of archaic patriarchal systems in chains, he wants his sons and daughters to prophesy, to preach the good news to everyone!
On a related note, I used to think that feminism was a bad word but now I proudly say I am a Jesus Feminist!
I'm going to leave you with a few more encouraging quotes from the book on these gorgeous photos:
Seriously, you guys, I want to quote the whole book to you, it's so good! You must read it!
(If you're local, come borrow mine if you want! I have two copies!)
This blog post is a part of author Sarah Bessey‘s synchroblog based around the prompt “I used to think ______, and now I think ______”. Click here to read others’ responses. And be sure to check out Sarah’s wonderful new book, Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith
(you can read my review here).