Monday, August 11, 2014

Departing Doctrine

I am in the awkward position of not knowing my position. Increasingly, I find myself disagreeing with almost all the ideology of both the liberal and conservative bloggers' side, and ideology of the mainstream members. It leaves me with the very real possibility that I am the one going wrong.

Increasingly, the things said over the pulpit do not resonate with me. But neither do any of the things from other perspectives. Maybe I'm just overstressed and finding myself incontrovertibly rooted in the right-now, physical world. Maybe having lived in survival mode, in fear for so long makes me utterly unlike the rest of the world, without the capacity to gnaw over the past, politics or religion. But maybe my constant tension means I'm losing touch with the Spirit.

I find myself hungry for doctrines that resonate with me, thirsty for the Waters of Life. And, as in prophecy, I do not know where to find them. My prayers consist mostly of "I don't know what to ask for, but please help." My list of Things I Need to Repent From grows longer daily, and I still haven't the least clue how to change any of them. Repentance is easier when you know what you are doing wrong, or know how to change it when you do.

My journey from faith, if that is what this is, mirrors no other journeys I've seen. My journey to faith, if that is what this is, seems curiously independent, which makes me doubt it. I am ever suspicious of being "different" from everyone else around me. In my experience, that is usually just plain "wrong."

This is why I don't often write any more. I don't have any answers, no lessons learned of late. My heart, mind, and faith have lost their elasticity. I hope with all the energy I have remaining that this is merely the hiatus I've been hoping for, that soon I will engage with my Savior again, things will snap back into shape, start making sense again. I hope I will get through the things I must do to take care of my family's needs and be able once again to find a way to serve outside of myself. I hope that maybe I really am learning things, just things that are not quantifiable. I hope that my almost constant sense of frustration is a mere mortal moment, and things will eventually slip back into place.

But how does an apostate know they are apostatizing? Is it possible that I am falling prey to that same process?

This is what fills me with fear, when I let myself wonder.

Yet, in some ways I also feel peace, buried deep beneath the frustration. I feel a solidity there, a knowledge that life very well can go horribly wrong, but that I'll deal with that if and when it does. I feel frustrated with the constant minor challenges that seem to be thrown at me lately, the inability to keep track of everything I need to keep track of just to make life function, let alone reach out to people who might need me. I laugh at my inability to feel a part of any thing. The emotions are too tumbled together to parse into explainable threads. I don't know what I feel, and have no idea what I need.

In the end, I hope my Savior will rescue my heart, because I certainly can not help save myself. The answers don't work for me any more, but there are no answers to replace the ones I have lost. Just endless incomprehensibility. I smile in the face of my own weaknesses, and am grateful for people who love me and don't expect me to have answers. My children forgive me, and most days that is enough.

I understand nothing of what I am going through, but I take one day at a time, one hour at a time, and do what I can with that. Patience is not a feeling of peace, as I always thought. Faith is not a sense of empowerment. Perhaps patience is letting God handle the things I cannot, and faith is sensing that sometimes things happen without my understanding them. Maybe patience and faith and frustration can all exist in one person at the same time. Maybe that doesn't mean I'm losing connection with God, just learning to understand Him in a different way.

At such times, in the face of those who judge my unhappiness and tell me to "get over it," I finally learn to laugh. Because God accepts my unhappiness, too. He can work with that, as He works with all unmanageable clay. It is time to take myself out of the process, to stop trying to kick the wheel of my own life, and simply live it.

It is time to worry less about being doctrinally correct, and more about observing this life while I have it. Less about being wrong or being right, and more about just being. Even if I'm nothing more than a lumpy pot at the end, at least I will have been formed by Him.


  1. I'm writing this for those who feel like their life doesn't always have clear lines to color in. I know sometimes when watching other people, it is easy to see their blessings and the hand of God in their lives. When we see ourselves, we so easily see our own weaknesses and the imperfections in our lives. It is hard to see ourselves clearly.

    It's okay to be unhappy, it's okay to not like the life you are in. It is okay to not know what to do with certain parts of your life. God doesn't expect you to be Jesus. That's not why you're here. You're here to see if, even when you can't make sense of things, you will trust Him to guide you through the fog of life.

    I don't show these murky and less than perfect parts of myself so that people can tell me it's all going to be okay. I do it because I feel that if I show other people that they are not the only ones who feel that way, they will know they are not alone. They will know that they can be amazing and messy, too.

  2. Hi SilverRain,

    As a random member who stumbled on your post, all I can say is that I sympathize with you! It sounds like your faith in the Savior is one of your strong points. I'd build on this. Christ is the Bread of Life and the Living Waters, and He promises that those who turn to Him will never hunger or thirst again. I do believe he will bless you abundantly as you give yourself to Him. I personally have found great comfort in reading the words of Christ in the New Testament Gospels and in the Book of Mormon. I hope that you find the peace that you seek!

  3. An observation I ran across recently that is helping me understand many things was in a lecture on the Gospels by New Testament Scholar N. T Wright. He observed that Luke had set up the end of Acts to mirror the end of his Gospel. I one Christ becomes King through the Crucifixion in the other Paul arrives in Rome to Preach the Kingdom through a ship wreck. In both cases Glory arrives not just after the disaster but through it. May you be sheltered through your storms and come out the other side full of light.


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