Friday, October 14, 2016

The Faith Struggle

I have struggled with this post for some time now. It's not an easy topic for me to talk about and it's not a subject that most people openly talk about. That topic is faith, but more specifically struggling with faith.

Since I was born I have gone to Sunday school and church and spent time doing different volunteer projects for the church. My mom was a Sunday school teacher so she made my brother and I memorize a lot of scripture, but I never minded. Never while I was younger did I question God or my belief in him. I was a straight-laced, conservative student who kept my nose in the books and out of trouble. While some kids were out experimenting with substances, relationships, or whatever I was the 'good girl.' I wandered a bit from what I believed at the end of high school but when I wound up totally broken and full of hurt I found forgiveness and grace in the arms of Jesus. 

When I moved away to college I found a church to attend and again stayed away from the typical college lifestyle. I surrounded myself with people who shared my beliefs and supported me. Everything changed when I graduated college and moved back to my hometown. Suddenly the very life I had built for myself ceased to exist and I was struggling to find my way. 

Shortly after moving home I had to have surgery, but the surgery triggered a lupus flare and I wound up in the hospital for a week and spent even more time out of the hospital recovering. The difficulties didn't end there. My dad's fibromyalgia became so severe he was frequently in the ER just so they could give him some strong pain meds that are not commercially available. Doctors didn't (and still don't) have answers or solutions. Someone I loved hurt me in the worst way and I was devastated. I didn't get the dream job, in fact I couldn't get a job at all, or at least one where I could afford to have a place to live and eat regularly. More fibromyalgia flares. An emergency surgery. What started off as an IT band injury but ended up being a lupus flare that left me in bed for a week. My faith began to crumble. 

I tried to remain strong but a person can only take so much before they begin to break. Bible verses I memorized as a child would (and still do) float through my head like Romans 8:28, "And we know God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." 

Don't misunderstand me I still believe in God. I believe he created the world and is in control, but I have so many questions and for the past couple months doubts. My dad has suffered for years with fibromyalgia and God could heal him, but he doesn't. Why? Why must he continue to suffer? Does God not see the hurt and pain my dad suffers on a daily basis and the pain that my family endures because of his fibromyalgia? God could heal me and lift the burden that lupus is. I can't tell you how many times I have woken up sobbing or laid in bed crying because the pain has been so excruciating. God could heal me but he doesn't. God could have provided a good job for me, but he hasn't. He could have prevented the flare I'm enduring right now. I just don't understand. 

I don't understand how God who is supposedly good can let people suffer. Now do I think that my family or I are better than anyone else and should therefore be healed before others? Absolutely not. I just don't understand how God who professes to be good, loving, all powerful and above all can let people endure such suffering. I'm not asking for a perfect life because there is no such thing as perfect, but some relief would be nice. Last week someone told me that they were praying for me in a specific situation and I told them that their prayers were not working because I was still suffering, to which they replied, 'It's all in God's timing.' I get that life isn't about instant gratification, but a person can only be broken so much before they cannot bear the load anymore. I reached that breaking point awhile ago.

Some of my fundamental beliefs are rooted in God and the bible and those have not changed. Those views and beliefs are too ingrained in the fiber of my being, but there are some things I have begun to question. I still read my bible, I still go to church, I still believe in God, but I feel abandoned by God. Where was he when I was laying on the floor by the toilet for two and a half days straight this week because I couldn't keep food down? Where was he when I cried in the middle of the night for nights on end because the pain was so excruciating? Where was he when I didn't have the strength to get out of bed? I felt no comfort, no peace, nothing. Just pain and loneliness.

These are the things I have been wrestling with lately. I don't know where I will end up. I would like to say there is a light at the end of this very long, very dark tunnel but I don't know that. Maybe something will reignite my love of God and cause those passion flames to burn again but I just don't know that. The hurt and pain run too deep right now. It something that I am going to continue to wrestle with because I want to and need to figure it out for myself. It's not easy to take a step back from everything you have ever believed in and reevaluate it all. 

If you have struggled with your faith please let me know. Comment or email me and share with me what you did and how you got through it, or if you're still struggling share with me what brought you to that place. My only hope is that something good can come of this wandering. 


  1. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I wish I had a magic answer and could take some of your pain for you. I was diagnosed with severe arthritis that riddles my body. I had to give up the career I loved because of the pain; however, the pain has made me stronger. I've become very open minded to solutions I would not have considered before. I've changed my diet, lost 75 pounds, sought holistic healing practices and changed my perspective. I want you to read Andy Andrews' The Noticer: I've been reading your blog for quite awhile. In the beginning when my life was decimated, you encouraged me through your words, and I know you have encourage others. You are an intelligent, creative young lady, and you will find the strength that only comes from faith to get you through this. I have faith, and I will share. You can reach me at

  2. I know how you are feeling. I have had those same fleeting thoughts. I have several diagnoses including fibrmyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, hypothyroidism, MCTD, possible lupus and POTS. I have lived with Fibro since the early 2000s and just learned to work with and through it. Gradually it became worse and then I was hit hard in 2012 with CFS. It was devastating. My body shut down and I couldnt even walk. My mitochondria were failing. My Dr had to put me on FMLA for 6 months from my dream library position and I had to resign because my body would not heal. Here's the thing...there are no answers. God is all powerful and loving, but he put this world in motion and our ancestors have destroyed pieces of it since the beginning. It's affecting us now at a genetic level. It's bound to happen. I believe he hears our prayers and intervenes when it's His plan. He gave us all free will to live and deal with our lives while we're here. Many of us do our best with what we've got. Some make horrible decisions. I don't think he rewards them or hurts them for that. Our time here is a gift, a lesson, a challenge and our "reward" are the joyous moments we make & share with others. We can't change many things in this life, but we can make the best out of that five minutes of joy when we smile through our pain when a family member has a baby, or a friend gets married, a hero steps up to save others lives and then we know God is in each of us looking out and reaching in to make sure we support one another. We're all in this together even when we feel alone. We can look forward to no pain one day when our life is finished here and we can join Him in His Heavenly Kingdom where there won't be any pain, sickness, suffering or evil. I have had years of being in bed, in pain, in the hospital going through tests, labs, bloodwork, and I know He is with me and that is my Faith. I don't blame Him. I'm living for Him because He gave me this Life and no matter how difficult it is, I know someone else has a bigger challenge and I'll pray for them. My ultimate goal is to reach Him, in His time, on His terms, in His Arms. We have no control. That is where Faith begins. I dont know if my words made sense to youn but i hope they helpedn even if just a little. I'll pray for you and your dad.
    My email is if you'd like to reach out to me.

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  4. Dear friend Rachel,
    I wanted to share that going through an ED put me in the exact same place. I was challenged to really examine and look at my faith.

    Yet God has you Rachel. Romans 8 promises this to you.

    6 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

    19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

    20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

    21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

    24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

    25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.'

    I have wondered before. What if I'm wrong? But God is true. Men go up and down. They tell the truth and they don't tell the truth. I do that. I'm not always truthful, and I'm not proud of that, but the point is our faith rests on Jesus Christ, not on ourselves.

    Isaiah 43:2 has also kept me grounded in the midst of all these trials that come our way, because there are SO many every day. 'When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.'

    The biggest reminder for me that I've often repeated because it seems like spiritual battles are so thick for our family every days is John 16:33, 'In this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' Ultimately Jesus has won. The devil is the father of lies, and he will try to put lies in our heads especially lies about God and God's love and kindness for His children through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    But the more I look around and read God's Word the more I realize that there is no hope for the world but Jesus. I've never seen a man fix people for eternity and give them hope for eternity. We couldn't make ourselves right with God, but dear precious sister Rachel, no matter what, God has you as His child.

    The devil will try to attack, but NOTHING can pluck you out of God's plan. (John 6). And your fellow prayer warriors are in this with you. I'm praying for you. I can't even fathom what you suffer at times, but I'm praying for you, mighty woman of God, that you can be filled with His love and goodness. Some day we will be home in glory with Him, and for eternity, all suffering will be no more.