In my previous article I hinted at how difficult going through a process of deconstruction can be (when one questions important aspects of their faith in a serious manner). For my readers who are currently on this road, I wanted to offer a couple other thoughts.
First off, I would like to suggest that when our minds are confused and we are no longer able to rest our faith on the presuppositions we used to hold dear, it is a good time to lean on spiritual disciplines to find some of the “substance” of our faith. Through community, service, prayer, the Eucharist, and even by continually meditating on portions of Scripture that speak to us, we can practice our faith despite how our mind doesn’t always know where it stands on everything. This takes our relationship with God and His people out of a merely cerebral playing field and into something that feels more concrete and active.
Along with this, we can also reflect on and cultivate mystical experiences with the Divine. We don’t do this to prove our faith per se, but to enjoy it. Spend some time in silence and solitude, reminding yourself of the favor and nearness of God. Talk to Him out loud and journal any responses you sense from Him in your heart. Pray in tongues. Gaze on Christ in the eye of your imagination. Maybe listen to some spontaneous Bethel worship sets on YouTube and sing along. Feel the connection you have with the Spirit and don’t just analyze it. This will center and ground you in a way that ideas and arguments will not always be able to do so.
Beyond all of this, I encourage you to check out some of the following resources that I have found incredibly helpful:
This is some wonderful pastoral advice that podcast-er Jonathan Martin gave his listeners in a Q & A session on his show. It was full of wisdom and empathy, and can definitely inspire courage in anyone feeling stuck or afraid in their process.
Pete Enns discusses faith and doubt with singer Audrey Assad. It’s an insightful conversation with a woman who I am sure many listeners can relate to in her journey.
Michael Hakmin Lee shares on a Christianity Today blog about why our doubts do not necessarily indicate that our hearts are in a bad place.
If you feel uncertain about feeling uncertain, this excerpt from Greg Boyd’s book “Benefit of the Doubt” might help give you permission to explore your questions further.
Blessings and grace to you!