I became a follower of Jesus in 2013. Many people, spiritual experiences and lessons have come and go, but my encounter with God that January Sunday is as palpable to me today as it was that day 5 years ago. I came into church feeling - fuck the world, i hate everyone, the world hates me, i am alone, what am i doing with my life - to knowing without a doubt, i was not alone and that God wanted me, not the future version of me, but that raw messy desperate girl. God wanted me. And the rest is history, in terms of my faith in Jesus. I believe in Jesus. Jesus suffered. Jesus partied. Jesus loved women. He loved men. Jesus had all the feels. Jesus was sacrificial. Jesus loved people as they are and dined, wined, partied with those in society everyone held their noses up to. I love that Jesus.
Back track - I first started attending church group in high school. I was that girl who led Bible Studies and discipled and led worship song dancing. It was my safe place. When I went to college, I found other places to be safe and I no longer looked like that high school Christian girl. I remember coming back and being confronted about how I wasn't looking very Christian in my Facebook photos, that I needed to find a Bible study. I would go to these Sunday services that I used to invite my boyfriends to, and be appalled by the teaching. I knew that God existed but it wasn't this.
I feel similarly now. I know God exists. I know Jesus is and was real. I know that each of us were created in the image of God. I know that we can have divinity in us - the Spirit. I truly believe in these things because I believe in hope. I believe that it is through community we will heal. I believe that if we are truly to give up our comforts and live by sacrificial love, we can taste heaven on earth. I will grip onto hope in this life.
But boy do I doubt. I look at our President and I want to kill him. I look at the shootings and the lack of gun control and I want to punch a wall; and I have punched walls. I look at family separation, the turning away from refugees, the blatant racism against Black and Brown and even Yellow in our country and I think, WTF. I doubt how Christians hold so tightly to their doctrine that they make no room for an incarnation of grace. I doubt the way people use Scripture to force a certain right candidate or priority. I start to question whether these things I had once said were right and wrong are actually that black and white. And I too believe in prayer but how many of us are doing that, praying in our fancy houses with our air-condition, and standing far from the mess but telling those in the fire to "have faith"?
I have more questions than ever about how Scripture is to be applied. I have doubt in how I have chosen to interpret the Bible, how others have interpreted the Bible. How did Jesus attract EVERYONE in society even with this radical AF sayings and explicit truth? How did he draw all? How did Jesus not get DEFENSIVE when the self-righteous and doubters threw hard questions at him? How did he stand with grace and truth in a way that made people hate him not because of how he was living his life, but because of how he confronted the ugly in them? He never doubted the Truth. He was sure of it, so he didn't need to get DEFENSIVE when people questioned his worth. He knew it. So it just left him room to the do the thing we all need: a present love that pursues.