When I was first a Christian, I used to read about the time between the Hebrew Bible ending, and the New Testament beginning.
There were 400 years of silence.
God had promised a bunch. The Jews were waiting for a soldier King that would come to bring justice to their enemies, and build a kingdom for them. They would no longer be preyed upon. They would no longer be ruled over by foreign powers.
But silence happened.
Those first five years that I followed Jesus, whenever I’d come across that story, I would feel confused about God. Why he would do that. Felt bad for all the people that had to live during that time. In the absolute silence. Abandonment.
But I mostly glossed over it.
I now get it. I don’t know when the 400 years of silence, or the 40 years of desert, or the time in slavery and then prison for Joseph, will be over. I’m just stuck in prison. I get glimpses. Glimpses of movement happening, of Pharaoh calling for me, or being made head of the slaves, or whatever half-way version of the Promised Land comes out. (I’m going into a dumb level of biblical metaphor, sorry.)
2020 feels like it will be the year. Without context of who I am or my history, that just seems like a cliche. As I’ve been metaphorically enslaved or imprisoned, my faith, I don’t even like to call it that, this thing with Jesus has definitely been put under a lot of pressure. Probably best way to describe it, is it feels like I tore my ACL. My faith was that ligament. It snapped, but I didn’t question if my ACL existed. It just has been pretty damaged. I’m slowly relearning how to walk, but with every step it aches. So when I talk about Him, or speak about spiritual things — it is not from a place of being in love. And that hurts me. Because that’s what it was. It’s in a place of being in rehab, and, of course, feeling like I’m alone on a desert island. He still talks to me. Still gives me visions. I feel him, sense his guiding, sense his direction.
But I live alone on a desert island.
I’ve lived here a long time now.
So God’s here, and I’m here, but my reality in no way looks like a thriving life, much less a life where I even care about Jesus. I care about him because he’s here with me. But again, I probably reject him quite a bit for what I feel he’s done to me.
The shittiest part is, writing it all out seems so dumb. Like seems so fake. If I were to read this, and was an atheist — it just sounds so unreal.
And yet. I do still……..have an intact ACL. I think that’s probably the strange thing: I don’t know why I believe anymore. I became a Christian when I was 21. I believed because I experienced that mother fucker Jesus (said with love) and man I genuinely fell in love with him. I felt him at most moments, and he made me feel alive and washed clean of sin (which I deeply felt before I knew him) and like he brought out every good thing in me.
Then the last 10 years happened, and I don’t feel his love for me (other than that I do still experience him, talk to him, get visions from him, etc) and I mostly feel lost. So I no longer believe out of feeling in love. I no longer believe out of Feeling My Sin being taken away. I believe in the same way I believe in gravity. Even on a bad day, when everything feels hopeless, gravity still exits in the universe. But that is in no way exciting or inspiring or….
I feel empty.
I feel like I’m in that 400 years of silence, still believing.
Yeah I don’t like the word faith for some reason. But I do Believe. I believe in what Jesus is doing, even though I see so so little of anything in front of me. I want resurrection. He promised it. He promised it. He promised it.
I guess that’s why I believe. He promised to resurrect me. (Not talking about after death. Talking about Right Now.) I believe because I want to be fully alive again, and I want life to not be awful.
I wish I loved him again too.
I feel the ache in my stomach of being abandoned, and like no one will come.