If you have been around my blog from the beginning or snooped a little, you may know that I am at an interesting spot with my faith/religion at the moment. Just a quick recap: I grew up in church, lived my life up until this past March as a goody-two-shoes poster child, then I decided to start questioning it all.
Now that I am back home for the summer, it is expected of me to go to church. This isn’t a big deal and I am not opposed to going and trying to learn something or hope that something starts to make better sense. So far that has not happened; I go and become even more confused and cynical than I was before. (That’s not the point though.)
Tonight I was at a Bible study at my old leader’s house and we were studying the book of Daniel. We read through chapters 3 and 4 and it wasn’t any new stories for me or anything. After we were done with the lesson, a guy whom I had never met before piped up claiming that he related to what King Nebuchadnezzar went through. My leader asked him to share his testimony with us.
Once he was done telling us his story, my leader thanked him and then my leader’s husband said, “Wow! What a fantastic testimony.”
Hearing him say that really bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with his testimony and there is nothing wrong with sharing or encouraging those to share their testimony. I have always just had this off-putting feeling about testimonies ever since I was a kid. I just feel like by claiming one testimony is “fantastic” means that another one is not as good.
I have always felt self-conscious about my testimony (at the moment I am not sure what it is), but before March it was that cookie-cutter, ‘I’m a perfect kid that grew up in church and has never made any mistakes worth mentioning’ testimony. I never felt the need to share it and anytime I did, the leader would always tell me that I would reach someone with my story, but I felt that was what they had to say. Then tonight to hear a leader tell someone that they had a “fantastic” testimony was like reassurance that in order for someone to actually like your testimony is to have something crazy, horrific, or bad happen to you.
The only problem with creating a good testimony is that no one is proud of you while you are going through your “trial” in order to have that testimony. It is very one-sided. I have heard this so many times: “I’m sorry that happened to you, but I’m glad it did, because now you can reach more people.” I have grown up hearing that and there have been so many times when I feel like I need to go out and make some huge mistake just so I can reach people, because those people are sort of praised in the church.
The image above says that the trial you go through is good, because it “forces dependence on God” and I can’t help, but slightly disagree with that. It doesn’t always have this end result. Sometimes it pushes the person farther in the opposite direction. Yes, sometimes the person really does lean on God and grow closer to him, but in others it just makes them angry with him. I know when I am dealing with something God is the last person I want to deal with.
They tell us all the time that God says no or is silent which is why you are dealing with whatever you are dealing with, but you have to push through. Well guess what, I don’t have to do anything. If God doesn’t want to talk with me or say yes then I’ll just go do my own thing. That has kind of been my mentality for the past few months. I was perfectly fine until I came back home and now I am being surrounded with all of this church talk again and I am not sure how I feel about it.
❤ a girl