SPOTLIGHT - Be Free
About The Spotlight Writer
Hi friends! I am Victoria Adams. I have recently graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelors degree in Religion. I am about to start at Denver Seminary studying Mental Health Counseling. I like cinnamon rolls, finding common ground with people and the good ole outdoors. Insta: instagram.com/victoriaadams15
By: Victoria Adams
My relationship with God has had its up and downs. I have wanted nothing to do with God, I have wanted everything to do with God. I have been angry, frightened, sorrowful, loved, peace filled and all the mix of emotions that come with being in a relationship. What I found though is that whenever I felt the negative emotions about God, felt doubt or questioned God, so much debilitating shame came with it. I felt shame for being angry at what God has allowed. I felt shame for having questions that seem to rock my faith. I felt shame for feeling anyway that was not deemed as good.
With this shame it made me push down all those questions, all that doubt and have a surface level with God. I would put on a face with Jesus casting off whatever I deemed as not worthy of being addressed. This caused my ability to feel loved by God to diminish and my ability to love God to get smaller because I was not able to admit to myself that there were things keeping me from God.
Usually when people say that this was keeping me from God it is something that can be spotted by looking at the bibles guidelines on morality aka sin. But in this situation what was keeping me from God was my view of God, my perception of who I thought God was. I saw more of Gods wrath, than God mercy. I saw more of Gods anger, than God love. And most of all I saw God as wanting me to push these things down because to admit that I had doubt would be for me to admit that my relationship with God had changed.
Change is not bad. A change in faith is not a lack of faith. I did not believe this fully though. I was so afraid to admit to God that I had allowed my view of my Creator to get so blurry that I did not look up anymore.
Then, there was one morning that I felt as though I could burst. All my emotions and shame that I had pushed down for so long had created a pain in my chest so great I felt as though I was going into cardiac arrest. I slide into my secret place with God and the anger became so great and the shame so powerful, everything came out all my questions, doubt and fear.
Disclaimer: Before reading what I wrote I want to make aware that there is profane language and some hard questions that go against what orthodox Christianity teaches. This is not a claim that what I am questioning and what I decide is the right way for everyone. More this is a claim that in my life and in my faith journey with God this is the only thing that I can do to look up at God right now. Read the next with caution, but also with reverence to the fact that these questions and doubts have allowed my perception of God to be freed and have allowed me to walk back towards Christ.
It’s hard for me to open up the Bible and see hope. Usually what I feel from the Bible is pain, hurt and loss. I see how people have corrupted it using it to oppress. I look at the Bible and I am afraid of that oppression, afraid of what I might get wrong. In all honesty, I have been through the ringer lately, hoping wishing I could feel something. I want to get up here and say that I have done well, that you think that I have done well. But I can’t look at the Bible, I can’t see it as your awesome word, I just see the human in it. I see the hurt that has been brought on so many of my brothers and sister because of the “sake of your word.” There are so many things that I know, so many ways to explain all of this away. But the truth is I feel fucking useless in all of this. I feel like I cannot be used by you, do I even want to be USED by you? When I think of evangelism I think of all the ways people have tried to force their beliefs on others. When I think of evangelism I think of oppression yet again. How can I proclaim YOUR NAME when I feel like every time I do I am hurting someone just as equally as harming them? See when I say this shame is what I feel. Shame for not reading your word, shame for not proclaiming your name, and shame for letting myself get such a fucked up view of you. What went wrong? Where did I stray? I feel hurt and abandoned by those who proclaim your word. My thoughts are quickly turning back to shame. Shame of knowing that the only fucking thing that I am talking about right now are my own fucking feelings. I hated that I am focusing on myself, my feelings, my fear, my doubt, but that’s that because I refuse to face them. I make excuses everyday for not spending time with you because is I do it would be “selfish.” Like getting things right with you and me is the “selfish” thing to do. Put others before yourself Victoria, Put others before yourself Victoria, PUT OTHERS BEFORE YOURSELF VICTORIA! What is the outcome of this if I do? What becomes of me if I do? Woah, selfish don’t go there, don’t go there! What would did Jesus do, what did Jesus do? God, what did you do? You allowed yourself to be renewed. I don’t know exactly where I am going with this God. You asked me to be truthful, to air it all out. What do I do now? What am I now? How can we go on? I am tired of forcing myself to repress every feeling that I have. I am tired of feeling like I am in chains when you are the one that is supposed to be freeing them. I’m tired of going to church just for the sake of going to church. I’m tired of being angry at the church for the hurt that it has caused. I’m tired of disagreements and fighting over something so meaningless in the long run. I’m tired of my perception of you being thwarted because some of those who proclaim you are thwarted. I’m tired of the superiority complex that seems to come with the word “Christian.” I’m tired of being ashamed of calling myself a Christian not because I am ashamed of you, but I am ashamed of the shit, hurt, oppression, and politics that seem to come with that label. God help me be free. Help me see you as you. Help me see your word and see you. Help me make my way back to you because that is really where I want to be. God I don’t know what’s right or what’s wrong, but I know that you are here and that you want me. Help me see you in the doubt, in the questions, in the hurt, in the fear, in the abandonment, in the pain, in the oppression. Help me not see you as the reason for the pain, but the healer of it. I have not turned my back on you, nor have you turned your back on me. You are here. God, you are here.
Your child and friend
What I want anyone who is reading this to hear is that it is okay to ask questions. It is okay to doubt, okay to be angry, okay to yell. God does not scare away so easily. Since I wrote this I have felt such freedom to reform my faith. To construct something with God that leads me deeper in my relationship my Beloved. For the longest time I felt like I had to have limits on my relationship with God. I felt like I needed to have a boundary that I would not cross, but what I found was that the boundaries became chains and these chains became lens in which I saw God through. I do not want the lens seeing God through anger, but sometimes I have to put on that lens in order to allow God to take it off. So be free. Be free to talk to God in doubt, in anger, in fear, in shame. Just Be free.