Alone in the Boat

Sometimes I don’t believe in God.

It’s not often, but there are moments when I step outside of myself and shake my head. I don’t get it. How can any of this be true?

But then I reconnect.

Sometimes, the reconnection is strong and I am bowled over by God’s presence. How did I ever doubt?

Sometimes, the reconnection is loose, and my grip remains uncertain. Am I sure? Was that God or just coincidence? Did I hear the Divine’s voice or my own?

Throughout scripture, again and again, God reminds the Israelites, “I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt.” I am struck by this constant reminding of what God had done for them. Had they forgotten?

Yes. Yes, they had.

At least, if my experience holds true as universal, they had forgotten.

I forget.

Is there a boat big enough to hold us all?

In those moments when I can’t make my brain accept God’s existence, I need to be reminded. I need to hear, “I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt.” In my case, Egypt equals depression, among other things. This is why I have a Hebrew word tattooed on my ankle. When I see it, I am reminded. I cannot remember hitting rock bottom without also remembering the climb out of the canyon. There is no doubt God was with me in that climb.

And if God was with me in that climb, God must exist.

Lately, I struggle a lot. It’s not so much the doubt of God’s existence as confusion over what I believe is true about God. Do I believe God ordered the genocide of Canaan? Do I believe God created and sends people to a place called Hell? Do I believe God is offended by homosexuality? Do I believe God gives a flying flip about American politics? Do I believe God hears my prayers? Do I believe God is the least bit pleased with my floundering and questioning?

Do I believe God will still love me if my answers to those questions do not match the answers given by my husband? My church? My family? My friends?

And then, there are these other questions…

Do I believe my husband will still love me… my church will still accept me… my family will not disown me… my friends will not be hurt…

If what I believe and what they believe do not match?

Can we love one another and both love Jesus, even if that means something different to me than what it means to you?

I like to believe the answer is yes. Most of the time, I do believe the answer is yes. But it’s a scary place to be. I feel as if I have woken up on a boat in the middle of the ocean. There are other people in other boats, but my boat is small and only holds my body and my doubts.

Is there a boat big enough to hold us all?

How do we find it?

This post comes with no easy answers. Not only do I not have easy answers to offer you, I don’t even have difficult answers. I have only more questions, but questions, when used correctly, are paddles. They help us move toward the answers, building muscle as we close the distance.

Heather Truett
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Heather Truett

I drink Sweet Cream in my coffee. My DVR is set to record Doctor Who, Grey's Anatomy, and The Walking Dead. I have a serious chapstick addiction, a history of purple/blue/green hair styles, tattoos on my left ankle and my right foot, a whole solar system of freckles, and I may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince my kids I am a Time Lady from Gallifrey.
Heather Truett
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Latest posts by Heather Truett (see all)

About Heather Truett

I drink Sweet Cream in my coffee. My DVR is set to record Doctor Who, Grey's Anatomy, and The Walking Dead. I have a serious chapstick addiction, a history of purple/blue/green hair styles, tattoos on my left ankle and my right foot, a whole solar system of freckles, and I may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince my kids I am a Time Lady from Gallifrey.

  • Sara Thompson

    This is just what I needed. Lately I’ve been out there in my own boat, alone. So many questions and they still keep coming. I feel wishy washy – some days my faith is so strong that how can I ever doubt it. Other days, I am unsure what faith means, what I believe and can barely remember what it was like to feel true faith (which makes me question – was it real?).

    • heathertruett

      Yes! Exactly!

  • Rachel Oliver

    Beautiful, vulnerable post. Thank you for sharing even the messy pieces of yourself with us … that’s how we grow, move forward and paddle our own little boats closer together <3

    • heathertruett

      <3

  • So beautiful Heather. Jon Acuff’s FB post today was that church should be the first place we go with our fear and doubt, not the last. Praying that you are held closely in this, by Jesus and by new friends in your new home.

    • heathertruett

      Thank you Lindsey.

  • Yes. Love the part about questions being the paddles.

    I rely on that one Psalm, the one no one talks about, where the psalmist, unnamed, doesn’t tie the end in a pretty bow but simply asks, “Where are You, God?!”

    • heathertruett

      I love that one too, and I have prayed it often.

  • Phyllis Lough-Williams

    Raw, Real. Honest. Thank you!

    • heathertruett

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Pingback: Where Are You Searching for Jesus? | Middle Places()

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