I didn't know I was losing my faith.
Oh, there were signs, but they weren't registering. I just kept excusing them away, thinking I was tired. Or stressed. Or just going through a dry season, as is prone to happen from time to time.
There have always been times in my life where God is more silent than others. It's easy to think, somewhere in the wilderness, that this is just one of those times. Certainly, you say to yourself, I'm not lost. Certainly, it's not I who have gotten off the path somewhere.
But...it's been a tough season.
It's been tough to keep going to church, knowing that the only thing really different about being at church on a Sunday morning than being at home was, well, the scenery. I could look at these four walls or I could look at those four walls, and really, what's the difference?
I was sitting through sermons and hearing stories, but not grace. Sitting through worship and hearing music, but not praise. Sitting through prayer and hearing hope, but not faith. And most of the time, I was standing up early and walking out because I was overwhelmed with nothing more severely than sheer boredom.
It's been tough to keep writing this blog. As the days have gone by, it's been harder and harder to believe that anything that I say has any value at all. That it matters. I've started just leaning in a little bit and writing to those that I'm pretty sure already agree with me instead of trying to put something new out there, something that might challenge you to think in a new way. It has felt increasingly to me like I have become exactly what Paul feared he might ever be - a clanging cymbal, a resounding gong.
I have filled my holy space with nothing but noise, and it happened without my even really recognizing it.
And that's because, to be honest with you, there's not anything over the past few months that I have stopped knowing. That is, there's nothing major that I used to believe about God that I don't still believe about God. There's not been a time where I couldn't have told you, intellectually, the truth about who God is. There's not been a moment when I could not rattle off all of the things that I know for certain, in my head, about Him. I have spent the past several months still knowing about God and still believing all of those things to be true.
Yet for everything I have still known, it's been a long time since I've felt anything. Since I've felt love for God or loved by God. Since I've felt moved by the Spirit. Since I've felt inspired.
It's been a long time since I've felt the trueness of truth in my soul.
It's been a long time since my heart has put any of the pieces together. Since something has rung true in the depths of my soul. Since I've seen anything in this world with new eyes, let alone holy eyes.
It's been a long time since what I "know" has had any impact at all on how I live, on how I experience my day-to-day.
I didn't know I was losing my faith. How could I have? There's not a point when I wouldn't have told you that it was all true.
But here I sat, knowing it and not loving it, and...well, one of those things that I know is that it's that love that is the very essence of that truth.