Tuesday, November 10, 2009

when i started asking questions

I grew up in a fairly conservative home: went to church camp every year, learned to memorize religious acronyms like f.a.i.t.h., and could beat any "sinner" over the head with the bible.

A few bumps in the road mellowed me out a little bit: I mean, I still knew that I was right and you were wrong ,but at least I wasn't as verbally aggressive.

The last year absolutely destroyed the framework of my faith. Mr. Reliable and I had 10 deaths in the course of a year, including the murder or some of Mr. Relaible's childhood friends. Then there was a mentor that we were sure God was going to heal, and we knew that even if Orv did die God was going to raise from the dead. So when he died, we prayed. We waited for God to do what we knew he was going to do for us. And He didn't. Orv was gone. And with him went our confidence in all we knew. We lived on the opposite end of the world from our friends and family, so as our pain mounted we began shutting down. I hid and Mr. Reliable got angry. The winters in our area were cold and I was caring for a baby and pregnant, so no one expected me to go out. Poor Mr. Reliable and the sweet little local woman who helped me this our house became my contact with the outside world. We were miserable. We were full of the questions that your not supposed to ask, you know, the ones that real christians don't ask. Like, "Why do really horrible things happen to people?" and "Do they really go to hell to suffer forever after they have lived a miserable existence?" among many others. Every story we read online about child soldiers and women bred to be prostitutes, every little old beggar woman on the street corner, and every time we saw a young illegal child (we lived in a country were population was restricted, leaving an entire population that could never legally get jobs, medical care, or a legitimate lifestyle) we were reminded of our questions. We would get well-intentioned emails from friends telling us just how proud they were and how they wished they could do what we did... and our questions grew. Our love for the people around us was beginning to drown in our every growing sea of questions. So we did the one thing neither of us expected: we packed up our things and left. Not to go to a more remote area or a more needy people, no, nothing so exciting, we took our 5 suitcases and a couple boxes containing all our earthly possessions and settled in the American suburbs.

Here we have the freedom to ask our questions without quite the same amount of pressure. So far, through my wonderings and questioning the only thing I feel confident about is Jesus and the things he said. I don't know about heaven and hell, about why people suffer, or about why most christians are just so damn mean (but that's a question for another day...). But I know that I like Jesus, and I want to do the kind of things I saw him do.


  1. hey, girl, i wish we lived closer so we could get together and talk... i'm right there with you, and have been, but my journey started right about the time we parted ways and didn't live in the same state anymore. i love you, and am honored to be able to hear a little more about what's in your heart. i'm excited to hear more! thanks for your honesty!!

  2. Thank you for your honesty and your openness as you go on this journey. I am praying for you and your family. I think God hates our cliche' answers almost as much as we grow to hate hearing them, so I hope you don't hear to many of them... My questions have been and are still, many, and I continue to come back to the same place you seem to be -- Jesus...

  3. thanks for sharing...i hope it helps you in your processing truth....i love you both!

  4. Hey Rachel, We are with you guys in so many ways. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to know you're not the only "bad christian" asking questions. :)


    ps. I love the look of your blog!!