- Aileen McKernan
Wednesday's Word of Encouragement ‐ Blind Faith
Faith is…the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Have you ever cried out to God in desperation for an answer to an apparent injustice in your life? Your child passed away unexpectedly. You went through an unforeseen trauma. Your spouse has a terminal illness. You got fired and your family needs your income. You were abandoned by your mom and you grew up in the foster system. You were abused as a child. Maybe the trauma was a deep disappointment. Your crush didn’t like you back. You didn’t get into the school you wanted to. You failed the exam. You didn’t make the track team. Where were you God?! Insert shaking fist. If you love me, how could you let … happen?! What do you do when the answer isn’t always apparent?
There are many things in this life we have no control over, things that there are no immediately comforting answers to, or things that we fail to understand the deeper workings of God in. We can easily fall into blame and anger towards God or we can internalize trauma or disappointment into shame and unworthiness. We can draw big conclusions, wrong conclusions about God and about ourselves and about life because we don’t understand the interface of faith and personal pain and loss. I know because I lived on this street for many years, even when I thought I moved into another neighborhood.
When I was fourteen, I tried to kill myself. I stuck a knife to my neck and demanded God send a sign, that the telephone would ring and I would know somebody loved me and I wouldn’t kill myself. When the phone didn’t ring I was confronted with a dilemma. Now what? I put the knife down, but the question lingered between Him and I for years. Why didn’t the phone ring? Where was He?
I know why I wanted to kill myself that night. I internalized sexual assault, molestation, abandonment, emotional abuse, an unhealthy home as there was something wrong with me. I wasn’t worthy of love. There was something wrong with me because why else would I go through all that bad stuff? Why else when I believed God was good and I pleaded with him in prayer that my mom would get help and my parents wouldn’t get divorced, he didn’t answer then either? He must not love me. On that night, having lost faith in God and His Love and His Goodness I needed somebody to tell me otherwise or I needed the pain of rejection to end. Death seemed like a good option, until I had no other option. I put the knife down. I don’t really know why. I just think it was as simple as I didn’t really want to kill myself. There was no supernatural faith or hope that things would get better. But I went on and life went on and the pain actually piled on because that root of unworthiness was there and it continued to manifest itself as I was looking for comfort in the trappings of achievements, substances, and people until He saved me and the healing began.
It’s been a journey and along the way I accepted that I might not know the answer to a lot of what I went through. I accepted that despite the pain of what I went through that God still loves me – even when other things tried to tell me otherwise, circumstances, people, myself. Many times, it’s been a blind faith kind of thing, but the picture has been growing clearer over the years, and tonight, tonight…
Tonight when I went there, to that night, when I laid my elbows on that old wooden grained kitchen counter and felt the smooth cool of the stainless steel sink, when I felt the vinyl cording of the telephone twisting on my teenage finger tips, and the sharp edge of the blade on my supple skin, when I touched a place of deep pain, I could see clearly for the first time. I apprehended that the past 25 years of my life has been the telephone call that I cried out for. I can see His hand leading and guiding me all along the way into knowing Him. He was my answered prayer.
My God it’s a beautiful story, it’s better than a phone call from a friend or a stranger or a family member or a telemarketer. He answered me with His voice. He entreated me into the story of His Love for me through many many many instances and encounters along the way even when I was largely unaware of it!
I know I am loved, not from a phone call, but from an unfolding and I see how He who is Life Himself even unbeknownst to me, was the reason why I put the knife down that night all along. I believe this is the still small voice. The voice that beckons us to continue on even when we don’t have the answers. This is Faith even when its meek and meager like a mustard seed. I can assure you, the answer will come, and you will discover the why is irrelevant, as you rest under the shady boughs of the answer that springs up from within. You are loved and cherished!
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or depression, please seek professional help!