Questions, Doubts, and Faith
By: Brittany Horchner
Trigger Warning: Loss and Suicidal Thoughts
Throughout my childhood, my dad was a local missionary, so I heard about faith and Christianity all the time. I grew up going to church whenever the doors were opened because my parents were highly involved with the children’s ministry. At the young age of 5, I made the decision to ask Christ into my heart. (That is fancy Christian lingo for I became a Christian.) At the time I did not fully understand that this change did not necessarily mean life would be easy.
Many times, people think that Christianity and becoming a Christian will make their life easier, but that’s not the case. We are all humans and have horrible things that happen to us and some horrible decisions we make ourselves. As I got older, I came to understand the concept of life is hard. In sixth grade, I found out my grandfather on my mom’s side had cancer. I was close with him and for the last three months of his life, he lived with us. I can remember on my birthday he was not doing well and I was a wreck. I did not want to lose my grandfather on my birthday. It seemed so unfair. He lived a couple of weeks after my birthday, but that did not make losing him any easier. As a sixth-grader, I navigated the grief and messiness of grief in the best manner possible for someone my age.
Two years later when I was in eighth grade, I lost all of my friends by way of bullying. That was the year that changed things for my faith. I began to question God and doubt him. The biggest question I asked God was “why me?”. The question of why is one that many people ask. We tend to ask it when life goes differently than we imagined. It was at my lowest point when I thought of suicide that I started on that journey of growing closer to God through my doubts.
That very next year, I experienced another hurt. My sister was 38 weeks pregnant and found out that her first child would be born stillbirth. My sister and I were not very close at the time, but that loss changed something in me. It led me to question God more and really struggle with the why in our suffering.
I have found in times of pain that many Christians want to throw the normal phrases of encouragement or comfort out to you, but in those moments they do not help. Some of the common phrases include: trust God, good will come from it or there is a purpose for the pain. Those phrases can all be true, but do not always help people struggling so deeply with loss and suffering.
I just want to take a minute and pause. Maybe you can relate to my story. Maybe you have gotten angry with God because of the suffering and pain that’s happened in your life. I want to encourage and remind you to reach out to others. Reaching out to others helps you to have support and feel less alone. Also, the people around you may just know what it feels like to go through suffering and have questions for God. One thing that I was reminded of from Eryn’s book called So Worth Loving is that God can handle our anger, just do not let yourself stay there. Also, remember that in your pain, questions, and doubt you are still worthy of love.
Through my journey of questions and doubts, I have not found a good answer, in our human minds, to the question of suffering. The Christian answer is that because sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, ugliness and evil exist in the world. It is not the answer we love to hear because it does not fix the pain.
My struggles, suffering, and doubt have brought me closer to God. Many people may ask how, but my answer is because I have found hope in my faith. It does not mean that every day is a good day or that I always feel like trusting God, but I choose to even when the feelings do not line up.
If you have any questions or want someone to talk to and share the questions and doubts you have, please do not hesitate to comment on the story or message me.