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Questioning

November 3, 2009

I’m in a strange place right now. Such an odd place that I’m not even quite able to put it into words.

I’m a muddled mess of questions. I’m seeking answers, not knowing if they even exist.

I’ve spent weeks, searching. Pulling a bit here, reading another piece there. Trying to make sense of this life.

When so much of what one thought to be true, thought stood for truth, exemplified it, is swept away, a hole is left in its place. A gap.

If that wasn’t Truth, what is?

I’m not talking Jesus here. I know Jesus is Truth.

But I’m talking all the other stuff. There is so much… stuff.

When the formula didn’t work, what is left… exactly? The thing that seemed “right” was done, the thing that was supposed to give the end results. A long, lifetime marriage for my parents… a happy, “multi-generationally vision-ed” family. Everyone was doing what they were supposed to do. (Well, almost everyone… but I digress.)

The formula doesn’t work. Formulas never do. People have hearts, and those hearts often wander.

“Cling to Jesus,” they say. And I am. Only Jesus.

But life must be lived. And how? What is truth anymore?

Voices, coming at me from every direction, speaking various versions of “truth.” I know what I though when I was 10, then a slightly different version when I was 13, and again something different when I was 16.

I’m not blaming my parents for this in any way, being that even as a young girl, I was a seeker who veered off on paths all my own. Even on the paths my parents did lead us down–many they would admit weren’t the best–were sought because they wanted something different, something better for their children. They didn’t know how to be Christian parents and were learning with each step. They were doing the best they could. I don’t hold them responsible for my questions.

But here I am now, having watched so much crumble.

We were so certain that each of those things was Truth. The people on one side point to verses, Greek roots and texts, claiming Truth. The ones on the other side do the same.

Who is right?

Jesus. Jesus. Holding on to Jesus.

The questions scare me. Venturing out of the security of the formula isn’t comfortable. It is terrifying. I feel guilty for the questioning itself. How dare I?

But it is necessary.

Job asked. Thomas needed visual proof. And yet Jesus loved them. He gave them the answers they sought.

He isn’t afraid of my questioning. It doesn’t change Him or who He is. The Truth will stand, regardless of me.

He gently leads, and guides, and reminds me to gaze at Him.

Perhaps that’s the only Truth I need to know.

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19 Comments »

  1. jAne says:

    I know of which you speak, Ashleigh, and I offer continued prayer, an understanding heart, a virtual hug and a cup of coffee as we sit together.

    I don’t know the answers. Even at 51 I don’t know the answers. But I do know this, that Jesus Christ is the Rock. He is the *only* sure foundation in this chaos. He brings security and stability to my life and it’s fresh every morning (moment). While mere mortals can let us down in oh so hurtful ways, He is always faithful. Blessed be His Name.

    Gentle hug,
    jAne

    November 3rd, 2009 at 3:06 am

  2. mishel says:

    I *love* what jAne said…Jesus is our *only* sure foundation.

    And while others may be uncomfortable with your questioning…your Jesus? He is not.

    I love you my sweet baby girl.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 5:25 am

  3. Chantel says:

    *HUG* He is Faithful and True, dear friend. Others may change, our worlds may change, things may fall to pieces beneath our grasp, but He stays the same. So does what is really true. Keep taking your questions to Him, and I have no doubt that He will give the perfect answers in His time.

    Love you much

    November 3rd, 2009 at 5:51 am

  4. Carolyn (cdaisy113) says:

    I have realized this year that too much of my foundations have been built upon my family and my church – and as both of those have been pulled out from under me my faith has collapsed. I’m trying to rebuild my foundations on Jesus alone as you spoke of. But is hard, and confusing, and slow. I’m questionging everything and struggling to find the motivation for much that I clung to before.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 5:55 am

  5. Sarah M. says:

    I know exactly what you mean.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 6:34 am

  6. K-T says:

    The scary thing is, if we don’t remember to stay close to the One Whom we can be rooted and grounded in, we could all be in the same boat as this particular individual is.
    We HAVE to cling to Jesus, every hour of every day! Sometimes, we’ll experience sweet fellowship, sometimes (as you mentioned) we’ll be full of questions, sometimes we may not “feel” like doing what is right. But we must! (I’m admonishing myself, as well.) It’s a step-by-step journey. But we can make it, by His Grace!
    I don’t know you, but I pray for you, and those involved in this heartbreaking situation. And the Spirit intercedes for you, when you don’t even know what to pray for. (Romans 8:26)

    November 3rd, 2009 at 7:18 am

  7. Christine says:

    You could not be more right when you say that your questions do not scare Him. That you question him means that you trust him enough to answer you. Think o fhow close to one another your boys are when they’re wrestling with each other. When we wrestle with God we have to get that close to him, to come near enough to him to push back. The pushing and questioning is not an affront to him, it is our admission that we need to be close to him to get the answers we seek and he loves that. But I think you pretty well know that…your post was very insightful for someone in the mids of such struggle and heartache. Praying for you.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 8:54 am

  8. Megan says:

    Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we did have formulas? We have guidelines, of course, but a formula… one that we could apply to a situation, a marriage, parenting, and acheive the result. Oh how nice! I always want black & white, clear answers. A formula would probably work- if only we weren’t all sinners! But, alas, we are…

    I only know the glimmer of your circumstances that you’ve chosen to share, but I have been praying for you and your family. During one of my most challenging times, a friend of mine told me HE is in this. Even when we can’t see it. HE IS. Even in the questioning. Seeking, desperate for him, questioning and clinging… all things that bring us closer to Him and strengthen our faith. Hang in there, friend!

    -Meg

    November 3rd, 2009 at 8:59 am

  9. Holly Hochstetler says:

    I urge you to check out this audio teaching. It has answered so many questions for me and gave me freedom in so many areas!
    Really the answers are simpler than we think. We are the ones that make it muddled.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 3:04 pm

  10. Sara Jean says:

    Jesus is Truth. Maybe there is no absolute truth outside him? Maybe there is nothing solid outside Jesus? Maybe there is no one nothing beside Jesus that we can trust completely? But do we live in distrust of everyone and everything? No because then we become hardhearted, bitter, and untrusting. We have faith that we are listening to the still quiet voice of our perfect Savior, that we are following in the steps that he wants us to walk in. We have faith that our trustworthy Lord has brought people into our lives that love us and care about us, that they won’t leave us. I’m praying for you Ash, love you bunches

    November 4th, 2009 at 6:49 am

  11. christine.I says:

    hi ashleigh, i feel for you I still dont know why people leave, there was two of us twin girls but my dad left after learning that my mother was preggas so i still dont know why people leave. But i still believe that God still has a plan. Be blessed

    November 4th, 2009 at 7:10 am

  12. vickie says:

    Life is never what we thought it would be. There are times, when it shakes us to the core. You are a strong person. I’m encouraged when I see the way you’ve faced all this. Keep up the good work.

    November 4th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

  13. LeAnna says:

    I love what everyone has said. Our needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc) are met by his limitless supply. Our need for understanding is met with His wisdom. His wisdom is beyond our understanding. The ideas are so much of a counterbalance, but they are just that; balance. We question even when we know, and every time our question is resolved with our faith and trust in Him, I can’t help but truly believe He is well pleased.

    November 5th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

  14. Jamie Lynn says:

    Ashleigh,

    I’ve just kind of stumbled across your blog in the last 2 weeks or so, but (this is going to sound creepy lol) I feel like I know you personally! I want you to know that (as a young wife-to-be in April!) you inspire me. I’m praying hard for you and your family. Know that (even if it doesn’t feel like it), Our beloved Jesus is holding you closer than ever in your time of need.

    November 6th, 2009 at 11:33 am

  15. Mrs. Lukie says:

    I’ve been a lurker around these parts for quite awhile now…found your mama’s blog many moons ago when I Googled “being married to a firefighter,” which in turn, led me to your blog. Needless to say, I love reading yours & your moms blogs.

    I admire your honesty & humility. We all question…it’s normal and healthy and real, and our God knows this about us imperfect people ;) Remember that there are divine mysteries that God has not let us in on.

    Just wanted to leave you with one of my favorite verses: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

    ((hugs)) to you,
    Sarah

    November 6th, 2009 at 11:57 am

  16. Gretchen Acheson says:

    Have you read the first chapter of Joshua Harris’ new book yet? It’s all about this very topic… I can’t wait to read the whole book.

    November 7th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

  17. Esther says:

    Love the new blog outlay. Looks simple, but sweet=) Or hasn’t it changed, but I never noticed??!!

    *hugs* from NZ.

    November 7th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

  18. Rebekah says:

    Ash, you know our prayers are with you in this.

    Happy USMC birthday! Are you and John going to the ball this year??

    November 10th, 2009 at 8:23 am

  19. Heart & Home » Tried and True says:

    [...] paused before hitting the publish button on that “Questioning” post a few months ago. It was raw. Real. And I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be that [...]

    January 11th, 2010 at 12:12 am

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