Monday, January 5, 2009


the avilas came over for dinner last night and travis asked me this:

'why dont you believe in the bible, like do you have list of reasons?'
(way to be intense trav... jay slash)

if you know me, you already know what happened after that...

a whirlwind of questions and thus an intense conversation that because we are parents ;) didn't get to get finished.

anyway during the conversation i said how all my life i've hoped in jesus and when that changed i didnt know where to put my hope. i went through a long time of feeling completely hopeless and terrified. i said that i felt like i was starting to get hope back in the things i've come to believe are true, but that i still feel hopeless a lot... and for some reason i felt really embarrassed that i didn't have something to put my hope in and feel sure of, i felt myself blush when i said i got hopeless. i felt like a sad lonely little girl telling a grown up that i had done something wrong.

all day my heart has ached and i've been on the verge of tears. today was a day that i was living inside my head, a very very loud place on days like this. i do think that i have a small amount of hope, my hope is that God is real and that he is good. that is all that i can believe i can put any hope in but it doesn't make me feel any safer than if i even let that go. then i started to think about if it matters if what you believe is true or not, i mean we can never know but is the point of believing something just that it gives you hope and therefore changes who you are? and should i just choose to believe what seems like the most likely possibility even if none of the religious ones seem very possible? can you just choose to believe what you want? or is belief something that happens to you? i believe that religion is a man made system that is just there for us, to make us feel safe, to feel ok, to feel like we have some purpose. which on one hand can seem foolish... to cling to something just to make yourself feel significant, but on the other hand does that really matter if thats the thing that makes you want to be good and to love?

i dont believe that jesus is God, i dont feel that i could make myself believe that he is, something would have to change in my heart... i dont feel like i need some proof... i just dont feel like i can make myself believe it. but today just made me want that security again. that feeling where you believe something so much you just follow it. it takes a lot for me to follow anything. if i dont find religion and the only answer i have for the rest of my life (that still is not a sure one) is that God is real and he is good, will that be enough to put my hope in to get me through? i feel like i have more hope in humanity than in deity, will that be enough? will i always feel unsafe?

if i could make myself believe in jesus does that mean i'd have to believe the bible? if i believed the bible how would i know what i believed about it? i dont want my life to revolve around a book that i dont even understand... that no one really understands.

i like who i am, i like that i question things and that i think about them for myself.. but sometimes i just want to have a brain that stops at one answer and believes it, whether its true or not, just so i could feel safe. so i could feel bigger, more important.

this is the hardest thing i've faced in my life... trying to understand who God is to me. i dont think i'll ever feel like i've arrived at the answer to that. i do love having hope in humanity, which i never had as a christian, because you are constantly taught not to.... letting go of that has made me see life, relationships, and people all so different than i did before.

i feel smaller than i have ever felt in my life, i feel unsafe and i feel embarrassed that i feel hopeless. i know i contradict myself constantly because i know i dont have any answers.

the only reason i think about this is to find answers, i want answers so i can have hope but i dont believe i can find answers here, only 'best possibilities' and i dont think i can settle for that. i just dont want to feel alone anymore. i think i've felt alone the past year because i dont know anyone who feels the way i do about God and the world, my whole life i had people surrounding me who believed the same thing and now i dont have one. my friends are amazing and i respect everything they believe, i love talking about this stuff but it gets lonely, it gets exhausting, sometimes you just want someone to relate to. this, above all else is what makes me want to move away. i dont know why i think i'll find people who relate to me somewhere else.. who knows. anyway that's not the point.

the point is hope, what is hope? who do we put our hope in? and will i find it again?

deep shit huh?


meg said...

I believe all God has asked us to do is to seek Him, seek truth. I hate that people think we should have it all figured out by the time we're "adults" that's ridiculous. How in the world does that make sense?

We moved away and I got some perspective on all the things I believed because I was brought up in church and I've changed alot of what I believe and I've also realized I don't know what I believe in respect to certain things. And I like it. I think it's the best place to be in as a human. Ask questions. Seek truth. I think it's way better than just believing what everyone around you believe just for the sake of it.

kachina said...

You're not alone!!! I feel like I've told you this before, but, I'm going through the same thing. I actually wasn't raised by Christian parents, but at a young age I "fell into" Christianity because of the friends I made really young. So I was basically brought up to believe in God, Jesus, the bible, etc. I also was taught that humanity had fallen and it was "our job through Christ to save them allllll!!!!!!" Bull.
So, now I'm also going through this, "The bravest thing I have is hope, but where do I place my hope?" Existential questioning and lots of talking to different people about it. I'm sure you'd be surprised at how many people around you are questioning and looking and seeking and finding answers in other places! I'm lucky to have a lot of friends who know that I still love God, but are also supportive in my search. I live in PA and since I've been questioning I've wanted to move away from here, go to the west coast and be surrounded by people who felt the same as I did. But, I guess that isn't necessarily the case is it? I'm also an artist, and i hate "Christian art" and how cliche it is. I want to be passionate about my spirituality in my art. I know that I am a very spiritual person, but it's hard to convey that in art without looking cheesy, or "that's already been done sooooo many times." You know? Well, good luck on your search and I'm always here!!!

: )

JessicaToday said...

Finding a place to put your hope is a big deal. Its basically the foundation for our happiness as we embark on this strange little journey of life and motherhood.
I can relate to your thoughts here, and I think there are a lot of people out there that feel exactly like you do skylana.
In a small town its hard to uncover a person who shares the complexities of someone who questions god but still entertains the idea of him... this i know. Especially this area, where there are a lot of religious folks who have one idea and leave it at that. I have struggled with these same concepts as well.
I was brought up catholic...but do not call myself a i have grown i have questioned so many things the catholic religion stands for and found my inner truths in major opposition to that faith. Being able to ask myself what I believe and why and what I want to teach my son has been one of the hardest conversations ive had to have with myself at this point...and its a work in progress.
Since as we grow... we change, we reflect, we go through new experiences and have thoughts that are more complex and mature and ultimately get to he point of real honest self examination. Its a good thing. I think those are the things that help us grow the most, when we can come to a decision we have made for ourselves based on how we feel and what we know and how we want to implement new thoughts in our lives.
This to me is the freshest form of hope. I find it very disconcerting to put my hope in anyone else. If I put my hope in myself, and have faith in my ability to overcome things I want or need to, then that is what ultimately gets me excited about the future.
Hope in humanity is a good one. But I think that the biggest source of fulfillment as far as hope goes, comes from within. Looking for it in god is just a nice thought to me. I believe in god, I believe he exists on some level...but its not my reason for hope in this world. It has taken me a long time to realize that having faith in myself is the biggest sense of enjoyment I can get from the world and it can only come from me. Not god and not anyone else. These outside things can help, but its not the main source.
I think you are working on questioning things that you have previously decided for yourself as truths. I think this is pretty much the best way you can reach a comfort level within yourself. Its only natural!
The best way for me to get comfort when I am feeling hopeless is to just accept the feeling for what it is and let it sink in. Feeling that way will happen, I mean its pretty much out of our control considering the hormonal changes we go through without our control...but knowing that its just a moment that will pass is what makes me stronger.
Sorry this response so long! When you write about things that touch me, I feel like I have to share my opinion and advice with you because you are so honest and able to put yourself out there and I respect and admire that.

skylana said...

kachina, thank you so much for all you said. its always good to know someone else understands where i'm coming from. i didn't grow up in a christian home either, that's just what everyone around me is or has been... and my grandparents are, who i lived with for 3 years... anyway i totally understand about the art but i think that anything we write/sing/talk/paint about if its from our heart its spiritual and its good, it doesnt have to say one thing about God.

jessica, i totally love what you said. and i feel like i do put hope in myself, its just weird feeling that way because christianity says to put no hope in yourself... and that you are sinful etc etc... which i always say seems weird to me because i have faith in who i am, i believe i'm a good person who has the capacity to do endless good things... anyway, i really appreciate all you said. thank you.

Daniel said...

I don't normally do this kind of thing, but I'm going to suggest a writer you should check out.

His blog is Real Live Preacher. He's a pastor of a small church in San Antonio and for the past 5 or 6 years has voiced just about everything I think or believe about Christianity at one point or another.

My recommendation is don't rush into roaming around. Go back to the archives, and start from his very first post, and read to now. It will take you months, so don't rush yourself. But it's worth it.

Here is the link to the first archive page. Scroll to the bottom and have fun.

To get you started... read this one post first. It's what I thought of when I read your post.

Sarah said...

skylana, i love reading your thoughts on spirituality and philosophy. i love your honesty.

i'm not saying you're wrong and i'm right or vice versa, but i can only say what i believe. I believe in God and Jesus Christ as His son. I believe in the divine birth, revolutionary life, submissive death, and triumphant resurrection. I believe in salvation.

With that being said, I believe in questioning EVERYTHING. There are very few answers we can be sure of in life, and for everything else, we question, seek truth, and choose the answers that resonate the most with us. It's all just a process of seeking truth. I kinda like not understanding God, because if we could understand Him, He wouldn't really be God.

From your blog, it just seems to me that you're looking for actual facts to make you believe the Bible and Jesus was all it said it was back when you were a Christian. And then if you find it trustworthy, you could put your hope back in it. Is that accurate at all?

And there's nothing wrong with believing in humanity, at least in my [[blasphemous?]] opinion. But what if the good in humanity were glimpses of God? Idk i think it's kind of a cool perspective.

In closing [[sorry this is such a novel]] i think you would really identify with the Emerging Church. They're a group of postmodern Christians, that believe in God and Jesus, but believe in literally questioning everything, starting with God's existence and exploring Jesus's life [[if he really did live at all]]. They focus a lot on "truth" and what truth is, and relative/subjective/personal truth. It seems right up your alley.