I’ve moved to 7 cities in the last 12 years; over these years I participated in a variety of spiritual and religious structures, largely on the Christian spectrum. When my family moved to town a year ago, it felt different. We were joining a long-term community, laying down roots. Last Fall I found myself in a season of doubt. Finding the right church, led me to explore my hang-ups about Jesus’ divinity and the Trinity.
Instead of pushing the doubt away I found myself embracing it. I shared my questions with friends and relatives. I explored ancient wisdom, practices of centering & spiritual growth, and learned more about world religions like Buddhism. I didn’t know where it was leading – and I knew it could mean I was leaving the Christian church. With being honest came uncomfortable feelings, pain, tears, and worries.
My new Spiritual Director helped me see that my struggle and tears were productive. I wasn’t just going to do a little “doubting” and then recommit to a surface-level theology. I was a snake shedding my old skin. What I had been holding onto no longer worked, and I was being prepared for the next chapter. I had to surrender and lay down the old doctrines as I had internalized them. In letting the old die, new space was made for the divine to enter.
This Spring, I took my first hermitage. There my struggle became more clear. My God and my growth had been limited by a dual mind: which church is better? If I do X, will it be enough?
God challenged me, instead, to embrace paradox, trusting the coexisting of opposites. I embrace paradox already as a working mom. I’m open to experience while maintaining boundaries.
My desire is often to be ‘seated at the head table’ but am often underneath it wiping the floor with a rag, while my toddler kicks me in the head. My acceptance of these dynamic, co-existing tensions enabled me to greater trust my spiritual beliefs. I also realized I don’t have to run off to an ashram to experience the divine. Through openness to paradox, I am able to wholeheartedly enter and participate in a Christian religious organization such as this church and see the divine here in the midst of a human organization.
Embracing paradox is bringing me through my doubt. God is becoming more present in my life as I shed the absolute, either/or mindset that no longer works for me. I thank God for being so much bigger than religion and the human mind. I’m finding the divine in the everyday and am grateful to God for inviting me on this more complicated, but extremely meaningful journey.