Friday, September 18, 2009

I know Georgia Mae is a pop culture blog, but sometimes I need to work out some personal issues through my writing and since I no longer have a column, I figure the best place to spill my guts is here.

Sometimes I feel as if I struggle with doubt more than any other Christian I know. Through the years that doubt has taken on many different forms – doubt about if Jesus is who the preachers say he is, doubt about whether God is really a loving creator and doubt about whether he cares anything about me.

Fortunately, my struggles with these doubts have ended. But they have been replaced with a new one – Will my husband and I prosper in Birmingham?

As many of you know, in July Edd and I left our jobs and our adorable condo in Louisville to move to Birmingham. We moved in part because I was offered an awesome teaching job but we had plans to move to Birmingham long before this opportunity arose.

In April my husband said he felt God wanted us to move to Birmingham. This may sound presumptuous, but Edd has been talking about moving back to Virginia (where he was born and raised) since the day I met him. So if he’s recommending we move somewhere else it had to have been God who placed that thought in his mind. That same month he found the posting for the teaching gig. A month later I was offered the job.

Of course, the idea that I would take this job without Edd having one lined up as well was scary, especially in this economy. But we took the leap because we were sure this was what God wanted. But now October is just around the corner and my husband is still unemployed.

My husband has the patience of Job, but I’m simply not that strong.

I keep reviewing notes I scribbled in my prayer journal this summer: "The righteous will live by faith." "Without faith it is impossible to please God."
And the note that keeps haunting me: "Faith must exist in your heart and in your mouth."

I know that I am supposed to demonstrate my faith by declaring to anyone who will listen that I am confident everything will be fine. But I can’t. So I simply say nothing. I avoid talking to friends because I don’t know how to answer the question "How are things going?" without doubt taking over my tongue.

I’m afraid to declare Edd will find a great job and we will have a prosperous life here because if it doesn’t turn out that way not only will I look like a fool but my God will seem unfaithful. But if I had faith in my heart these worries wouldn’t cross my mind in the first place.

The fact that I have doubt is silly. When it comes to jobs God has parted the Red Sea for us before. Weeks before I finished grad school in California, Edd and I were in a panic over our future. After being 3,000 miles apart for two years we desperately wanted to be in the same city, but my only job offer was in Philadelphia. Then two days after my graduation I got a phone call and was offered a job in Louisville for which I hadn’t even applied.

So with this post I’m confessing my faith and burying my doubt. I trust and believe that my husband and I will prosper in Birmingham. And while thumbing through my prayer journal last night I came across this: "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
Posted by in ,  on 10:23 AM 3 comments

3 comments:

  1. One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land: "Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness."

    When I first read it, it angered me, because I was seventeen and had never questioned my faith.

    Now, like you, I'm a doubter.

    My thought for you is... what does it mean for you and your husband to "prosper" in Alabama? What do you need? Do your incomes have to be a certain dollar amount? No. Do you need to pay your rent or mortgage ? Yes. Does he need a job? Yes. Must it be the job of his dreams? No. Hopefully he will find a fulfilling career there, but in the meantime he can find some way to make money and also pursue a dream job...while still bringing home a little bit of bacon. :)

    And who knows what good things might happen that you don't even think to pray for?! There's a cheezy country song about thanking God for unanswered prayers, because sometimes we don't know what to ask for, or it's better that the answer to our prayer is no. True?! I think maybe.

    But, regardless -- I have no doubt that you two will be more than fine.

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  2. I applaud this post. I love that fact that you are being transparent and open and honest about how you feel. I think that is a key part of things. God knows how you feel and He would like for you to be honest about it. So you saying that you have doubt allows Him to work on that issue for you and remove it from you.

    And I think that it is great that you are determined to build your faith and know that God will take care of you. I believe that most people struggle from time to time--whether it is admitted it or not--and it takes growth, maturity and practice to get to the point where you don't struggle anymore and you just completely believe no matter what anyone else says and no matter what it looks like.

    I will join in agreeance with you and Edd that he will get an awesome job and that the two of you will prosper in Birmingham and hopefully beyond your wildest dreams. I know that you know that God is faithful. So just trust Him and keep the faith and you will have even more than what you bargained for in the best way!

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