The Other "A" Word...
“You really need to learn to be okay with ambiguity.”
“You don’t need to know everything for certain. You can’t know everything for certain.”
My insides just churned. “Yes, yes I do. I DO need to know everything for certain”…is what I was thinking. I’ve been taught all my life that I MUST HAVE ANSWERS. ALL THE ANSWERS. We were even taught answers for when we didn’t have answers. They even used a Bible verse saying, “Always be ready and have an answer for the hope that lies within you…”
Not having answers meant there was something wrong with me spiritually. Not having answers meant it was my job to search out those answers intensely with every fiber of my being until I had them. Not having answers meant I wasn’t the strong Christian that I was supposed to be. Not having answers could mean a missed opportunity to lead somebody further down the path to Jesus. And how disappointing that would be to God…
I carried the weight and responsibility to be on call for God to the world on my shoulders. The weight of needing to have all the answers. The weight of needing certainty when it comes to spirituality. The need to find God’s perfect answer, ASAP, because I was taught it IS out there somewhere and it is MY JOB to find it.
The answer I was looking for belonged to this question: How could people who are not born-again Christians have spiritual experiences of their own apart from the ONE TRUE GOD that I worship. How do they have these experiences that they claimed to be genuine apart from what I was taught was absolute truth?
The answer I expected was not the answer I received. I expected to hear confirmation that their experiences are satanic, satan’s way of deceiving them from finding Jesus, kinda like what I was taught. But the answer I received was one that left me still questioning,still searching, and even more, still wondering what made their spiritual experiences possible…and could it REALLY be the same God I was experiencing, making itself known in such a vast variety of ways? and WHY? Why would (he) do that when I was taught that (he) wouldn’t?
And how could I even know!?
And if I couldn’t figure it out, how would I ever be okay with this thing called ambiguity. And what did that even mean again?
My head was spinning, and the once certain, absolutely solid spiritual ground beneath my feet beginning to shake even more as I searched my brain for the firm foundation I needed in order to keep standing. I remember watching as it continued to move farther, and farther out of reach, as I grasped onto some limbs that I assumed were truth that would keep me from falling too far. But even some of the limbs turned out to be ambiguous in nature.
Over the next few months, I would learn that in order to ease my suffering, I was going to have to learn that ambiguity is okay. I was going to have to learn to embrace it. I was going to have to accept that I don’t have all the answers. I cannot have all the answers. And I don’t need to have all the answers.
And so began the deconstruction of my faith that I never, in my life, saw coming.
And one year later…I wouldn’t change a thing, because I have learned so much that I would not have learned, had I not embraced ambiguity, thought for myself, and allowed myself to research, which caused my faith as it was to plummet off the edge of the cliff into the unknown, where it would never be pieced back together the same.
I’m okay with ambiguity now. I don’t know exactly what I believe. I don’t need to know. It feels good here. It’s a relief to not have to search for answers. It’s a relief to dwell in the uncertain, to not have to supply an absolute truth or way of being. It’s a relief to just BE.
When we keep going, things can get better than we ever imagined. We can make a come-back when we don’t give up.
Life is not what I expected it to be. But life is so good. ♥