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Monday, February 23, 2009

A story about a girl whose faith has been shaken...

“God is relentless in His pursuit of you.”

If you haven’t been able to tell from my posts, I’ve been in a massive funk over the past few months and I feel like it’s time to tell you why. Maybe it will help someone else who’s dealing with the same issues or maybe it will stick with someone in the case of future need. Most of all, I just want to share with you what’s going on so you can see the coolness of God.

In November, I ran for the position of Panhellenic President (president over all of the sororities). It wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do, but it was a place I felt strongly called to. God and me have a pretty tight bond, I think. I could normally tell when He was speaking to me or speaking through me – and I felt like more than ever, He had called me to serving there. For five months, my compassion towards sorority girls grew uncontrollably. I wanted to pour love into them constantly, shower them with the same grace God has showered on me. That was my sole purpose for running. Well, the results were the closest it’s been in years and I lost. For about two months after elections, everything was great. I trusted the Lord and told Him that His desire was for me to pour compassion and love on the girls but I had missed the whole point – I didn’t need a title to accomplish that. So I turned to my sorority and have been developing stronger relationships with the girls in that community instead… this is the first time since I joined that I haven’t held a position, yet I’ve gotten to know the girls on a more intense level than ever.

The root of the problem was not that I didn’t get the position, rather I questioned if I truly heard from God. Was He telling me to run or was it my own selfish desires to run for such a prominent position and I was mistaking that for His voice? I try to tell people that and they don’t get it. There were so many times that I wanted to back out. I didn’t want the responsibility; I didn’t feel I was capable. Then I felt like God was saying, “Hey, it’s cool, Whit. I’m right here. Just go for it. You have my strength.” Once again, was I still mistaking my conscience for His voice? So I began questioning prayer. Not God’s existence or sovereignty, but prayer and receiving God’s words – not Word, but words. So I challenged Him. Dumb, I know. Honestly though, I think it’s OK to challenge God. Even when nobody else gets it, He gets it. (Which this was another confusing thing for me. How can God relate to us not understanding things when He knows all? He’s never had the problem of not understanding. I still haven’t figured that out – but I’m OK with that now.) I told God that I didn’t want answers from scripture or from other people – but from His voice, and His voice alone. Even though I offered that challenge to Him, I still ran to others for answers. All I got was, “Well, just know He loves you and you are His child,” or “It was your pride,” or “Just give it time, it will all work itself out.” Those are all great answers but that had nothing to do with my question. Was it my conscience speaking or was it God? Up until a couple of days ago, nobody truly understood the issue until Chris Lock, Laura and I were talking at Cambridge.

Chris is filled with wisdom: With trying to get answers, all you’re trying to do is satisfy that need for relationship. Until you’re fine with not having the answers, God won’t typically give you the responsibility of having them. Without answers, you have no choice but to trust.

When I asked Him if he thought it was my conscience or God, he said, “Well, there have been plenty of times where I thought I heard from God and I was completely off. And that’s OK. I have scars from my face because I have fallen so much but you just gotta keep going and keep loving.” So I think that’s my answer. Maybe it was pride… but maybe it was that I thought I heard from God… and either it wasn’t Him at all… or maybe it was Him but I had mistaken the idea for running as President for just pouring love out on the women of Greek Life.

You know, I never thought I would be the one whose faith was shaken by such a small issue. I hate that. At the same time though, it’s been awesome. I’ve learned so much about myself along the ride and I’ve learned that it’s OK when we get it wrong… as long as we keep moving forward and love people unconditionally along the way. Regardless, I don’t need answers anymore. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).” I always thought I understood this verse until Chris talked it out with me. I’ve never had that peace because I’ve always wanted to understand. So for those of you that have been worried about me, just know that it’s OK. I’m just in the process of learning to not understand and how to be OK with that.


PS: Another thing I’m learning is that when I read the Bible, I really have to stop thinking about where we get it wrong as Christians and how denominations have destroyed the original message. Instead, I’m learning to read it… just as God wrote it to me. It’s a lot more powerful that way and I’ve been able to stop judging this “religion” so harshly and look at it as Christ would want me to – between Him and me.

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