I'm a slow learner. I always have been. When I was in school, it took a lot for me to retain information. I was a last minute studier because I stood a greater chance of remembering that way. I just don't hold information in that well. Unless there is a connection to what I'm learning, I just never seem to keep it in. Even then it's sketchy.
God has been trying to teach me about faith. I think he started out subtly but then tried to hit me over the head with it. I still seem to have issues. At least he's a patient God, because he's still trying.
I always saw myself as a fairly faithful and trusting person. I often naively followed because I never felt the push otherwise. Doubting seemed like more work then trusting. I was comfortable and content where I was, in my little box. But then over time, the walls of that box began to tear down. The deeply emotional and spiritual issues, I felt, were being ignored. For years I prayed for healing for someone close to me who was struggling with a painful and debilitating disease. Faithfully, I prayed, trusting, knowing god wanted healing for this person. This person is still broken, desperate and sick, even more then ever. I prayed for 20 years for a family of my own. Again, trusting and knowing God would hear the cries of my heart. I'm still single. Now the issue isn't that I'm single. It was that I prayed for clarity regarding where God wanted me. What I got was more vagueness. These are just a few areas in which I have spent concentrated time, praying and hoping. One was for me and the other for someone close to me. I've had other prayers where I truly felt like God was calling us to pray a certain way just to find out we were wrong or at least that's what it looked like
My doubt didn't come in not getting what I wanted. I'm pretty cool with whatever direction God wants to take me. My struggle is in the hearing. I often "feel" like i hear God's voice in a certain situation or I'll feel lead to pray in a certain way. I'll feel pretty confidently that "I'm right" and that God will answer accordingly just to find I was wrong on some level. I started doubting the voice of God. It finally lead me to doubt that I could or would ever hear him. I felt like it wasn't that God wasn't willing to give the desires of my heart but that we weren't in sync on what those are. There was a connecting issue.
In the last month or two I have been a part of (on some level) of some big things going on. I've watched friends pray in faith for the healing/resurrection of a dear friend of theirs just to see it not happen. I've prayed myself for the physical healing of two people extremely close to me. I've watched one of those people take drastic and faith filled steps to see God's healing touch. I've also been praying for the mental/emotional/spiritual healing of several friends. In all of these situations I have played the fence. I have wanted to learn about God's heart. His action. His love. But I've had my doubts, many of them. Guilt washes over me as I pray with a half heart, no longer confident in what God is willing and able to do.
The good in all of this is it is pushing me to a deeper understanding of the nature of Jesus. It is not allowing me to be stagnant or complacent even though it is often my nature. Its causing me to be restless, uncomfortable and anxious for renewal. Growth is always a good thing in my book.
It might hurt right now but I am trusting that in the end, the pruning that has taken place will yield so many beauties of fruit and blessings.