The Account and Countenance series continues with a guest post today from Anna Kaye Gilbreath. She is a Tennessee Native, currently living in Orlando, Florida. She is an aspiring writer, photographer, lover of nature and caffeine. She blogs here and tweets here. If you're interested in contributing to this yearlong, biweekly series, send me an email on the contact page.
I think everyone can attribute their first concepts of God through the perspective of their childhood; at least that’s how it started out for me. If God was a loving and omnipresent at the scriptures claimed, why would he not fix my situation? It was a hard concept for a little girl to understand. I remember flinging myself on my bed and praying with every single fiber of my 6 year old self asking God to make it stop, please make it stop…but it never happened.
From then on, I viewed God as a passive and uncaring observer in this whirl wind spiral called life. I never doubted that God existed, but I did doubt whether or not he cared for me. I always pictured him sitting on his golden throne in the sky watching the world’s devastation and its broken people in an elusive manor. He was the judge who had our names on a list and kept score of each person’s walk with him and whether they were on the right track.
Growing up I’ve been subjected to many versions and descriptions of God. Throughout church sermons and Sunday school lessons, God had multiple identifies: The Father, The Miracle Worker, The Provider, The Romancer, and The Omnipotent. Each one of these words described God’s character and disposition, all powerful and awe inducing but which one of these gods was the one who saw and loved Anna Kaye?
During High School, I remember reading a book by Leslie Ludy called Authentic Beauty; she called God, her white knight, her prince charming and the author of Romance. She seemed to have an incredibly intimate connection with God. I wanted my life to be like that but I had made a lot of mistakes in my life and it didn’t’ look anything like Leslie’s. So why would God even want to pursue something like that with me?
It all seemed utterly unattainable or only available to those who had spotlessly clean Christian records and only committed minor sins. I felt God had a check list of my sins, number from 1-10 and this secret tally that I believed he kept, was hindering my ability to have favor with him.
Sometimes I would feel like a fraudulent follower of God. How could I call myself a Christian when I was struggling to pray or struggling to believe the truth presented to me? Would doubt always scream so loud? I would be afraid for anyone to see me and my struggles that would mean I wasn’t the strong Christian I made myself out to be.
I’m still working at processing God’s character and what it means to me. I don’t have it all together and I don’t have the answers all tied up nicely. If you’re struggling in this area of your walk with God, you’re not alone. It doesn’t make you any less of a follower of God if you have doubts. It makes you human. Try and keep the perspective that you’re going to have days when the doubts aren’t so loud and your identity not so fragile. You doubts don’t define or discount your value. All I can do is keep hoping that God isn’t done with me yet.