“Where will you go?”

“America.”

“We’re in America right now, Don.”

“Yeah, I know. But there are other parts to America. I’d like to see the other parts…..there were….places that were more green with big lumpy mountains. I’d like to go to those places.”

“Do you think God is out there somewhere? Out there in the lumpy places?”

“I think God is everywhere.”

“Then why do you have to leave?”

“Because I can’t be here anymore. I don’t feel whole here. I feel, well, partly whole. Incomplete…..Something got crossed in the wires……Do you know what I am talking about, about the green lumpy places?”

The conversation went on like this for about an hour. I went on and on about how the real me was out in the green lumpy places. I wasn’t making any sense. I can’t believe my pastor didn’t call the guys with the white coats to take me away.

(Excerpt from ‘Blue Like Jazz’ by Donald Miller.)

A little over two years ago, I wrote this post. After reading through it again, it is as true today as it was in 2006. Except now, my faith is floundering even more. That is unbelievably discouraging. It’s like I’ve made no progress since then.

On Wednesday, Shelly and I leave for Washington. We will be driving through some of the green, lumpy places. I doubt it will be much like ‘Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance’ but we’ll see. 🙂

I want to use this trip to reflect and to come to some decisions. I don’t want to believe in Jesus because it’s all I’ve ever known. I don’t want to serve God because of some fear of what will happen if I don’t. I want to know that I made a choice that was my own and that I can believe in. Even in the face of the extreme doubt that I have been dealing with. In the face of pain and heartache and death and sickness. I know the quote says “the deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure” but if that’s the case, then I must be up to my ears in faith and don’t know it. Because I am drowning in doubt.

I am “23 and so tired of life“. Is that normal? Is this some sort of quarter-life crisis that no one talks about? Because if it is, they should talk about it. It is exhausting to feel so alone and abandoned. Yesterday Ro, Jenn and I spent the day in bed watching Nip/Tuck. (Which, that was just a brilliant idea…..) I was between the two of them and we were all cuddled up together and that is the safest I have felt in a long time. Together we made it through that horrible, awful, no good, very bad day. This group has a lot of “bad anniversaries”. But it is small moments like that that restore my faith in humanity. My group, we make mistakes. We screw up in really big ways sometimes. But we work through it and we still love each other. We get each other through the bad days. Babies deaths and the anniversaries of the days we were attacked and the nights we couldn’t sleep because of nightmares.

“Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It’s harsh, and cruel. But that’s why there’s us. Champions. It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.”

Maybe, if my little group can love one another and help heal the world, maybe life isn’t hopeless. Maybe this struggle I’m in is just something that I have to go through right now. For reasons I don’t know. Which bothers me. But then, why should I get to know? “We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.”

On Wednesday, I leave for the green, lumpy places. When I come back, I don’t know what I will have encountered or what I will believe. But I will have made some decisions. I will let you know what they are when I come home.

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