One of the most courageous things you can do is to confront your theology and ask, “is this right?” What if it isn’t?
A guest post from Kristen LaValley, used with permission. Our daughter-in-law, Angie, came across Kristen’s content and suggested I should look into it. Kristen is a gifted writer whose words provide a refreshing perspective on faith and spirituality. From the years of 2013-2015, Kristen ran a popular mommy blog called When At Home. Her writing was featured on Huffington Post, Deseret News, Scary Mommy, ABC news, and various other news and blog outlets. She writes at Things I’m Thinking About.
My healing was being hindered by my bad theology. What we believe about God affects every aspect of the way we view ourselves and the way we interpret the things that are happening to us and around us.
If we believe that there is a formula to faith – that if we do A, B, C, then God will do X, Y, Z, our faith will crumble when the equation fails. And it will fail.
One of the most courageous things you can do is to confront your theology and ask, “is this right?” What if it isn’t? That’s a terrifying reality! Your paradigms and your self identity are so closely intertwined that pulling on a single strand can unravel the whole thing. And then what’s left after that happens?
A devastating church wound shattered my faith framework. Completely demolished it. Everything that made sense to me stopped making sense – quite literally – overnight. My theology hadn’t accounted for everything changing. It hadn’t accounted for my heartbreak or betrayal or spiritual abandonment. And so, it crumbled.
My identity was wrapped up in who I was in ministry, what role I played, what calling God had placed on my life and what I did to honor that calling. Everything about who I was was wrapped up in who I was to the church. As long as that system was working in my favor, I had no reason to believe my faith wasn’t stable. When the structure fell on top of me, it took my faith and every scrap of my identity with it.
But I went back to the ruins. I scavenged for pieces of what I still believed to be true about God. I had to look back over what I believed and face the reality that what I believed about God might have been wrong. If it was wrong, then what was right? I didn’t know. I could barely put one foot in front of the other, much less think critically about what I believed!
And so, I was left with four things and I clung to them until my fingers cracked and bled : He is good. He is kind. He is faithful. He is for me. When I woke up each day feeling like I couldn’t breathe from the weight of my heartbreak, I’d whisper, He is good. He is kind. He is faithful. He is for me. I didn’t even really believe it. But I held on to it. It’s all I could do.
I spent decades trying to heal my mind through faith, self-control, and spiritual disciplines. The result was a heart filled with anger and shame and spirituality that was focused on ME – what I could do, what I could control, what I could display in my faith to make God respond to my requests.
“You just have to believe!”
“You just have to think on these things!”
“God’s word says Do not fear!”
My God, I tried.
And it almost cost me my life.
I Got Better
When I stopped writing simplistic prescriptions for my pain and suffering, I found a path for healing. Not because I trusted MYSELF, but because I trusted the Shepherd to lead me. Not theology. Not religion. Not a box of predetermined rules for healing made up by people who didn’t understand the physical components of my unseen illness.
And then I got better.
And my faith deepened.
The love of God frees us to steward our minds with wisdom, not with shame or condemnation.
He didn’t give me a miracle for my mind. But he led me to the path that set my mind free.
The spiritual restrictions I shackled myself up with set me on a road that was quickly disintegrating everything good around me. So I got help. I got free. And even though it wasn’t a “miracle”, it is still miraculous.
Path of Healing
Just because you choose a path of healing that‘s more than spiritual disciplines and faith doesn’t mean you are going without Jesus. As integrated creations, all that we do is spiritual and all that we do is physical. Trust the Shepherd to lead you. Tune out everyone who makes you feel shame and condemnation. That’s not his voice. He is gently leading you and you can trust him.
The love of the father frees us.
I hope you hear the sound of shackles hitting the ground really soon. I can’t even tell you how good it feels.
Give out a shout out to Kristen. Re-post this on your social media platforms and tag Kristen. And join the conversation by leaving a comment below. Thank you.
Hope grows here. We share stories that inspire people, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.
We’d love to have you Subscribe to REVwords. We’ll put helpful content into your inbox Mondays and Fridays.