Becky is a fellow Tribe Writer, and outside of her submission and the emails that followed, I'm not sure we've had a full conversation. What I appreciate about the writing communities I've found and joined, is that you are never a stranger when you connect over your love of the art of the written word. Because of that, Becky is familiar, and in her writing I see pieces of myself - former ideas bookmarked and placed on the nightstand, because it's the Christian viewpoint I've needed to shed, but also deep sighs, emphatic nods and smiles, when she expresses her honest seeking in the day-to-day and stretches herself outside of her comfort zone with small things, like a drive into the city.
It's comforting to read someone else's words and be warmed by the fact that no matter how I've changed my beliefs, no matter how my faith morphs with yawns and groans, there are aspects of myself that will always be there. Being a Christian will always be a large part of my spiritual journey. My past has informed my present, and I find solace knowing I never have to completely abandon my heritage, dooming it to the shadows.
Responses by Becky Hastings
What do you believe and why?
I believe in God, in all of His perfect forms: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Healer, Grace-Giver, Loving and Kind, All-Knowing, and always real, even when I don’t understand completely. Believing and understanding are not the same thing. Belief can be a choice, while understanding is a process.
I believe in God, and all that He is in the Bible, while I work out my understanding of who He is in my life and the world.
How did you discover your beliefs?
Initially, I discovered my beliefs for myself at age 11. I had a rare nerve disease in my leg and the doctors had no treatment plan left. They were looking at the possibility of amputation. People prayed, a lot. I watched them believe in a God who went beyond impossibly thin pages of black and red ink. I watched my mom, who had no reason for peace, walk through each day holding on to the promises of a God full of love. I wanted that.
A few months later, during a church service (although I think that part is irrelevant), I heard a voice tell me to put my foot down and walk. After the service, I went off by myself to do so – in all my baby faith. In that moment, God healed my leg.
How do you interact with your beliefs?
Imperfectly and drenched in grace. I pray, but not really on my knees. I tell God the things I think and feel and can’t say, except when I don’t. Because I’m so perfectly human. I get it wrong every day and I’m learning to smile and accept grace upon grace every single time. I long to let go of striving in spite of my type A tendencies so I can experience all that God has for me and I can give Him all that I am.
Matters of the heart can be complex, but I've learned that healing these complexities may not be all that different from the physical healing of my leg. We all have these things that are part of who we are, but not who we want to be. Little by little, as I believe and look to God to heal past hurts, worries, fears, I find myself walking forward in new freedom. God heals, and my faith lets me walk forward in that healing.
This walk is a constant discovering, as long as I am willing. I discover more about my faith and what I believe in all of my imperfect everyday living.
What do you do when you doubt your beliefs?
When doubt creeps in, I walk through the doubt knowing I’m never alone. I bring it all to Jesus (except for when I try to figure it out myself) and have full expectation that I will understand more on the other side of my doubt. Not because of who I am, but because of who He is.
Bringing my doubts to Jesus is messy. My doubts often don’t have a voice until I write them, processing them with what I know and what I believe to be true. I talk to Him when I’m doing other things. I sing words I know to be true until I feel them. I’ve stood in my kitchen and screamed His name. I’ve fallen asleep whispering to Him.
If I can truly believe that He is my Father and I am His child, then I have the freedom to be a child. I can go to Him imperfectly and wondering and questioning and He stays. He doesn’t get mad and He’s not surprised. He’s there. It’s my willingness to be exactly who I am, and tell Him I still choose Him. Realizing He isn’t afraid of my doubt, that He loves me enough to stay in all my messy questions and fears, this is the truth I choose to walk forward in.
I think we have a multitude of choices. Recognizing we can be imperfect without God changing His love for us gives us the chance to walk forward in grace.
To read more My Discovery Process submissions, you can find them here.