In my last year of seminary, almost everything went wrong. I was about to graduate with no job prospects. I was in debt. My wife had just miscarried, and finals were about to begin. My wife wanted me to finish; she wanted us to move out of that stage of life. I didn’t want to let her down, but I felt guilty for studying. As Sunday approached, I didn’t want to go to church; I didn’t feel like a Christian. My faith felt weak.
I had the right answers. I knew the theology. I had received a good education, but I had such a hard time praying. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe God was there, or that I believed God didn’t care, or that God was not good because he had allowed evil to come my way. It was much more complicated. I just didn’t feel well; I knew God wasn't to blame.
I blamed myself. That semester was stressful. In the rush to study and finish strong while trying to secure a job and complete my internship responsibilities at my local church, I was constantly frustrated, exhausted, and irritable. I brought these feelings home to my wife. I caused her a lot of stress as she worried about our future, a future for which I had failed to adequately prepare. This is what I told myself; I couldn’t help it. I remember that as we sat together in the hospital, all feelings of hope dissipated.
As Sunday approached, I didn’t feel like a Christian, but I went to church anyway. My plan was simple. I was going to keep trying to be a Christian. I was going to keep trying to pray, but I wasn’t going to pretend that everything was okay when it wasn’t...................
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