This is an experience I want to share humbly but honestly. It hurts too much to keep it to myself, and also I think it is good to share it and be able to look back on it one day. I know it is just a fragment of reality. I can relate a lot to the story of Naomi today, who lost her home, her homeland, and her husband and children, but found comfort as well.
Life doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’ve been looking at Judaism and literally investing my heart into the search ever since rejecting Christianity and giving up my Christian community a couple of years ago. After numerous times feeling I just see such clear glimmers of truth and love for God that He Himself created and preserves in the Jewish heritage, and choosing to try and pursue that covenant, community, and mission through conversion, I still realise that I don’t have enough clarity or conviction to get past the questions I still have. So with a sense of loss I’ve decided to really give up on the attempt to know if Judaism is true and to take it up for myself, unless I really have complete conviction about it and no sense of suppressing wavering uncertainties even under a large weight of proof.
I’ve been in a religion before that I felt was true because I have a relationship with God and that community reflected it so much. Then I found out it was false. My sense of honesty before God can’t bear to go under than experience again, even though I have every reason to believe Christianity isn’t true, and many more reasons to believe that Judaism is than I ever had with Christianity. It is okay, as I don’t want any path with God except the one He gives, and the gift of existence and His blessings is real even despite (and through) a feeling of lack. Relationship with Him is the one kind of faith that doubt can’t erase; humbly, dependently, and with love I choose the only thing I can and desire to, which is belonging to Him.
It just feels like He has created finite existence for no reason. Nothing good can come out of causing darkness in which to create light, it is always going to be less than the infinite, and for holiness and blessing to require a context of suffering is illogical. Existence itself makes no sense, yet here we are. The aching agony throughout the world doesn’t seem like a gift. Like Job, I feel thrown between the feeling that God loves and deserves us, the feeling that He hates us, and the reality that in many things He is silent. Even though I’m blessed to have such insights into a wise and beautiful heritage of faith, and to have many of my material needs met, and some kind family members and friends. I feel like by giving me confusion about faith, yet showing me the worth of it, God has put me into a situation of lack and real loneliness, unable to connect to any community, most likely unable to marry (who has the same values as me but isn’t attached to a religion?) and with no other modest path for male-female companionship, no chance of children unless this changes, and no certainty about what kindness and a practically compassionate life should even focus on. After all, God’s creation seems cruel, and it’s impossible for humans to exist (or eat almost anything, or do almost anything) without oppressing, causing pain to, and often even torturing other humans and animals. It all seems wrong, but the value of right is so clear. It is hard to be resilient with so little to stand on, but even if I can, what about all of the less fortunate ones who are suffering immensely and/or don’t even know the value of the holy things that I feel are both a constraint and my highest joy?
In the middle of that bitter situation of not knowing where to head, I do see some beauty in the happiness of little children playing, of friends who are in love with their spouses in joyful and also deeply caring ways, of people helping others and being helped out of pain, of people enjoying themselves, of the relationship that we have with God through history and in this day, in the natural world around. I don’t intend to build a philosophy out of uncertainty or be loud about things that are unclear to me. I need to be both humble and practical before God and people, and let my King lead, and make my mind and hands help others. But it does feel like a dark world, a dead end, and a lot of barrenness and loneliness.
The helpful advice I was given is to look not at the why, but at the what. Don’t spend time asking why something happens that we could never understand if the time is one where we need to invest our hearts in what needs to be done to help.