Welcome to the Patchwork Blog! I hope you enjoy reading my random thoughts about life, Jesus and the freedom he offers.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Is doubt an important part of faith?

Since going through a time of almost atheism I have found that my attitude to doubt has changed. It now seems more important to acknowledge it in my life. Doubt now makes my faith more real, more like faith. Before this crisis of faith I tried to make myself believe wholeheartedly by pretending doubt wasn't there. It didn't help. I almost walked away from God completely despite my best efforts at being full of faith.

I think what I called faith before was blind acceptance not faith. Maybe I am being hard on myself because I know there were times when my faith was real and based on faith not blind acceptance. Blind acceptance is the overall impression I am left with when I look back on some of those years. I read  recently that the oppostie of faith is not doubt - it is certainty. Now I have been through my own time of  severe doubt I know what it means to say that - certainty is the opposite of what I feel now when I talk about faith. Prior to my crisis of faith I would have describe my faith as certainty. back then  I was trying to be a good Christian. I was trying to be what I thought I should be. Now I want to be what I am. And I want to be what I am with God beside me being what He is.

The following is an excerpt from my book He Never Let Go

In February 2011, I heard a lovely, wise Catholic Priest talk about how the light can be more appreciated when you know the darkness. I think I am beginning to realise that for myself. I have now experienced the darkness of a time of believing there is no God. I know what it is to have just a deep, dark, empty, void where my faith used to be. I know what it is to have no anchor for my life. Having this experience means that the faith I have now seems even more precious to me. The light of faith is so much brighter than it was before. It’s only a small beginning but I am beginning to see the value of questions and doubt. I know I will go on learning more.

What about you? How does doubt affect you?