I spent the last few weeks reading Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue.
Some of you have followed my journey into doubt and cynicism and general confusion about my faith via my posts on Middle Places. Some of you have not. So let me just say this: I have been in a season of faith deconstruction for a few years. At first, it was more a dissatisfied feeling... a time in the desert, spiritually. But I was not content to stay in the desert, so I started chasing after God with everything in me.
I also let myself question God. I let myself question everything, because not questioning was only leading me down a bitter path. I knew that path could not lead anywhere I want to go.
If you don't ask questions, no one knows to give you answers.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears, right? I forget who said that, but I believe it. I believe that, and there aren't a lot of definites in my belief-case right now.
As soon as I heard Mike, also known as Science Mike, talking about his book, I knew I had to read it. That was the first Liturgists podcast episode I listened to, and I listened with tears on my cheeks.
I had found my tribe.
"The first and best response to someone whose faith is unraveling is a hug. Apologetics aren't helpful. Neither are Scripture references. The first thing a hurting person needs is to know they're not alone."
Thank you, Mike. As a pastor's wife in the south, it would be pretty easy to isolate myself in this journey and to live as though I am alone. I am lucky to have a church family that hugs me, literally and metaphorically. No one is handing me Lee Strobel books or quoting Paul at me. And that is good, because I have already read Strobel and I mostly want to punch Paul in the face. Not always. Sometimes I love good ol' Paul so much I could kiss him right on the mouth. But, when he talks about women, I mostly just want to punch him.
And I am willing to say that.
I am lucky to have a husband who loves me and doesn't feel his own faith or calling is threatened because his wife can't decide what she thinks about the Bible. I am lucky to have a church that isn't threatened by my questioning and sees my heart, how I love Jesus no matter what I think or don't think about the rest of it. Not all pastor's wives can openly struggle and journey and live their own faith.
In Finding God in the Waves, Science Mike took me along on his journey into atheism and then back to God. He used a lot of science, and I actually understood most of it. That in itself blew my mind. I thought I disliked science, but it turns out I just dislike math. The theories and all of the workings of the human brain? That stuff is interesting and actually HELPED me make sense of my faith.
In the pages of this book, I found my own questions about the Bible and prayer and how God engages the world... or doesn't. I didn't find answers, per se, but I did find a companion on the journey and new tools for understanding myself and my world and my faith.
If you are a skeptic or even just a person of faith who wants to better understand people who struggle with the things that seem simple and sure to you, I cannot recommend this book enough.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.