Sometimes great trauma forces one to actually wrestle with their faith; putting to test your beliefs and resolve with what you usually only intellectually hold as truth. Finding hope in what seems hopeless. Finding faith in what seems impossible. Right now I'm trying not to be a fatalist.
"You are a sinner."
"You are dead in your sin."
"You can do nothing good, apart from God."
"God has ordained everything."
"God is sovereign."
While all of these might be true, all of these are incomplete. But as a child (and hearing these words Sunday after Sunday, ingrained through Westminster Confession and Children's Catechism), this was all I heard. I never heard the remaining truth about grace, forgiveness, new life, redemption in Christ. I never felt hope. I was mired in fatalism. While I had knowledge and truth, the enduring sense within me was that no matter what I did God disliked me. God hated me. God was out to get me. Regardless of what I wanted or what I did, God will always whatever He wished, and that "whatever" probably would be something to make me miserable.
It's taken me decades to find hope. To find joy. To think of the full truth of what I believe and not let the nagging fatalism of my childhood consume me. Sadly many Christians still wander in a fatal faith. They believe they are no good (and live up to the standard) in an abuse of God's grace and mercy. Never more have I had to leap over my past demons than in the past week, when hope is hard to come by. We are all torn and broken people. Flawed. Sinful. That alone connects us all, regardless of what we believe, as our lives collide in the truth that we all have the potential for forgiveness and redemption. Make sure you hear the full truth.