Do you let yourself ask questions? I mean, the big questions. The questions that may not have the same answer for you as for other people, or for every season in your life. Questions about the deep stuff, those issues that you may not have thought about in a while. Are you even allowed to ask those questions?
I want you to give yourself permission to ask questions.
Does that idea bring up any anxiety in you? It’s a little scary to not know the answers. It’s like walking in the dark. You might feel a strong sense of disorientation when you aren’t sure where this questioning thing might take you. Can you live with that discomfort?
Questions that have no answers make me feel a little like I’ve lost control. The feeling of disorientation is especially extreme for questions that do indeed have answers, but those answers no longer fit me, my life, or my idea of who God is. Some religious traditions require followers to accept the answers because the traditions are certain that they are right. Or because that’s the way it has always been done.
What if the answers don’t feel authentic to you because they don’t align with your own experiences? Is it okay to ask questions? Is it okay to have doubts about the answers you have been taught?
I want to introduce Rachel Held Evans to those of you who don’t know her. Evans was a progressive Christian blogger and author of four best-selling books. As a young adult, she left the evangelical church of her childhood, and forged a path where it is okay to ask questions. Evans was considered a voice for people who had been marginalized or effectively silenced by the church, especially the LGBT community and women of color. She challenged teachings from her religious upbringing that were not in alignment with the teachings of Jesus. She wrote about faith and doubt in the Bible Belt, and did so with honesty, vulnerability, and respect.
Last weekend, Evans died unexpectedly at the age of 37 from medical complications; the cause of death is still being determined. She was a bright light in the world who will be sorely missed. Check out the incredible impact she had on so many at #becauseofrhe.
As a way of honoring her life, I am giving you permission to ask questions. I am giving you permission to be comfortable with and love the questions as a way of exploring and living into the answers.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
What questions do you need to ask?
What questions do you need to just live with and leave unanswered, for now?
Let me know if I can help you figure that out! Send me an email or just leave a comment below!