Many of us are wrestling with the hardest questions of the soul these days. We are hanging in the balance of loss and redemption, fear and hope, the unknown and the first steps toward trusting again. When Jordan Lee Dooley lost her second child to miscarriage, she rocked in grief between the faith she longed to have and the logic that brought every fear of the future to her mind. That’s when God didn’t answer her. That’s when God simply asked her to sit with the questions. That’s when she discovered that her faith was holding her and not the other way around. It’s a grace to welcome Jordan to the farm’s table today…
I was lying in bed the day after D&C surgery for my second miscarriage. I looked at my husband, Matt, as he put laundry away across the room.
“I need to get out of here.”
The room, the blanket, the familiarity of my own home seemed to suffocate me, reminding me of what I’d lost and couldn’t get back.
“All right,” he responded, phone in hand. “Where do you want to go?”
We decided to go somewhere fairly close to home: An inn on the lake in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Our goal was simply to rest. To be quiet. To grieve.
We arrived just before dusk that evening, then walked out on the pier and watched the sunset as the docked boats in the marina rocked from side to side.
I took a deep breath as the sun glimmered off the water and slowly fell beneath the horizon. I reflected on the past week and looked ahead to the unknown future with a pit in my stomach. The breeze tugged at the stray hairs that had slipped out of my ponytail.
“God, where are You?” I asked, heart wide open and yearning for an answer to all that didn’t make sense in my life.
I’d love to tell you that I heard, I’m right here, or Don’t worry. This isn’t where your story ends, or It will all be okay. I promise.
“When you feel betrayed, let down, or completely shattered, does it ever seem like faith and logic are at war within you?”
Something—anything—that either encouraged me or made even a sliver of it make sense.
But I didn’t hear that. I heard only the breeze and the cries of seagulls overhead.
Matt slipped his arm around my waist.
“I’m not sure,” I responded, wiping a tear from my face. “I feel like faith and logic are at war within me.”
Matt suggested I explain what I meant as we walked to get some dinner. As we strolled hand in hand toward the nearest restaurant, I said, “Faith says to keep trusting and hoping. Logic laughs at her and says, ‘Don’t be such an idiot.’”
“it takes courage to keep dreaming when the circumstances that surround you make it seem as though your life is more like a nightmare loop than a dream come true.”
Maybe something in your life has made you rethink everything you thought you knew to be true too. Whether that’s what you believed about God, about another person, or even about yourself, those things can end up under intense scrutiny as we wrestle with heartbreak or even simple unmet expectations.
When you feel betrayed, let down, or completely shattered, does it ever seem like faith and logic are at war within you? Like it’d be easier to just quit altogether?
It’s so hard, isn’t it? It’s like everything in you wants to keep believing but everything around you or that has happened to you makes it seem risky and even foolish. Sometimes it feels impossible—or at the very least useless—to hold on to faith that God is still working when none of it makes sense. And it takes courage to keep dreaming when the circumstances that surround you make it seem as though your life is more like a nightmare loop than a dream come true.
“In that season of loss, I found that filling my head with more knowledge didn’t help get my heart and head on the same page at all.”
I’ll be honest. I don’t have a simple answer for you. I’m not going to toss you a cliché quote or even a Bible verse in an effort to make the confusion and doubt go away. In that season of loss, I found that filling my head with more knowledge didn’t help get my heart and head on the same page at all. In fact, I wondered whether it made the chasm between them feel even wider.
On the contrary, it was actually when I allowed myself to sit in the tension of my questions, be loved and supported, feel the emotions I was feeling, and ask God to meet me where I was that I began to reconcile the faith and logic that waged war within me. But that didn’t happen all at once that night in a corner booth at a restaurant in Lake Geneva. It happened over several months as I reluctantly let God show me who He really is instead of who I wanted Him to be for me.
So, rather than trying to convince you of anything, I’m simply going to pass on what my husband said to me over a charcuterie board as I expressed the battle happening between my heart and head.
He said, “I get that. I’m struggling with that too. But that’s why we can’t rely on logic alone. It will always dare us to give up faith just when that is all we have left and exactly what we need most.”
Since that day, I’ve held these words close. I hope that if logic is screaming at you to give up hope, you give yourself permission to hold on to faith anyway.
Because, at the end of the day, after we try to get answers and fix what seems broken, we will find that faith is truly all we have left—and what we need most.
Jordan Lee Dooley is the national bestselling author of Own Your Everyday and the host of the top-rated podcast SHE. Her newest book is Embrace Your Almost: Find Clarity and Contentment in the In-Betweens, Not-Quites, and Unknowns. Jordan knows firsthand how devastating it can be when you almost achieve a goal, almost reach a dream, or almost get to where you want to be, only to land just short of the finish line or watch it all fall apart at the last minute. But she also knows it is possible to cultivate a life you really like—and one where you can succeed—in the tension of the middle, between where you started and where you hoped to be.
[ Our humble thanks to Waterbrook for their partnership in today’s devotion ]