Losing My Religion?

I’m not really losing my religion. Just seemed like a catchy title. In fact, I’m in far greater danger of losing my faith than my religion.

When I use the word “religion,” I mean the theology behind Christianity as well as the external cultural practices associated with it. Theologically, I’m more or less the same as I’ve always been. I can recite the Apostle’s Creed without problem. I affirm the tenets of “orthodox” Christianity: that God is a Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit… that Jesus came to earth as God in the flesh to demonstrate God’s love through his life, death, and resurrection… that we can live with God now and eternally only because of God’s forgiveness of our sin through Jesus’ death on the cross… that the Holy Spirit lives within Jesus’ followers and continues to do God’s work on the earth… that one day Jesus will return and the whole world will be made new… I also appear religious in practice: we say a blessing before meals. We pray with our children before bed. We go to church on Sundays. We give money away.

But despite my religiosity, sometimes I worry that I am losing my faith. What with three children and bills to pay and laundry to fold and blogposts to write, the internal practices of Christianity often fall by the wayside. Prayer becomes a distant memory. Reading the Bible is something I used to do, an indulgence from a former life. And every day it’s harder than the one before to change my habits.

But this morning I woke up and had thirty minutes to myself and for some reason I decided to forgo the shower and read and pray and journal instead. And I remembered that though my faith wavers, God’s faithfulness does not. Though I forget to pray, God does not forget my needs. Though I fail to listen, God never fails to speak. Though I might lose my faith, God refuses to lose his hold on me.

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).

Comments

  1. Love this Amy Julia! Thanks for your vulnerability and a call back to the simplicity of knowing Him. Love reading your writings and hearing your heart.

  2. Love this Amy Julia! Thanks for your vulnerability and a call back to the simplicity of knowing Him. Love reading your writings and hearing your heart.

  3. Tricia Tice says:

    Praying for more of that! My own blog has gone unwritten of late because of so much that needs to be done.

    Some of what you are feeling is a season…your daughter will be older and will need different things in a few years. Later, you will be able to share with her what a quiet time with God looks like. In the meantime, if you want her to want it for herself, it’s important to set an example of making that a priority. Even if you just take 15 minutes, setting the time aside in a time that she can see it will pay off big in the long run (for both of you).

    At 8 and 11, both of my kids understand what a priority it is, although I’m just beginning to teach the older one what it is like to use scripture to begin to tune his ears to God’s voice. He frequently complains that he just can’t hear God and it breaks both of our hearts. Katie is far more spiritually sensitive, but right now I’m happy to have her read Dick and Jane to me at night and pray together. It’s a start.

    It might also be time to re-read (or read) Brother Laurence’s _The Practice of the Presence of God_. Having a time set apart to reconnect with the Holy Spirit is as important as date night with your husband, but sometimes it is an attitude of worship through the dishes and dailies that really brings the color back to life (Rev. 4:3).

    Prayer is too “mission critical” to miss–”I am the vine, you are the branches…Apart from me, you can do nothing.” The other half of that is just as important. Theologically, God has made it clear that He needs us to intercede for our world, so that He may have the freedom to directly act in the world He has delegated to our authority (Gen 1:28). He will not overstep the authority He has delegated to us without our request.

    Final thought: I have found that every time I look at Katie and my heart aches for her struggles and differences, it’s a reminder that I need to submit that need to the Father as well. He has shown Himself more than faithful to provide the next action step or remedy for that specific problem.

    Hmm…I have some praying to do…

    • Tricia, Thanks so much for these thoughts and reminders. I often find that the best way for me to have an attitude of worship amidst “dishes and dailies” is if I’ve set apart a (often very short) time that is more intentional. I also appreciate your thoughts on prayer as not only important for us but also important for God–that he has really and truly entrusted work to us and we need to pay attention to that even as we know that he will accomplish his purposes one way or another.

      Anyway–many thanks for these words!

      Amy Julia

  4. Tricia Tice says:

    Praying for more of that! My own blog has gone unwritten of late because of so much that needs to be done.

    Some of what you are feeling is a season…your daughter will be older and will need different things in a few years. Later, you will be able to share with her what a quiet time with God looks like. In the meantime, if you want her to want it for herself, it’s important to set an example of making that a priority. Even if you just take 15 minutes, setting the time aside in a time that she can see it will pay off big in the long run (for both of you).

    At 8 and 11, both of my kids understand what a priority it is, although I’m just beginning to teach the older one what it is like to use scripture to begin to tune his ears to God’s voice. He frequently complains that he just can’t hear God and it breaks both of our hearts. Katie is far more spiritually sensitive, but right now I’m happy to have her read Dick and Jane to me at night and pray together. It’s a start.

    It might also be time to re-read (or read) Brother Laurence’s _The Practice of the Presence of God_. Having a time set apart to reconnect with the Holy Spirit is as important as date night with your husband, but sometimes it is an attitude of worship through the dishes and dailies that really brings the color back to life (Rev. 4:3).

    Prayer is too “mission critical” to miss–”I am the vine, you are the branches…Apart from me, you can do nothing.” The other half of that is just as important. Theologically, God has made it clear that He needs us to intercede for our world, so that He may have the freedom to directly act in the world He has delegated to our authority (Gen 1:28). He will not overstep the authority He has delegated to us without our request.

    Final thought: I have found that every time I look at Katie and my heart aches for her struggles and differences, it’s a reminder that I need to submit that need to the Father as well. He has shown Himself more than faithful to provide the next action step or remedy for that specific problem.

    Hmm…I have some praying to do…

    • Tricia, Thanks so much for these thoughts and reminders. I often find that the best way for me to have an attitude of worship amidst “dishes and dailies” is if I’ve set apart a (often very short) time that is more intentional. I also appreciate your thoughts on prayer as not only important for us but also important for God–that he has really and truly entrusted work to us and we need to pay attention to that even as we know that he will accomplish his purposes one way or another.

      Anyway–many thanks for these words!

      Amy Julia


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