A faith crisis may be hard, but it does get better – like wading past the crashing waves.
We struggle with many difficulties navigating a mormon faith crisis. It is quite tumultuous, as the phrase ‘crisis’ implies. We often hear the advice that “it gets better” – which is helpful, but it does take time. Here’s a thought to help illustrate the tumult and give hope to those currently in the crisis. Perhaps viewing it this way will help.
An Analogy of Leaving
TL;DR: (too long; didn’t read:) You are on the beach and venture into the water. It feels good and is exciting, yet suddenly becomes tumultuous and scary! When pushing past the crashing waves things settle down and you finally feel peace in the calm.
You are on the beach (let’s call it the beach of faith, truth & certainty). It’s hot and stifling, but it’s the beach and everyone calls it paradise. You are drawn to look at the water, interested by the refreshingly cool temperature. There is clarity and space to think. The space to simply be. You approach the surf with your toes. The water is refreshing and exhilarating! The waves are full of motion and you notice others enjoying the water too. Some head back to the “firm” sand though and you can only assume they are afraid of the motion and uncertainty. You enjoy the water and find it interesting though, so you stay for a while, and even venture farther. You approach where the waves become more violent. The commotion is surprising, but you still have such a feeling of being in the right place – or at least, not being in the wrong place.
You notice a point ahead where the waves crest and crash and you see others being consumed momentarily. People are watching from the beach and mourning those who are lost to the waves. But from your vantage point, you see beyond the crashing waves; you see people are coming out the other side and are not drowning. There are others beyond the crashing who are relaxing on the calmer water. You are calm and understand there is no real danger, you continue.
As you wade farther into the deeper water, you feel the jostling and the back and forth. You lose your balance. You feel the rush of water into your mouth or nose! The hammering you feel as you try to leave the shallows is real and frightening. It makes you question why you ever wanted to leave the sand. The sand might not be firm, but it’s more firm than the water. To many, this is enough and they retreat back to familiar ground. They do this because of fear & uncertainty.
You are determined, and keep pushing, because you trust it gets better.
You get farther out, a bit deeper and things are suddenly calmer. You find that you can pass the point where the waves crest and crash around you. You have arrived in the calm. Here, the waves still undulate. You feel yourself rising and falling with them, but you are no longer being knocked over by them. Every once in a while a wave may crash closer or you may feel the pull, but safe in the calm you find depth that you did not experience earlier in life.
You remember the hard fight through the crashing waves where life felt like everything was falling apart and with each step the sand beneath you was moving and unsettled. You even remember the times you actually fell and saltwater got in your nose and throat. That was real and painful, and it took more than a few seconds to clear it up. But, you made it though, and it’s much better on the other side.
You endured, and things did get better. Endure to the end.
You realize there’s no real way to get from the sand to the calm without passing through the rough parts, but it does get better.
This isn’t a perfect analogy, but there is truth to the sentiment that “it gets better”. There is real uncertainty and tumult in leaving the shore and it’s hard. What is your story? Sign up, write it out and share now!