Faith Uncategorized

Striding Awkwardly

Written by Michelle Derusha

There was a time, not all that long ago, that I assumed I had to have my spiritual act together before I could really, truly believe in God. I had too many questions, too many doubts, I figured, to make the leap into faith. I didn’t know if my faith could be real, with so many questions; I seriously doubted I could be a believer with so many so many doubts.

I assumed I was too broken. Beyond repair. I figured God didn’t want someone as spiritually wishy-washy as me to join the fray.

“You sure have a unique stride there,” he says, pulling up beside me on the path, low-to-the ground on his three-wheel, aerodynamic bike. “It’s neat though, real neat.”

“Yeah, it’s not the most efficient,” I agree, pushing a sweaty strand away from my face. “But it still gets me where I need to go.”

He’s right. My running stride is awkward and graceless. I galumph. Like Bullwinkle in a tank top and Nikes. Rather than kicking straight up and back, my feet swing out to either side. It looks a little like I’m swinging an invisible lemon loop round and round my right ankle while I run. I nick my ankles so often with my own sneakers they bleed, sometimes right through my socks.

I’ve tried on occasion to correct my gait, concentrating on keeping my body long and lean, my feet in line with my hips instead of flinging wildly from side to side. But I always give up. I figure I’m not out to break any speed records. I simply want to burn the maximum number of calories in the shortest time possible. And like I told the cyclist on the trail: my stride, flawed and funky as it is, gets me where I need to go.

There was a time, not all that long ago, that I assumed I had to have my spiritual act together before I could really, truly believe in God. I had too many questions, too many doubts, I figured, to make the leap into faith. I didn’t know if my faith could be real, with so many questions; I seriously doubted I could be a believer with so many so many doubts.

I assumed I was too broken. Beyond repair. I figured God didn’t want someone as spiritually wishy-washy as me to join the fray.

Thank God I was wrong.

As it turned out, God didn’t need me to fix myself before I came to him. He didn’t require a perfect, spiritually stable follower. In fact, he wanted me exactly as is: questioning, skeptical, doubting, wondering me. He knew once I let him get his hands on me, he’d transform me into something more. But the key, of course, was to turn to him in the midst of my doubts and questions, in spite of my doubts and questions.

I don’t need to fix my wavering, clunky, sometimes-shaky faith. No, it’s not perfect. It’s not seamless or fluid. But it gets me where I need to go.

And I trust that God will fix the rest.

Do you ever feel like you need to have all your faith ducks in a row before you come to God?

About the author

Michelle Derusha

A Massachusetts native, Michelle DeRusha moved to Nebraska a decade ago, where she discovered the Great Plains, grasshoppers the size of chickens …and God. She writes about finding and keeping faith in the everyday at her blog, Graceful, as well as a monthly religion and spirituality column for the Lincoln Journal Star and for a variety of online publications, including The High Calling. She’s mom to two rambunctious, bug-loving boys, Noah and Rowan, and wife to Brad, an English professor. You can also connect with Michelle on Twitter and Facebook.

4 Comments

  • I have, Michelle. I was raised in a Christian home, attended church as often as the doors opened and attended willingly, even as a child, but it seemed to me that everybody else had it so much more together spiritually than I could hope to. The eye-opener for me was a women’s Bible study I joined when I was first married. After a few weeks of pious agreement, we finally felt comfortable enough with each other to really get into issues. Wow! Honesty. Among Christians. What a concept! Those women, most older than I was, were part of the reason that I began to be honest with myself, and more importantly with God, who loves me despite my sins, my faults, my stupid mistakes.

    Thank you for a great post!!

  • Oh, so true, Michelle. You reaffirmed what our pastor spoke on this morning. He was speaking of Jonah and how God had called him, yet he ran. After being upchucked on the beach Jonah was lying there in fish vomit (his words) and God still used him. Was he perfect? No, he had rebelled, yet God used him to bring about His plan.

  • I’m a recovering one. This is key: “my stride, flawed and funky as it is, gets me where I need to go.” God made me. He knows my quirks, my flaws, my strengths and weaknesses. And while He works in me to bring me closer to what He’s called me to be, my stride, as flawed and funky as it may be, keeps me walking to him and with him. I love your heart.