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Seeing Myself in Doubting Thomas | Easter Faith Talk

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a lovely day. Life lately has been wild between finishing up my freshman year of running with outdoor track and handling classes as well as just a beautiful spring time in Savannah. Amidst all of the craziness that this year has been, I've found myself having more realizations and clarity in my faith lately than I've had throughout the rest of this school year. I used to write far more blog posts about my faith but this year has held so much change for me that I've hesitated to share much about my faith, as I feel like I've been figuring out so much big stuff for myself. Whenever I write about my faith on here, it's always as a journal and message for myself more than anyone else of where I'm at and what I've been learning lately. This year has been SO much learning that it's been hard to find a break in learning long enough to write about it! I'm also hesitant to share what's been on my heart for fear that I'm interpreting God's presence wrongly. Luckily, Easter has always been a beautiful time in which I often find myself refreshing my faith journey and reconnecting with God.

I feel like I say it in every single blog post, but this year has held change unlike any other. Through this change I've found freedom, confusion, but overall joy. The freedom and independence that comes with college life, especially college in a city, has forced me to also become more independent with my faith. I go to church alone for the most part and have to build moments with God into my days, each of which is a collage of class, friends, running, and just life. There's no way I would've made it through this year without intentionally spending time with God but I still feel that I'm lacking clarity in my faith. A big moment of clarity for me came this Easter that exposed me to myself.

The gospel for Second Sunday of Easter is always about Thomas and his doubts when Jesus came back to his disciples after rising from the dead. In the past, I always listened to these readings and internally scoffed at Thomas's doubt. It's Jesus. How could you doubt his presence in that moment? If Jesus showed up at my front door, how silly would I be to question his legitimacy?! Silly doubting Thomas. How could you.

Flash forward to me now, a freshman in art school, surrounded by different people and places than I've ever seen in my life. God has been my anchor, and yet I've questioned His presence so much this year. I've needed God's help and companionship more than ever, but it's also felt harder than ever to see Him in my life. Maybe that's because of being in a new, non-religious environment with people of all faiths, or maybe that's just part of not living with my family who I usually pray with and share my faith with everyday. I've often fallen into the trap of calling on God only when I'm in dire need of comfort and grounding. He's always there and yet I so easily lose focus of my true purpose in Him.

This Easter was a bit of a wake up call into my doubt of God and my need for Him. I listened to the gospel about Thomas and Jesus and for the first time, I saw myself as Thomas. I've been doubtful and confined to my idea of God without searching for God's truth of who He tells me He is. I call on Him when things of the world don't satisfy me and consequently I limit God's presence in my life. Thomas knew Jesus personally but when he was faced with who Jesus really is - Jesus's resurrection and mysterious love - he questioned if it was really God. He was limited by who he knew God to be, not who God was showing Himself to Thomas as. I really saw myself in Thomas and it gave me both compassion for him and an urgent awakening into where I'm at in my faith.

God offers Himself to us, who He really is, which can sometimes be intimidating and confusing, but we can't let ourselves be scared away out of a fear of intimacy. So much in my life has changed over the past year that I've become hesitant of any more changes, which trickled into a fear of progressing in my relationship with God. I've stagnated a bit in relationship with Him out of avoidance of growth. A weird series of confusion, I know, but it's taken me months to realize where I'm at and why based on how life has been. I'm confident and secure in my faith but I'm working on being eager to grow in it and not afraid of change. God is constant when life isn't, so let's not stagnate in our relationship with Him. Heck, He's seen all the change the world has undergone! Surely He can handle this season of life with me. What a comfort.

While life has been wild and hard and beautiful, God has been ever present even when I don't call on His presence. He's there, and that is the greatest comfort and love we can ask for. After this Easter calling I've felt refreshed and re-inspired in my faith. God is all around us, in both the big and small moments, if only we look. I came out of this Easter with a new understanding of Thomas's doubt and how I see myself reflected in that. This is where I'm at in my faith and life right now! So much learning and growth and I'm so thankful for all of it.

Enjoy some of these photos from the lovely SCAD photography student Ally who used some of my teammates and I for a class photoshoot!! The results are so so cool and I love these photos with my favorite people in Savannah.

Photographer: Ally Abruscato:

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