- Experienced pain or tragedy for which religious answers do not seem satisfactory?
- Felt that you have outgrown simplistic religious ideas, concepts or answers learned in childhood?
- Experienced a feeling of dryness where God feels distant or absent?
- Been betrayed or abused by a religious leader or authority figure in whom you have put your trust?
- Felt your personal values or intellect are in conflict with what you are being told to believe?
- Felt overly-controlled by a religious subculture and wished for more freedom of choice?
- Often longed for something deeper than what your religious tradition has offered, and wondered if you should look elsewhere?
A personal faith crisis can come on suddenly, through events such as unexpected tragedy or painful betrayal. Or a crisis can be a gradual process brought on by normal faith development, a lack of theological knowledge, or a decline in spiritual practices.
Experiencing feelings of doubt, anger or confusion about previously strongly-held beliefs in God and spiritual reality can cause significant anxiety or depression. This is especially true for someone who comes from a deeply religious family or a person who has practiced their faith for a considerable length of time. If this is the case, you might worry about rejection or judgment from church and family members who find out about your struggle.
HOW COUNSELING CAN HELP
Counseling offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can express your doubts and other intense feelings and wrestle with what you believe. In this setting, a faith crisis can be an opportunity to gain new understanding about yourself, God, other people and the world. Successfully navigating a crisis can bring healing and a breakthrough to a new level of faith that is clearer, stronger, more passionate, well-reasoned and satisfying.