Thank you for admitting what so few have the courage to do. Thank you for being honest about your struggle with life's biggest and hardest questions. Thank you for caring about truth.
In case you have forgotten, in case you never knew:
you are not crazy,
you are not alone,
you are loved.
"Why do I believe what I believe? Is this really real? I want to believe, but I'm struggling."
I hear you loud and clear. I know you're exhausted. This road is full of heartache and existential angst, but it's so worth it.
It's worth it, because at the end of the pursuit of truth is not more certainty but more hope--hope that compels us to love and live more deeply than we ever knew possible.
When you feel like you don't know where to start, start small. Follow your interests. If it's science, let's start there. If it's ethics, and you're not sure which way is up after reading the Old Testament, let's start there. Whatever it is, just start. You cannot, will not, and do not have to conquer the world in a day, nor by yourself.
Don't Go It Alone
Use me as a resource. Trust that I'm your friend. Know that I'm limited but take advantage of the fact that I've gone before you. Stand on my shoulders, as I stand on those who have gone before me. Bring others into the dialogue, but be careful.
People Fear Change
Everyone will not be ready for your questions. Everyone will not understand how you could continue to ask "why." They surround themselves with things that confirm what they already know. Wading in the shallow end of their inherited pool of beliefs, some will scorn you for swimming away. Don't let the fear or anger of others drown you.
The Worthy Journey
This pursuit is worthwhile. Most people are handed their worldview. They accept a prepackaged paradigm. You're different, and you're going to see beauty in the world like you've never imagined.
Welcome to Doubt. It's a double-edged sword. It will help you, and it will hurt you. It will lead you to new heights and dark depths.
You will be stronger. You will be more humble. You will have deeper gratitude. You will possess wonder no person of certainty can ever feel.
At the end of the day, at the end of all our searching, this life really is a beautiful mystery. It's a gift, and you will have done much with the gift you've received.
Books I recommend: