It happens in a moment: "This is insane. How can I even believe in this stuff? God is as mythical as Zeus, Santa Claus, and that imaginary friend I had in 1st grade." You are driving in a car. Sitting on your couch. Getting a drink at Starbucks.
It happens in a minute: You tell yourself this is normal. This is part of faith. It's not resistance, it's an element. "I believe, help my unbelief!" Your heart rate rises anyway. That pain you always feel in your chest when you are stressed starts. You rub it a little, out of habit.
It happens in an hour: You've largely forgotten about it. Distracted by children or texts or whatever. But when you do think about it again, you wonder, will it ever go away? You've been wondering this for 4 years but that doesn't stop you from asking. You think what would happen if you left it all behind? Everything would change. Is that the only reason you stay?
It happens in an afternoon: You pick up your Bible and read. You are not totally sure you want to but the habits of grace are a pillar you can wrap your arms around when you are not sure what is real and what is not. You make an investment. You might use it today, but likely it will be a few years yet. You know this because right now, you are drawing on five years ago.
It happens in a week: Your friend and your husband know that you are struggling again. You told them separately but they respond like they have talked about it. You are frustrated with yourself but they are not with you. You go to church.
It happens in a year: You read stories of others who have clung to the cross. “I can do this too.” You talk with people smarter than you. “Yes, yes, this does make sense.” You talk with people who struggle like you. “I am not alone.” You remain because it is so utterly beautiful. You remain because there are moments you know it can't NOT be true. You remain, you think sometimes, because you want to.
It happens in a lifetime: You shuffle, day by day, towards the shores of glory. Then one day you see Him—in all His glory and power and majesty and kindness and compassion for all the ways you’ve failed and doubted and disbelieved and disobeyed—and you fall to your knees and worship.