I am, I have been, and still am, at the edge of my faith - not just in god or in love, but in anything. As far afield as one could possibly go, if one were me. Here is my current multiple choice thinking:
A. There is no god, and never has been.
B. There is a god, and she can be a cruel, indifferent B*tch.
C. There is a god, and s/he knew this was coming. Therefore, S/he put you as far into love and trust and goodness as S/he could, hoping it would shield you from the blast. Hoping it would be enough to carry you.
Now, the actual answer is probably more like the square root of duck sauce, multiplied by some integer of who knows what.
All I know is that when moments of C smash into me, I'm sobbing and I know I'm loved. I feel held up and sat beside, not fixed, but tended. This whole path seems possible. Not good, not right, but possible. Whereas A and B just suck, and I am sobbing and angry and alone and everything sucks and I soak myself in unwinnable imaginary hells. I mostly live in options A and B each day, with some forays into the unmentionable D: that there is a god, and Matt is here with me, but I am too dense/stubborn/addled/lame/lazy/bull-headed/fill in the blank to recognize it. Which then usually devolves into another imaginary argument between me and the god I no longer believe in as to whether it is understandable that I would be lost at this point, and not so good on the trusting.
So tonight, driving down the road, having shovelled out the barn and tended creatures, I am smacked by option C, option C, that who or whatever powers this universe knew this was coming, and so loved each of us that S/he or It put us as deeply into love as we could each possibly go. To give us something to hold on to. To have some memory, some visceral, beautiful thing to hold up against the living and imagined hells and wracking sobs and all the horrible mind crap that takes up my days and my dreams. Hold. On. To. This. A pre-emptive medicine. A tanking up on goodness for the long haul about to come. Because you are loved, sweetheart, and that has always been so.
How that works functionally, given that I still have to live this, well, I have no idea. That I am tanked up and full of love makes no difference to me at times. That Option C is true is often seen by self B and Self A as mere delusion. But even if I am making it all up, Option C is still a whole lot better than the other letters I have on my list.
And p.s., from Wendell Berry:
"Sometimes our life reminds me of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house, an orchard and garden, comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed, provided we stay brave enough to keep on going in."
Option C: a pattern made in the light for the light to return to.