If you are a long time follower of me here.. or are someone who has known me for a long time, you’ll know that I am not a “Child of God”. (well, I mean… I’m not a “follower?) I grew up with my mother believing in God, and angels. I have been baptized, I was “saved” at a Bible camp in my youth. However, in the last few years, God and I have had a “Falling out” of sorts or more like a “I don’t really know if you’re real” kind of thing going on. But God/Buddha/Higher Power/Allah, Ishtar, Neptune and Zeus, ohh, would I like to believe in you.
I want to be something. I was baptized and “saved” as a Christian-still am to family. I don’t practice but that community feeling in a church is intoxicating. Being told that there is someone who loves you and will always love you made me so happy. I love(d) being loved unconditionally and knowing that there was a family outside of my own blood and flesh family that was there for me, should I stumble and fall or need a hand moving that over sized entertainment center from one crappy apartment to another.
As children (in those “Christian families”), we aretold that God is present everywhere. So, as a kid I saw God’s hand in nature and everything small and beautiful. My favorite God-creation was a butterfly. I used to creep up towards a butterfly and gently holding it marvel at its colors and beauty.When I released it, it would flutter its wings and return to rest on the flowers I had kept it from attending to (Side note… don’t touch butterflys– You ruin their wings and then they can’t help pollinate flowers and I really like flowers) . Then one day in a summer bible camp, I was told with a startling finality that the only way to Heaven is through ‘God’. I should have jumped at that announcement, happy that he had assured us all a place in Heaven, especially me. But I was quite disturbed by his declaration and timidly asked him, “What happens to those from other faiths or who don’t believe?” The answer ” If you choose not to believe in God you go to Hell” Period. End of Discussion.
But that was also the end of my unstinting belief in God. It was unjust for my mother to pass away so young, and right at the time when I needed her most (Just having been divorced after 12 years and within a year of a heartbreaking miscarriage). It was just salt into an open wound to lose my Nana so soon after my mother. It seems unfair to say that just because someone believes in a different God that they can’t get into the same heaven as me (should I believe thats where I am going to end up) It seems unfair to think that just because someone was born homosexual, that they won’t be able to get into heaven, but someone who HATES homosexuals and does what ever is in their power to discriminate against them is allowed in. What pisses me off to no end is when people say what happens is God’s will and that God has a plan. I used to believe this when confronting setbacks in my own life and learning about the suffering of people I love. But like everything else in my world, that belief has been shot to hell. What kind of God sits by while millions die and suffer through war, famine, pestilence, natural catastrophes? Or watches from above while people get raped, abused, shanked, tortured, waste away? Since the day I lost my mother, I’ve felt abandoned. I can’t pray anymore. When family members speak of God or prayer, I snort and tell them I couldn’t abide by such dogmatic mores. When I break down, I sometimes want to call out to Him, begging Him for strength to continue and to diminish my pain. Then I stop myself. I steady myself. I tell myself that I am strong and that I can continue and that I can lessen my pain. He wasn’t there for me when I most needed Him so from now on it’s just Me, Myself and I.
Now I feel more agnostic. I don’t feel that spiritual connection anymore but I still catch myself whispering a quick prayer (taking a deep breath and hoping (kinda like making a wish on a birthday candle for lack of a better explanation) for help in trying situations. I still look to receive “Divine Inspiration” when I feel troubled (OK, honestly I listen to The Beatles Let it Be — But it’s pretty much the same thing) . But as soon as the storm passes, it’s as though He/She /It/They were never there and I was talking to myself. (Not that that is an unusual situation, anyway).
Not to mention, so much hate in the bible, and the atrocities being carried out in the name of God just turns me off. But why do I still want that extra SOMETHING?
How do you guys feel? Doesn’t religion sound attractive, warm and comforting? Doesn’t atheism or agnosticism seem so cold in trouble? Does it help to think that there is no higher power that loved you, loves you and will always love you?