Some of my friends and family know that I have been struggling with my faith for quite some time now. Not my belief in God but in my faith that he is still an active God. I truly believe that this world was created and not just formed by chance. There are way too many complicated things and things that work together naturally to believe that a big bang made this world happen. You believe what you want about that, I won’t judge you for it and I expect you not to judge me for what I believe.
I think the hurricane that we’re facing here in Florida right night (Irma) has actually reinforced my lack of faith while it is at the same time reinforcing the faith in others. There are those rude, uninformed, hateful people who truly have no idea what Jesus was/is really about who are saying things like, “Texas & Florida are getting hammered by God’s vengeance for this or that (insert whatever sin you want here)…” and on and on and on. Even with my faith shaken I can tell you with confidence that if God was really that vengeful ISIS would not still be a problem and groups like the Westboro Bastard Cult would have been struck down a long time ago for the blasphemy they spew using God’s name to spread hate and evil like they do. The fact that there are still so many child abusers, animal abusers, sex trafficking, terrorists etc., is just one of the reasons my faith in an active God has been torn apart. I cannot accept that God gave us free will to choose to love him and follow him while allowing the enemy to manipulate us, blind us, deafen us and twist us how he wants.
A friend recently told me that instead of turning to the Scripture that I am very familiar with to find my faith, I need to ‘have it out with God’ by using my gift of writing to argue with him, to call him out, to tell him how I feel about what I see and what I am feeling. He said to me that I should yell at God for abandoning me, but I told him that in all fairness I abandoned him, not the other way around. I walked away. No, I ran away. I ran so far away from him and so deep into the darkness that comes from not having faith in the light any more that I feel like there is truly no way back. So now I am just trying to find a new normal. Trying to figure out how to do life without my faith. The one thing I will not do is try to make others believe, or disbelieve, the way I do. This is MY personal journey and I have no business trying to make others think like me. I’m not afraid to talk about God with others and I don’t begrudge or try to belittle those who believe so fully and have so much faith. I am happy for them, because I know that they are in a good place and why would I think less of them for that? Besides, I used to say, “I’d rather live my life like there is a God and find out I’m wrong than to live my life like there isn’t one and be wrong”. I still believe in all the things Jesus talk about love, because how could love be wrong? How could it be wrong to love those around you and to treat them kindly and to help when needed and to give when you have excess while others have nothing?
This storm has made me have to face the fact of the estrangement from my mother and sister too. They both live in Cocoa and I’m worried sick for them. We did send out a message that they would be welcome to come stay with us but, of course, got no reply because why would they? I made the choice to close those doors for a multitude of reasons but that does not mean that I don’t still care about them and their welfare. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still mourn the loss of those relationships. I just had to accept that I could not give them what they expected from me and therefore did not want to continue to cause them more stress by not meeting those expectations. At least this way, they no longer expect anything from me and therefore only have to deal with any loss they feel from no longer having me in their lives, just as I feel their loss in my life. Sometimes, you just have to accept that blood, while it may be thicker than water, is NOT the most important. Tar & quicksand are thicker than water too but they both will drag you to your death if you go in too deep.
So, I sit here typing and thinking about God and whether he is really still around or if he gave up and left us to destroy ourselves on our own. I try to decide what my opinion is of a God that would allow such atrocities to occur at the hands of man because of ‘free will’. I wonder about a God that is so present in some lives and so absent in others. What I don’t wonder about is how he must feel about his children leaving him. I know how He feels to know his children are convincing others that he is horrible, hateful, abusive and more. That feeling I know well. And so I still wonder about God, because I know there is NOTHING I can or could have done to change the way my child feels about me, so how do I deny that God is not around? The hypocrisy there is mind boggling and adds more obstacles to my journey.