Tuesday, April 15, 2014

APR 15, 2014 - A lifetime of a love/hate relationship with God, but finally clarity... and faith.

                      Where to start?  I guess the beginning would be the best.  I was strictly raised Roman Catholic ever since I was baptized after being adopted at 2.  When I was a little girl I loved going to church.  People were always smiling, singing, dressed up, and it was just like another home to me.  I grew up going to St. Killian's Parish which was small and beautiful, and still is.  If I was lucky I would get to sit in the balcony at the front, kneel down, and be able to see everything going on.   My all time favorite times were: Midnight Christmas Mass- where paper luminaries lined the rows of the sidewalk, doughnut socials after some services, and the Stations of the Cross.

                   I was taught to kneel and say prayers before bedtime, and dinner; and always to shake Father John's hand after mass on the way out. I loved our small church, I loved the amazing feeling of togetherness and family, and this indescribable beauty that would come through the stained glass windows when the sun shown through.  God as a small child was my friend, and I thought that we would always have that tight relationship; one that was good, healthy, nurturing, and trusting.

                  Then things started happening in my life that made me question if God was truly watching over me, protecting me, loving me like I was told he would.  I still tried to believe that he cared for me, and he would make everything okay.  I would pray that things in life would get better, and would tell myself everyone has problems that God can't solve.  Slowly, however I felt as though he was starting to abandon me at times I needed him the most more and more.  I attended a catholic middle and high school, and always tried to be a good person, because I was taught treat people how you would want to be treated.  Then college hit, and that feeling of  that there was a God that loved me vanished.

                   And so began my love/hate relationship with God; sort of like the kind of relationship that happens with a sibling.  One minute you're ready to beat each other up, but if someone said something about you, your brother or sister was right there defending you.  I thought that  God continued to punish me, as if I were a killer in a previous life or just a whipping tree.  My perspective of God and our relationship continued as love/hate... up until recently.

                 It's strange to think that God has hated me for so long, so many years, allowing things to happen to me that shouldn't happen to anyone.  I'm not going to list instances, but people close in my life know them, or most of them, and there are lots.  It was only until a family that I have known for decades that has always been God loving, good, and faithful in their beliefs that I allowed my perspective to change after all these years.  I actually just said that someone's passing actually helped me have more faith in God, as messed up as that sounds.

                I know that everyone has their own beliefs, and in no way am I trying to sway or tell anyone what or what not to believe in.   I will say this though, when I dated an atheist, I remember my mother saying exactly to me " That's the saddest thing I've heard about him, to believe in nothing must be lonely."  Of course me being me, got defensive, angry, and replied not everyone has to believe in  God.   With that said, I do agree with that statement, but not in vindictive manner anymore, but more of an understanding that just like food, not everyone likes the same things.

               Since yesterday, I have felt less alone in life, a little less scared about my surgery tomorrow, and have even prayed to God that he helps guide the doctor's hands, minds, and hearts to keep me safe.  God is not for everyone, but having him back in my life as a supporter and not someone who I thought hated and just kept crapping on me, has changed me.  Medication, support of friends and family, and lots of therapy has not lifted the weight off my shoulders as believing God is watching and protecting me.

               At 35,  I just wanted to share years of my own personal relationship with God, and how even after all that's occurred in my life, I can change.  Again, these are just my own thoughts and am not degrading or belittling anyone who does not agree with them.  Each to their own, as I.   From now on I am going to ask God to take some weight off my shoulders, and help me become a better person.