I have no real reason to be angry at GOD, God, god. If you look at my life, you’d see someone who’s “got it made”. I live in an upper middle class neighborhood in the safety of the USA, I’ve been happily married for over 25 years, my children are grown and productive members of society. My husband’s career is stable and affords me the opportunity to write rather than work. If I want it, for the most part, I buy it. I’m physically healthy and see no reason for that not to continue.
I look around at people who’ve lost children to tragedy or who’ve lost homes due to financial ruin. I see women (and men) who invested their hearts into relationships that fell apart. I see people who’ve watched the love of their lives wither in disease and pain. People around me suffer from all sorts of chronic, painful diseases. If they shake their heads at God, everyone understands, commiserates.
I have no excuse for my vehement anger at the Creator, the Godiverse. Yet, here I sit and just the mention of God, church, Christianity or Christians causes me to immediately break out in a cold sweat. My heart starts to pound. I look for something to pick up and throw against a wall. If one of my former Christian friends reaches out, I immediately question their motives. And, let me say right now, that most of these people are wonderful and have done nothing to earn my ire, my distrust.
I wasn’t always this way. I was raised in a Baptist home. We went to church religiously (pun intended). My parents took it seriously but they weren’t fanatical — I could go to school dances, wear make-up, listen to rock-n-roll. We prayed at dinner and my father studied his Bible regularly. But, again, it wasn’t one of those oppressive, brainwashing environments.
When I went to college and through several young adult years, I walked away. Well, not walked away. More like I put it away so I could party — all the while knowing that one day I’d re-open that door.
I did re-open the door and became quite zealous. We joined a church, participated in Bible Study, taught youth classes, went on mission’s trips. I read my Bible every single day and I think I did every Beth Moore study ever written. I believed in prayer — I think I believed in prayer. My friends were Christians, my job centered around Christianity. I walked the talk to the best of my ability — or at least I was sincere in my attempt to do so.
While I know that many small tremors lead to the final earthquake, I missed all the warning signs. In April 2012, I found myself so angry at God, at church, at “Christians” that I could barely breath. It happened on a Sunday. By the end of the day, every religious book, icon, friendship had been ripped to pieces and thrown in the trash. Literally, my trash was filled with destroyed Bibles, studies that had been shredded, crosses that I had smashed on the floor … if it was “God” related, I got it out of my sight, out of my home, out of my life.
That was almost six years ago and I’ve tried to move back towards a relationship/faith in GOD, God, god. I visited a church near me and had to leave because my chest could not handle the pressure. I bought a Bible study on doubt, read the first sentence and threw it away. There are a few people from those days that I still occasionally connect with — a few of those Christians — but they’re mostly Facebook relationships and we all know what that means — not a whole lot! And, I’m not sure that’s the direction for me. Therein is the problem: direction. I don’t know where to start, who to trust, who to ask to mentor me. Everyone has their own belief system – I don’t want to be convinced of someone else’s beliefs, I want to define my own.
Honestly, as I write this, I’m not sure I even want to find my faith again. I’m not at all sure what I believe about God, church, Christianity, religion, faith. But I do know that I something is not quite right — and, I’m thinking it might be spiritual — not religious, but spiritual.
I’m going to begin a journey and I have no map, no path, no confidence or trust in myself or others. My husband is worried about my posting this — he says that I might get attacked. I think I’ll risk it — at least for a time.
Next week, I’ll try to articulate what I believe — or what I think I believe — at this moment in time. My beliefs are not on a firm foundation — one day I see God in the flowers or in people and the next I wonder how any God could possibly see what I see and sit still. GOD, God, god — or none of those? Either way, I can’t continue to hold onto this anger.
There is no light on this path right now.
I went to breakfast with a friend just after I finished writing this. When I talked through my worry/fear, she made this comment:
“You aren’t angry with God. You are angry with God’s representatives.”
Something in that rings so true – I’ll start there.
She also gave me some great advice. She suggested I listen to (or gather) all sorts of different resources. Sit back, listen or read, and let my heart tell me what fits. She’s right, when I pay attention to my body’s reaction, I can tell when something hits my heart – it’s as if my body hitches when a truth comes across my path. For example, when she said that I’m angry with God’s representatives, my heart felt like it stuttered, skipped a beat. At least that’s a place to start.
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....