I have struggled in my relationship with God for many years. I totally believe. I KNOW God is real because I’ve met Him; encountered Him. And once encountered, you can no longer deny His existence, power, or force, or convince yourself that He is not a living, breathing being. He is. But what is He truly like; what is He at heart? This is where my struggles come into play. As I said, I know He is powerful. But is He a powerful good force, a loving being, a caring father, a doting dad? Or is He an authoritarian? A disciplinarian? A master who demands to be obeyed and who doles out consequences when you do not do what He requires? Does He help us as we journey through this difficult world, during our life on this planet? Or does He watch without intervening? Does He want good things for us? Does He work on our behalf to protect us and bring those good things into being in our life? Or does He allow us to suffer because He can’t be bothered? Because He’s too busy with His big, magnificent overall plan. And does He just watch benignly without lending a hand when we so desperately need one or can we count on Him to lift us out of the mire when we are drowning? I see God in much the same way I saw my earthly father. I’ve tried not to, but they are hopelessly intertwined to me. I see Him as being distant, demanding, harsh, rigid, uncaring, angry, inconsistent, unhelpful, unconcerned. Not someone who could be depended on or relied on. Not someone to go to when you need a hug. Nurturing and protecting were not my earthly father’s things. He was someone to be feared. Cowed to. Who had all the power and who abused it, never using it to help in any way, never offering a hand except to hit and slap and knock you down. Or to take what he wanted from you. He had many rules that had to be obeyed or one would suffer dire consequences. Ditto the God of the universe. How much more dire of a consequence can you get than hell, after all? Some people that I know personally and who I completely respect see God as a loving father. To them, He is someone to run to when you are hurt, when you need help, when you need strong arms around you, when you’re afraid, when you’re overwhelmed. To them, He is THERE for them. He makes life doable. Bearable. I so want to know this God. But the God I know is someone who demands that I get my act together, then maybe we’ll talk. He judges me. He’s not happy with all of my failures. He’s given me a few chances in the past, long ago, to be what I should be and I failed. So I’m not in that top tier of people He loves and people He’s concerned about. I’m not complying. I’m not someone He’s going to move mountains for, if indeed He feels inclined to move some. Plus, I continue to fail. And honestly, I’ve mostly given up even trying these days. I’ve given up in the sense that I’ve stopped trying to make myself into the person He wants me to be. I’m not blatantly sinning, but I’m not a stellar example of what it’s like to have His presence in one’s life, nor of what His proclaimed goodness produces. I know I’m a failure in His book. I’m hanging on to my eating disorder and basically forbidding Him to take it away from me, much like a drug addict hangs on to their illegal drug habit. I can’t find healing for my heart and soul and if you’re read recent blog posts, you know I’ve pretty much given up on that too. I can’t get my thoughts in line with what He requires in His Word. I feel like I’m trying to brainwash myself into believing something that doesn’t feel real or genuine to me. I want to know it’s real before I grab it, but God’s way seems to be that I have to grab it before it becomes real. I struggle to get past that. I can’t seem to make the leap of faith that is required. I’m not going to church either…I got really hurt by my church when my ex left me and I struggle with putting myself under the authority of some pastor who will more than likely misuse their power yet again and cause further wounding. I have stopped reading the Bible or doing any kind of Christian reading because I feel so condemned by the Word of God and I’m utterly discouraged by how poorly I’m performing against His standards. When I compare myself to others, others who are seeking after God, I may not be a total heathen, but I’m far from a good Christian. No, I don’t drink, use drugs, do illegal things or immoral things. I don’t hurt people intentionally and if I do hurt someone unintentionally, I do everything in my power to make it right. Because I understand pain and I don’t want to inflict it. I forgive others, try to live my life in a “right” manner. Even though I’m struggling with massive debt, I make the minimum payments. And I will do that until I absolutely can’t do it any longer. Yeah, I cuss…sometimes a lot. I am depressed. Deeply depressed. I don’t have connections. And I feel very lost. Even though I’m supposed to be found. But God has made some difference in me…I think. Just not enough of a difference. Because of me. Because of who I am. Who I am not.
I don’t have a vital, viable, alive relationship with God. Yes, I KNOW He is real and I truly don’t want to piss Him off or disappoint Him any more than I have already. So it’s not like I’m trying to be displeasing or rebelling actively against Him. I just AM displeasing. And because I AM displeasing, I can’t do enough of the right kinds of things to ever get in His good graces. I can never do enough to be loved.
And that’s the hard part. Because all I’ve ever really wanted was to be loved.