Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is God Love?

I have a question for anyone wanting to share. It is about God, belief, and religion.

For several years, now, I have been riding the wave of a religious crisis. I am searching for meaning behind what happened to me as a child. There seems to be no safe place to hide. There is no secret corner murky enough to shade my face from all that wants to make me evil. Even my dreams are marked by terror and death and loss.

I was attending church often, but the struggle of the past few years has taken even that from me and I hide inside my own house, afraid He will know I am a heathen. Or am I? I don’t know. Please read on and I will give you a bit of my history, so when I ask my question, you will not be shocked.

--- I was raised in a very staunch Lutheran church family. My own family was a bit stifling as well, in that my siblings and I were taught to attend church, no matter what. As an example, I was often stricken with tonsillitis and/or strep throat. One particular sick Sunday morning, I went to my mother and told her I didn’t want to go to Church. My parents hadn’t planned on going to church that day, but when I told them I didn’t want to go, the whole family went. We lived a 30 minute drive from the church and all the way to town , my father preached about how not wanting to go to God’s house meant I needed to go.

The only families I grew up with were from the same church. Most of my life, I thought they were my actual family members. I was 13 when I realized for the first time these wonderful people were not my blood family members – I was heartsick over it for weeks. Also, there was the Lutheran Brotherhood who, as my Mother tells me, was not sanctioned by the church but functioned within it. I was terrified of every one of them. They seemed to float above the rest of the members, judging, criticizing, and making sure no one dozed off during the sermons.

But I loved God. I was taught well by my Sunday School teachers (whom I love dearly, to this day). We learned Bible stories, praised the Lord, and sang Jesus Loves Me, every Sunday. At home I spent my spare time alone (much safer that way) and I practiced my praying skills. I actually believed the reason no prayers were answered was because I was not saying the right things, or using a proper humble voice, or I was still too young to be heard by such a great King.



But I loved Jesus. I understood what Easter really meant and I rejoiced in the true meaning of Christmas. To this very day, I will not use an “X” in the place of Christ in the word Christmas for fear of being blasphemous. I’m still waiting to get it right. I’m still waiting for a prayer, any prayer to be answered. This picture is a small plaque I’ve had most of my life. It hangs benignly beside my bed, where I can easily see its glow in the dark shape, telling me God is Love. ---

So, here is my question:

How do YOU know, really know, there is (or is not) a God?

I have asked many people this very question so many times; they probably think I’m a fanatic. I’m not a fanatic, I’m getting desperate. Do you know because you have been told it since before you can remember, or ... What? How do you know? I want to feel what others feel when they truly believe - or understand and be right with it, if He doesn't exist. I don't want there to be that question hanging over me like a dark cloud.

Who is He?
Ivory

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I read your words I hear goodness, kindness and a mind that is open to new ideas and learning.

That my dear, is what I call God.

God (or good) is in all of us, so believe in, love and forgive yourself and others. We are all just human, none of us are perfect.

Peace my sister

Rhonda said...

First of all, you are not a heathen. And I'm sorry your family gave you such a bad taste for going to church.

The truth is you are a child of God and he has made you to be one with him. He loves you so much more than you can ever imagine! How do I know there is a God? Because I can see him all around me, in all the little miracles of each day. The best way to know him is through prayer, and by reading his word. Here is a verse for you:

"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name." Isaiah 49:15

Okay, maybe one more verse. Hehe.

"Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom and leading the ewes with care."
Isaiah 40:11

Now just imagine yourself, a child of God, being held in his bosom, with your name written in the palm of his hand!

Just Be Real said...

Ivory, I am new to your blog, and you have very good posts here, which I will take my timie to look over. I appreciate you sharing from your heart, especially "Is There A God?" I too have an abused upbringing, and I do not really question if there is a God, but what I struggle is feeling how much God does love me and how much He thinks of me and how much I am worthy. Blessings dear one!

Ivory said...

Just Be Real,

Thanks for your kind words.

I have wondered for so long "why?" that I have begun to wonder, "if". There isn't a day goes by that I don't ask someone how they know there is a God. The next question I then wonder is, "Then, why doesn't he care about me, too?"

You so understand... I'm glad you visited.

Ivory said...

Rhonda,

I have struggled with a reply to your post. I love what you said, but therein is my dilemma.

I have come back and read your post many times. I cry every time. I want to feel how good that must feel. I want to feel loved.

Thank you very much for posting.

Ivory said...

Anonymous,

You sound like my T. It's nice, tho to hear someone else say it. I struggle every day with theses things, the most with feeling worthy of having life. Too many people around me like to remind me that I am the "black sheep".

Thanks for stopping by...