I grew up very religious. Prayer was a daily routine that happened several times a day. I went to church multiple times a week, had my Bible glued to my hip, sang worship songs, and joined numerous ministries in the process. But about three years ago, I stopped going to church. I lost my faith in God. I thought I had faith; I prayed, was in ministry, etc. People talked about the love of God. I never experienced that “power” or that thing that moved people to tears. I experienced the love of friendship, love of family, the love of strangers. But I didn’t feel that supernatural love of God that I watched people experience in church. Perhaps at that time, my perspective was extremely limited and skewed because I was young and rather ignorant. Then an event happened in my life where I had had it. I was being dealt a lot of bad cards in the last few years, and watched people I love get persecuted, and then finally I threw my Bible down and said, “Screw it.”
Ironically, I’ve been much happier since I walked away from the church. I’ve met more interesting people than I ever imagined meeting. I’ve learned about different religions and the different beliefs in God really fascinate me. While I consider myself a Christian, because I still believe in Jesus and His love, I’ve found myself wandering trying to find God. Trying to find this higher power that people are so touched by.
But when was the last time I prayed to talk to God? It’s been a while. I have become someone who has decided to make things happen for herself because faith isn’t enough. And I’ve been more productive since having that change of mindset. I don’t want to say that I’ve been disappointed in the God that I’ve grown up with, but in truth, I really am. And I’m specifying the God that I’ve grown up with. It seemed that God blessed everyone else with these wonderful things but left me with disappointment. And being told that there was something wrong with me being the reason why I wasn’t “blessed” this same way really hurt. I was always told to pray when I needed something or when I needed help or guidance in a tough situation, but was always left with silence and finding myself going to actual people for advice and help. I suppose the hardcore Christian will tell me that it was God’s way of getting me the help I needed. But then how much does God depend on our personal responsibility?
But sometimes, there are problems and battles bigger than yourself. I’ve had my run of personal issues, accidents, medical problems, etc. but I never prayed for my survival, nor did I pray to get through the time. I surrounded myself with loved ones, kept myself busy, did things out of the ordinary. But in the last six months, things have happened to people I care about. And I’ve found myself helpless to do anything about it to fix it all and make go away or make it better.
A few weeks ago, I started praying for the first time in years.
It’s ironic. I’m such a “do it myself” kind of person and I’ve taken some pride at the ability to get things done and to help others when needed. I admit that. Perhaps it’s because of the fact that I’ve almost died a few times that I want to “live life to the fullest.” But with the situations that my loved ones are in, I’ve found myself praying because there’s nothing else I can do…I can’t bring out a magic wand and make things better, and I don’t have a time machine that will turn back time so I can prevent someone from going into another country that almost killed them. It’s weird that after being so disappointed in faith and the idea of God, that’s what I’m turning to when I have nothing left to give.
It’s rather poetic really.