I have been caught in the middle of what I call a “faith crisis” for almost a year and a half. It has been an uphill battle for me to retain the faith that I think I have always had. Though, I am not sure if I have lost it, or if it was ever there.
It is kind of a desperate wanting that I have in my heart. A forlorn kind of wanting to commune with the Almighty, though I am not sure how.
This “not knowing how” is in part self inflicted. It has been longer than a year since I have tried anything to even get God’s attention. I haven’t been waving any sort of red distress flag. I haven’t been taking the steps I know might bring me closer to Him.
But I have good reason for distancing myself.
I have done things right my entire life.
I have never done anything that I would consider outside the “box” of what I shouldn’t do. I have lived a pretty “good” life especially considering what I came from. I have always “lived by the book,” never even toeing the line between right and wrong.
And what is my comeuppance for doing all of that you might ask?
What is my reward for doing all the seemingly right things, for my whole life?
Having the doors of Heaven slammed and then bolted shut in my face.
That is what seems to be what I have “earned” because of how I have lived my life thus far.
There is an brick wall between my Heavenly Father (if I can even call him that anymore) and myself. And I have helped build it brick by brick.
One of the biggest, and most impossible to move bricks that I helped lay is the fact that I compare who my Heavenly Father is to my real dad.
I feel like it is almost impossible not to compare them.
You see my dad wasn’t always the best dad growing up, but he was and still is my only dad. And my dad is all I can think about when I think about what a father is. Even though I have had some very wonderful father figures in my life who have stepped up to the plate and have become what a real father is supposed to be for me. I continually come back to the fact that my relationship with my real dad has never, ever, ever, been what I have wanted or needed in life.
How could I have had a good relationship with him though? My dad drank himself into oblivion nearly every day when I was growing up. He was mean when he was drunk, and sent many, many, many mixed messages.
Messages like, “I love you, but I also hate you.” “I am happy with you, but I am also disappointed in you.” “I think you are great, but you are also awful.” “I would give you the world, but you also don’t deserve anything.”
To a little girl whose brain hasn’t fully developed yet, and who hasn’t experienced anything in the world other than her family, with her father at it’s head, this can be quite confusing. I felt loved one second and hated the next.
It was and has continued to be probably the most confusing thing in my life.
I can’t seem to shake the dreadful feeling that maybe I have gotten the whole “God” thing wrong. Maybe my thoughts on who God really is are all false ideals that are by nature just not true. It is quite possible He isn’t who I have always thought He is.
I worry a lot about the fact that I might be wrong about who God is. Because I feel like I have gotten a lot of mixed messages from Him. He has asked us to call him “Father,” but how can I call him father after the experiences I have had with my biological father, my only example of what a father really is. How can I believe that God truly loves me, when my dad told me he loved me, but never effectively showed it, or really ever meant it. How can I believe God wants what is best for me, when my dad told me he would give me the world, but also that I didn’t deserve anything.
How can I believe that there is a loving Father out there among the cosmos when my one and only dad here has never been that for me?
I am not sure that I can.