Monday, August 08, 2005

The albatrosses ate my breadcrumb trail.

I miss feeling close to God.

While I don’t care for the term “religious” (partly because it has taken on a stereotypical derogatory air in the mainstream in recent years, and partly because it feels like a term for going-through-the-dogmatic-motions with little true worship involved), I have always been a spiritual person. I was raised in a church environment and while God and Christ have not always been a part of my life, I have always believed. Looking back on my life, the times where I have held a close friendship with the Lord have been my happiest, my most peaceful times, and I know that it's a direct correlation to that. And I believe because I feel Him. He has proven Himself to me, where all other beliefs and notions failed.

But I have isolated myself from Him. And I’m a little disoriented on how to find my way back.

A few years ago we were having a very hard time starting a family. I had several miscarriages and the heartbreak would have been unbearable had we not been able to lean on the Lord and receive His comfort. My dearest friend walked a similar path, yet with even more pitfalls. As our struggles went on I witnessed her growing bitter, and becoming angry at God for laying such heavy and frequent burdens.

I became pregnant with my son “by accident” – meaning that we’d just decided to give up and I would go back on the Pill on my next cycle. It was quite a shock and a bombshell we were not prepared to face. (Yes, we know where babies come from. It didn’t seem to be near my cycle time – but apparently it was close enough. Either that or there should be a warning label that chocolate martinis cause pregnancy). I was terrified, feeling ill-equipped to handle another loss, and found myself feeling a little cross, almost feeling as if God were trying to push me over the edge. I could see this pattern of thought developing though, and I didn’t want to be that way. Likewise, if we would lose this pregnancy, I didn’t want to grow bitter or feel forsaken, as I know that is not God's nature. As a safety precaution, I began to hold God at arm’s length away from me – so that if anything were to go wrong I wouldn’t feel apt nor have any argument to blame Him.

I felt that I could find my way back easily enough, as soon as I would have no excuse to be angry with Him in the shadow of unfortunate events.

My pregnancy was a dream and our son arrived, to quote Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. Life became busier than we ever imagined, and I became too busy to find my way back to God's presence. I continued to love God and thank Him for our blessings, but more in the fashion of an out-of-state grandfather that you love, but seldom see and rarely think about.

Time goes by at neck-breaking speed and our son is pushing 2 already. We need to start taking him to Sunday School, and had vowed to by his 18 month birthday if we hadn’t done so sooner. He needs the positive influence that a church family provides. We do as well. Still, each Sunday rolls around and we blow it off.

Writing down that I miss feeling close to God brought that fact back into my line of vision again. But as I search for the trail of breadcrumbs I intended to leave for myself, it seems I either ran out long ago, or (more likely) the albatrosses in my life have eaten them all.

I know I can find my way back easily enough. I know the things I need to do. But I haven’t felt like starting the trip. I’m sure God is sending me smoke signals to aid in my journey back, if I can only get myself to look up from the ground.


Memphis said...

Holy cow, it's God day! Check out my blog and Artful Laura's blog and Stacy the Peanut Queen's blog.

Emit-Flesti said...

I've been thinking about your problem. You can believe me, it present itself more often that you might think. I mean, it's not that unusual that we feel apart from God from time to time, that feeling only means that we are a very important part of his flock and he is talking to you in the ear. He is not that far as you might think. We feel that way only because of ourselves, God is just right beside you holding your hand. A tip: You can get up early, before anyone does, and sit comfortably on the couch of your living room. You must make this all alone. It doesn't matter if you can see sunrise, that's not "the magic" we need. There is no better way to feel closer to God than speaking to him directly, with no interruptions of any kind and all by yourself. You can also start thanking God for every meal you enjoy. You can do it with your family holding each others hand. There's no need to learn a prayer, you only have to thank him in your own words, but you have to do it asking for the needs of others, like orphan children, single mothers, people that suffer because of war -I don't mean only soldiers, I mean everybody suffers because of war. These are only a few tips, but if you want some more please let me know, I'll be gladly to hand you some more. I don't have a lot of them but I can pass you a few.

Memphis said...

Another good tip about praying is to lay on your face in the floor next to your bed. It doesn't make you closer to God, but it gives you a chance to be reminded of all the crap that you pushed under there and forgot about. Then you can say, "thanks God, I forgot that was down there."

Seriously, I've done this.

Timmy said...

I go outside. And just look at all the things that man hasn't erected.

The clouds drift, the grass quivers in the wind.

Feel the life present out there, connect with it.

Maybe smile at a neighbor.