You Gotta Have Faith

I bet you have George Michael’s Faith stuck in your head right now (cue maniacal laugh). I couldn’t help myself, it just seemed so fitting to what the 4th entry of the blog challenge is about: Religion. To be more specific we’ll be exploring my views on religion.

I’m what you would call a Happy Heathen. Oh, I firmly believe in God. I know that there is a higher power and that we all serve. Some of us serve by inspiring others to follow a righteous and spiritual path and other serve by being examples of what not to do. I believe there is truly only one path, however no one may tell you what you’re path is. You must experience your own journey and find your own truth. I also have complete faith that we will all get to where we are supposed to be—eventually.

At one point I was a devout Catholic. I went to Mass every Sunday and if I missed a Sunday, I went to Mass the next day. I paid my tithes and read my bible. I was doing it all by the catechism, and I was good at it. I became so good at it that I forgot that His plan and mine weren’t necessarily the same. Like many devout Christians I assumed because I was living right, nothing would ever harm me. I was wrong. While I was being devout, my husband was not and well, you can probably guess the rest. My heart was broken, my trust shattered and my life was a shambles. You know the drill: Denial, anger, depression, rage, hope, rage, grief, rage, bargaining, and some more rage. I went through it all and for a split second I was so flipping angry at God for not giving me a heads up. I was angry that He didn’t stop my husband’s infidelity by performing a mercy killing. Yep, you read that right. I actually felt that I should have been spared that pain by my husband’s death. Even now typing this, the sense of shame that comes over me for that utterly selfish and unworthy thought is almost overwhelming. I was so horrified that I’d come to this pass that I started to re-order my thinking about my faith. Don’t mistake me, I wasn’t angry with God. I didn’t blame him for what happened, rather I was ashamed that I allowed myself to think that because I was doing what I was supposed to that I wouldn’t ever have to go through trials. I thought that being good elevated me above that and I knew better than that. In my grief and I anger I came so close to praying for the death of the father of my child and simply because I was hurt. To this day I’m ashamed of myself for that.

To be clear, I never stopped believing in God, never that. What I stopped believing in, was organized religion. In theory religion is a wonderful thing. It uplifts you and supports you through times of trouble. It comforts you and gives you clear instructions and guidelines as to how to live your life. So many of us would’ve given in to despair if not for the abiding love of God. I get that. But what we often forget is, our denomination isn’t our faith. Your faith is your belief and your religion is the tool/vehicle that you use to express it; that’s it. God is the destination and religion is your mode of transportation. Furthermore, I don’t think He is too caught up in how He’s perceived or by what name He’s called. Look at all the variation that was created in the world. Do you honestly think that the Intelligence that created that has gender identity issues? I don’t think so.

Thank you for reading, and may you be blessed.