The God Dilemma

The God Dilemma

Hello my lovelies,

I want to pick up where I left off, with the whole God thing. I don’t know whether you believe in a God or not, and I know the saying, “there are 3 things you don’t talk about, money, politics and religion,” but God is a major part of my story and if I leave him out, the story doesn’t make sense.

My Dad believes in God, but doesn’t go to church. We don’t talk about it, and until 6 months ago I had no idea that he did, but he does, and he believes that God loves us. My sister used to come to church with me, but she says she doesn’t believe in God. I don’t believe her. I’ve found paintings of the cross in her bedroom, and she’s been known to explain to her friends that God loves and accepts them just the way they are. I think she’s frightened that if she admits that God exists she’ll have to jump through hoops to please him, or that she won’t be good enough so he won’t accept her.

Please don’t think I’m being desperate by assuming this about my sister; I know these are issues that she’s had to deal with in other areas of her life growing up and it stands to reason she’d have to face them when considering the possibility that God exists. They are issues that I’ve had to face – am still facing – with God too, and sometimes I’ve thought that it would be easier to believe that God doesn’t exist than to believe that he could love me and accept me as I am. I guess I’m afraid that God will decide I’m not good enough for him, and reject me.

The Bible says that God is both all-powerful and all-loving, but I struggle with that. If he’s all-powerful and all-loving, then why does he allow people to suffer? I imagine the ferry that sank with the Korean school children desperately trying to escape, texting parents telling them that they love them for the final time, crying with fear and watching as their friends die before their eyes. I wonder how an all-powerful and all-loving God could watch that happen, and not be filled with so much pain for those children that he could not help but intervene and save them.

I don’t think my Mum believes in God, and now she’s dying, that raises a lot of big questions for me. Like what happens when she dies? If she doesn’t believe in God, where does she go? Will she go to Hell? Will I ever see her again?

Some Christians are very clear in what they believe about Heaven and Hell, but I’m not so sure. If God is all-loving, how could he create someone and then condemn them to an eternity of suffering? It just doesn’t add up.

In some of my future posts, I will be asking more questions about God and exploring different ideas. Please feel free to join the discussion and add what you think to the comments below.

 

Photo credit: Blast 707 Photography via photopin cc

The Beast Inside

Monday 9th June

Yesterday the stream of close friends and relatives trickled in to visit my mum, all aware that they may be seeing her for the final time. Every relative gives me a sad smile and a tight hug, before asking questions about how I am and how I’m coping. I try not to give too much away; I have to be strong. My cousin brings his baby son, but he isn’t allowed to take him into the ward; so whilst he sits having a cigarette with my Dad, I play with his son, making faces and pretending that this small boy’s mother is dying and I am distracting him and cheering him up.

I see lots of older women with sad smiles, staring at me with knowing eyes. They can see through my act, they know the pain of losing someone they loved dearly, but they let me pretend and I love them. Although they don’t call me out on my charade, I know they accept me with my pain and fear.

What they don’t see is the hidden depths of anger. I am frightened and I am sad, but mostly I am angry. I have never felt so much fury as I do now, and I don’t know how to control it. I feel like there is a raging beast inside of me and I am at it’s mercy. I watch my mum weakly trying to communicate from her hospital bed, slowly regaining some of her mind and her senses; I should feel excited, relieved, happy. But instead this animal, prowls around inside of me and I have to concentrate to keep it caged in. I am rude and I growl at doctors and nurses, questioning their decisions and listing their failings. I struggle to hold back from my family, and the beast roars at my Dad and my younger sister, who still hasn’t forgiven me for shouting at her in A+E. The other patients are watching and my mum is begging me to stop, to open up to her and let her into my pain. But I can’t. I can’t make this stop and I feel so out of control.

I sit outside of the hospital and send angry, frustrated texts to my friends. Lola calls me; I cry and shout at her, and she listens. She holds my anger until I am calm, and then she encourages me to sit with my family. But when I go back in, the anger resurges and takes over. A nurse comes alongside me and tries to understand why I am angry, but I shrug her off. Racked with guilt and shame for my behaviour, the beast turns on me. I tell my family I am going home. My Dad follows me out, tries to reason with me, calm me down, but I can’t make it stop. I watch helplessly as the beast roars, and cries escape. People stare at me, this insolent, rude girl. My Dad apologises to onlookers, explains that my Mum is dying and I am struggling to cope. I hear passing ladies offer their sympathy and my dad pulls me close to him, as though he could hold me together. I am broken, being trampled beneath the emotions that I can no longer rein in, and I am done.

I leave my Dad and the hospital, to wander along the street. Tears torrent down my face; I am drowning within my own fear, sadness and anger. I find a bench and sit, people are staring but I no longer care. After what I do next, the people who have walked past me will not matter. Nothing will.

I watch as the train hurtles across the bridge opposite me, and wait. 15 minutes later, another train. I scan the fence to find a broke panel, just above a wall. It would take me 2 minutes to cross the road. 30 seconds to clamber onto the track. I have to time it perfectly, so I will be gone before passers-by realise where I’m going. Another train. I look at my watch, I have to get it exactly right.

As I wait, a song drifts through my head, “When the pain is crippling, when healing takes it time, when I’m breaking apart, I’ll trust in you.”

Faces race through my head. I see Donna, and Lola, and women who have encouraged me and believed in me, when I’ve struggled to believe in myself. Ladies who have accepted me just as I am. I imagine what advice they may have given if they knew what I was planning to do next.

I think about Kim, whose Dad died of cancer several years ago, and the advice she gave me last night. She misses her Dad and is so proud of him, but the pain hasn’t consumed her. Life has carried on, and with God’s help, so has she.

I plug in my earphones and listen to “Trusting In You.” As the anger dissipates, I cry out to God. I wander back towards the hospital, telling God that I’m struggling, and then asking for his help.

When I reach the ward, I climb into my mum’s bed; I apologise and cuddle up beside her, glad that I have her now if only for a short while. For a few hours, all is well.