A Relationship with God

Today, I woke up contemplating my relationship with God. As many of you know, I do not deny an existence of an Omnipotent Higher Power. Truthfully, while attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings and facing my entrapment by alcohol, I prayed an awful lot. And, as always, I noticed that my relapses tend to accompany a failure to maintain prayer. But, I’m not going to focus on the reality of God or how He (or She?) has helped me face alcoholism (I’m still speculative about if I have a true addiction or not). I accept God as a reality.

But lately, I am feeling a spiritual dryness in my life. Obviously, as someone that is bisexual, I struggle with some of the condemnation of mainstream religions. Having been raised as a Catholic, I’m well aware of the “abomination” spoken about in the bible. On some level, I still think about the idea that the act of sex involves choice, so there is this inherent idea that I am responsible for deciding with whom I have sex. Couple that with the fact that I am married, having sex with anyone outside my marriage would make me wrong. Of course, I get that concept. Relationships involve trust and commitment and when it is assumed that there is total exclusivity between two people, it makes the idea of sexuality a non-matter. But even my sexuality isn’t the main struggle I have with God. I believe He (or She) loves me. I believe sexuality is natural. Although, I have questions that surround it and my relationship with God, it isn’t the biggest or most critical struggle I have with God.

No, my struggle comes from something else. Something I really can’t pinpoint. I think it’s the concept of faith – the idea of trusting, regardless of anything else that happens in life. The idea that when I’m looking for answers, I can’t really find them. This idea that God speaks to us and yet I can’t seem to hear is something else that bothers me. I want to have this relationship with God. I want to feel the joy and happiness I see others feel. Granted, I realize there is an infinite level of happiness and joy available to those folks and it is something I truly want to tap into. But, I always feel empty.

That empty feeling that I feel like I have tried to fill in so many different ways. When I was younger, I sought knowledge to feed it. I assumed knowing things and learning things would make me feel good. It did, for a while. And then I sought a healthy lifestyle and exercised a tremendous amount. I thought it was feeding my soul, as well. But it didn’t seem to last. And then relationships. I wanted to love and to be loved – I sought this through sex, codependency, more sex, an attempt to merge lives. I wanted a family. But I couldn’t find that thing that would sustain happiness and joy.  I thought maybe a career would fulfill me and give me that sense of directed purpose. Two careers later and I wonder what I should be doing with my life.  I sought to numb my miserable feelings and what I saw as my miserable life with alcohol. Obviously, this fueled a fire of depression and I was not going to find the absolution of peace from God in that behavior. These are the things that my relationship with God has left me feeling perplexed.

Amazingly enough, I’m not in crisis over any of this. Six months ago, I was in shambles. A year ago, I could have been having suicidal thoughts. A few years ago, I had an actual wire around my neck and considered ending everything. No, I am in a much better place today. And as I type this, maybe that is God speaking to me. Maybe He (or She) is subtly whispering to me the fortitude I need to keep going. But I am still pondering the answers to my life’s questions.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like the relationship with God involves a constant pursuit of Him (or Her)…

 

5 thoughts on “A Relationship with God

  1. Faith is a funny thing and, with reference to religion, you’re being asked to believe that what you’re told is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The problem people have is that you can’t prove or disprove that what you’re being told to take on faith is the real deal stuff and should never be questioned.

    A lot of people don’t as much have a problem with believing in a supreme being – they have a problem with what those very human ministers of faith are telling them and it’s becoming more and more visible that a lot of them are saying, “Do as I say, not as I do or burn in hell, heathen!” It’s hard to believe the person in the pulpit who tells you how to do this or that and telling you what not to do… and they’re doing quite the opposite and, sometimes, invoking the name of God to justify their hypocrisy.

    And given the number of “religions” that pervade the global society, everyone has their own idea of what having a relationship with God means… and you’re required to take whatever they tell you on faith that it’s true and the real motivator in any religion is that if you don’t do things the way they tell you do to them, you’re gonna die a horrible death and spend eternity in some kind of purgatory or hell.

    Some folks are of a mind not to buy into that and I don’t know how many people have said, “What kind of god would love us so much but let horrible things happen to us?” or something along those lines. As a minister, priest, whatever, this question and you’ll get an answer that’s ambiguous at best. Wait… how do you know there’s a heaven or a hell? You just take it on faith that there is… and because they said so.

    Now, for you, my friend, the question is: Do you believe in God? If you do, your relationship has been established already and no matter what those ministers of faith are telling you. In this, you’re feverishly chasing something that, according to your own words, you already had but like so many people, you’re finding reasons to question it and that’s not all that unusual because whenever things in our lives isn’t going right, we often wonder why God is allowing things not to be right and you get a lot of stuff not going right, you tend to question both your faith and your belief in your supreme being of choice.

    The rules we are asked to live by are what they are and what they’ve always been – they haven’t changed since they were handed down to us… and people question that and are of a mind that religion is a social construct and one created by man… but you’re asked (or told) to take it on faith that it isn’t.

    As such, a lot of people hold onto their faith and belief in God… but they’re gonna live their lives even if it means not playing by the rules or, as The Temptations said in one of their songs, “You make you own heaven and hell right here on earth…” A lot of people say that when they die, if they’re going to hell for whatever sins they’ve committed, well, so be it – it’s out of their hands and as someone told me, “I’ll be dead… so what does it really matter?” Our biggest fear and thing we are to take on faith is that death isn’t as final as it “appears” to be. The body dies but the soul lives on forever depending on whether or not you were a good person in life or not.

    And it cannot be proven or disproved… and many of us take it on faith that it is true. It’s not just religion that we wind up taking on faith; we have faith that things will be okay and if they’re not so okay, things will be better. We take it on faith that when we get into our car to go to work or whatever, it’s gonna start or that when you put it in gear, it’s gonna move; put your foot on the brake and it’s gonna stop.

    And you can’t prove or disprove those things are gonna happen until they do… or they don’t – but you do hope that they do happen as they need to happen. Remember the experiment with the cat? Kitty is in a box and you don’t know if it’s alive or dead or what it’s doing until you open the box and see for yourself.

    That’s kinda what faith is like.

    A lot of people question their faith and/or beliefs when life itself conspires to just fuck shit up and no matter how hard we work and try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Depending on who you talk to, whether you get back on your feet or remain lying face down after getting knocked down isn’t up to God – that’s all on you to set things right if at all possible and more so since He (or She, if you will or prefer) gave us free will to determine our fates and futures. It’s not your faith in God – it’s your faith in yourself and in the face of something we all learn at some point: If you don’t do it, no one is gonna do it for you.

    Indeed, isn’t it said that God helps those who help themselves? And don’t we take it on faith that this is, literally, the gospel truth? Then question the hell out of it when there’s no help of any kind coming our way?

    So the real question, I think, isn’t your faith or even relationship with God: It’s your faith and relationship in and with yourself that might be at issue or, simply, if you don’t believe you can pick yourself up and stay up for as long as you can – and until life puts you on your ass again – guess what’s not gonna happen?

    Even with sexuality. Almost all bisexuals I know of have a crisis of faith behind being bisexual but pretty much all of them say, after a fashion, “If God didn’t mean for me to be this way, I wouldn’t be this way.” Crisis over. But the ministers of faith tell you that this isn’t true, don’t they? Who’s right: God… or Reverend So and So? Who are you really and truly believe? God usually “wins” this one and with the preacher man getting his butt kicked because our faith in God is stronger than our faith in some dude who says he speaks for God.

    I’m not trying to offend anyone; I’m just telling you what I’ve learned and observed; at the end of any day, you’re gonna have faith and/or believe in whatever you need to but along with these things, you still gotta have faith and belief in yourself, too.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your long-winded responses are always welcome! 😀
      I admit, you give me plenty to contemplate and I look at the matter as more of an issue of contemplation than anything else. I am getting to a point in my life where I can simply accept that there are things I’ll never understand and that is okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi dear As. Lovely post. I wonder if you would like this atheist/agnostic article I found during my blog binging yesterday. Thought it was brilliant. This is how I feel too: “Bill W. was very progressive and would gladly have welcomed any modern amendments to the Big Book or indeed the Twelve Steps. The core messages of the Steps are very simple: acceptance, gratitude, humility, forgiveness and letting go. Learning that love comes from within and shines outwards, and that everything has its place.”
    https://aaagnostica.org/2019/06/02/recovery-is-relative-to-the-individual/.

    And/or for the godlier side of things, which I’m also down with, check out Glennon Doyle’s latest instagram pic. Great message and so cute: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVO0x6hsNS/ To quote her words: “Daily reminder that zero churches own God! And nobody has more God in them than you do!!! And There are no gatekeepers!!! Just open doors. Love, G Happy PRIDE! #pride🌈 #pridemonth @together.rising”

    xo stl

    Liked by 1 person

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