When I was younger I went to a Baptist Church. I really did come to know the truth about God and salvation there, but I never felt like I fit in or like I was doing the Christian thing right. I was 11 years old quoting Scripture like a street evangelist. I would carry my bible around with me telling people about the fires of hell waiting for those who didn’t give their lives to Jesus. Other kids were collecting baseball cards and I was collecting chick tracts.
I am not sure what triggered it, but at some point I began to look around at the people around me and start to question the truth of what I was preaching. I am sure that it had something to do with the new boy in school who looked like Donnie Wahlberg and was teaching me how to french kiss. (Spoiler alert: I am now married to him) There were no answers for me when I started asking questions about the feelings that I was having and how much I was craving for someone to love me or what sex had to do with any of it. I was a kid setting up meetings with my Pastor to ask him exactly why sex outside of marriage was wrong. It freaked him out as you can imagine. I was sent away with even more questions than answers.
Then I realized exactly what sexual abuse was and that I had been a victim of it. That’s when things started to get really bad. The boy that I loved so much broke up with me, so I was heartbroken as well as having an existential faith crisis and flashbacks of the sexual abuse that happened to me at 5 years old. I was 14 and still a child. I look at my 14 year old daughter and she is such a little girl in so many ways, even if she is starting to look like an adult. I see my baby when I look at her, but I also see myself at that age. I was all alone bearing all that pain. Lord, I pray that she doesn’t feel that she is too.
I was comparing all of that heartache to the lives of everyone around me and questioning God’s goodness. I didn’t see any evidence that He was on my side in life at all. Everyone else seemed to have it much easier than me. They had money, families, nice houses and everything that a person needed to be happy. I don’t know when I started looking around being envious of everyone around me again, but apparently I did. This morning I sat in Mass listening to Father preach about trusting God and being faithful to Him it occurred to me that I’m still looking for evidence that God is on my side in life. The truth is that I don’t trust that He is. Since I was 5 years old I have been hurt by people who I trusted.
I never realized what that man was doing to me at the time that it was happening because I trusted him. I trusted that he loved me and that was just something people who loved each other did. I trusted the Pastor to have answers for me when I had questions, he stood at that pulpit every Sunday saying he had answers as the leader of that church. I trusted that. Then he didn’t have any answers for me when I went to him, just that I needed to be “give my heart to Jesus”. The only way that I could give my heart more to Jesus (or anyone else for that matter) to love me would have been to carve it out of my chest and lay it at His feet. The only thing that I’ve wanted in my life was to be loved.
When I was 14 I walked away from Christianity and decided that I would go my way and God could go His.
Six years ago I came back to Christianity and became Catholic. I gave my life to Jesus again and I’ve spent that last 6 years building a life based on the love that I have for Him. There have been miracles but also a lot of suffering. My heart has been completely shattered over and over and I’ve failed being one of His sheep a million times, but I am still here. In my head, I know that He loves me and that I love Him. I know that the right thing to say is that I am here because I am trying to be a saint so the atheists don’t have something to point at, but really I am here because I have nowhere else to go that makes any sense to me. I know Jesus is real, that He died for me and that He rose from the dead and conquered death. But what I don’t know is that I’m good enough for Him.
I still do not trust that God cares about my life. I still believe that He is sitting back as life screws me over time and time again. I have shared a lot of things on this blog, but I have kept a lot more to myself, that’s how much crap has happened to me and my family.
I have tried everything except one thing: trusting that God is not smiting me. That is at the root of all my sins. Every single one of them. I guess that is the root of all sins, but today I saw it so clearly.
I have no idea how to change that. Father said to pray and ask God to help me trust Him. So I guess that is where I will start. Will you please pray for me?