Would God blame me if I stopped believing in Him?

confused about God

I am a Christian, who chose to be Christian and who wants to wake up each day with renewed strength and faith. I have never wanted anything more than to love God, trust in Him and always feel loved by Him. I believe that loving someone and not letting that person know or feel it is wasting love. It’s pointless. I sit here, at a crossroads. I have read inspirational quotes and prayers, I have invited God into my life and heart and yet I feel my love is unrequited. The more I pray the more I feel like I am just throwing words into the air, trying to trick myself into believing that there is someone who is listening and who will comfort me. I have had people help me, I used to think that this was an answer to my prayers but it’s increasingly seeming to me like they are just kind humans, not agents responding to God’s call to help. I don’t want to feel like this, but this business of someone who claims to love me telling me that I must praise them and keep strong while I suffer so that one day they may show their glory is beginning to feel very sadistic to me. Suffer and praise me until I feel like helping you even though I can just speak and your whole like will be a billion times better?

He loved us so much that He gave His only son to be battered and spat on by the people He created. There is no greater love. None. He has a plan for us. Plan to prosper us.Well, He could have prevented His own son from suffering but did He? He is the one who created heaven and earth and He could change any laws, including the law that required that a lamb be slaughtered as sacrifice. His own son begged Him to change His mind when He was scared and wanted the cup to pass but did He change His mind? No. He went ahead with the plan for His son to be brutalised. I am to believe that the same God who let this be done to his own blood hears me when I ask Him to free me from suffering. He could have given everyone amnesia and they could have forgotten that they were about to murder Jesus and life could have carried on. Better yet, He could just not have made a decision that involved anybody suffering, least of all His own son! This is the God who says ask me and I shall give you. Knock on my door and I will open for you. But wait… to add spice to it you could throw in a bit of suffering, you could fast. Go without food even if you get hungry and weak so that I can really see that you are devoted to me then ask and I will give you. Well, people do fast and pray and when they knock and no doors are opened God says your thoughts are not my thoughts and your ways are not my ways. Or maybe the door will be opened one day , just keep knocking, I will open in my time not yours. Let’s see those knuckles bleed from knocking THEN if it’s in my plan for your life I will open. Really?

I can see that you are in pain, from a disease that you could not have prevented but forget the pain, plant your knees in the ground and worship me. Shout my praises on top of your lungs even if your body is weak from hunger because no matter how hard you are working you are failing to put food on your table. Forget all that, go to church and sing about how excellent I am.

God apparently talks to us through His word. The same words that billions have locked horns over because a lot of it is vague and can be interpreted in many different conflicting ways. There are good people who are genuinely praying for the souls of gay people because the word has said God hates homosexuals. Then there are Christian gay people who are praying for the souls of those who pray for them because they genuinely believe that in the eyes of God love is love and those who are not tolerant will burn in hell. I am not going to go into arguments given by both sides but I can say that there are compelling arguments on both sides and the word has created so many divisions from people who, like me, just want to love Him and follow Him. Does He make it any easier for people to just understand what exactly He wants people to do or not to do? No. People must suffer, butt heads and hope that they get into heaven, where they will be eternally happy sitting at the right hand of the Father. People are divided over which day of the week to worship together, polygamy or monogamy, marrying or not marrying, how to dress, what to eat and what not to eat, whether God actually exists or not…the list is endless. All these people are desperately just trying to please God. The confusion has created and deepened hatred over the children of one God. The ones who should be privileged because they are the children of the king of kings. They are royalty.

People do all sorts of things because “God spoke to them.” There are some who commit horrible crimes because they genuinely believe that what they thought was God’s voice was speaking to them. They can go to the word and back up their story with one scripture on another. I am not talking about people with diagnosed with mental illnesses but healthy people. After all famous “men and women of God” who we love so much who preach the word often talk about God speaking to them or leading them to do something. How is one not to believe the small voice in their mind when God has not made everything clear by simplifying the way He speaks to us. He created us, He knows our IQs and what can be easily understood. Why must I sit with a decision and wonder whether or not it’s God trying to tell me something? Just flippin’ say, ” Hey Chipo this is God, your Father, I want you to do this and that. Any questions? Cool. Love ya.” That’s not so hard is it? But no, our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways. Brilliant, so if we have ways and thoughts that are so different what is the point really? For us to change our ways so that we start going with His ways. Ok you wanna ask Job how living life according to God’s ways worked out for Him? God used Him, in an argument with His nemesis, just to show the other guy how commit ed His people were to Him. As Christians we are often advised to take the high road and ignore those who try to vex us. Did God ignore the devil? No. He gave Job disease, destroyed Job’s hard earned wealth, killed Job ‘s loved ones, just to prove a point to an inferior being who He has the power to just destroy and get it over with. He chose to destroy, instead, a man who loved Him dearly. I must follow Job’s example and risk one day going through all that suffering. Why? Why is suffering always part of the package? Why would you bring something to existence and sit back and watch it suffer? We arrest people for being cruel to cats and dogs while our maker freely watches us suffer over years and years and it’s ok because He is trying to teach us something and it’s all part of his plan to prosper us.

Speaking about God’s plans for each one of us, I see women carrying babies and excitedly preparing for children who will be born dead or will die within days or weeks of birth. I see women who tried their best to live according to the word and got married and now they want children but will never have them. The word tells them to have faith, the whole mustard seed thing and some do have faith faith because Sarah had a child in her old age but they end up dying childless. We see others being given children they don’t want and they kill or abuse them. Where do I even begin to talk about diseases? I am talking horrible diseases that plague people for the whole duration of their lives and there is a lot of pain and suffering of the patients and those around them. How about little children in unsanitary refugee camps? I am supposed to read stories about people who were eventually pulled out of difficult situations by God. The same God who had the power to stop the bad stuff from happening in the first place? I am supposed to keep my faith while I watch other people who had faith dying before what they were praying for happened? But wait, remember, He has a plan.

I realised now that this must be a whole book not just a blog post. So much suffering going on amoung those who believe. And the slap in the face? Atheists don’t believe or praise his name and still  many of them prosper. Christians are supposed to watch from afar and take comfort in knowing that they will find joy in heaven one day. They will, if they even make it into heaven because they sin daily. You think bad thoughts you have sinned. So daily you sin and daily you suffer then daily you must praise God and hope that He lets your sinful sorry ass into heaven one day. Non believers never have the frustration of feeling ignored by their heavenly Father. They don’t have faith when they work hard and pray hard God will reward them.  They don’t have to sit there  and feel like our Father favours some people more than others. They just live.

 

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My fiancè’s struggle with chiari malformation: My journey too

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Before I begin, I need to say a couple of things first, disclaimers of sorts. First, thanks Chipo for giving me space on your blog. I have been an avid reader since day naught. I’m delighted and humbled to be given space to contribute.

Second, writing in English like this is foreign. I’m now used to communicating, nay, expressing my feelings better in vernacular. Don’t get me wrong, I can communicate in English, I just don’t like it. There is something about writing in Shona that just brings certain words alive. I digress. So, if I don’t make sense, do forgive me, English isn’t my first language. This post has been a long time coming. After I read your post about your journey with Chiari Malformation and syringomyelia (See post here), I was moved, ok fine, I cried (a little). What struck me was how honest you had been with your struggle and how you had been trying to manage the condition. I had been a part of the journey with you, but just reading about it made me realise that one can be a part of something but still be oblivious of the same thing. I’m not one for talking about personal stuff, moreso on cyberspace, but perhaps someone will read and benefit, so here is my journey alongside you:

How it started

I remember it started off as a common cold. I remember that you were buying a lot of oranges (for Vitamin C), Med-lemon, as it is supposed to be the go to cure for the cold. 3 weeks after the first symptoms, you were still sick. When you went to the doctor and he said that it was pneumonia, I got a bit of a shock, as pneumonia is usually a pre-cursor to other diseases. Yet I didn’t worry. The doctor assured us that all you needed to do was to take your antibiotics and you would be fine. I was at ease. Then you started to feel pain in your arm. I would watch you writhe in pain when I or someone else would shake your hand. No longer where you able to arm wrestle with me, or type on a computer for extended periods. You started withdrawing from hanging out with friends. We had to cut down on doing things that we loved, like playing pool (ok fine, I love playing pool, you just went because you enjoyed my company!). I was still at ease.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Then the other doctor said you had Thoracic Outlet syndrome. I had no idea that such a disease existed. I tried to read articles on it but couldn’t make sense of what the disease was. All I knew was that you were in pain, always. I wasn’t fine anymore. I could see you trying to put a brave face to do things that would cause you pain. I could see you trying to lead a ‘normal’ life in spite of having a horrendously painful arm. I remember the day you went for physiotherapy and you swore never to go back again as the guy was literally wrestling with your arm. I tried to help you as much as I could then by doing whatever thing was most difficult for you, but it wasn’t enough.

Chiari diagnosis

Just when I thought I had heard all the diseases with the funny names, in came Arnold Chiari malformation. There were three things that I got from the new diagnosis: 1. You had a cyst in your spine. 2. Your brain was putting pressure on your skull. 3. You needed to get a piece of your skull removed.

To be honest, I really didn’t know what to do. Why was God doing this to me, I thought to myself. What had I done wrong? It seemed to me that your disease was a punishment of sorts for something that I had done. Herein lies the problem. I took you out of the picture and began focusing on myself. I forgot for a while what you were going through and focused on myself. I thought to myself that this isn’t something that I signed up for. Why cant we have ‘normal’ couple problems, like having arguments about whether or not I should shave, or whether or not you think buying an Xbox is a worthy investment. I certainly didn’t sign up for all these other things. Thinking like this made me realise what an ass I was being. I couldn’t believe that I was thinking like this. Does one love someone just because they aren’t sick? Surely can you only love someone in the good times and when the going gets tough you think of bolting? If that was love, then I certainly didn’t want it. I had always prayed and hoped for someone to love me through thick and thin. I thought to myself that this was the opportunity to show my love, that no matter what you were going through, you weren’t alone. I was with you.

I was with you the day you went into surgery. In fact, I had a small procedure of my own that same day, in the same hospital, but all I could do was think of you. I was thinking whether or not you were comfortable. Whether or not you were scared but didn’t have me to hold your hand. I remember when my procedure was done and I rushed to your ward and I saw you sedated with machines hooked up to your body. All I could do was watch as I was powerless to help. If the operation was what it took to make you better, so be it. You wouldn’t have to walk alone. From your experience with chronic pain, I saw a different side of you that I hadn’t seen before. I saw a brave girl. In spite of the seemingly insurmountable challenges, you held your head high. You would face the world everyday with renewed verve. I saw an optimistic girl. Yes today you were in pain, but tomorrow you may not. I was inspired.

Lessons from being a part of this journey:

  1. You can be a part of someone’s story, yet you don’t know much about what they are going through. It is important to check up on each other.
  2. Big boys do cry. There’s no point in trying to remain calm when things aren’t fine. It’s ok to admit to yourself that you are not fine. It’s ok to let out a cry or two to get all the feelings and emotions out.
  3. Get support from other people. Life is tough as it is. You cant go at it alone, get a group of ‘cheer leaders’ around you to egg you on.
  4. Don’t wallow and do nothing. If you are in difficult situations, do your best to find solutions.

 

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” – Vivian Greene

In the immortal words of my childhood hero Porky Pig, “that’s all folks!”

When death is a blessing. RIP Jerika Bolen

Think about all your fears. You will notice that they all have to do with something big, permanent/ final and most of the time something that affects many people. I have been in pain for almost 2 years now. In … Continue reading