Make Your Choice

About a week ago, I wrote a blog post about man’s ability to choose his God. I have noticed that God will, in many ways, be whoever we ask Him to be. Even immediately after I wrote it, though I felt it was finished and said it was supposed to say, I felt like there was something else I was supposed to write in addition to it. As time has passed since then, I have tried to put into words what exactly I was thinking, but over and over I couldn’t quiet get there. Tonight, with lightning streaking across the sky, and my whole body in a creative blur, I feel ready to at least attempt to describe what I am going to say.
God will, in many ways, be whoever you need Him to be, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a real person that He is. God wants us to love Him, so if we want Him to act a certain way, and we ask certain things from Him, I believe sometimes He will go along with it. Sometimes though, He will eventually take a second to say, “Hey, I’m actually a little different than that. This is how I do things.” When that happens, get ready for a wild ride.
I talked already over and over about my relationship with God the last few weeks in this blog, and I don’t like writing about that. I think religious writing can be way too preachy, and it’s very very personal, so sometimes its nearly impossible for things to get out in the way they are meant to be perceived. Plus, I hate feeling ‘holier than thou’ because I am not. I’m not any better or worse than anyone else because I think about this stuff all of the time, I just like to offer my thoughts on it.
This year, I went to a Bible study that changed my life. I haven’t been really happy with any Catholic community I have been a part of for years, so to suddenly walk into one that I felt at home in was incredible. I believe that God used the study and the women in it to teach me so much about who He is.
My husband asked me once rhetorically, “I mean, how do we even know, which version of God is the real one?”(Not that he was renouncing belief, we just debate theology and philosophy….a lot-and we both play devil’s advocate when necessary) I think the only answer to this, and it will never satisfy anyone fully is-“Who has He told you He is?” The answer doesn’t always work, because some people do not listen, or don’t want to listen, but I do believe that if we ask God to show us who He is-He will.
This year, God told me a lot about who He is. He is Love-in a powerful all-consuming, always present way. We got to a crossroads, where I asked Him how He could say that when He had abandoned me, and I raged at Him about it. A couple of days later, I was reading the book of Job, and there is a chapter where God yells at Job for questioning Him and lists all of the powerful things He does, and basically says, “Job, you don’t know what you are talking about.” I’m not going to lie, there was a little fear and trembling for a second there.
The beautiful thing is though, that it didn’t end there. I have always hated the Book of Job because I felt that God was horrible to Job and that his friends were cruel and he had no vindication, but then, I read a section I had never read before.

God was so angry at Job’s friends for misleading Him, that He straight up asked Job to pray for them, and only forgave them because Job asked.
Basically, God said to Job, “HOLD ME BACK, IM’MA GET AT ‘EM.” And Job of course did pray for them, and God forgave them.
That changed the whole thing for me, because I have had people who have mocked me for my suffering before. I have had people who didn’t understand it, and who told me that God must be displeased with me. I needed so badly to hear that that is not who He is. To feel that God took me aside to say, “No, it’s not that, it’s just that you don’t know the reason for what I am doing.”
Anyway, the point of this is that God is love in a way that we cannot even fully comprehend, and He will show us who He is if we ask Him. Sometimes our own thoughts and impressions are not enough. Sometimes our feelings cloud our judgement and make it difficult for us to see what God is trying to say. That is why what Job’s friends did to him was so incredibly awful. A friend should help you to see God’s love while you are struggling-not condemn you. For me, my husband friends, and the Bible study, reading scripture and taking in art, help me to sort through what my thoughts are about God, and who He really is. I can’t tell you how many times I have been terrified of the wrath of God and despairing of His love, and have been lifted up and help by someone else.
In the end though, we can only know our own experience of God. We can seek Him out and do our best, and we can ask our friends, but there is something in every heart that knows what the truth is, if we can be quiet and hear it amidst all of the noise, and there is a lot of noise. Our knowledge of them is always evolving and growing, and we should never give up on figuring Him out, but He is there to be understood, if we ask, and we make every effort to learn.

“The Elusive Nature of God”

*title by Patrick O’Donnell

The hard thing, the impossible thing, about God, or really I guess about a true relationship with God, is that He is not physically present in the way that our other relationships are.

The philosophical question as my husband phrased it is, “Is it even possible to have a relationship with someone who is not accountable to us? Is it possible to have a real relationship if He won’t just come down and talk to us?”

I have struggled with this time and again throughout my life.

The analogy I use for my relationship with God most often is that of a Bridegroom and His bride, but to be honest if my earthly bridegroom left me some letters and ditched me with some stuff to remember him by, while he had the ability to stay with me, I would hate him for it. I would never forgive him. I would swear he did not love me. Basically, that’s what sucks about a relationship with God. He left us a book, and the Eucharist and we are supposed to believe He is present in it, and we do or do not believe that, but we still have to put that forward, we still have to believe that, and worse, we are taught that we HAVE to believe He is there or we are going to Hell for it, because that’s equivalent to not choosing Him, but again, if my husband left me alone in the midst of people who wanted to love and/or hurt me without letting me know what the heck was going on or where he was, that would be unconscionable.

It’s hard for me to write this, because this year, I have had consolation after consolation. I have read Scripture and I have felt God’s presence in ridiculously tangible ways that I know are Him, but the thing is that even in those moments, I know how crazy I sound. I joke about how God uses the GMC Acadia as a comfort for me because as we are Dave Ramseying our future I needed a visual, and it has been the symbol of the “covenant” so to speak that God has made with me this year-I know Catholics may balk at that because it seems irreverent, but a covenant is a promise, and I believe God has made promises to me from the time I was born, and I believe I am meant to believe in them, and I believe He has sent the Acadia to help me through a very difficult year.

It’s not just that either, I have a million stories of crazy things God has done in my life or asked of me or how He has revealed Himself, but there is always that question in the back of your head, “Was He really there, or did I just make that up? And if I made that up, then what about all of these things I believed in because of it?”

That is where Faith comes in, whether we like it or not. Faith is the decision to believe that the weird crazy relationship you have with God is real. In order to have faith as a relationship, you have to believe in your own experience of Him, even when it seems crazy. And my way of solving the fact that we will never know the truth for sure is that I have told God that the minute I get to Heaven the first thing I’m going to do is ask, “What the heck?!?”

Come to Me

The darkness was supposed to have lifted.
And maybe it did.
But I could not see it because I was still screaming.
In the fetal position on the floor with my hands covering my eyes and my ears.
Screaming like no one has ever heard someone scream before.
Feeling every tendril of despair wrapping around me.
Bits of my heart being sucked through my skin to fly off into the outside.
It was like a tornado inside out screaming red blood into space without stars.
Screaming until air ran out.
Then and only then I was shaking,
Shaking like leaves in the rain or a body seizing with a brain bleed.
Hairs up on end.
Terrified for me.
Fight or flight after we already fought and flew.
“Please God make it stop, Help me survive!”
But He already did.

Then someone touches my shoulder tenderly.
I ignore it at first but it stays.
“Oh God, am I alive?”
My lungs tear out to meet the stranger,
Erotically I wrap myself around it, or him.
Come inside me, give me every inch of you.
Fuck.
What is this monstrous lust(?) inside me?
Come to me!

Burdened suddenly by desire my breath ceases.
Enter me.
The darkness seeps between my lips
Yanking my head back and sending my arms back in acceptance,
Surrender to my hearts last beat.
I breathe tar into me,
Pulling at it with something from deep inside me.
Eating it without chewing for a moment.
Consuming it until it is all in me,
Choking me, taking me, killing me, eating me.
Being me inside out.

King and God

Duct tape clings to my face as twisting fingers pull and clasp at it.
Fuck you monsters.
I can’t stop screaming as each moment passes.
Moments have tendriled phlanges curling around themselves,
Scraping their prey in millions of different directions at once.

Stop the moments,
Screaming at the top of my lungs,
I beg for relief from the opposite of a hurricane.
Spinning outward until time stops passing and I stop breathing.

The world and everything else goes black.

Suddenly I am in a duchess’ white gold gown.
Rustling forward with every advent of flat glistening shoes.
I realize for only a second that there is no air,
Breath doesn’t exist here.
But I keep going forward.

Trees saturated with green leaves appear on either side of me,
Blooming against a jet black nothing,
As marble floors meet my soles.
If breath existed it would have halted as the golden sanctuary emerged before me.
There was no need for an altar, as altar’s Host sat in His throne.
My heart physically sank to the earth,
Becoming flame and ash simultaneously.
A blazing dead flame of withering despair.

“You are just a King?”
I did not have to speak with my lips or my breath,
Because anger flared forth from the hole where my heart had been.
“How dare you?”

He said nothing.

I screamed without words
Irrationally berating the King of Everything.
A bottle that has finally exploded after eons of pressure.
“You said you were my groom,
What was that bullshit about being a bride?
Song of Songs is the greatest lie of all time.
You are just a KING?”

His silence was what ended the rage.
They say hate is not the opposite of love, and they are right.
The part of me that cared stopped.
Halted in it’s own tracks,
It started to breathe.

I stood silently, while I watched my body continue.
White sheets whisked past as I made my bed.
The river that was never an ocean bubbled past.
Time clocked on, as I refused to participate, or participated too much
Depending on the day.

I kept watching.
Living in hate, in love, in something more,
In passion, in courage, in fear, defeat, everything else.
Breathing ceased as if it would never return.

Life changed forever when I lost my groom.
The day My Lord became King.

Soulmates?

Image

Lord, I don’t know if I believe in soulmates,
Because if I believed in soulmates,
I’d have to believe that we were meant to be together,
And I don’t know if I could handle that pain.

What I Believe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMw2S_4zTrc

 

So I was watching this video about Acting, which has always been my dream, and one thing they talked about was the necessity of knowing exactly what you believe. Here I am to do a post about what I believe.

What do I, personally, believe about God?
I believe everything in The Apostles Creed.
“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified died and was buried. He descended into Hell, on the third day, he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting. Amen.”

That is the bottom line. That is what all Catholics must believe, or they are not Catholic. 

Now as for the rest of it-the Catholic Church is amazing in that it gives SO MUCH FREEDOM to think about things in your own way, obviously there are some non-negotiables, but other things are open to interpretation so that people can understand things in the way they will actually comprehend the truth. SO, here are my beliefs–off the top of my head, whether I always feel like i believe them or not.

I believe that God is GOOD, fundamentally and completely, in a way that we cannot even fathom. I want to work on picturing Him, like everything good about The Great Gatsby. He showers present’s we could never dream of on us. He wants the whole world to glitter, hoping we will see it. He wants us to walk in one night and dance with Him and live with Him forever in a blossoming glittering paradise.

He wants us to receive what WE want in our lives. He doesn’t hate our desires, He LOVES them and gave them to us, so that we would have the pleasure of living them out. 

He loves ALL of us. It doesn’t matter if we are gay, black ,white, rich, poor, ginger, mexican, Wiccan, anything. He loves every single one of us NO MATTER WHAT WE DO.

He gave us the ten commandments and the Scripture to make OUR LIVES BETTER. He asks that we follow rules like our father asks us not to touch a burning stove. Everything He tells us,  He tells us for a reason.

True Catholics are merciful and loving. Those who persecute and judge others, and cut them down within an inch of their life, are acting in an evil manner, completely opposed to everything that God has asked of mankind. 

There is right and wrong, but it is not for us to demand that everyone be perfect.

It is hard to try to be perfect, we will never get there, we can, however, allow Christ to make our lives a part of His Perfection.

Okay, now last part of today’s homework…

What are my “Acting Rules”?
I WILL act in a movie that has offensive material, IF it is manifesting a truth about God’s creation. For example, I will be involved in a movie about a prostitute, if it either shows the pain of the situation she’s in, and the problems that she faces, or if it redeems her throughout.

I will not act in a movie that glorifies something that I believe is sinful, or attacks what I believe is holy. For example, her story about a movie where a Priest and a woman have an affair AND end up brother and sister in the end? That’s disgusting.

I will find a spiritual director, who I will ask for help and discernment in everything I do.

I will find a counselor-unless the spiritual director meets that need, in order to deal with my emotion spirals. 

I will be involved in a wholesome community, so that I do not get a big head, and so that I always have something rooting me to Christ.

I will attend Mass and Adoration as frequently as possible, no matter the sacrifices. 

I will do everything I can, the best I can, to become an amazing actress, because God has given me a wellspring of desire for that, and that is a gift that very few people have, and I am  spitting in His beautiful Face, by refusing to use it. 

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