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.

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“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?!?”

Questioning Felix Culpa

There’s just some days where everything annoys you
Where suddenly your eyes are opened to all that
Would normally bother you, but for a day it’s so much worse
How can that exist in the world?

And you just keep going but uncomfortable
Something hanging its head on your heart 
That doesn’t let go until something heals you
Beauty embraces the darkness and kneels.

Bringing the pain to the blood of ages,
Evil’s only truest defeat 
Begging for horror at the traces of what shouldn’t be
Questioning Felix Culpa until He speaks once again.

How can sex be screwed, why does one torture another,
How could one eat the other, how could one die?
What if nothing redeems us, what if we have to live
What we are, What if all we are is fallen?

The Writing of Regency Park

Here comes the very first novel accomplished your very own…
ME?
Nah, I can’t write a novel.
Never going to happen.
I am just a normal person, with no real talent.
How could that happen?
People don’t make money off books anyway,
Why bother?

And worse, it’s almost like a diary entry,
Could you be more obvious about…well
Who you are? Where you’ve been?
Worst of all-WHO YOU LOVE?

Your loves are in there,
All of them
Will you really allow them to see the light of day?
Risk their real life counterparts chancing to see them?
Is that a risk you are willing to take?

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