I’ve been a believer since three. Three. I was a sweet little girl who would believe anything, if you told me enough times. And so I believed in God. I prayed, read my children’s Bible, kept prayer journals, went to Sunday school, drew pictures for God, and so on. When I was ten, I went to church camp and experienced God in a whole new way (charismatic Christianity). That made him real to me. I kept going back year after year. Summer before freshman year I reached the age limit, going to camp for the last time. My relationship with God was at its peak at that time, and the few months before (spring/summer 2013). Around November, things started to get really bad. I became extremely depressed and didn’t get better for several months. Life went on after that, as life always does. God spoke to me on very, very rare occasion, but I still continued to believe in him. I chose to commit, to hold strong, tune my ear to his voice, be confirmed, hold strong, hold strong, hold strong. I believed that he worked through what helped me—like medication, for instance. He never talked to me. It makes one weary, praying and never being answered. Praying, having your life fall apart, and never, ever, ever being answered. I remember screaming toward the heavens multiple times–really screaming–and pleading him to work in my life. Please God, heal me. Please God, heal my family. Be near to us. There was never any response.
A lack of response led to a sort of spiritual apathy, which quickly led to anger. I hate God. I’m not saying this in a fleeting moment of emotion, or while I cry on my keyboard. No. I am calm, and I can honestly say that I hate God. Contrary to what I believed all my life, he let me down. I’m sick of hearing the typical platitude Christians give: “God didn’t let you down! He just has a different plan, because he knows more than we ever could! He knows what’s best!” That doesn’t make any sense to me. If I feel like I’ve been let down, I’ve been let down. He refused to respond to any of my advances. So even if his all-superior heavenly logic knows what’s best, I honestly don’t give a fuck, because I’m not submitting to some deity’s plan for me that involves a longstanding pattern of suffering. “Oh, but sometimes God is silent because he wants to teach you something! Use this suffering to get closer to him!” Absolutely not. There’s a point where my patience runs out. Eighteen months of nothing? That’s not love. Love is not silent. How would you feel if a friend or family member gave you the silent treatment for over a year, but everyone kept telling you that (s)he loved you? You wouldn’t believe it, because it wouldn’t be true. Or, in the case that it is love, I don’t want any part of it. I won’t “sing to the silence,” or whatever the hell that means. I feel like I’ve been stood up on a date–not once, no–over and over and over again. “God has no obligation to respond, as he is holy and above all humanity!” Cool. If he has no obligation to respond, then I have no obligation to converse. Easy.
I don’t listen to that “still small voice” or whatever. You know, when you’re sitting there wondering why God isn’t there, and there’s this thing in your mind that says, “Oh, how I love you!” I don’t really accept that anymore. Honestly, I’m just telling it to myself. I don’t care about a voice–I want action, which leads into my next point. It’s not like I don’t believe in a god. I think there’s a god out there. Maybe he even cares–maybe. I just don’t think he gives two shits about me personally. My opinion can be changed–but only by tangibility. No internal voices. I need to hear his voice, see an angel, see a neon sign, have it written in the sky–anything like that. Otherwise, I won’t listen. I’m closed off, to be truthful. I don’t listen. I don’t even want to listen. Unless he shows up–and big–I’m not making any further advances. If he decides to do something, I’ll reconsider. But not now. Maybe I’m even actively shutting God out of my life. I stop myself from praying rather frequently.
“Well Abigail, why do you even go to church?” Because I like the interaction. The people at my church are nice. It’s something to do. During the service, I read, journal, or daydream, but I absolutely talk to people beforehand and afterwards. To me, it’s a social event.
I think I’m tending to the belief that neither God nor the Bible is infallible. That’s the thing. If God heard my prayers and didn’t respond, he’s either a.) an asshole for not interacting with me, or b.) fallible, because he made a mistake, or he’s not omniscient. I don’t know. I think the Bible is a good resource for some things. It’s written beautifully. There’s some good history in there, maybe even some secular advice if you look. I’m sure truth about God is in there, but ultimately, I think it was written by man about God. Like a book of theory. Some is true, some is inevitably not. Again, I don’t know. I’m just trying to sort through my beliefs.
I’m angry at God for making me feel guilty about hating him. I feel guilty for hating him, and I shouldn’t. The sense of guilt is driving me further away. Everything is driving me further away. I need someone to blame in life, so I blame him. It can’t hurt anybody.
And don’t you dare tell me, “It’s not God’s fault; the silence is something you’re doing, it’s something on your end.” That is the worst fucking thing I have ever been told concerning this matter. It’s my fault. It’s all my fault. No. I don’t need that responsibility in my life right now. Besides, why? Is it because I’m a measly little human? If I have to be blamed for somebody else’s silence, then I want no part of this faith. It’s not my fault someone won’t speak to me. No, I’m not deaf. God is mute.
In short, I’m waiting around. I’m not listening to God. I’m not reaching out to God. I hate him, and the only thing he can do to change that is to make a billboard appear out of nowhere saying he loves me.
And even then, I might just consider it some sort of psychotic break that would warrant a trip to the psychiatrist. But hey, at least my psychiatrist fucking talks to me.