Divorcing God

When I was a Christianus Sickus, I alternated between asking God for healing, and asking God for strength to endure. I refused to believe my chronic illness was permanent. I looked at all the current scientific research about my illness and studied. If there wasn’t a cure, I was going to find one myself. There had to be an exit. I remember feeling so desperate for a way out that I went half insane. I felt like I was dropped into a deep pit with no means of escape. The life I used to have was gone. I wanted it back. I needed it back.

I started praying, “Lord, heal me.”
“Lord, please heal me.”
“Lord, I know you love me. Please heal me.”

The silence twisted me up inside. I couldn’t understand it. Why wasn’t God answering my prayers. Why the silence? So, I tried something else. “Lord, I want to do your will. Heal me or use me. Tell me what to do.”
“How can I do your will?”
“What do you want from me?”

This went on for three years. The more I prayed, the more unhappy I became. People told me God had a plan and if I had faith God would reveal it. Meanwhile, my illness progressed. I felt depressed and hopeless. I read the scriptures people recommended, and felt even more hopeless. There wasn’t a peace that passed understanding. There was an endless silence that left me in tears. After years went by, I got angry. Angry that I got sick and angry that God wasn’t hearing my prayers. If God wanted me to be sick, then I was willing to be sick. I wanted to be a blessed Christianus Sickus, but I wasn’t one. I wasn’t a saint-in-training. I was just me, and I was broken. My faith and my whole life shattered like glass.

 I tried focusing on Christ’s suffering, and uniting my spirit with His suffering. I tried to believe that the suffering of Jesus was beyond anything I could imagine. But, a crucifixion ended his agony. Chronic illness doesn’t always kill you. Sometimes it leaves you alive, but wishing you were dead. I started wishing I would die. My entire life became unbearable. Praying for strength, and healing, only made it worse.

Then I had a flash of insight that changed my entire life. “What if there isn’t a God?” That single thought was like dropping an anvil from around my neck. I felt like I was floating. If there is no God, then praying for healing and strength, and not being healed, or strengthened, isn’t a problem. Maybe my prayers came back return to sender, because no one was listening. If there isn’t a God who planned for me getting sick, then there isn’t anyone to appeal to for a reprieve. If God isn’t real, I don’t have to pretend this is a blessing in disguise. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I get to be real. I get to be a human being who is doing the best she can under the circumstances. If there is no God, I can finally be at peace. What if there isn’t a God?

I got terrified by that thought. Of course there is a God. This is the Evil One tempting me. God loves me. I need to get into His word and get right with God. So, I opened my Bible and read it. The entire thing. As I learned more about the God of the Old Testament, I wanted a divorce. That God character was far scarier than I realized. I read about genocides and God demanding the murder of infants. As I read along, I discovered 1 Samuel 15:3-4 was particularly horrifying. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, 1 Samuel 15:3-4 is a war crime. Why would I want to draw near a war criminal? After learning about God in the Bible, I wanted nothing to do with religion. Finishing the Bible allowed me to understand that God is imaginary.

Letting go of religion freed me. It gave me peace. I stopped wondering why God allowed this to happen to me. I stopped fearing God’s wrath for not being holy enough. I stopped worrying that I wasn’t doing God’s will for my life. For the first time since my diagnosis, I had something Christianity couldn’t give me: hope for the future.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP