And the harder I try to find my way back, the further away I slip. So I'm waiting, as something dark and unsettling moves over me. I'm waiting for direction. I'm waiting for rescue. I'm waiting for a lifetime of answers to chase away this shadow that veils my heart.
I was barely six when I felt the tug. I'd been to church a handful of times when my parents remembered to put me on the church bus. My oldest sister talked to me about God. I knew he existed and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know him. If there was pure, unconditional love to be had, I wanted it. I sat under the pinball machine in the room I shared with my brother and sister, with a blanket thrown over the top to make a tent. The blanket was pink and inside my solitude, surrounded by dolls, I prayed to him. I asked him to love me and I would love him. Nothing ceremonious or poetic. But an open heart, filled with an honest belief that God heard and accepted. It was beautiful and simple and sacred to me. And so began my journey.
Now, something like rebellion is rising up within me. I've lived my life within his rules, willingly and happily. I've shed tears of agony, longing to be near him. I've sacrificed and given up things in an effort to be close to him. Today I feel cheated, like somehow my life has been spent following a myth. Like I haven't been given the whole truth. Like there is something I am missing and I have to solve the impossible puzzle to get the answer. I can't deny God. I know he's there somewhere. But who is he? What is he? What makes us, as mere humans, think he wants anything at all to do with us? The good, maybe seemingly simple, answer, is, of course, the bible. But it was men who wrote it. Yes, supposedly inspired by God, but men make mistakes. Haven't we all followed a path we thought was God's idea only to find it wasn't? Haven't you ever thought you had an answer from God then weren't sure? How do we know these men really heard from God? How do we know anybody does? How do we know everything we have believed hasn't been part of man's scheme to manipulate us all?
I'm exhausted from a life of trying to fit in to a mold that makes me more fit, more desirable to him. I've been made to believe the things I do or don't do can possibly alter God's plans. If I prove myself willing or offer up a certain prayer, does that really change anything? I can't get away from these questions. And I'm not sure where to go for the answers. I'm angry. And I'm scared.
I want to be six, in my little tent, where I was safe and secure in knowing what little I knew. Where my childish heart didn't know the difference. Where I could simply love him and believe.