Friday, March 28, 2008

My Journey

I haven't talked/posted much about the spiritual retreat I went on a few weeks ago. I suppose it took a while to process it all and I have had other, more pressing issues at hand. But now that I'm outside of the experience there and am applying it to my real life, I can honestly say that it's changed my life as I see it.

Before this retreat, I struggled with this tiny voice on a running loop in the back of my head telling me that I was not good at anything, I was unlovable, I was a failure, I would never do anything significant, and that I would never really matter. I don't know where "The Voice" came from or when it started, but it went on and on all the time, until I believed it and had begun to really loathe myself. I also struggled with some serious doubts and questions in my faith. I felt like, even though I wanted to, I couldn't really believe in anything firmly because I had too many doubts and far too many questions. So I felt like a fake, going to church and talking to my kids about God. But I wanted to be there and I wanted to have what I perceive other people to have. And honestly, I thought that I thought that God loved me, but I discovered that I never really did know it deep down. I thought that my inability to become closer to God was because of my doubts. I thought that God didn't really want me to be close or that I didn't deserve to be close to him because I couldn't say that I believed everything that I was supposed to believe without a doubt.

But it turns out, that wasn't it at all. It turns out that I had convinced myself so deeply that I was not good enough (for no particular reason at all) that I didn't think it was possible for God to love me like I've heard people say that he loves his children. I thought that it applied to everyone else, but I just wasn't good enough. No matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried I was never able to accomplish the relationship with God that I wanted. I was just using my doubts as an excuse.

About a week after I returned from the retreat (and things started to settle down around here), I was laying in bed praying one night and I realized there was silence in my head. Silence. The Voice had been silenced. I finally accepted God's love for myself and The Voice had nothing else to say about me. Because I know God loves me, and even if I never accomplish a single thing in my life ever again, God loves me. And the questions I have? They're still there. I still wonder and doubt. But that's okay, because it doesn't matter anymore. I realized that I don't have to know for sure every thing I wanted to know. Because I know the one thing that many people never get a chance to realize in this life. God loves me exactly as I am. And nothing I do or say or is going to add to that or take away from it. It's just there. And life will be much easier if I accept it and embrace it. And I have. Finally.

I have to end with a quote from one of the kids' Veggie Tales books:

God loves you, too, and he wants you to know, he's right there beside you, where ever you go.


KatieBug said...

What a powerful post! I am SO glad that you found that God's love applies to everyone... especially YOU!!

Kate said...

Wow! I can relate to the first part, but I'm not quite to the last bit. I'm glad to know it's possible.

And you are lovely. Those voices suck. Glad they're gone!

Beat Blackjack said...

The nice message