10 Things I Learned When God Abandoned Me
A year ago this month I woke up terrified. When I think about it, I can feel the experience as if it just happened. I had this huge emptiness that who I was was missing and I didn’t know how to find it or get it back. I silently panicked inside as I searched for the part of me that felt like it had died. I was certain the feelings would pass and god would come back….but he never did.
See, who I was, was a child of God — a Christian to the core — that was my entire identity. My mission in life, since I whole-heartedly accepted it, was to serve him and him only with my entire being and all my resources ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, so that I could glorify HIM ALONE and hear “well done, good and faithful servant…” when I died.
But then it happened…similar to the feeling when a child gets lost from their parent in a store and freaks out thinking it’s the end of the world, or when CPS takes a child from their parents (while abusive, it’s the only attachment they’ve ever known), or when a parent unexpectedly dies…feelings of dread and existential crisis swept over me.
I looked at my life in terror as god and my entire identity jumped into a black hole, without warning, and disappeared from life forever.
The fear of mine that he would stay gone forever cut me like a sharp knife as I searched my mind to find what could have happened to make him leave me when I was searching for him with all my heart. I had pursued him my entire life and when I needed him most he just vanished!? What’s up with that!? Who jumps ship leaving their child to figure things out on their own without a peep or sign of existence.?!?!?!? As a loving parent, I could never abandon my child like that. I may give them a moment to explore and maybe shake things up. But not for days or weeks. Certainly not months or years.
No matter how many times I tried to tell many of my still-believing friends and family that I did not leave god, he left me, and that I didn’t make this decision to leave my faith, it suddenly left me…and that I wasn’t running from god…the majority of them couldn’t and still can’t grasp my reality, because it’s not theirs to grasp. I could reason and argue until I’m blue in the face and they still wouldn’t get it because it doesn’t match their story or their paradigm.
They are literally not able to see things from my perspective on this situation. And that’s okay (at the time it didn’t feel okay). They don’t have to. It’s not their story. It’s mine. Their denial of my experience does not for a second negate my reality. It only speaks of their perception and what’s true for them. They don’t have to agree with me or see what I see to validate my experience and make it true for me. My life doesn’t depend on their approval or assurance.
What happened to me doesn’t happen to most people. But it has certainly happened to a lot of us, making us an incredible, much needed community of support for each other. A shift as large as what I have experienced over the last year has made me stronger than I ever imagined I could be. It has built in me a resilience toward struggle that tells me I can work through anything and come out stronger.
Abandonment by god has taught me so many things.
1. What I thought was god was not god — it was a story or perception in my head…and the core of who I am is still there. Some people might call it god, but since everybody’s story of their own reality is based on their own paradigms and perceptions, the core of me doesn’t line up with my previous definition of god.
2. I can trust myself. Because what I once thought was a god who was separate from me was actually my inner voice. It was the original, real me. And I can trust what it tells me because it knows me well…because it is me. Maybe it’s divine maybe it’s not. But it’s me. 100%.
3. We believe the stories we are taught as children are true because we are told they are true. Our parents and environments create our reality and we have little to no control over that when our minds are forming as infants, toddlers, and young children. We become a product of the environment we are born into. If I was born to a Muslim or Hindu family, that would be my mindset. I would fully believe their stories and perspective on life. It’s that simple.
4. It’s not as terrifying as I originally thought it was. I am okay. I am safe. Life is not a story about how horrible and in need of salvation I am, or that I must make the right choices and pray the right prayers to the right god and follow him or suffer in hell for eternity.
5. My religion was fear based. As a toddler I was conditioned to believe that if I didn’t fear god and give my life to him, I would suffer in hell forever. So I better ask Jesus into my heart just in case. Fire insurance. This traumatized me from the age of three throughout my entire childhood. I lived in constant anxiety of this very real feeling dilemma of did I say the right words and did god accept my prayer…and am I really saved because I sinned again and Christians aren’t supposed to continually struggle with sin if they’re really saved, because they’ve been crucified with Christ and don’t want to keep doing wrong.
6. Atheists and agnostics are amazing, good people. They’ve shown me more care, compassion, acceptance, and understanding than most of the Christian community In my struggle of abandonment by god. People are naturally good.
7. We are born good. Over time I think our pain can cause us to take different paths, but every human wants and needs love and acceptance. They crave significance. They search for goodness and peace in their hearts. I see so much good in humanity.
8. I have always had the answers within me. I do not need to look to a person or authority outside of myself for answers or approval. I am whole.
9. There’s no reason to fear life without the Christian god or the Christian path. There are many paths. Choose your adventure. Trust your experience.
10. I get to create meaning with my life. It will be whatever I choose. Nothing more, nothing less.
I am not scared anymore. I am not sad about where I'm at. Life is good. I get to create it. From that perspective, it’s fun and exciting. There are no limits, other than the limits I give it.
One of my purposes in life is to help others create what they want in their life too. As humans, we have amazing potential and possibility. There is so much we can do and accomplish. Life can be so rewarding and fulfilling, with or without faith, when we drop our expectations of what life MUST be like.
Tell me about you - leave a comment or message me - what did abandonment by god teach YOU?
If you haven't already, subscribe to my website at the top of this page so you don't miss any new information coming from my site :). I won't spam you - who has time for that!? And you can unsubscribe at any time :).