MY SRUGGLES ABOUT GOD

What I’ve been reading about blogs lately is that sometimes you need to make a post where you are afraid to push the publish button. Here is the first one where I’ve been scared to post this blog.

I asked what my readers wanted and they replied they wanted me. Here it becomes tricky. Do I make myself vulnerable by talking about my faith struggle? That’s what’s central to who I am. Religious faith has always been important to me. I have changed my beliefs over the years. I was brought up Presbyterian and went to a Baptist church for a while. Finally going back to a Presbyterian church and now to Unity, but I still don’t know if I’ve found what I’m looking for. Do I open myself to controversy and talk about how far away from God I feel these days? Will that help you somehow? Will my story give you inspiration or strengthen your faith? I hope so.

I start my day with devotions out of Unity’s Daily Word and the Daily Guideposts. But it’s basically a habit. I rarely follow them up with prayer. In fact my prayer life has dried up. I noticed this desert long ago but have done little to water it except to pray a prayer of thanks once in a while. This morning I prayed ‘please make me more grateful’. I take my happy life for granted. Even my back, which has a disabling condition, has given me days where I’m pain free and I take it for granted. I rarely count my blessings. You would say no wonder you feel far away from God. You’re ungrateful.

Awhile ago a group I belong to had started rereading the text in ACIM (A Course in Miracles). We had finally finished the first reading after almost two years in a Tuesday night book reading. Some of us had begun the workbook. I had reached lesson 75 when my mother died and at the same time my step daughter had told me off. She told me in no uncertain terms what a nice person I was not. And there were some other stressors that summer, too. I stopped with the workbook lessons; probably when I needed them the most.

I had seen my image of God altered that year, reading and discussing the ACIM text and doing the workbook lessons. Now I didn’t have a God that was interested in the minutiae of my daily life. I’m not sure what my image of God is now but it’s not what carried me through the last thirty years. Instead of praying ‘to’ Him, I learned I should be meditating and letting Him ‘speak to’ me. I know all the techniques of meditating and do on occasion but not as a regular thing. One of my New Years resolutions was to make it a daily spiritual practice. I guess I lack discipline because I haven’t done that. Not even a feeble attempt. I keep trying to pray to a God that’s changed for me.

Have you had a spiritual crisis in your life or a time when you needed God but didn’t know how to reach Him? What works for you now? What is your daily spiritual practice?

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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9 Responses to MY SRUGGLES ABOUT GOD

  1. Clar,
    What a beautiful and sensitive topic. My heart goes out to you.
    First, I have a warning to share with you. Be careful how you phrase your requests in prayer. God hears us and responds but not usually in the way we would prefer. For instance, if you ask to be more grateful God will provide you with opportunities to show gratitude. He will not bathe you in the feeling out of the blue. Beware of asking for patience or strenth. If you that youwill be faced with challanges that allow you to develop patience or strength. From what I know of you, you are strong enough already. (How do you get strong? By repeatedly lifting heavier weight. You don’t want that.)

    Have I suffered a crises of faith? Yes. When my sister was murdered. I write about it in my short story, Dying Faith. I’ll post it on my blog tomorrow for you and others to read.

    Now when I say my prayers each night I always include this request, “Show me the path you want me to take.” The path is often bumpy and full of unexpected curves but I always arrive at a place I know should be visiting.

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    • Thank you, Bobbi for the well thought out response. Thank you for the advice and for the compliment. I will look forward to your blog tomorrow on ‘Dying Faith’. It promises to be as sensitive as this topic seems.

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  2. I had a quite a few posts where I mulled over the “post” button for minutes, hours and in some cases for months. But when I did post them, a few folks really loved my passion in writing that. There were many who could identify with that topic.

    Writers are also humans, and as ego centric writer I believe we have even more troubles than normal humans 🙂 It’s great when these kind of posts come out, brings out a human touch to our character.

    I’m a very non-religious Hindu. I give very little heed to practices and rules. I have a simple belief – God is within. Call to him ONLY when it’s beyond capability. You were born with a spiritual energy. Use it in service to others, simple acts of kindness. First, understand yourself before you try to understand God. You don’t need belief, a quite acceptance that he (sometimes she for us) is there.

    I’m telling myself to meditate for the last few months, but never got down to it. I tried recently and managed to meditate for just 2 minutes and that felt like a long time. Hopeless?

    I read a bloggers quest to actively meditate for a month. Maybe that will help you.
    http://sethigherstandards.com/2010/04/09/30-day-meditation-challenge-complete/

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thank you, Keshav for your comment. I don’t think you are a hopeless meditator (is that even a word?). I just think you have other priorities. I looked at the link you sent me. Very interesting. It does make one want to try meditating again doesn’t it? I find I have very little alone time and need to go to a cold room to meditate, I had forgotten I could use a blanket. I think it will help me. thanks again, Clar

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  3. Clar,
    Over the years my notion of God has changed. My beliefs started out as run-of-the-mill protestant (Baptist and Methodist mostly) Sunday school. In late teenage years my world became larger than the world of Bible stories and I found it necessary to keep remaking God to fit the world, the newer and more mature world, I actually lived in.
    At this point a theistic God no longer has a place in my life. I cannot point to any “crisis” that precipitated this. The problems that I’ve had in life met me without the guiding hand of God or Satan playing a part. It’s just been life. Likewise the richness that has befallen me comes from life itself.
    I stand now as an atheist Christian. That I have no personal God to whom I can issue thanks or pleas or inquiries does not diminish my gratitude, my longings or my curiosity.
    By whatever path you might take, I hope that you find yourself in a spiritual state as comfortable for you as mine now is for me.
    –Dave

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thank you, Dave for your explanation of your faith path and your hopes for me. I am still learning about what my faith path entails. I still believe in that Divine Being that words are too small to explain and our minds are too small to fully understand. I do remember when my late husband died, I had a similar time with questions. Thanks for sharing how you came to be an atheist Christian, the term makes me have more questions about what that actually is.

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  4. jannatwrites says:

    First of all, I like your new theme…and I’m glad to see you were able to get your photo in the right pane (I know that was a ‘pain’ to do.) I know…very bad pun, but cut me some slack; it’s late 🙂

    I fear that I may be committing blog suicide by posting about my spiritual path on Sundays. But it’s something I had to do for me. I had a wise person comment on my last post that I shoudl write and my intended audience will appear. It sounds like good advice to pass along to you.

    My biggest problem is that I don’t seek God until I’m at a crossroads. I still don’t know what His purpose for my life is, but I just feel like I’m not on track.

    Good luck with your journey…And have faith that the your posts will find the intended audience.

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  5. widdershins says:

    Great post Clar… what’s the point of writing these blogs if we’re not authentic?

    … my God isn’t a ‘He’ nor is She part of a faith and doctrine that I must follow in order to achieve nearness to Her …. She’s around me in all things, in all that I experience… and sometimes She’s a bitch! … meaning, of course, that I seldom get my own way if She has something else in mind… but we work on our relationship… sometimes I hang out with her (intentionally and regularly meditating) and sometimes I just ‘do’ with the knowledge that she’s keeping an occasional eye on me.

    @Janna…. I know what you mean about the Purpose thing…. I usually get mine with a generous helping of hindsight, but with practice and observing, I’ve managed to cut the time-delay down to almost nothing, and sometimes I can even see ahead when a crossroads (or a brick wall) is looming. (Not that I don’t whack my chin on it with alarming regularity though – its a process I guess **dramatic sigh**)

    Oh yeah… and what Bobbie says?…. not getting the details right is just asking for a kick in the bum! …. we’re protected in our innocence, but once we have the knowledge, once we understand, then She/He requires of us that we pay attention.

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  6. Yes, I had forgotten that I had to work on my relationship with Mother/Father/God/Source or whatever our measly little minds want to call that Divine Power. I needed to be reminded “that there was no spot that God was not”. That if I want to grow in faith I needed to” knock on the door and it would be opened”. I have gotten very lazy. I just need to get off my “bum”. Growth doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s not one sided. I know I need to ‘hang out’ with Her more. There’s just some resistance that I can’t put my finger on. I think I’ll read the book by Jon Mundy about “Living a Course in Miracles”.I think that will tell me more about what I’m going through. Thank you for your comment.

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