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Returning to God Dinah

Posted by HannahW on September 16, 2003, at 12:13:47

In reply to Re: Dinah Others--Religion in Therapy HannahW, posted by Dinah on September 15, 2003, at 16:29:57

I've spent the last 15 years believing, but not really acting on my faith, so I can imagine what those 15 years of agnosticism were like for you.

After my first few years of passionate belief, church for my husband and I became largely social. Although it was important to us to like the pastor's preaching style and the worship music, first and foremost in our minds was whether there was a group of people our age that we could socialize with and relate to. We bounced around from church to church, looking for the right mix. We finally settled on one, but have only been to it a couple of times.

Now, (and this is a relatively new experience for me) I feel like a fake for being at church. The church we chose is pretty charismatic, and the worship music is an intensely important part of the service. I love to sing, and I used to love to worship. But now, when we sing songs that essentially say, "God, you're my everything, I completely surrender to you..." etc. I feel like I'm lying to God. So I sing the words of the song without really feeling them, and feel empty instead. Maybe I would do well to go to a more conservative church for a while, where they only sing hymns. If I can get back that foundational faith, then I think the personal relationship part will follow.

But where do I get back that foundational faith? A logical answer would be to pray for it, but I'm still questioning whether God even hears my prayers, and if he does, whether he cares. I think I have pretty much resolved that question for myself that God exists--for the same reasons you described. The universe just makes no sense if there was not a master plan. Some people use nature to disprove God, but I think it does the opposite. Still, I can say he exists, but I don't have much conviction about it. I wish I could feel with every bone in my body that he at least exists, even if I can't feel his presence. I want to be able to shout from the mountaintop that GOD EXISTS! Maybe a good place to start would be to go hiking and take note of the beauty of nature, and how it must be a reflection of the beauty of God. To remind myself that such beauty can not be a cosmic accident, or even a careless creation of God, but must have been carefully and lovingly created. And if he carefully and lovingly created the earth, it seems likely that he carefully and lovingly created people. And I'm one of those people. Hmmm...I might be on to something here.

Your post was very well articulated, and I can tell that you put a lot of thought into it. Thank you so much for making that effort. I truly admire the journey that you've made, both spiritually and in therapy. I'm hopeful that I can get there myself.

In my cynical state, I have begun to allow myself to take God's name in vain, which I've NEVER done. If I wind up reconnecting with God, I'll struggle with that guilt. Sins directly against God seem worse than other sins, although lots of people would say that's not true. I'm already feeling regret that I've crossed that line. But that's a good sign! It implies that I believe in God, recognize my sin, and desire forgiveness.
Without getting unreasonably optimistic, maybe I'm on my way!


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poster:HannahW thread:260356
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faith/20030908/msgs/260640.html