Spiritually has really been a struggle for me these past eight or nine years. A complete oxymoron considering I am a preacher's kid, but it's true. Most of my life, I was inside of a church, yet I never actually had a connection to it. Whether it was bible study, usher board meeting, choir rehearsal, or whatever... I was there. Though I was just attending versus being attentive. My presence was out of upbringing as a child which spilled over into obligation in my adulthood. But it was when I turned 30, I asked myself... Do I believe in God? Is this a being I believe in because deep inside I know exist, or is this something that has been engrained into me? Like most black households, the rule in our house was you go to church on Sundays, period. Rain, sleet, or snow, we were walking through the doors on Sunday. Then after my mother moved to California, something happened.
My attendance started fluctuating. My alleged attentiveness began to disappear and my attending became more apparent.
In the beginning, my regularity was more so because of the "you go to church on Sundays" habit. And when I didn't go, I felt guilty for not attending. Honestly, I would even dodge speaking to my mother on Sundays to avoid her verbal reprimands for not attending. I was raised there, why wouldn't I attend? So like any good daughter, I would drag myself to church on Sundays. But then life started happening. I was ushered into my thirties with tragedy after tragedy—disappointment after the next. In those moments, I began to ask myself... where is God? Where is this person my mother drug me to church to believe in? I'd been raised to have faith and now that I've built up this mountain of faith (and using it by the way), where is this mysterious being?
As my journey into the third decade of my life continued, I tried quieting the noise in my head. The voice that kept screaming "God is not real" got louder, while my faith withered. Right along with my church attendance and the infamous tithing. I just couldn't justify showing up to a place I didn't feel connected to. I also couldn't bring myself to keep tithing and I'm unemployed and struggling. Where was all those blessings I was supposed to be receiving for tithing? For me I kept feeling like I'm showing up for God, but he's not showing up for me. If you would've asked the nine-year-old girl who went to church every Sunday — and sang in the choir—would she being in this place spiritually at thirty-seven—I would've told you no.
But I am here.
I'm in this place where I'm exhausted believing in God. For so long, I was terrified to say it aloud out of fear I would be judged. Speaking things like that is so taboo. Once I mentioned to my mother that if I had a friend that constantly let me down—always allowed bad stuff to happen—or even stood back while bad things happened and he/she could prevent it—why would I keep being friends with that person? I wouldn't. And she would advise me to distance myself from said person. So what's the difference with God? Why is he given a pass?
That's honestly been my struggle with having a relationship with God. I haven't been given anything to believe in. Why would I want to have a relationship with a being that had the power to prevent/stop bad things from happening, yet kept allowing it. It's no different from what black people are struggling with in regards to voting. What's the point of voting for either party and neither of them are really doing anything to help the black community? It doesn't make sense.
I'm not sure where to go from here. If I should throw it all to the wind or if I should continue believing. Either way, I'm on this road to self-discovery, and maybe, just maybe I'll find the answer and reason to believe.
Tell me... where are you spiritually?