I haven’t always been a committed believer in God, religion or a Higher Power. It has been an on-again-off again relationship for most of my life and only in my worst days, moments and trials would I go to Him to vent my frustration of how unfair of a life He had given me. I am a product of a disappointing childhood, miserable parents, traumatic experiences and an uncanny way of having bad luck follow me. I would yell and scream towards this invisible presence in my life and ask why He was making my existence so difficult and what life lessons did He want me to know. But He never answered me. So I thought.
I was born in the Caribbean’s, a warm and enchanting climate where the ocean is blue, salty and inviting. My memories of this enchantment are filled with horrible memories and right from the start, I felt that God had it out for me. My father was an invisible man who had taken off to a Canada and left his family behind. My mother was a strict parent who ruled with an iron fist and I try my best to forget those memories. I was just a child, born without my own permission to a life that I felt I was never prepared for.
I grew up worshipping God with my mother and siblings, being forced to sit every Sunday beside her, standing, sitting and praying along with a congregation of women, who wore funny hats. I spent most of these Sunday’s counting hats and sipping tea with people who I judged to be pretentious. I did enjoy pleasant summers of going to bible camp, paid in full by this congregation.
I never felt comfortable in my childhood or in the church and as soon as I was
mature unhappy enough, I rebelled like any confused young adult would. I wanted nothing to do with any God that had made my life so difficult and horrifying. I made sure, I told God my views on His life lessons, I was no longer interested in failing whatever tasks He had sent me. I refused to acknowledge the small blessings He had given me such as healthy children and street and book smarts. I attributed all my wins in life to myself and my partner and I never thanked God for his hand in making anything good happen.
As a young mother, who was tired of struggling through life I wanted to teach my children to think for themselves and to make their own conclusions on what they believed. One day my then eight year old son came to me and said “Mom, I want to go to church. I want to be baptized.” He had been a student of a catholic education all his life, because I wanted him to have a fair shot at making up his own mind.
So, began my journey back to God, church and religion. I sat beside my son on our first Sunday at church and felt proud that he figured out on his own terms what he wanted in this life. Our entire family, decided that we wanted to start our lives over and give it back to God. So, in 2008 we all excepted God into our lives and we celebrated with our extended family this momentous step.
Our excitement over our new life, didn’t last long. My children decided that they really didn’t want to sit among people and worship with them. I didn’t want to force them to sit with me every Sunday like my mother had done to me. I wanted to enstill in them the right to decide for themselves and to find their own God on their terms. I still hadn’t figured it out myself, so how could I expect them to. I wanted to believe in something and I knew that there was something out there that was bigger than myself and I wanted to be a part of it.
“As a matter of fact, it is not a question of God’s intentions towards us; but it is a question of whether we see Him through the crowds, whether or not we see Him and say, “If I may but only touch the hem of His garment…” And so it is not about our capacity for goodness; but it is about our being able to simply see His intentions of goodness for us.”
― C. JoyBell C.
So, over the years I would venture to church at my lowest points with a heart that was still questioning but a mind that was open. Then this summer, my family was shook to our knees, the forever dream that I had was a broken ruin. My relationship ended in the most devastating way, the one person I thought I could count on to protect and love me, betrayed me in the most horrible way. Through the tears stained on my cheeks and feelings of disbelief, I went searching for answers.
It was in this dark moment in my life, when I had nothing else to lose or to hold onto that God, showed himself to me. At first, His presence was small and at the time was not significant. My friend invited me to church with her and I went along for the ride, what else could I lose anyway. The experience was like no other than I had seen before and the presence of the people was exactly what I needed. There were no hats to count and I was absolutely comfortable praying to God for once, to look down on me with an open heart and mind. I wanted him to love me too, like he was loving everyone else.
And the miracle happened and he sent me on a wild goose chase to save my life. He refused to hand me anything on a silver platter and made me do most of the work. He not only made me find who He was but most of all he made me see how much strength, love and tenacity I still had inside of me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a difficult path, there were tears, joys and moments when I wanted to rebel and tell him, He was a fake and I was tired of suffering.
If you know God, then its pretty clear he doesn’t give up on anyone or let you give in to being a victim of anything. I found my God in the most horrible circumstance, after all these years of traumatic events, it took the falling apart after the loss of a relationship for me to realize that he has always been by my side. G.O.D.(Gifts On Daily) basis has found his way back in my heart and my life.