Losing My Religion

Queue R.E.M.!

This song reminds me of the ‘Grilled Cheesus” episode of GLEE.

Ok, but seriously, I was pretty fucking pissed at God when Sean died.

But then I realized something.

God didn’t kill Sean.

Sean killed Sean.

But still, I was faced with the question- Why would God let such a terrible thing happen to me?

It’s a question that many people ask themselves when something horrible, something out of their control happens. When Sean died the last thing I wanted to do was pray, or be prayed for and I DEFINITELY did not want to go to church.

What would I pray for? For my husband to be alive again? That none of this would ever have happened? Well, duh…but God and everyone else knew that those prayers would never be answered- so what’s the point? Furthermore, why would I want go to church and worship a God that clearly didn’t care enough about me to stop this from happening? Honestly, it’s the same reason I didn’t want to go to therapy for months after Sean died. I thought- what the hell could you possibly tell me? What could you possibly have to say to make me feel better about my situation? NOTHING.

But one day I woke up and decided- what the hell (pun intended)- I’ll go to church.

And so I went.

I went with my best friend to a Catholic church, since she’s Catholic and I was raised Catholic so that’s where I felt most comfortable.

It was not comfortable.

I didn’t know what to say, so much had changed since I’d last gone to mass and I felt so out of place. For the life of me I can’t remember what they talked about but it must have resonated with me because I decided to go back again and since then I’ve been going every week.

So, back to my original question of why God allows bad things to happen- I really don’t think it’s ‘part of God’s plan’. Let’s be honest here, if it was truly part of God’s plan for my best friend, my partner in life and the father of my unborn child to kill himself ….then God must be a real asshole. If the all-loving, all-knowing, merciful and just God is running the show then why is he doing such a shit job of it?

I have a couple thoughts on this; God permits as many good things to happen as he does bad- why does God permit happy marriages? The birth of healthy children? The simple answer would be that God wants us to be happy and in this explanation God would also want those suffering to be happy- so then why does he permit the suffering to continue?

To truly answer this question, we’d need to know God’s providential  plan…and I don’t presume to know that. When Jesus suffered his passion some of his last words were “Eli Eli lama sabachthani” or “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” Even the son of God questioned his role in God’s plan. Even Jesus didn’t get to know why…and if Jesus didn’t get to know why then you can bet that you and I sure as shit don’t get to know why terrible, tragic things are happening to us.

God never guaranteed a happy life for us, he never promised we would live a life without trials and tribulations. But he did promise paradise to those whom believe in him until they are called home. At mass this evening, Father Jack said that sometimes when you’re at rock bottom, when you don’t know what to do, when you are empty..don’t turn away from God. Because when you are empty, that means there is room for God to fill your life. Sometimes empty is good.

Empty makes room for change.

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