What’s God got to do with it? Part II

Last night I met with the Pastor Melissa.  She didn’t have solid answers – I didn’t really expect her too – but she did say some things that made me think about our situation a little differently, which helped. Hopefully this will be helpful for those of you who sent me messages saying you felt the same way…on that note, thank you for all the comments and messages.  Even if we don’t agree, I really like to hear what everyone thinks – I didn’t start a blog because I like to keep how I feel a big secret 😉

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We started off by me just telling her a bit about what Teagan has been through in her short life – the double induction, not getting air right after my c-section, the cooling blanket.  How we thought the reason for her low muscle tone and delays was due to the lack of air, and the roller coaster of emotions we experienced being scared she had cerebral palsy, then relief when we found out the spot on her brain caused by lack of air was healed, and the plumet into a dark dark place when we found out on October 4, 2012 (our fourth anniversary), that the culprit was a genetic abnormality called Trisomy 12p.
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I told her I was pissed at God.  I told her I didn’t understand why he didn’t stop this from happening.  I told her that I look up at the sky and shout swear words at him.  I told her I felt like he was punishing her for something, when she is an innocent little child.  I asked her why he lets bad things happen.  I also asked her about her beliefs – does she believe in evolution or creationism, has she ever had any doubts, how does she know the bible isn’t just a bunch of stories people wrote to explain what they didn’t understand.  And mostly, I told her that believing in God was becoming a conscious decision I had to make, rather than just being the way it is.
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She listened.  After every question, she thought for a few seconds before answering.  The first thing she told me is that it is okay for me to be mad at God.  I can shout and swear at him all I want – he can handle it.  She also told me that he is not punishing Teagan, or me, or anyone…she said it was her personal belief that it is not God’s will that made this happen – but if there are people who think God makes everything happen for a reason, she would not try to take that belief away from them.
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She said that God is more powerful than anything we know, and he could have stopped it, but he didn’t, and she doesn’t know why.  She also doesn’t know why he didn’t stop a group of teenagers from our church from getting into an accident on 94 and dying recently.  She said she believes bad things happen because creation here is broken, and our world can be a terrible place – which is why we say “thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” in the Our Father – we are praying for him to come, for earth to resemble Heaven.  And we all have to do our part to make that happen.
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She told me that our job on earth is to let God’s light shine through us and heal others (I feel that this is a good lesson whether you believe in God or not), and that for me, that healing task can be taken literally, with the therapies and special learning techniques we are always working on with Teagan.  Even though I didn’t leave with answers, it was nice to have someone who is an expert on God listen and share their views.  I really appreciated how much she listened and thought, rather than just spewing lessons at me, and how logical she seemed to be about it.
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As far as things that don’t have to do directly with our situation…she said people think creationism and evolution have to be mutually exclusive, which she doesn’t agree with (another reason why I like her so much – “I don’t agree with”, not “that’s not true”).  There is no denying natural selection and evolution, but she does not believe everything came from one cell with science and nothing else.  I can get behind that.  She said we believe the bible to be true because different texts came from different places in the world and match pretty well – also, that they were stories told from generation to generation before they were written down.  Still kind of iffy on this one – but I think I am going to read it (get excited for that blog post ;-).  And the big one, why doesn’t God stop bad people…because one of his gifts to us, that he would be taking away, is free will.  If God just “made” people be nice to each other, instead of it being a choice, we wouldn’t have free will.  And if he stopped only the activities or people who are bad, we would find new ways, or new people who would be bad.  That one is going to make me think for a while.
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My last question of our meeting was, what do I do when I feel my faith slipping.  She said keep making the choice to believe, read the psalms (apparently there are lots of people yelling at God in there), and think about the things that make me talk to God – whether I’m asking him for help or thanking him.  And to not let the devil, demons, what have you twist the knife when I’m having a bad day.  So that is what I will do for now.
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And Mom – you’d be so proud, I did not tell her I was going to start my own religion 😉  I wonder if that bishop remembers 10 year old me?
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5 responses to “What’s God got to do with it? Part II

  1. Maryellyn

    Your pastor sounds like an intelligent person who has given a lot of thought to her beliefs. I think I would like her a lot. Many people in the bible get mad at God- we get mad at the people we love- that doesn’t stop us from loving them, or him loving us.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Kathleen. I’ve had a lot of questions like yours over the last few years as well. What do you think the Pastor meant when she said “Creation here is broken”?

    The thing that I struggle with the most is that I know that If I were born into a islamic family I’d follow islam, if I were born into a hindu family I’d be a hindu. If I lived thousands of years ago I’d likely follow the pagan gods or Thor if I was a viking. So given that there have been 3000 or so Gods throughout time, how do we know that the Christian God is the one true God to follow? Are innocent kids who were born into another faith going to hell because they haven’t accepted Jesus? Or are Christians going to hell because they choose not to believe in the thousands of other gods who have their own version of hell. Do the uncontacted tribes in the world go to hell just because they have never been exposed to Christianity?

    Some people try to make sense of the violence and natural disasters that happen here on earth but then why has their been a huge storm on Jupiter for thousands or millions of years? Who is God punishing there? I don’t know if there’s a god or not but what I do know is that morality doesn’t have to be associated with believing a god or a specific religion. We should be good people while were here without any expectation of being rewarded in the afterlife.

    Sorry for the rant, I just have been thinking a lot about this stuff and rarely find other who are asking the same questions (i believe many are but I just never know who they are!).

  3. Hi Chris – I can’t remember exactly, but it had to do with the choices people make. Going back to the apple in the Garden of Eden, and now, to sin, to do wrong by each other, etc. – again, about free will. I agree with you, people should being good here regardless of what happens after. Have you seen this interview with the dude from Penn and Teller? He talks about how he doesn’t believe in God, so he rapes and murders all he wants…and the amount he wants is zero. http://theinterrobang.com/2012/04/penn-jillette-morality-without-religion/

    Re: your paragraph about all the different Gods and choosing the right one…I used to think exactly like that, and ask those same questions. What if Buddha was the way to go, but because I was born in the US, the chances I’ve had exposure to Buddhism or Hinduism are very low (I so hope I’m using the right religions there). I can’t believe I’m about to quote Chris Rock, but in Dogma he says something along the lines of “It doesn’t matter what faith you have, as long as you have faith.” I don’t believe God as I was raised knowing him would send people to hell because of geography, or choices their ancestors made.

    I think you’re right about people asking questions…since I wrote these last two blog posts, I’ve gotten so many emails from people saying thank you for asking questions they were thinking, either because they had a life-changing situation, or just because they have been wondering.

  4. Pat Reese

    Your pastor sounds wonderful! And I’ve been in the same boat as you, yelling at God because things have gone wrong in my life. But the nice part is, He can handle it. And he loves us just the way we are.

  5. Pingback: Triso-wha??? | Rocking Lion

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