love

I know it’s been a while since I posted. Life is crazy.

I told my best friend (who is a pastor) that I was questioning my faith. Her response was a bit better than the one I got last time. She asked me a question that has had me thinking. She asked why I love my children. At first I thought she was looking for a biological explanation, so I gave her the reason why we have emotions, etc. That wasn’t what she was looking for. So I described their character and habits and all the things that make them fabulous individuals. That wasn’t what she was looking for either.

She wanted to talk about the gut feeling- the compelling, mother-y, indescribable bond that we feel towards our children or loved ones. Once I understood that was what we were talking about I said I couldn’t really explain it outside of the biological explanation I had given before. She didn’t seem to find the mechanics of how to be a good enough origin for what she feels. She told me that she feels that the depth of those emotions are evidence of God.

I am still chewing on it. I have never, even as a believer, ascribed my emotions to God or anything other than biology. I wonder if people have the impression that their love will be made smaller without God in it? I wonder if I think that? No. I don’t. Because I have been questioning God for months now, and I am still fiercely in love with my kids. I am fully committed and in love with my husband. I treasure my friends and family.

Doesn’t the lack of a deity make it all more precious? I still feel compelled to help people better their lives, even though I might not name this feeling as a “calling.” I do not think the emotional richness of my life has suffered since I began to question faith. Am I wrong? Is God in disguise? I don’t know.

In the end, she was very sweet. She said that life is a journey and that she knew God would be on it with me no matter where I went. Which is nice. 🙂 I think that if there is a God, he will be fine with me reading Dawkins and critically examining my beliefs. And if he’s not, then he’s probably not worth believing in anyway.

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2 thoughts on “love

  1. To me, it’s all opposite of your friend. When I was single there were aspects that I didn’t understand about God no matter how hard I tried. Christian women would tell me all about the similarities between marriage and salvation (Jesus) and that I would understand when I got married. When I did so at 31, I didn’t get it. In fact, in some ways, I was kind of let down. I had also heard many people talk about how we better understand God the Father when we become parents. I had Intellectual at 32, I wasn’t making much of a connection and still lacked great understanding when I had Nature Lover at 35. In fact, I got more pissed with God the longer I was a parent. I also went through a whole new set of issues regarding my painful childhood because parenthood craves another layer of healing from our own time as children and teens. I was upset because I wondered why the hell He would leave us alone to fend for ourselves since he had all the answers and could see everything. I do all kinds of things to keep my children safe, but my parents didn’t. Where was God all the while I was praying to him as a teenager and even as a little girl? Where was His kindness as I was being raised by Christian parents who hoarded all the attention? Yeah, being a mother changed me by encouraging me to ask questions I was too scared to ask for years. When no REAL answers were to be found I walked away.

    Honestly, your preacher friend sounds like most Christian moms I listened to for years. Love is love. I love my kids because I screw up an awful lot as a human being, but if I can love them no matter what they’ll know they can trust me. I show them love and tell them I love them ALL the time. When they do something well I tell them how proud I am of them and over what they specifically did. I make sure to listen and listen again. If a person needs God to love their child what will happen when they feel as though He failed them. Will they piss and moan like babies and become shitty parents?

    • I know what you mean. I don’t think my friend is like that (cause I love her dearly). But I have noticed that I just can’t let questions go unanswered now. Those questions you had deserved a real answer, and not a pithy saying about God and his wisdom or timing. I think the biggest change I have seen in the past months is my desire for answers. As I see it right now, that’s the difference between belief and non-belief.

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