It rained all day today. I engaged in some silly Facebook arguments about whether or not the New England Patriots and all their fans were cheaters. I meant to get a book read, or at the least get a sizable chunk of it read, but I didn't. I allowed myself to be distracted all day long.
I'm feeling lost in regards to faith. I want to be able to elaborate in some kind of articulate way, and yet I struggle to do so. Sometimes, even for a writer with a sizable vocabulary, there are just no words. Perhaps it was subconscious, my delaying in regards to reading, because the book I have scheduled to read next is a biography about a missionary during WW2. I'm wondering if I can tolerate it.
All my life, I've wanted to be devout. I sat in baby bear chairs and paid close attention to all the flannel graph stories in my Sunday school classes. I cut my teeth on wooden pews hearing people sing hymns and praise songs and getting filled with the Holy Ghost. I remember accumulating gold stars for attendance and getting points for correctly answered questions until, finally, I won the big, coveted reward. I peeled open the wrapping paper to discover my very own Children's Bible Trivia game. To this day, I not so humbly submit that I can kick your ass in Bible trivia.
My mother tucked me into bed every single night and always encouraged me to say my prayers, and I always did, even after I grew up and moved out and took care of babies of my own. I typically fall asleep talking to God.
But it all rings hallow to me, and I wonder if it is because I am sick or in spite of it.
I wish I had die-hard faith. Sometimes I think I do, because I choose to believe even though I don't always feel it, and I don't think faith is a feeling. But sometimes, my thoughts run dark.
There have been times in my life I would have told you I was sure I had heard the voice of God, either directly or indirectly. And then other times, though I have screamed and ached and cried out with everything I had, I couldn't hear a damn thing. The problem is that when I think of all the reasons church folks give for God's apparent absence, they all fall flat to me.
I am a mother. If my baby was hurting or sick or lonely or struggling, and I was able to do anything at all to alleviate their suffering, I would. I realize I am just a fallen, finite human being. I can hear churchy people telling me, drilling it into my head, that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways not our ways. I can have a conversation with my own self in these kinds of cliches; circular reasoning as some would call it. But I can't, for the life of me, make it all make sense. And I don't have any answers, at least for the time being, so all I can do is stay open and honest and tell my own story. That has to be enough for now, and even if it isn't, it's all I have to offer.
I filed my taxes today. I'm looking very much to driving down to Florida next weekend and spending time with my mom, my step-dad and his elderly father, and my sister and her new boyfriend. I wish my brother was able to come too. I don't know if I will ever get over the fact that I come from a divorced background, it always feels fragmented and less than whole, like you can't have all your favorite people in the same room because they might kill one another, so you have to keep them separate and love them all individually, and sometimes that takes a helluva lot more energy than I feel I have... But I've come to grips with it.
I like, no, I actually love my step-dad, and that's really huge progress.
For now, I'm just happy it's Friday which means tomorrow is Saturday and I can sleep in with my husband's warm body in the bed next to me. He will snore too loud and I will poke him and he will roll over and I will be grateful to have a man I know and love this well. Come morning, we can linger over coffee. Maybe I'll crack open this biography. Or maybe not. We'll see.