"It is not that I have a lack of faith, it is perhaps that I have a lack of trust in God."
My faith took a drastic change in 2004, right after my grandfather's passing.
I stopped praying, for I felt there was no one out there listening, I stopped caring that much about going to church, I felt empty whenever I stood there, listening to the sermon.
My grandfather's death struck me not only as sudden, and unexpected, but also as unfair. I felt cheated, as if God had taken him from me. Without warning. Even though I knew he was sick, and he didn't seem to be getting better, I wasn't aware as to how bad the cancer had gotten him. I was young and hopeful; my grandfather had already been a strong character in the novel that is my life. So when God decided it was his time to go, I became angry.
I became angry at God.
I had no room in my heart for Him anymore; I felt He didn't deserve my love, for He had hurt me and those close to me. My mother has always been close to God and the church; she tried and tried to help me get closer to my faith again, but I was stubborn. I had gone through a change, a change I couldn't come back from. I got lost in my thoughts and my anger--I felt I needed an answer, I felt I needed an explanation. However, there wasn't one. I started praying again but I got no answer. I kept hope alive, thinking that perhaps He would hear me and He would answer me.
I got no response...until a couple years later, when the angels came.
In my previous posts, I've talked about struggles with anger, struggles with vices, and some close calls I've had.
If there's one thing I've always believed in, it's been in angels. I've always tried to tread carefully through life, but as any other human being, I've encountered temptations and I've gotten reckless and careless. I've brushed with death plenty of times, and I've always attached luck towards me coming unscathed. I might have given up on God being around, but I always carried a cross around my neck, and around the mirror in my car. Perhaps I felt that with the cross around I was somehow protected, perhaps I felt like it had become a beacon of luck—a shield.
I don’t know; maybe I was just looking for an excuse to believe again. Maybe I was cheating myself—thinking that by surrounding myself with holy amulets that I could somehow become invincible. And I did so for the longest time; I felt untouchable. So my recklessness got out of control and I started to take things for granted.
I think at this moment God decided to come around. He decided I had ignored Him too long, and so when He came around, He came around knocking.
I had decided to drown my sorrows at the bottom of a bottle—another place where perhaps I could find the answers I was looking for. I am not sure. All I can say is that drinking had become an easy thing to do for me—perhaps too easy.
So I moved through life with the devil’s poison in my veins and a bulletproof vest made of lies and regret. Over the course of the years from after my grandfather’s passing until the most recent of years, I had moved onto a dangerous lifestyle and I had chosen to ignore all the red flags that God had set in front of me.
It was then that I had a drink with the devil.
I had lost sight of what was important in my life; I had chosen a self-destructive path over a loving one. I was neck-deep in situations out of my control and the only way for me to come up for air was to start over. Clean.
And I did. Perhaps I am still in doubts whether or not God is out there, but I do know one thing and that thing is that God, whether I think it or not, is somewhere. And by being somewhere he’s got angels looking out for me, and deep in my heart I know that one of those angels is my grandfather. However, because I know that God and his angels are out there somewhere, I am also fully aware, now more than ever, that Satan and the temptations are out there as well.
I just need to distinguish between them all.
And sometimes, doing just that, can be as hard as starting over.