My relationship with God is complicated. Or simple, depending on how you look at it.
Although it’s been a while since I’ve been to church, I talk to God every day. Some days, I talk to God all day long.
If God is truly present everywhere and at all times, then based on that logic, I don’t need a church or an appointment to talk to Him.
Am I done with formal religion? I don’t know.
What I do know is that my life, in its current status, is not welcomed in my church. I’m breaking a sacrament. I’m considered somewhat of a “giver upper.”
The last time I went to church, the sermon almost brought me to tears. It was my first time attending since the separation and I went alone.
With my lip quivering, I listened to the scolding lecture. I braced myself as each word smacked me square in the face. It was as if the sermon was written exclusively for me and because of me.
Leaving your marriage is wrong.
Breaking up the family unit is wrong.
If you give up on your marriage, you give up on God.
I went to church looking for strength and left feeling as if I had failed as a wife, as a mother and as a Christian. It was a theological punch to the gut.
Despite the rules of my religion, I know God loves me. And He’s been there during the deepest, darkest moments of my life.
He was there in 1996 when I had my first seizure. He was there in 2001 when the epidural sent me into cardiac arrest; then later that night when my body hemorrhaged from the emergency C-section. And He was there in 2010 when the doctor said the tests were negative for cancer.
So it’s been a very personal relationship, this thing between me and God. One-on-one sessions, kind of like therapy, but free!
Unlike the not-so-free therapy, our sessions take place wherever and whenever I need Him. In my car, as I sit in my big chair or in the back patio.
His voice and presence is unmistakable during the most tumultuous times. The days that find me balled up on the bathroom floor, crying and praying for the strength to make it through another day is when I feel God’s love the most.
Without fail, He extends his hand to me and I take it.
These days, our sessions rarely take place in a cathedral-like building adorned with beautiful paintings and saints. Yes, it’s a beautiful church. Yes, it’s a beautiful religion. But my relationship with God is so much more than that.
My relationship with God can’t be contained inside this church or that church. And it can’t be restrained within the rules of this religion or that religion.
To be clear, it’s not my intention to use this space as a forum to debate religion. You can take that somewhere else. This is merely a self-reflection at the highest level about my own spirituality and discovery on this new journey.
So I ask myself again: Am I really done with religion? I don’t know.
But this I know: I’m not done with God and He’s not done with me.