I do not feel God anywhere today. I felt Him on Sunday and when I woke up on Monday I was grateful for my entire life, which I haven’t felt grateful for in a very long time, but today? Nothing.
I went to therapy and Mass today…… and nothing. I feel just blank. I’m not angry, sad or happy. I do feel sleepy, but if I were to place all my bets on there being a God based on how I feel today, I would bet that there isn’t. I know that He exists though. I know because of what He has done for me in the past and for all the times that I have felt Him around me. It’s so bad that I’ve tried to write this post three times and I keep erasing what I have and starting over, because I just don’t know how to word it.
It happens a lot, not “feeling God”. I don’t know if it’s normal, but I would say that for the first two years after my conversion I felt God everywhere. There were a lot of miracles in my life, my wedding day (which was awesome) and the first year of marriage was great. I really felt as if God was spoiling me. And theeen….. what had happened was that I got spoiled rotten and I started to use everything God had given me as an excuse to look down on others. I was very judgmental and not just towards other people, but towards the old me. I worked really hard to not be that person, because she was bad, and this new me was “good“.
That lasted for about a year and then the year from hell began. It started last year right when I thought that everything was about to finally get better. My husband and I had a great weekend that ended with a nice dinner for his birthday on Sunday. The following Monday I woke up to him telling me that our employee had passed away alone at home that weekend and had been found early in the morning. After losing both his parents, two tours overseas as a civilian contractor, losing his grandma and just life ( a lot of crap happened to us) losing Warren was the straw that broke the damn. The last year has been the hardest of my life.(my husband’s too, but that is his story to tell, I can only tell mine.)
I think that what I have learned more than anything this past year is faith. Real, concrete, have it when everything sucks, faith. I get tiny glimpses of God like I did when I first had my conversion and I love the memories of those days, like the walk in Rome and my wedding day, but on the day-to-day…. I do not have that amazing feeling of Grace flowing from my head to my toes. I get tiny zaps of it after some confessions and during Mass a little here and there, but it is always fleeting. I feel like they are tiny breaks that God allows because He knows without them that I will just lay down and give up on life.
It wasn’t until today that I realized all of it is meant to bring me closer to God. I guess that I really thought I wasn’t good enough and that is why God was “hiding” from me for lack of a better way of putting it. The truth is that when I am not so in my feelings, I can actually focus on God and on our relationship. It helps me to learn how to love God as well as how to love myself, my kids and my husband.
It is really easy to love when life is great. When there is money and I can do whatever I want and go on vacation when I want. I don’t know if that is the case for everyone, but for me, I know that when I had everything I could have asked for, I was very loving. But the minute there is any kind of discomfort for me, then I’m out. I will move on to the next thing that will make me happy. The thing about being Catholic is that only being faithful when I want to be isn’t possible. It’s all or nothing.
Nobody needs a marriage to stay with someone when things are good. That isn’t what marriage is really for on some level. (I know that there are many reasons for marriage, just FYI) A lot of people think that you marry someone to live happily ever after and that is a problem because nobody has to be told to stay with someone when things are good. What I need is a reason to stay when things aren’t perfect for me, because I am a selfish brat. Same goes for staying with God. Being Catholic keeps me faithful even when I feel nothing, because my faith isn’t based on what I feel at any given moment, but it is rooted in Jesus who is the same no matter what. Jesus, my Lord, my God who loved me so much that He died on a cross to open the gates of Heaven for me by paying the price for each one of my sins. That is Who my faith is rooted in. I know He is real, alive and walking with me every single day, even if I feel alone.
My life with Christ and my life with my husband run parallel to each other and I think that is part of God’s great plan for my life because He knew that I would need to love someone in the flesh to understand how to love Him. He gave me my children to teach me how He loves me, and my husband to teach me how to love Him back.
We are so addicted to our own positive experiences of joy and happiness that if we experienced Christ more joyfully than we do, we would almost inevitably come to love our experience of Christ more than Christ Himself. We would come to worship our experience, that is, ourselves. – Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock