The God Issue…

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God….is a four letter word to many I know. God is a loaded word in the world I live in. Already I feel panicked about writing so honestly….deep breath Kat. During the past year, especially, I have discovered that God is real, God exists and is God is a personal being that I can get to know. Not only can I get to know this God, but this God being has a deep and personal love for me and all my life I never knew that. Yet, I don’t feel free to say that I am having a relationship with God…or that I feel love for God…or that I believe in God – not the “Universe”. Why? Because I am afraid to be judged, to be considered loopy, an idiot or worse “needy for help because I’m unfulfilled” and “religious” (the worst put down). Well, yeah, I am unfulfilled. My life is an unfinished work. My heart is still slowly filling. I’ve had caner for Gods-sake!! No one who has cancer can be fool enough to honestly say “but my I’m soooo happy with my life”!!

But, I’ve discovered that between my own soul-driven pleasures (that are God given ways to enjoy my life), and God’s love for me, I feel more fulfilled. I feel less fulfilled without God’s love and presence in my life…and it’s taken me 46 years to discover this Truth. So I guess that accusation is true and I have to ‘wear’ it.

 In writing this, I feel like I’m “outing” myself, because in my world, God is a dirty word; God is almost Taboo. Yet, I am not religious, not a Christian, not an “anything” but a believer. A believer in God……but not a believer in Jesus as my saviour and gateway to God. 

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It is hard for me to publicly state that. Many of my dear friends are Christians and I love them and love their faith, their warm hearts, their love for God. They have a relationship with God deeper, stronger, more connected than mine in many ways. Yet, I cannot believe to connect with God I need Jesus. This is a terrible blasphemy to some, a bad admission, but when I long for God I feel… God. If I talk to Jesus I don’t feel or connect to God, I connect to Jesus. That is all the information I need about God. God is God, Jesus is Jesus. I easily feel God’s love, care, wisdom and communication toward me without Jesus as the middle man. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissin’ Jesus. Jesus is awesome, an incredible role model, totally worth getting to know…. but God has shown me that Jesus is not my gateway to God. i have a direst line…and I reckon so does everyone. So I can’t bring myself to worship Jesus. To thank him, love him, recognise what he has given the world, yes. but worship in place of God or the same as God… this just feels wrong to me (by the way, I have met a man who claims to be Jesus, Yeshua, yet I’m not convinced – and as I write this I can see that I need “convincing”. If you’re interested to investigate, his name is AJ Miller, check out divinetruth.com. There is some great stuff on God there for sure; decide for yourself).

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See, now I have “outed” myself and that is scary. I love going to some churches, like Hillsong, because their love for God is so public, so passionate, so alive that I feel this incredible PERMISSION to pour out my love for God in a beautiful song and I feel such a FREEDOM to unleash this part of me with people who know God personally. It’s like when you have a baby; parents all around you nod at you knowingly, because they know that before your baby you didn’t know how they felt or how you would feel and its all all ’round non-verbal understanding of something you now share at a deeper level as human beings. Going to a Pentecostal church was like that for me. These people so get that I cry when I feel overwhelmed with God’s love and sing my little heart out, that they smile knowingly. They know that loving God back in a song is heavenly. We share something that needs no words. They get me. So I guess I need to be “got”. There is something really good and addictive in that feeling of belonging. I do like it.

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Many years ago, Russell and I went on a backpacking honeymoon throughout Asia and spent 2 months in India. India was a revelation in terms of God. Not only that there are gazillions of Gods to worship, and that you can pick a God to serve any purpose you want (a la carte God), which was funny.

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But that God was such an accepted and entrenched part of their life and their culture and their ways every day that not to have God was absurd to them. I felt so liberated in that society, even though at the time I did not believe in God and did believe in the “universe” and the new age philosophy that “I-am -God-I-just-don’t-know-it-yet”! I distinctly remember the feeling that “I am completely free to talk about God, to believe in God, to relate to God” without being judged, ridiculed or criticised. And it was then that I noticed this difference between Australia and Asia. Asian’s looked at me in horror when I said that I didn’t believe in God. To them it was like I was missing a limb….or was missing something fundamental to life and worse, had actively rejected this special something. Our society felt god-less.

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As a child, I was raised Catholic. As a girl, I loved God, loved Jesus (as I knew him to be biblically) and loved it that Jesus loved me, because I often felt my parents didn’t and they were mean, he was not. Wind the clock forward 10 more years to my late teens and I hated God, hated religion, hated Catholics. So I rejected God, not knowing I was throwing out the baby with the proverbial bath water, and that what I needed to do was reject the people’s hypocritical behaviour and see it as not-god-sanctioned, but as their choices. I believed that how the Nuns, Priests, Brothers behaved was not as God wanted and what kind of stupid God would stand back and allow this sh$%#@t to go on?! I was so angry with God for allowing them to be so mean, so unloving, so unGodlike. 

Now I know that the problem was my understanding of God. I had no idea that God allowed free will the way he does (yes, at the moment God to me is mostly a He and occasionally I feel “her” but not too often yet), and that those people would answer to God and not to me. I had no idea that love GAVE first, and that if love wasn’t coming my way that it was a good idea to give it, not to get cranky that I didn’t “get” it! There was so l little love in my life that my teachers – nuns, priests, brothers – were just another bunch of adult idiots that refused to show love when they were supposed to. I gave up on religion, on god, on people, on love.

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Roll forward a few decades…I loved coming across the “universe” as God as it didn’t involve a person or a being, it felt safer (but I didn’t consciously know this) and even better, the idea that I was really God in disguise, we all were! In my heart I never really believed this, because I never felt I could ever be good enough anyways. What I do remember is the first time as an adult, in my 40’s consciously feeling God’s personality loving me personally. I know God is real. This is not a delusional belief, though I’m criticised by others (non-christians) that it is.

This is hard for me –  I don’t “belong” anywhere. I don’t belong to religion. I don’t belong to a Christian faith or group or church and never can while I don’t believe Jesus is my saviour. I feel sad about this as I love so many Christians!  How I wish I could just declare Jesus as my lord and saviour and get up on stage every week and sing his praises until I’m hoarse! There is so much to be learnt from a passionate singing Christian!! 

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I guess my problem is not that I want to love God openly, freely, passionately… but that I want to belong to people who do, and that I want to do that without judgement, criticism or scorn. But nothing seems to divide like the word God. 

At the same time, I know in my heart that God unites like no other too. At times I do feel like a zealot who has found something so good, so amazing, so life-changing that I want to share it, shout it, sing it to the world! I want to say “you don’t know what you’re missing out on! God is good, so amazing, there’s so much love to be had, so much joy to feel with no strings attached” but I choke.

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Fear is a terrible dampener! So this is my personal painful dilemma at the moment….my dirty little secret...that is now hugely public.

What do I fear? Losing my friends, my Christian friends, being told I’m some nasty blasphemous person that should be ex-communicated, being pitied for my “delusions”, condescended on “poor-girl” style, distanced from ’cause I’m highly contagious with some sort of disease. that I will “preach” like a zealot and be silenced – while “they” can talk about anything “they” believe in ’cause I’m the only stoopid one….just to name a few.

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I feel like I’m caught in no-world. Not a Christian, of no religion, not a new-ager. Perhaps part of pioneers of a new set of Truths? I simply want to love our God, get to know our God without the drama of being wrong or right. I also want to love my fellow-man at the same time. You believe what you want, I believe what I want, but can we all talk about it openly without conversion with no harm intended?

Yesterday a dear friend gave me a pearl of wisdom that is unravelling in my heart (thank-you Gerald); the God-of-good that created this universe, no matter how bad something or someone is, is always striving to make good of it. God is always wanting to restore love. I LOVE this truth… this grows my faith, wants me to want to get to know this God more and more each day. Yeah, I’m a God-lovin-Gal!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky
    Feb 21, 2014 @ 18:00:00

    Katrina,
    Read your blog. God is very much a restorer. He restored us back to himself because of HIS love. It is, like you said, about our relationship with him. I love and I know he loves how you sing/worship him with all that is within you! You are a beautiful – funny being he loves that about you. So what if someone rejects you for you beliefs. I heard a saying once, “opinions are like butts, everyone has one. Just that some are stinkier then others!” If they judge you, they have failed to see you as you are – they haven’t gotten to know you.
    Peace my friend and love to you, Katrina!

    Reply

  2. Josephine
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 08:48:37

    Hi Katrina,

    Thank you for your beautifully honest story. I need to respond to you, because I have exactly the same experience with God and issue with the christian church as you describe. Ever since I was 16 and grilled by a good willing Canadian christian about Jesus, where every answer to every question she asked me was ‘because the bible says so’, while totally ignoring my honest and real feelings of connection with God directly instead of through Jesus, i have had this profound uneasy feeling about the way the church imposed any connection with God only through Jesus Christ. I knew had a direct line with God, i could feel it in my heart, but that answer wasn t the right one according to those who follow the word of God in the bible. I really didn t believe I had to go through Jesus and I certainly didn t believe his death forgave us for our sins.
    This Canadian lady gave me a little bible. I could not throw it away but every time I looked at it it gave me the shivers and feelings of disgust.
    35 years later, I attended the Pentacostal church in Bundaberg, with my youngest daughter, who used to go to youth group there and became a christian consequently, although she was already baptised in the catholic church.

    I really liked the singing. For three months I went to sunday services. The people were very welcoming and nice. I still wasn t sure what to think. I didn t like the constant references to the bible verses, as if those words hadn t been written by humans and changed over the last 2000 years in translations, depending on who was in charge at any time. Nevertheless, I couldn fault the pastors words. He was a great speaker, and the words he spoke were true and very uplifting and motivational for young people (I cared about the messages my daughter would receive).
    I still didn t agree with ‘you can only get to God through Jesus Christ’, and i also couldn t agree with their position against Gay people. So while singing I would sing directly to God and replace the word Jesus with the word God.
    Still questioning myself whether this church suited my desire for belonging to a community, i got my answer one day.
    The exact same thing happened to me as 35 years ago. One lady started talking to me about how Jesus died for our sins. And when I expressed my doubts about that, she even draw me a picture and used words like ‘Because the bible says so’. Flashback!
    I was pretty confused.
    Of course I wondered what the message was. Did this mean they were right, I was wrong, or would I follow again my own feeling and take the message of this lady as a timely reminder that the institution of the church is really not for me. Because I believe in God, not in Jesus as a means to get to God.

    Funny enough a week later we went to Michaels retreat in Montville. I had this burning question for him about the bible, but I didnt ask the question because I felt embarrassed. You may not believe it (as a way of speaking because you probably do), but in the LAST 10 minutes of the week, Michael answered my question, without me having had to ask. Out of the blue he gives his opinion about the bible, which corresponded with my own feeling. I never went back to church.

    I know I have a relationship with God. I talk to him all the time, I feel connected all the time, I love him all the time. And I love me.
    I have started to feel the energy in the old cathedrals in Europe, a beautiful sacred, divine energy. I ve also wondered if it s just the energy of Ages of people praying to God that lingers in those sacred spaces. I must say I can now enjoy being in those sacred places, feeling the divine energy without being triggered by the horrors that the institution of the churches have inflicted upon humans over the ages.

    Many blessings and much love to you.
    Josephine

    Reply

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