Posted by: Judy | March 7, 2014

Redifining God…

Those who know me will wait for me to explain the title of this post. For those who don’t, this isn’t what you think.

Chatting with ntexas99 about faith, I came to realize some things about my own journey. Things I don’t talk about not because it’s so incredibly personal or because it’s secret or because I don’t want anyone to know.

I don’t talk about it because it happened so long ago and has become such a part of me it would be like me talking about my hazel eyes. I don’t. By the way, I had to think about mentioning my eyes. This is actually kind of funny considering the fact that I still have trouble making eye contact because my NM told me the reason I was molested was because of my bedroom eyes.

Sorry. I’m babbling.

Anyone who grows up in religion has heard something along these lines: “Your parents are your first teachers of God’s love for you. Only God loves you more than your parents love you. The way your parents love you is how God loves you.”

Talk about setting me up to fail.

Why would I want anything to do with a God like that?

About 30 years ago, I channel surfed through a TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) program. A woman was in the hospital and struggling with her faith in God. The preacher talked to her about how much God loved her. It comes out that she doesn’t have a healthy relationship with her parents. The preacher said something I’ve never forgotten, “Don’t attribute your parents’ flaws to God. God is perfect and loves you perfectly.”

That was a Game Changer for me.

This doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still attribute my parents’ flaws to God. It’s usually when I’m feeling “picked on.” Okay, being nice to me: It’s usually when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I’m struggling with my faith that everything really will work out for my good.

As long as the lies held sway in my life, God remained flawed. I knew then as I know now He is perfect, but trusting Him was a daily battle. It still is, but at least now I know He doesn’t hate me. I do joke about Him hating me. My sense of humor helps me keep things in perspective.

When I started my truth campaign, I already had that basic truth in place. However, though I knew it, I wasn’t truthful about my parents so some of the confusion remained. I was stilling hearing the religious mantras about God loving you the way your parents do. It’s difficult holding to the truth when lies are constantly beating you from all sides. Adding to the trouble is knowing that some parents are great examples of how God loves His children.

Abuse survivors are amazing people. They have to wade through the lies and separate them from the truth, all the while knowing that what is true for one isn’t necessarily true for someone else.

When I say I had to redefine God, I had to separate Him from the image created by others. My scriptures were a good starting place, though even there I had to learn to not hear the interpretations of others. I spent a lot of time talking with God, very informal prayers. It’s because I redefined God I was able to find my best friend. Him.

I yell at Him, swear at Him, complain, cry, and rage. He still loves me anyway. He still sends me beautiful sunsets and sunrises, flowers, opportunities to catch my breath and moments that take my breath away. Usually, when I’m angry with Him I can trace it back to needing His reassurance He loves me no matter what. I beg forgiveness, and He does. We move on, and my trust in Him strengthens and deepens.

I discovered God for myself rather than depending on others to tell me who He is.

I didn’t actually redefine God. I redefined me so I could recognize God in my life more clearly.


Responses

  1. Beautiful. Hugs.

    • ((Ruth))

  2. “I didn’t actually redefine God. I redefined me so I could recognize God in my life more clearly.” I think that statement pretty much says it all. As survivors of abuse, we have had to redefine many things in our lives (truth, love, self-image, friendship, freedom, trust), so I don’t suppose it should be a surprise that the list should include redefining who we are, and how that relates to our relationship with God. Thanks for sharing more of your thoughts on this subject. Many people are afraid to speak out about their own personal relationship with God. You are both courageous, and generous, for sharing how your relationship with God has evolved.

    • Thanks for opening the discussion. I needed to revisit this.

  3. It’s interesting that you mention eye contact because I have a lot of trouble with it because I tend to search for what the other person is needing and or thinking, and it’s so draining. It’s a reaction to trying to guess what would set my mother off.

    I can see how hearing that god loves us as our parents do. Ugh. Just that thought makes me upset.

    • Yes. Reading body language well was a necessary survival skill. The hyperalertness is so difficult to turn off. I think I’m learning to tone it down, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If I don’t see the slight change, then I’m not responsible for reacting to it.

  4. Beautiful post.

    “Abuse survivors are amazing people. They have to wade through the lies and separate them from the truth, all the while knowing that what is true for one isn’t necessarily true for someone else.”

    Love this sentence. xx

    • Thanks ((TR))

    • Me too. It’s as if some of us have to do a lot of wading before we can even reach the starting line where most people begin. It is kind of amazing, when you think about it.

      • I think because of it, we have the potential to develop a stronger foundation. We’ve already had to tear out one foundation, which makes starting over a little less scary.


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