I was brought up in a Presbyterian home with a mom that went to church every Sunday and sang in the choir since she was 5. I honestly don’t know my dad’s religious affiliation but I know 3 things for sure: 1) He doesn’t go to church ever. 2) His mom is a Jehovah’s Witness. 3) He is not.
Growing up until I was in about middle school, maybe early high school, I never really questioned religion or faith. I just assumed church was a place everyone but my dad went, and God was something everyone believed in. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I learned it was an option to question and/or not believe. I immediately became an atheist because religion requires blind faith and that’s not something I’m comfortable with. As an adult I’ve learned that’s because of my mental health. Also, science is a thing and I thought I had to believe in one or the other, but never both.
I stayed an atheist, wandering towards agnostic, until I was in my late teens or early 20’s, at which point I really started to look into paganism and Buddhism. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The one recognizes the Mother Earth as a powerful force, the other helps you find inner peace during your time on Mother Earth.
Somewhere in my early to mid 20’s I finally admitted that yes I do admit there is for sure something bigger than me out there, and no I have no idea what to define it as, but organized religion has some serious problems. I was comfortable with that, while exploring Buddhism as more of a way of life, and less of a religion.
Then when I was in my very early 30’s my younger sister was diagnosed with a failing liver and it started to fail her much faster than the doctors anticipated. Within 6 months she went from it being a problem, to her only having 90 days to live. That’s when the prayer warriors came out of the woodwork. For all intents and purposes my sister should probably be dead. She wasn’t even fully eligible for the needed transplant until about a month after her 90 days were up. But the prayer warriors prayed and prayed, the doctors saw something in her, and she made the list in time. The prayer warriors kicked it up a notch and started prayer not just for a donor, but for the donor’s family. Someone would have to lose their life for my sister to extend hers. Even then she had a meld score of 40 and was days if not hours from death when she got her new liver.
During all that trauma I made a pact with God, the details of which you can read about in my intro post. After he saved her, and I do believe it wasn’t just science, I could no longer deny a belief in a named high power. Despite this belief, I still don’t claim a named religion. Frankly, I don’t proclaim to know which one is “right” where the rest are wrong. From there I’d just pick the most peaceful, only they have all done horrible things in the name of their God and for their religion. I will say I like the idea of Christ, but I struggle with the water to wine, walking on water, and Resurrection. Sorry, but science.
So I’m left with a contentment that there is most probably possibly probably a higher power. I’m comfortable with the thought he’s the one who said bang, creating the universe. I think it’s logical that those first 7 days were in god years and therefore a lot more like billions of Earth years per Bible day. I refuse to name my spirituality.
All this left me thinking over the power of prayer. I mean, I had prayed before, even in my questioning years, but never with much belief, and I never stopped to listen to see if I’d been heard. But this past spring time after time a call for prayer went out and it was answered. So maybe I too can be heard, if I pause to listen back?
I present to you: Dear God, It’s Me Karen