I thought it would be easy to write this initially but when I sat down to write the post I began to get very confused about what the Bible means to me, and what Jesus means to me, and what Christianity means to me. I was getting very lost in my head.
So I finally decided to just start at the beginning …
It’s been a tough year for me. My grandmother died, and she wasn’t just a grandmother to me, she was a second mother. For a long time I believed she was only one who loved me unconditionally because I was an insecure child. So she was very, very important to me and she died. And the family was very far away. In the meantime I just started a new job and it’s emotionally tough. And I’d moved out of my home and discovered making new friends is a whole lot harder when you’re not in college.
So things had been building up a little bit.
It had gotten to be one evening where I just discovered I was alone on a Friday night. In an apartment. And I was missing my grandmother. And I realized I had no clue what I was doing with life. I felt very, very alone.
So I was just sitting there staring at a wall.
And my friend called, out of the blue. And my mother called to check in because she hadn’t heard from me in a while.
And then a friend of the family called.
She was calling me to thank me for spending time with her teenage daughter while she and her husband were gone overnight. Which she didn’t need to thank me for because I love their daughter and count her as a friend, despite our age difference. But she was calling to thank me anyway. And I said, ‘listen, we should really get together for dinner, I know I keep saying this and we never do, but we she should.’ And I started to laugh because I’m very flaky when it comes to this family; I keep saying we should meet up and I don’t. So I felt bad. But this family friend just kind of laughed and said ‘don’t worry about it, we love you anyway.’
After I’d hung up, I started to cry, because that was exactly what I needed at that moment. I realized I felt so much better suddenly, and so much less alone.
Then I realized, that’s where I find God.
I can have my issues with the Bible, and I can have my issues with my religion, and I can have my issues with … all of it. But that’s why I believe in God. Because the moments where I’m just sitting, staring at a wall, as they happen from time to time, is the moment when someone calls, or someone says something that I needed to hear. When I’m given what I didn’t even realize I needed to make it through. It didn’t mean my grandmother was back alive, or that I was in any different of a situation, but it meant that I was able to make it through.
Then I called my parents to thank them for raising me in a church community, and for having a family, and for being taught what God is. So instead of me thinking it was just a coincidence, or what a nice happenstance that someone called, I went ‘no, I’m being taken care of. I have something, or someone, watching out for me, and I have a very large family I can come home to at any time.’
And that’s why I think religious institutions, of all faiths, are important. Regardless of how many issues I have with some of the stuff. Because there are going to be, there are, more people like me, who need to be given the chance to know a higher being, and need to feel less alone, and be given a family.