Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Have you ever had doubts? Have you wondered is God really there? Or have you thought,
I believe in a creator but I don’t think He knows or loves me.
Have you had doubts about Christianity? Or have Christians caused resentment, bitterness or planted a seed that they are hypocritical? Have you walked away from faith because of people? I understand those feelings and questions. I’ve had them also.
I believe that you and I were created with a purpose that only we can each fulfill in our own unique way.
Some experiences caused me to doubt the validity of Christianity. Yet, somehow all my life, I have known God is there, even when I said I was an atheist, I still felt something. If you haven’t, that’s ok. Judging someone based on their religion or lack of is, in my opinion, closed minded thinking. I'm here with you on this journey no matter where you are spiritually right now!
Our experiences, within our individual lives start to come together like puzzle pieces when looked at later as a whole. The picture of your life will begin to make sense once you discover your purpose.
Here are some of my puzzle pieces ….
I was raised in a Christian home, where talking about God and praying was a normal part of life. I was your typical happy child who sang constantly and craved being in nature. You probably would have labeled me as an extrovert. I sang so much that our pastor’s wife gave me voice lessons. I was 3 years old the first time I sang a solo in front of people with a real microphone instead of a hairbrush.
Strangely though, I was also a bit of an introvert and needed alone time. I built forts to escape. I climbed trees, or laid in the grass and let my imagination create shapes in the clouds. I loved the water, and was blessed to live on a lake in my early years. I felt calmness floating on my back, listening to my breathing, and heartbeat combined with muffed surface sounds, and clearer “water sounds.” -A form of mediation that I didn’t even realize I was doing.
Hiding from the world was sometimes a means of escaping from my oldest brother, who could elevate picking on his little sister to an abusive level. I never told on him, I didn’t want him to get in trouble, because I loved him. (A precursor to becoming a victim of an abusive spouse).
I was also tough, strong willed, and sometimes a tom-boy. As a child I tried to keep up with my brothers who are half a decade older than me and that desire led to an internal need to be tougher than the average girl. You’re probably familiar with the sayings like,
“You throw like a girl, A girl can’t do that, Boys are stronger, faster, more athletic….”
Those stereotypes lit a fire in me and caused me to want to prove them wrong.
When the fog lifted, when I started to learn about emotional abuse, it’s effects on victims, and the tactics that abusers use, that toughness helped me hang on (barely, but I did).
I started writing as a way to get the pain out without saying it out loud. Then, as a way to keep track of fights that my husband said never happened, the things he’d later claim he never said, or fights that he’d later say I started …. I needed to know I wasn’t crazy, so I wrote everything down.
I started to notice a pattern in the cruel things he said. I actually saw the abuse for the first time by reading the horribly cruel words he used. Any time he was confronted with something (a lie, not working, still having an affair etc), he purposely deflected by turning a conversation into an argument about something “wrong” with me.
No matter how calm I tried to be, after his affair, something in me broke and I lost the desire to hold my tongue when he was vicious. Yet, I still loved him. I still wanted to save our marriage so, I turned to God.
Other posts explain more of what happened between my husband and I. If you haven’t read them yet, I tried for 6 months, he said he was trying, but he never stopped cheating and became physically abusive.
In my search for guidance I became increasingly bothered by “The church’s” view on divorce. I was told,
“You’ll be accepted and forgiven for divorce because he had an affair and never stopped.”
I couldn’t help but think,
“How could a loving God expect anyone, wife or husband to stay in an abusive marriage?”
I can’t imagine a loving God who would be accepting of a spouse who intentionally leads their partner to believe “she” is the cause of all their problems, that she is a burden, that she is the cause of her husband’s and their children’s unhappiness.
I can’t imagine God not wanting to break the bonds of a marriage that is based in manipulation, control, and intentional chronic devaluation. (That's not to say I don't believe in miracles. I chose the path God led me to take, it may not be the same for you.)
My husband intentionally put me in a pit of despair so that I would be submissive, so he could have whatever he felt entitled to, and could do anything he wanted without being challenged or questioned.
He pushed me to believe I was so worthless that the people I loved most, (my husband and children) would be happier if I was dead. I have discovered by reading past journal entries that my husband continually planted that seed of thought without me even realizing it!
Now, even though I filed for divorce January 2020 and am still not divorced, I keep thinking how maybe my experiences could help other people like me who don’t know they are being abused, and God DOES NOT want anyone to live that way!!!
So, that’s what has led to purpose, for me at least. Your purpose is your own and you are the only one who can do what you do the way that you do it!
Think of it like this…. Would you use a spoon to draw a picture, or a pencil to eat your soup? Of course not. Because those things were designed and created for a unique purpose. And so were you!
Figuring out the Creator’s purpose for creating you takes time. Most of us need a combination of experiences to add to our uniqueness before we discover our purpose.
Never forget, the "uniqueness of you is what makes YOU the only person who can do what you do, the way that you do it."
(~Sarah Jakes Roberts)
Try asking yourself,
'What is the thing that I can't stop myself from doing? What do I love to do, what brings me peace, enjoyment, fulfillment and a sense of pride?'
The thing you can’t stop doing, that is the talent God placed in you. Yes, it is talent. Just because it comes naturally to you, doesn’t mean it is easy for someone else.
I haven’t always known what my purpose is, and even now I only know part of His plan. But discovering a small part of my purpose has given me profound hope in my future. That hope is what keeps me going even when life seems hopeless.
Now, because of my experiences I have a willingness to be open and honest with God. I do not hide from God, and I am not afraid to ask Him questions. I read the Bible as a guide, and tool to help me when I'm struggling.
I don't quote verses, I don't memorize them (Mostly because I have never been good at it, so why force something that isn't me?). But, I do write them down. Some I read often, and I will share with you. When I write them down I often add a note for myself with what it means to me in that moment. I'm not saying my way is right, it's just what works for me.
A verse or chapter might have meant one thing a month ago and may mean something completely different today. And, I believe it might mean something different to you. That is why I believe people refer to the Bible as "God's living word," because ...
He makes it possible for the meaning to change depending on what you are needing in that moment.
Every single one of us has a place in this world. We each are a puzzle piece trying to figure out where we fit. The puzzle is so complex that only God knows what the final product is supposed to be. When we ask for God’s help, when we are authentic and honest with ourselves and others, we will fit in that puzzle, YOU do fit in the puzzle.
God made us with the ability to choose.
Just as we can’t force someone to love us, God will not force us to love Him. We have choice, we have free will.
There are often spots left empty, gaps to be filled in God’s beautiful and complex puzzle due to human choices and free will. Until we choose to seek and follow His will for our lives there will be cracks and missing pieces. I don’t want to be a missing piece, so even when life is painful, confusing, and lonely I choose to seek God’s plan, and I want to hear Him.
This is one of the best examples of understanding how God speaks to us ….