June 04, 2015

Recovering Christian: What do you do when life is rough and there's no one to pray to?

I'm an anxious person.

My spouse often notes this. "I'd tell you not to worry," he'll say, "but you're going to anyway." This has been a facet of my personality for as long as I can remember.

As a Christian, I dealt with it the way the only way that I knew: I prayed. It was like a litany constantly running in the back of my mind. "Please let me get there on time, please don't let it start raining right now, please let me say the right thing, please, God, please."

So what happens when life gets rough and you know there's no one to turn to?

It's been a question that's been at the back of my mind for the past few weeks, as we went through the mortgage process and got moved in. So many things were going wrong, and I had absolutely no control over any of them--and then it dawned on me that no one really did.

What do you do? You learn to rely on other people and trust them to get things done.

So when your appraisal keeps coming back wrong, and you have to delay your closing twice, you say to yourself, "It's alright. I'm going to trust Brett, he says he can get it done."

And when that doesn't work, and it seems like Brett can't get it done, you explore your options. You contact your VA regional office. You find out that if they can't get it resolved, you can ask to have the appraisal reassigned. You find out you have choices.

And when your landlord is being difficult about you clearing your prior residence, you put your head down and you figure out compromises. You work together, even when you don't necessarily care for the way the situation is turning out.

When you're moving, and Uhaul has no trucks, you decide to call their headquarters and figure it out. You look at Budget and Penske. You explore your options. You make plans.

When your spouse takes off down the road in that Uhaul packed to the brim, you trust him. He says he knows how to drive it. You tell the anxious little voice in the back of your head to fuck off, because it's hot, and you're cranky.

You learn to trust in yourself. When you're driving back and forth between cities in the rain because you live in one but your kid has school in another, and your windshield wipers aren't the best because you keep forgetting to replace them, you remind yourself that you can do it.

When you're living apart from your significant other because said kid still has school (thank FSM for the last day today!), you tell yourself, "Hey, I can do this. It's just X more days."

This is one of the first major life experiences I've had since I left Christianity. As a recovering Christian, it's been interesting to explore the changes in my behavior, and I've been surprised that I sometimes fall back into the same litany. Sometimes, I even wished I could believe, just so that I'd have the assurance that someone else was up there, listening and making things happen for me.

But in the end? In the end, I feel like I've learned a lot more coming through this process the way that I have. My spouse and I are closer. I feel more confident in myself. I feel like I've grown as a person.

And I get to put all of the blame and/or praise where it belongs: with the people involved.

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