The topic of God or even religion can be a very sensitive one, yet extremely heavy all at the same time. I grew up in a religious household and attended church weekly. Doubting an afterlife or even the existence of God never crossed my mind at a young age or even in my teenage years because I was taught it was real, and true. After high school I went on to serve a mission for my church, and for 18 months taught strangers the very topics I had been taught my entire life. I was happy and felt like I was on the right path.
When one has a strong relationship with God or any higher power they tend to rely on receiving answers to prayers, revelations, and guidance for nearly anything in that persons life. We're taught that God has a plan for us and will help direct us throughout our life, and I most certainly believed and lived that. It was the mindset that my life had already been predestined, and God would show me the way. I guess I thought that if I did everything God asked of me, my life wouldn't be hard. Why would God willfully send me down a path that would lead to heartbreak, and misery? I never thought he would.
Growing up and even within adulthood I was afraid to make the wrong decisions in my life out of fear of others and fear of God. Soon after my mission I went to college, and there received one of the strongest impressions for my life, and knew in my heart it came from God. This impression was significant and would change the course of my life forever. I changed certain things in my life to align with these impressions, and only did so because I was confident in God and what the outcome would be. Fast forward to one year later and what I thought would come to pass not only didn't happen, but left me questioning everything I had been doing for the last year. Were my impressions wrong? Did that really come from God? Did I do something wrong?
For the first time in my life I felt that God had led me astray, and I was left feeling alone. I turned to prayer, church, and the scriptures to try and gain an understanding. "Everything happens for a reason" people would say. "One day it'll all make sense" was a statement I heard time and time again, which only left me feeling empty and confused.
Only 10 months later I received another impression for my life and began to feel hope. I had started dating someone, and soon enough dating turned into an engagement, and before I knew it we were planning a wedding. I felt that God had led me to this person, and into this relationship and my pleads had finally been heard. I remember saying "This is why everything happened before". If the impression I received over a year prior had come to pass, then I wouldn't have entered into this relationship, and I wouldn't have gained this happiness. Quickly after the wedding planning started different toxic behavior started revealing itself from my fiancée and my loved ones around me became worried. My parents sat me down one day and expressed their feelings towards my relationship, and questioned my happiness. Had God led me astray again? Why did I feel led to this person if it wasn't meant to be? God wouldn't do this to me again.. would he? One thing led to another and the engagement got called off, leaving me feeling empty and confused once again.
At this point in my life I didn't know how to feel or what to think, so I tried to forget about any of it. As I went on with my life I began to see one health complication followed by another, which added to my disappointment in God, and the life I thought he had created for me. I dropped out of college, and moved somewhere new so I could have a fresh start. After a few months went by I once again tried following any spiritual feeling or impression I could in hopes of maybe something making sense. I found myself in another relationship that ended up being nothing short of disappointment, abuse, and heartbreak. I remember crying on my bed one night wondering why I'd been punished to have these things happen to me? How could God allow this?
More health complications followed, along with family relationships suffering, and even friend relationships suffering. I truly felt alone and unwanted. I was done turning to God, and decided then I would now be the maker of my fate, because I could no longer trust anyone around me. Within the months that followed I found myself caught in depression and even suicidal thoughts. I was someone who went to every party and surrounded myself with friends but would immediately cry once I was back alone. I stopped going to church and didn't want anything to do with prayer or the scriptures because all it did was make me upset. I was truly mad at God for leading me down what felt like every wrong path. I was mad at him for allowing me to feel healed just long enough to break me again. That's not the God I grew up learning about or the God I taught people about. Isn't God supposed to be merciful and loving, full of grace and patience? I was just simply done.
I truly believe each person goes through a time in their life when they feel alone with no one to relate with. I also believe we each go through similar experiences so that we can have each other to rely on. On the rare occasion I shared any of my struggles and feelings with those around me I only received love and understanding which always took me by surprise .. (probably because I was always in defense mode). I needed to realize that I wasn't alone, and was loved more then I thought I was.
When you trust someone you allow them to go through certain experiences because you know they'll make it through. Even when I stopped having trust in God, he never stopped having trust in me. I needed to realize that God wasn't ever leading me astray but I was looking at everything the wrong way. I thought I knew how everything would end, and when it didn't I felt like I couldn't trust anymore when in reality everything did happen exactly how it needed to. If my very first impression had come true I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn more about God and the way he communicates. If I had married the person I was engaged to I probably would've been unhappy due to how toxic our relationship was. If I hadn't dated someone who was an addict I ultimately wouldn't know how strong I am as a person. If I never had my health complications I wouldn't have had the countless hours of family time I gained when recovering from surgeries. If I didn’t dropped out of college I wouldn't have pursued photography which is something I now have a business in. I realized I had been blessed all along, but was never able to see it because I could only focus on what I wanted each outcome to be.
To say I'm completely healed and okay from everything that happened would be a lie, but to say I no longer trust God and his plan for me would also be a lie. Having trust in God is believing you'll be blessed and having an understanding that he sees the bigger picture in all things. The impressions I received time and time again didn't have the outcome I thought they would, but they never were supposed to, and I now know that. Sometimes in life we get so caught up on the things we want, we lose sight of the blessings we're receiving in the background. To trust God is to let down your expectations and look around at everything he's trying to show you. I'm not perfect and nor is my life, but in the strangest way possible its been perfect for me.