Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Why I don’t believe in God anymore

First, I want to preface this by saying what I’m about to write are my own personal feelings and are reflective of what I’m feeling right now. I realize that I might alienate some people, but mile + my shoes should = no judgment. I respect the opinions of others so please respect mine.

Ever since Dave and I lost our little girl, we’ve heard everything one can hear when they are grieving. Some have been helpful while others infuriate us. What pisses me off to no end is when people say what happened was God’s will and that God has a plan. I used to believe this when confronting setbacks in my own life and learning about the suffering of people I love. But like everything else in my world, that belief has been shot to hell. What kind of God kills little babies? Or for that matter, sits by while millions die and suffer through war, famine, pestilence, natural catastrophes? Or watches from above while people get raped, abused, shanked, tortured, waste away? I’ve believed in something greater than all of us for all my life, even when I eschewed religion for personal spirituality. I’ve meditated, prayed and was faithful. When I saw that + pregnancy test, I talked to God every day, thanking Him for the gift He gave me. I prayed with David (he is SO not into that) and went out of my way to light candles in churches. I even believed that if I were to miscarry in the first trimester, it would have been his will.

But then I went into labour. For no apparent reason. I was in agony where I leaked and writhed and bled and sobbed for naught. I prayed and prayed. Dave prayed and prayed. They obviously weren’t answered.

Since that day, I’ve felt abandoned. I couldn’t pray anymore. When family members spoke of God or prayer, I snorted and told them I couldn’t abide by such dogmatic mores. It was a confusing time for me. When I break down, I sometimes want to call out to Him, begging Him for strength to continue and to diminish my pain. Then I stop myself. I steady myself. I tell myself that I am strong and that I can continue and that I can lessen my pain. He wasn’t there for me when I most needed Him so from now on it’s just Me, Myself and I.

I’ve been speaking to a friend of a friend who suffered terribly when her baby boy was born stillborn. She lives on a farm and told me “You know, not every baby makes it.” And it hit me like a lightening bolt: we’re just animals, surviving in nature and we have no control over anything. Babies die, every day. For some reason or another, those little creatures so many of us want to have to teach, love and watch grow, are fragile. Pregnancy is a delicate process, one that is fraught with disasters waiting to happen at every corner. What happened to me wasn’t karma or the will of God. I now believe that our baby, and millions of babies around the world, died because of Nature. And that comforts me greatly. I can now walk down the street and step on cracks without fear of my mother’s back being broken. I can walk under a ladder, while breaking a mirror with a black cat under my arm on Friday the 13th.*

We’ve found out that Isla’ cause of death was simply prematurity while the cause of my premature labour will never be known. We also learned that I had contracted something called chorioamnionitis that threatened my life and would have led to me being induced in a nightmarish me vs. the baby scenario had I not gone into labour naturally. There was nothing wrong with me and there was nothing wrong with Isla. As the doctor said, there is nothing wrong with our ability to make life – we made a good baby.

So here I am. Thinking about the next time. Dealing with the fact that not only was I one of the 1% of pregnancies that end in the second trimester, but I was part of the 2% the catches that infection. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that my chances of going into pre-term labour again is increased. Believing in the power and mystery of nature – a phenomenon that is real and has no altar to beg on. It’s rather freeing, actually.

These days I feel stronger. I feel this way thanks in part to people who I’d previously been friendly with and had known about my pregnancy going out of their way not to meet my eye or change directions when I walk towards them. It makes me realize that they don’t matter and are not helpful in my life anyway. I’m finding that I take immense pleasure in that unexpected phone call or text or hug. I’m in love with the way my basil and mint plants are growing. I adore the taste of champagne and the feel of lingerie on my skin when I’m in bed. I believe in love, family, laughing, movies, sex, books, blogs, good food, good friends, the sun, the moon and the stars. I believe in me.




*Such superstitions are steeped in Christian ideology.

19 comments:

  1. Hey honey. You know what, I share the exact beliefs that you outlined here. What happened to you, Dave and Isla was a raw, natural thing ruled by biological rather than magical laws. If any "God" was responsible for what happened to you, then by definition he is not God, but in fact The Devil.

    We all come from nature and we'll all go back to it - it's the most powerful force in our lives, not some old guy with a beard sitting on a cloud. But I've never found this revelation to be diminishing, or pessimistic. In realising how fragile and reliant on nature we are, we have the chance to see how precious, impossible and spectacular the blessing of life is. What were the chances that atoms would explode into being billions of years ago, that a star would form to become our sun, then a planet to be earth at just the right distance to warm the planet up and support life; not to mention that at some point these atoms amalgamated in such a way to be suddenly ALIVE, then evolve into ever more complicated beasts and subsequently to the plants and creatures that make up our wonderful world today. And finally, that one of those impossible wonders ended up being - YOU. You are a work of cosmic art! Yes, nature can take it all away in the blink of an eye. BUT nature is the one who gave you the chance in the firstplace, and I think anyone given the choice would choose being given the chance to live, rather than to have never existed.

    Will be seeing you soon, all my love in the meantime xx

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  2. As you've said, Kaki, only you can decide about the existence and the power of god. I waver between atheism & agnosticism, so I understand a bit of where you're coming from. My atheistic side 200% agrees with you, and my agnostic side is 200% with you also and wants to add that you need to find YOUR peace and live your BEST life according to your experiences, cuz god will be there regardless.

    Religious belief (or lack of) is very personal thing and I don't think anyone has the righ to tell you and your husband how and through what lens you should view your loss.

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  3. Hi there! I've been following your blog for some time now and find your writing very thought provoking and very real...

    I was sincerely saddened when I read your posts about losing your daughter, and even more saddened when I read this last post (this is not being judgmental - just looking at it from a different point of view - hope that's ok)...

    I have never mourned the loss of a child, I have however mourned the loss of never giving birth to a child. I will never have the experience of having a little life growing inside of me, of giving birth and seeing my child grow from 1 minute old. How hard this was for me to watch people give birth to children they didn't even want, or to hear of people aborting their unborn babies when I wanted 1 soooo desperatly! This was a pain I wouldn't wish on ANYONE! I could have given up on God and said how unfair He was, or what a mean God to allow those abortions to happen. No, women choose to abort their babies, this is "free will" - something God has given us.

    You mentioned you "talked to God daily & thanked Him" when you saw that + pregnancy test. This is the thing about God - He doesn't just want our praise & thanks when things are good in our life...He wants you to praise Him & depend on Him even when life sucks!

    God had bigger and better plans for my life...when I was experiencing my "hell", I knew I had to get closer to Him, rely on Him, trust His plans. First of all, that is exactly what I did & now I am the VERY proud mommy of a BEAUTIFUL 4 yr old boy who hubby & I adopted...FOR ME giving birth couldn't compare to the experience that I've had and hope to experience again in the near future. My "hell" has also allowed me to be a whole lot more sensitive to women who are going through what I went through - I'm a lot more sensitive than people were with me let me tell you!!!

    Kaki, my heart hurts for your loss. My heart also hurts that you have lost touch with a God who loves you & wants a relationship with you. He wants to hear your hurts & anger & saddness. What He doesn't want is for you to walk away from Him when life becomes "hell"...

    I know everyone has their own beliefs and reasons for believing what they do but I just wanted to put another spin on things! I know it's a lot easier to just walk away than to hang in there and see what amazing things God has planned for your life but I know if you do hang around (and give your life completely to God), you will be amazed and blessed beyond your wildest dreams!

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  4. I need to make this brief because I have to run, but I have to say that I wasn't a fair-weather Christian. I had God in my life from the very beginning and gave things up to Him when life was hard and thanked Him when life was good. I turned away from religion but kept the spiritual belief alive every day. I believe that it's my responsibility to work out my life rather than to sit by idly and believe it some mystical being's "plan". People will argue that God feeds us our ideas and opens up windows when doors close, but lets be honest: we're ultimately responsible for walking the path that is before us. I believe there will be bigger and better things ahead of us, but it's up to me and us to decide how we live our lives. I've given up control in many things in life because I've realized that I don't have it (and never will) and that's where I'm coming from these days. I'm glad that people can find comfort in their belief systems, and I've always respected what others have had to say, even if I disagreed with them, as long as they said it in a respectful way. But I don't think it's fair for people to put their paradigms on others. What might work for one might be disastrous for others.

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  5. Hey Kaki!! For what it's worth, I feel very similarly. I refuse to believe in a God - any god - that would pick and choose what babies lived and what ones don't. I can't believe in a God that says, "You...the underage crackwhore with no support, no job, no partner who won't stop smoking during your pregnancy - you get a baby! But you, the stable adult in a loving relationship who will do anything for your child...eh, I'm not sure. I think you need to be a bit stronger first." No effing way. I will forever believe that people can choose to turn to God for comfort and support in bad times, but I absolutely refuse to believe that he's up there picking and choosing who gets a baby and who does not, and which babies live and which babies die. No. It's nature. It's science.

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  6. I have to say that I agree with your post, and I think that what you said is correct about you being entitled to believe what you do. Loss and pain are hard. I've watched animals grieve, and it's always amazing to me how all things in nature are linked by the basic circumstances of life (i.e. food, water, shelter, loss, etc). I am taking a microbiology class right now, so it's amazing how much humans are interwoven with all of life/nature. That said, I am agnostic, and I often lean towards atheism like Viajera. I think each person has to decide for his or her self what makes sense, and I know that grief and anger can be a catalyst for agnosticism. However, I think that once the pain subsides a little we still see a lot of foolishness behind most organized religious belief systems. Life is... it gives, it takes, and if there truly were a God, he/she would probably have an abillity to have more influence on the affairs of life (life-death, genocide, wars, disease, famine, etcetera) far more actively than just the empty speculations and interpretations presented by mankind. However, my counter logic states that maybe all that we think God is and should be to humanity is wrong. Maybe God's job is not to intervene with creation and to impact the affairs of life (Hence my reasoning for feeling that the facts surrounding a possible Creator or God are unknowable).

    However, I am glad that you have an optimistic spin to things. I have a great deal of faith that things will look up for you, and I can't wait until we recieve news of your healthy baby. Btw, a family member of mine miscarried too, and now she has a beautiful, healthy little boy who is keeping mommy and daddy very busy these days.

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  7. Hi dear,

    Not sure where to begin. Recently realized I had not heard from you in a while, and I was oftentimes wondering how you were doing, where you were at. I really did not expect this. I have no words, actually.

    I just wanted to give you a big hug and to tell you how sorry I am. I can't stop crying at this ordeal you've been through in the last few months. Take care. Take time to heal. I don't think you'll ever be the same. I don't think Isla could ever be replaced, even if you and David will in no doubt be amazing parents someday. But you are very smart and strong. In time you'll find a way to always carry her in your heart while not hurting *that* much anymore.

    Sending much love; e-mail me sometime if you'd like (I was looking for your e-mail in your profile but couldn't find it hence the more impersonal comment). I'm really, really sorry, Kaki, and even more sorry I have nothing but these lame words to offer.

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  8. Kaki, I think people are wrong to tell you that it is the plan of God, that your baby died. I think it is wrong, hurtful and ignorant and many who had say that, I suspect have not suffered what you are suffering.

    There are two forces in the world, one of light, good, love, joy, happiness and peace and the one of darkness, hate, envy, bitterness, sickness, poverty. saddness and despair. We who are humans are challenged each day by our fragility.

    The enemy steals your joy, destroys your life and each day challenges your relationship with God.

    I have never miscarried, but I divorced after 7 years and it took me three years to get over my divorce, I suffered desperation and every time I walked over a bridge, I wanted to throw myself off. I cried for a whole year. I did all the right things and it ended up horrible. The only person who supported me was my mother, people who I thought would be supportive, betrayed me, four years after my divorce, she died of cancer.

    My friend of mine, both he and his wife, married each other after terrible marriages, her husband was constantly on faithful, she cried constantly and he said when his wife left him, he lost his job, his children were taken away and he wanted to kill himself.

    It was a constant battling believing in hope, it will get better, every day, things seems to get worst.

    You will have more children and you are still alive, hang on to the love of your husband David.
    On youtube, I saw a couple's baby died in the womb, and year later, they went on to have a daughter and they now have a son.

    You hold on to the love of your husband, despite all this, God still loves us, with all our fragileness. There are things we can never make sense of. Once you have the spark of love between you and David, there is hope. It is very difficult to hang on to God, when your life is falling apart. You tell yourself, I did all the right things, but your life slips away from you, leaving you raw, wounded and broken and many times, you just want to curl up and die. I know I did, for a long time, but you will come from the other side. You will be a conqueor.

    Please don't feel guity about you not believing in God and people have no right to judge you.

    I hope that my words can be of comfort to you, I do hope that you email me, when you are ready. Take one day at a time.

    Take care of yourself.

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  9. This was powerful and thought provoking! Happy i came across it. May you continue to evolve as you should! Blessings:)

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  10. First of all of would like to comment on I am not here to Judge no one. I am very sorry of the loss of your little girl. I would just like to say I am a Christian. I do believe in a higher power "God" and I don't believe God is the cause of bad things happening to good people on earth.

    I believe all bad things that happen in life is because of the devil "satan" who is a fallen angel who is trying to take God's place but he will be punished also in the end for everything he has done
    "satan will be cast into a lake of fire and be tormented day and night forever and ever"
    Rev. 20:10

    Like the story of Job. Job was a man of God!
    Satan went and killed JOb's whole family and his lifestock to test Job's faith in God. To see if he really was a man of God.

    I believe everyone when they die will be all judged and stand before God according to our works. Rev. 20:11

    Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death

    God will get his revenge on the devil in the end for all the bad he has caused.

    If all we had was this life of "pain and sorrow" their would be nothing to look forward to in the future. Their will be no pain,sorrow in heaven if we do God's will.

    That is why Don't give up on God!!!

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  12. First your lost I am truly hurt for you.. Though you probably can't feel that.. You feel like God has abandoned you.. You feel the guilt to of not believing in him anymore. I never compare my pain to others but I know the feeling. I too lost three babies three years straight, both my sons died two years apart on the Same exact days..2/3/09..2/3/11 Both times I was five mths preg.and in the middle of that time 2010 I had a miscarriage.. Its a feeling of being lost in a world of darkness and then I wonder where is God.. My heart knows he's there but the pain won't let you feel him..The anger makes you not believe anymore.. But I can say before this last lost I believed God and I still do and I feel you do also .. But our lil world of lost feels like darkness and you wonder where God is..your heart knows he's there but the PAIN won't let you feel him...peace...

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  13. hi. i know i am a few years from when you posted this but maybe you will still read it. I found your blog because in this last year my faith in God has diminished. I am sorry for your loss. I have had 3 miscarriages in the last year. My last just a month and a half ago at 11 weeks. I have been married to a wonderful husband for 10 years and we are very stable. I don't smoke or do drugs and I eat mostly organic. so i thought having a baby would not be a problem for me. But my nieve thoughts on pregnancy were destroyed when last year June 13th I lost my first pregnancy and 2 more since. The second miscarriage was twins. It is actually comforting to let go of my belief in God and believe Nature is responsible for everything that happens. Then I know some force is not picking and choosing who has a baby. I don't know at this point if I will ever have a baby. I still cry all the time about my miscarriages and if I will ever have a child. People always tell that once day I will have one but I believe it is up to Nature not some God and that I have to accept I may never. I had also prayed and prayed my heart out to God with each of my pregnancies. I have also prayed my heart out about other horrible things in my life. My mother having to fight breast cancer twice now. My sister being raped by someone who broke into her home in the middle of the night and she was alone. I have prayed so much in my life and my prayers have never been answered. So I have stopped believing in a God.
    Suzy

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  14. there can't be a God (of the Bible)

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  15. I stumbled on your blog today and just wanted to leave a little note to say that your story speaks to me. Your journey in coming to terms with your new belief comforts me. I'm in a transition process in my life and have been seeking answers and solutions to my questions and conflicts in my heart and in my head.. your post gives me strength and encouragement.

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  16. I've struggled all my life to understand where God comes in when horrible things happen. I've prayed in earnest with tears streaming down my cheeks to try and understand the meaning of why some people seem to suffer more than others. Why, so often the ones suffering don't deserve it and others who don't deserve rewards seem to get more than their share. After many, many years of listening and reading and exploring and struggling I've finally come to the sad conclusion that if there is a God, he/she lost the war a long time ago. Because, an all powerful God would be able to intervene in some of the horrendous things happening out there. It has been a terrible thing to lose my faith but I don't see any other choice. To believe in God is to believe in indifference to his/her children's suffering. To believe in God is to believe that he/she must be powerless or at the very least, unwilling or unable to help the lost and brokenhearted. What I see are people handing out flippant lines and platitudes and saying stupid things that only make a grieving person feel confused or even guilty for not having strong enough faith. There are people who have the capacity for good and goodness but that doesn't come from God or religion. It is an individual choice they make and it is very hard one indeed. Because trying to be a good person often seems futile in a world where God or whatever power is out there seems to be working at odds with that very effort.

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  17. Thanks for posting this. 5 weeks ago my daughter told me that she was abducted, drugged and raped by an acquaintance. She was tortured horribly and could not escape. She was a virgin, this was not a boyfriend just a 'friend'. Because she didn't report it right away there was no evidence and the police declined to prosecute. If my innocent daughter can be abducted and raped then one of two things exist. Either God does not exist or he does, and he is the Devil. I have decided over these weeks that I do believe in God, and I really hate him. My daughter is very damaged now. She has done many horrible things to herself in the time before she told me. She doesn't even want to live. I wish I could pray. I can't. I can't pray to a monster that would let my daughter be drugged and raped. Yes, I have gotten her counseling etc but I wish I could somehow get God to help her ... but a God who would let that happen is pure evil, he didn't help her when she was being raped, why do I think he would help her now.

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  18. Thanks. I found your post and I agree with you on exactly why i can no longer believe in god either. My teen virgin daughter was drugged abducted and raped by someone she met at campus ministries that she had known for a semester. he took her out for coffee and drugged her raped her and videod it. she had just turned 18. was about to graduate from hs and had earned several total scholarships to universities around the country. her life went so downhill. she trashed herself. eventually she told me. i have gotten her counseling and stuff but when i think about how god let someone who was supposed to be a christian ruin her life and everything she had worked so hard for ... any god that could do that would be the devil. oh, did i mention, her father died when she was two so yeah ... yeah god! way to care for widows and orphans in their distress. i hate god with all my heart. i think the only way i will be able to resolve this is to believe that there is no god. all this hate is so corrosive but it has no where to go so ... if i don't blieve there is a god then i have no reason to believe that anyone cares or is protecting so maybe this anger will go away if it's all just random chaos then the only person i can be mad at is the rapist.

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  19. to the person above me who wrote about your daughter being drugged abducted and raped. please email me at my user name above at gmail.com. if you live in tampa, this could be the same person that raped our daughters. the stories sound exact. they wuldn't prosecute my daughters rapist either as she waited too long and no physical evidence. it was my understanding through online harassment that occured after that he had many other victims. please let me know. if not, i fell your pain, exactly.

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