I suck at tests

If there really is a God, and this really is a test, what sort of a mean test is it?

I’ve been living in a fog for the past couple of years. The fog has thickened to the point where I cannot see my hand if I hold it in front of me. I keep trying to tell myself that just because I don’t hear any voices, that doesn’t mean there’s no one else there. Sometimes I feel crazy.

I’m fighting with an institution that makes me feel guilty for questioning it, and that makes me hate it. Yet I loved it for so long. I served it. I helped it grow. I didn’t feel to question it, because I was told that you can’t use logic to explain it, and I always had those warm, happy feelings you get when you hear stories of miracles, of God’s love, of Christ and family and eternity and peace. The same feelings I get from reading weird O. Henry stories, or watching The West Wing.

I always told myself that God loved me, like he loves all his children. But if I wanted to give my kids a test, I wouldn’t do it by throwing them into the wild and not answering when they called. What is this? Are we trying to see if I can survive despair? Are we waiting to find out if I can “endure” whatever is thrown my way? Or is it really a test of whether I will try to change my circumstances, rather that sticking it out and being miserable? Or the classic, I’m supposed to just change my attitude, right? And then everything will be so bright and cheerful. If I can only put my mind to it.

I don’t feel loved.

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~ by woundedhart on December 21, 2007.

6 Responses to “I suck at tests”

  1. I have no answers for you, in fact I have had many of the same questions. If there is a Divine Being surely he will let you know in some way that he loves you? When I hear your pain, I want to put my arms around you and bring you chocolate and take you out for lunch and chat all afternoon. Wouldn’t a Heavenly Father or Mother do the same thing? I don’t know why our questions go out into a huge void so much of the time. Please email me if you want to talk. clbruno at hotmail.

  2. It’s hard to feel hurt and angry about a place that is supposed to be an emotional and spiritual refuge — it’s a *really* hard dissonance. Just is.

    I had to expand my spiritual base to keep my spiritual base. Visiting other worship services, trying new forms of prayer (e.g. my most recent post at ExII), meditating (when I think to) — reaching out to the divine in new ways to help fit who I was becoming. Lots of trial and error these last few years, but I’m generally out of the fog (for now . . . no hubris anymore) and am able to love my church without completely circumscribing my spirituality within its walls.

    For what it’s worth, I’ll send some prayers your direction.

  3. This is totally off topic, but I was intrigued by your comment at exponentblog on praying the psalms. Is there any way you might be willing to summarize some of the main ideas on this topic which you heard at the retreat?

    I’d love to use it as a guesst post at exponentblog. I just love the idea of discovering new ways to pray.

    Please email us at exponentblog@gmail.com if this is something you might be interested in.

    Thanks!

  4. I happened across your blog today and like it a lot.

    I am in a similar place right now. I am definitely in the fog, and sometimes I think it will never end, and I really want to decide which direction to take my life spiritually. It just keeps getting more confusing. Like some of the other readers, I seem to have better luck at other churches, not because I think they are necessarily better, but I think I have less baggage when I am not in Mormon venues, and am able to look at things in a new light.

  5. I’ve been there, and asked similar questions. I don’t feel like I’m in the fog now, and I’m not sure how I got out of it. I wish I had better answers, but I guess I’m more comfortable knowing that sometimes there just aren’t any satisfactory answers.

    About 1.5 years ago, I lost my brother to a car accident, even though he was driving the speed limit, and wearing a seatbelt. Now, on the one hand, I knew I wasn’t the only person to lose a loved one, and while I was incredibly sad, what bugged me more was knowing that he was leaving 4 small children and his wife behind. His oldest child was 7, and initially she seemed to take it the best, but soon began acting out, pulling out her own hair, running away from home, and other inappropriate things.

    I asked questions, such as “If families are so important, why is my brother no longer here to raise his family?” I’m not sure that I believe the scripture in Corinthians that basically says “we’re not supposed to be tempted more than we’re able to bear.” It sure seems like my niece is being tested beyond her 7 year-old ability. She did nothing wrong; Doesn’t she deserve to have a father provide stability in her young life?

    I wish I could say something profound about how I got out of my funk, but I can’t. At the time of the accident, I was applying to grad school–the same grad school that had turned me down 2 other times in the early 90’s. This time I got in (and part of me believes my brother “pulled some strings” from heaven or something–it’s still amazing that I got in.) I quit my full-time job, got a part-time job, became a gospel doctrine teacher, and my life has slowed down. I think that helped greatly.

    It’s funny, because while grad school has been tough, I still have more free than I did before. Finding the bloggernacle has been helpful. I have found I am more liberal in my beliefs than before, and I question more deeply. I still haven’t found a satisfactory answer to my 2 questions above. I still miss my brother, but I’m not so upset as I was before (although there are days when I still get quite upset).

    Good luck in your search. God bless you in your journey. The bloggernacle is part of my therapy–perhaps it can be part of yours as well. I was listening to the radio here in SLC right after Pres Hinckley’s passing, and they interviewed Donny Osmond. He recalled visiting with Pres Hinckley as a teen/early 20’s, and wondering what he should do with his career. Pres. Hinckley said, “You’ll figure it out.” Maybe the same thoughts apply to your situation….

  6. You first posted this a few months ago- have things changed for you since then? Sometimes we don’t see how far we have gone until we look back and realize that we have covered more ground than we thought.

    I’m not sure if this will help at all, but just a couple of ideas come to mind. First, I appreciate that you are honest enough to voice thoughts that many experience but try to ignore.

    I believe that as hard as it is, we are often left to work things out somewhat on our own. But we are never without help. We have scriptures, prophets, and local leaders to give us guidance. The Church has so many resources to take care of all kinds of needs. The Holy Ghost can comfort us and bring us peace.

    Try to remember past experiences where you have felt the Spirit. If you haven’t been praying, even though you might question whether God is there, try praying and ask for help. It seems to me that you have a desire to believe. Exercise that desire to believe and it will gradually grow into a stronger and stronger faith. Look for evidences of Heavenly Father’s love- recognize and appreciate any small blessing that you see.

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