So last night the words came out of my daughter’s mouth… “MOM, I JUST DON’T BELIEVE IN ALL THIS GOD STUFF… WHAT’S THE WORD WHEN YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING LIKE THAT, LIKE NONE OF IT?” I replied…. “Atheist?” “YEAH, THAT! THAT’S WHAT I AM.”
Well okay then.
I’m not going to say I understand her point of view. I can only say that as long as I can remember, I have known GOD. I have known there was something grander than myself, something ruling the universe. I have felt Him in the depths of my soul. I have been mad at Him. I have loved Him. I have stopped talking to Him. I have talked to Him. I have written to Him. I have ignored Him. I have thought about Him and I have not thought about Him… I have honored Him and boy he knows I have DIS-honored Him….. but he has ALWAYS existed.
My daughter does not believe he exists.
While I honor her choice in her own personal beliefs, it DOES hurt me. I don’t want it to hurt me. But, it hurts nonetheless. I feel like I have failed her in some way.
She told me, “I don’t want to disappoint you or make you unhappy by telling you this, but its just the truth.” I know she means it.
I do not understand why she wants to continue going to the church youth group though, so I asked. She answered. “Pastor Jon has said, you do not have to believe to belong. I enjoy going, I have found a place I enjoy spending time in and feel like I belong. So please do not make me stop going. My group leaders know I don’t believe in prayer and they just allow me to sit quietly during that time, and I do. So can we please continue to go?”
My answer was simple and to the point. “Pastor Jon is right, you do not have to believe to belong. As long as our schedule permits, we will continue to go.”
So yeah… there’s that.
I was thinking about it long and hard. I think I am saddened because I wish I had believed in God before now. I said I always knew he existed, I never said I always believed. Believing is trusting for me. I have significant trust issues I am realizing the older I am getting. Thinking this morning, wondering, why do people only start to believe – or trust – in God when time’s are bad? It seems, the better things are for you in your life the further you get from God. I was a spoiled kid, the more I got the less I “needed from God.” I see this in my daughter. Maybe my sadness is that part of me that wished I knew just how MUCH God could give me is being reflected back to my in the form of my daughter.
I will NEVER be the parent that tells my kids what to do, how to feel. I mean I tell them to clean their room and take out the trash – that kinda stuff. I’m talking about life living stuff. I am never going to tell my kids they have to take this class and they MUST get an A and you have no choice in or IF you go to college. I will give them all their options and help them make a grounded well informed decision. I will never tell them what they are going to be when they are an adult. I believe in the ability to make those choices for ones self. So… if my daughter does not believe God exists, then that is her prerogative. I just hope she knows while she feels she has shut that door in her life, that door is never locked and it can be re-opened anytime. I say the words… but you know… she’s almost fourteen, you never know what gets heard.
I guess my mother was right… “we have time to think about this one.”