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How can I believe?

Old 09-28-2006, 05:50 AM
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Jack
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How can I believe?

I was raised Roman Catholic. 12 years of nuns, 4 years of Jesuit priests in college. The message was always the same. Lead a good life and you'll be rewarded. Do wrong and you'll be punished.
I bought a motorcycle and my wife and I went for a ride. We left our kids, ages 7, 5, 3 and 11 months with a babysitter.
A drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit us broadside. My wife broke her back and never walked again. I had 14 orthopedic surgeries. My kids were farmed out to relatives while we were in rehabs. We were both 25 years old. I had a good job I loved, a home I owned, the American dream.
What did my wife or I do that deserved such punishment? What kind of God would allow that to happen?
I'm 59 now and looking forward to death. When I die I plan on having a long discussion with the author of this tragedy. I'm bitter.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:09 AM
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my mother died this year...she was 58 years old...i think it would be easy for me to be angry at god and to wonder if i or she was being punished...but i think that god gives us free will....he allowed her to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day and drink heavily....and we are mortal...
i am no expert but i choose to believe that god loves us and does not judge us in this life....that may come when we reach heaven, i don't know...
jack, i am so sorry for your tragic life... i wish there were words that would give you peace and happiness...having my mother die at 58 i know how very young that is...i miss her horribly every day ...this has been the worst year of my life...i cared for her and it was just aweful...
i want very much to comfort you but i can't seem to find the right words...the only way i get through the day is to pray and ask for peace...i will do the same for you if you don't mind...
jack...there has to have been some good in your life...please try to remember those things when you are so down...and remember that no matter how bad things are for you that they can be better if you have hope...your life is not over...there could still be good things waiting for you...
my dad was raised catholic and i can tell you he has a lot of bitterness also...it is too bad that so many catholics have so much guilt...and anger toward god...his whole family seems to feel the same way...
i do not go to church...but the god i believe in does not punish...or control the evil things that happen in our lives...he only equips us to deal with those things
sorry if this is very long- winded but i want so very much to help.....
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jbm125
I was raised Roman Catholic. 12 years of nuns, 4 years of Jesuit priests in college. The message was always the same. Lead a good life and you'll be rewarded. Do wrong and you'll be punished.
I bought a motorcycle and my wife and I went for a ride. We left our kids, ages 7, 5, 3 and 11 months with a babysitter.
A drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit us broadside. My wife broke her back and never walked again. I had 14 orthopedic surgeries. My kids were farmed out to relatives while we were in rehabs. We were both 25 years old. I had a good job I loved, a home I owned, the American dream.
What did my wife or I do that deserved such punishment? What kind of God would allow that to happen?
I'm 59 now and looking forward to death. When I die I plan on having a long discussion with the author of this tragedy. I'm bitter.
That's just one of the many reasons why I'm not a theist. I never have been, and don't think I ever could be. I'd have to be in serious pain to wish death, because an afterlife seems far to much like a comforting fairy tale. I don't blame you for being bitter.
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Old 09-28-2006, 10:58 AM
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((( jbm )))

My heart goes out to you... what a tragedy! I was raised catholic and I consider myself a recovering catholic as well as a recovering alkie/addict.
I understand your anger. I am speechless for suggestions except to continue to vent your thoughts about your life, your anger and your agony here at SR.
We are here to listen.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:18 PM
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I also was raised RC.My life changed when i read the Holy bible,myself,asking for the spirit of God,to help me,know what He wanted me to through The Word of God.Also,May i suggest a book,written by Harold S Kushner.Its called when bad things happen to good people.It really helped me,with the same questions that your wondering about.Hope it helps you too.
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Old 09-28-2006, 04:07 PM
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Just lost my younger brother a couple months ago. I'm pissed too.

I hope things get better for you.
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Old 09-28-2006, 05:33 PM
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Jbm;
I'm so sorry for your pain and losses...

I am unsure, however, of what it is you're looking for her. This is the secular forum. Are you asking for how to get by without G*D? Are you trying to find your way back to G*D?

Please know, I want to help in any way possible, to ease your pain.

My prayers for your complete refuah shleyma...renewal of body and spirit.

Shalom!
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:54 PM
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Hey there Jack, thanx for sharing a bit of your story today.

I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of reading some of your older posts here on Sober Recovery. I'll share a little of me so you will know where I am coming from.

I had the nuns and Jesuits too. But I never had the kind of life you enjoyed. I was beaten, raped and tortured by my biolgical parents. Physically I spend a little time in a wheelchair from the injuries, emotionally I spent a lot of time in therapy getting my head straightened out. Today I am 49yrs old, 26yrs clean and sober in AA. I have a terminal heart condition, the docs cannot explain why my heart still functions as I should have died two years ago. So far I've had 5 heart attacks, was decleared dead and flat lined, and somehow kicked back alive like something out of a horror movie.

Naturally, I don't have problem with the HP keeping me around a little while longer.

A little over 20yrs ago I met a charming young lady thru the fellowship of a 12 step program. Her childhood was far worse than mine, and she suffered from a severe case of arthritis that left her seriously handicapped. A couple years ago her dependence on pain pills for medical purposes became an addiction and our marriage came to a sudden end.

As far as your question about what kind of God would allow that to happen I can only give you my answer. Perhaps you can find something of use here.

My question was what kind of God would allow such horror to happen to children, such as what I experienced. How can a God that is presented as all-loving allow children to be beaten, raped and tortured by their own parents? More specifically, I was asking "why me?"

As a result of the recovery program I have come to realize what the answer is. My biological parents were themselves victims of child abuse, and God gave them the opportunity to break the cycle of abuse by blessing them with a child. Me. Unfortunately they chose to continue the cycle, which is something they are now discussing with their own HP in the afterlife. My God, in turn, gave me the same opportunity to break the cycle of abuse. I chose to seek therapy and recovery in a 12 step program. My daughter and grand children never saw me drunk or abusive.

I currently reach out to other survivors of incest thru the local 12 step groups. I have been able to share my recovery with them and been blessed over the years by witnessing many of them healing themselves with the aid of their own HP.

My God allowed me to be beaten, raped and tortured because he needed somebody to carry His message to many other people who would have need of it. My God have me the strength and courage to overcome my childhood, and placed all manner of kind, caring people in my path to help me along. As a direct result of having survived and overcome the fires of abuse I can now reach out to others and show them the way.

I spent most of today with a deep ache in my chest. My "pump" grinding itself away, reminding me that whatever good I am to do in this life I better get it done today as tomorrow is nothing more than a hope. This morning I reached out to a young lady in the program of AA who has had her share of challenges, and I was rewarded with her story of happiness and joy in her new relationship and the growth of her children. This afternoon I reached out to a man in NA who is recently clean and sober. I was rewarded with his story of happiness and joy in his re-kindled marriage and hopes for a future full of joy. Oh yes, his wife is also a survivor of childhood abuse.

That is why God allowed me to suffer such pain in my life. So that I could carry His message and experience the wonders of seeing other people's lives become happy, joyous and free. My kids are grown, my marriage is gone, my future is short, but my life today is filled with great wonders and the firm knowledge that it has not been spent in vain.

I know nothing about you, Jack. Only the few words you have shared on this forum. I don't know what message your God has for you to carry. I do know that you can also experience what sobriety and faith has allowed me to experience because you and I are both equal. We are both human beings with equal capacity to rejoice in His love for us today.

Somewhere tonite there are people who need to hear that message of hope. You can choose to carry that message. Pick up the phone and call the people you know in your local area and ask them how _their_ life is doing today. Ask them what you can do to make their burden lighter today. That is how I make _my_ life meaningful, and how I answer your question of what kind of God would allow such pain. I answer your question with action in the program of recovery.

His peace be with you Jack. I know it is with me and I hope you can find it tonite.

Mike
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:19 AM
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Powerful thread Jack. For whatever it's worth I feel for you.

I don't believe in a personal G*d. That'll be down to my arrogance, and I've come to believe that it's really not very important what I believe. But I've found that acceptance, a very precious personal gift which I have been given by AA, is my key to my life. And in my opinion, acceptance is common to all people of whatever creed or none who manage to find some peace in life.

In my head here's my analogy. I'm sorry if it seems glib, particularly in the face of what you, and the others who have contributed to this thread, have suffered. I am in a great river. We all are. The current carries us. Sometimes I might decide that I want to be with that person over there, or going in that direction. I try to swim. As I see the object of my desires isn't coming closer, I fight harder. Then maybe I panic and fill with fear. Then I sulk. Then I get mad and thrash about. Then I curse the river. The river doesn't care. It just does what it does. Then I get drunk and pretend I'm not in a river.

Eventually I realise that I cannot defeat the river. I realise that the river flows, I flow with it, I can move a little either way, but the only thing I can truly control is what happens inside me, not what happens in the river.

Nothing changes. I'm still in the river. It still takes me where it takes me, and where it takes me is, by definition, where I need to go. But I stop fighting. So I change, inside. Destinations remain the same, people passing. Now I witness them more calmly.

That's my way of understanding my journey. I fought and was angry for too long. It's just a river.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:49 AM
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for Jack, I can imagine you're looking forward to dying standing in your shoes but that kinda thinking is poisonous...imo then.

Marte
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