When my ex-husband, Josh, was about to get out of the service we discussed where we were going to live when he got out. I wanted to stay in California, but he wanted to move to Iowa, where he was from.
Neither of us was willing to budge, so we argued. Things got heated and I stormed out the front door.
After about fifteen minutes of walking and stewing, I looked up and saw a cloud in the shape of a cross. This distracted me. Did an airplane made it? Hmmm…I didn’t see an airplane. As I pondered how this cross came to be, my anger dissipated.
Although I’d been raised Catholic, I doubted the existence of God. I wanted to believe, but I had more doubt than faith. Despite this, I wondered if the cross was a sign from heaven. Is God telling me I should go to Iowa?
Maybe I had more faith than I realized or maybe I just didn’t want to fight anymore, but I went home and told Josh that I’d move to Iowa as long as he promised that we’d move back to California in a year if I wasn’t happy there.
We moved to Iowa and moved in with my mother-in-law. What’s worse, Josh decided that he didn’t want to work for a while, which meant that we lived with his mom for a year.
When that year was up I was eager to move back to California, but Josh refused to move. And things got worse. I won’t go into detail, but I’ll just say that we moved into a crappy house that Josh gutted and then never repaired (we didn’t even have a kitchen sink – I had to do the dishes in the bathtub!) and then we ended up getting divorced.
In the pain of my break up, I remembered that cross-shaped cloud and wondered; how could God want me to do something that caused so much pain? And why would God allow so much other suffering in the world?
My questions were deep, and my answer was that God must not exist.
Having lost my husband and the little faith I had sent me into a depression. I was in a dark place for several years but eventually came out of it. As my mood improved, I opened myself to the possibility of faith.
I began searching for God again, but I still didn’t believe. I’m a doubter and will probably always be a doubter. At least that’s what I thought until last week when something challenged my doubt like nothing in my life ever has.
This post is getting long, so I’m going to break it into two parts. Please check back tomorrow and find out what’s made me doubt my doubt.
Photo courtesy of revelife.com.
Wow…very moving story. We all face different circumstances to make us question. But I definitely know that God is real…..my blessings are proof of that and I’ve felt him and seen him move so much in my life, my faith is so strong. I certainly wouldn’t be who I am today without God either.
Thank you so much for your hopeful message! I’m always encouraged by other people’s belief in God. My husband has a strong faith, and it’s always inspired me. I believe I’m on the journey to faith, and am getting closer and closer to it. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!! Celeste 🙂
Wishing you positive thoughts!
Oh thanks, and right back at you!! Celeste 🙂
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having doubts or questioning your faith. I think we learn to know ourselves better by searching for answers…looking forward to the second installment.
Thank you so much for reading Patti! I also appreciate your comment. And I believe you’re right, questioning teaches us a lot. For me, however; sometimes I go negative when I question. Maybe this is normal, but I don’t like going to that dark place. I’m getting better about it, however. In recent years I’ve been learning to accept what is without becoming depressed. And, from what I’ll share in tomorrow’s post, there may be hope for me (with regard to faith) yet. Celeste 🙂
That’s pretty huge, girl.
Haha – yea, I’m the queen of drama!! Thanks for reading Annie! Celeste 🙂
Great post! I was also raised Catholic, but as an adult am not part of an organized religion, yet I consider myself spiritual in some sense and part of something larger than myself. Very curious to find out what made you doubt your doubt. You sure have a knack for building suspense! 🙂
So how’s your Catholic guilt? Despite letting go of my Catholic upbringing, I can’t seem to let go of that guilt – gosh darn it! Anyway, thank you so much for your ongoing support Cowgirl – I really appreciate it! Celeste 🙂
Can’t wait for part 2! Interesting read…
Thanks so much for reading Sophia!! Celeste 🙂
What a cliffhanger!!!! 😉
I have journeyed to and from God myself many a time. And my favorite quality of His: always there waiting when I return.
And in regards to your troubles, oh what heartache. I feel for the former “you” in this story. I hope whatever searching you are doing now allows you a bit of salve for your soul.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments about my former self. Thankfully, that was a long time ago and I’m doing fine these days. Still, it was nice to get your comment! Celeste 🙂
The human brain is a truly amazing organ. It’s my belief that much of our perceptions of “God” come from both society and from the electrical firings between our ears. I’ve never been one to use God as an excuse not to act or as a convenient way to explain the unexplained. (Goes against my science self.) If something feels right, I do it. If it doesn’t, I don’t. But that reasoning generally stems from my collective experiences at that particular moment in time — all I know, really.
I find it better to not question a decision I made because I know it was made thoughtfully at that moment in time. Hindsight is always 20/20. I’m most decidedly a forward-looker, with my feet firmly planted in the now. But I do look forward to seeing how your story turned out!
Hey Shannon! The human brain is truly amazing – no doubt about that! And there have been many times in my life when I believed that God was simply something humans dreamed up to explain the unexplained. But even when I mostly believed that, I could never shake my wondering about the possibility of God. I don’t think I’ll ever be an atheist or a “true” believer. All I have is questions, and I think that’s okay. And right now, my belief is leaning toward the existence of God and heaven and all that. Thank you so much for your comment. Celeste 🙂
I know what you mean about that cross in the clouds! I myself have never seen one, but it truly is awesome how God can use so many DIFFERENT ways to get our attention, give us direction (although we’re still wondering if that’s the right direction), and to just give us that little bit of peace that we’re struggling to receive from somewhere – that would help to calm our fuming mind, rapidly beating heart, and tight-fisted hands. I hear ya, Celeste! I’m sorry to about your marriage having ended. There’s actually a dear lady I know who gives me constant spiritual uplifting with her emails. The thing about her life, is that she had turned to God for the first time ever (and since), when she knew her marriage was falling apart. It did go on to end, but she’s a powerful woman whose emails of encouragement and gifts in prayer I treasure. Your posts are God-sends for us as well, so thanks a bunch, Celeste!
Oh, in regards to washing dishes in the bathtub. Back where I’m from, we used to get super-typhoons all of the time, and have no more electricity and running water. There was one time when I was living in a small apartment and that had happened again, but my roommate let me know that there was a small faucet outside of our apartment building, that actually had water still coming out of it. So I put all of our dirty dishes together, carried them to the other side of the building, and washed them out there in the parking lot. It was too funny, but I was just so relieved that I didn’t need to be lugging my dirty dishes all the way to some river!
Your cloud story reminds me of a photo I had taken years ago. Gonna look for it and will show ya, when I do. Anyhow, lemme look for part 2 of this story. No kidding about this post being a cliff hanger! Carumba! Good thing I wasn’t holding a bucket of popcorn, or else I would have flung it up in anxiety! Haha!
Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful comment!! On looking back, I see my first marriage and divorce differently than I did when I was going through them. I know it’s cliché, but they really did make me who I am today and I like who I am. They also may have made me doubt my faith for a while, but they eventually helped me to grow into a more real, grown up faith (albeit – still with doubts, but I think that’s normal).
Haha – your dishwashing story is so funny!
Thanks again for reading and I’m so glad we’ve connected!! Celeste 🙂
I found that picture today and had posted it. Thanks for reminding me about it!
Oh great – I’m glad you like it!