God, this word has many different meanings to different people. To my grandmother it means reading the bible, going to mass, and saying the rosary. To my mother it means her belief that her mother is in heaven looking down on us and watching over us. And even to some, God does not exist. To me, well to me I am not exactly sure what this word means and how am I supposed to start believing in something I never really believed in to start with. I believe in heaven and hell, and I believe in a higher power but exactly how this higher power works is still a question floating around in my mind.
Many questions come to mind when I question my belief in God. One is, does God take people or except people, or even both? We all have lost relatives or friends, and after they are gone we tell ourselves that they are in a better place, but what is that place, how did they get there and why were they taken from here? Tragedies happen all the time, some believe that God is merely challenging our faith, but how fair is that? I get that there has to be a balance, good and evil, life and death, but how does God decide who stays and goes to keep this balance?
In my sixteen years I have experienced two deaths that have affected my life more than just losing someone and getting over it. These deaths made me really question my belief in God. Is he real, can I blame him for these deaths? These people touched my heart and left me with memories I will never forget. The two were completely different, one at the age of sixty seven and the other at the age of sixteen. My mother always tells me that God accepts people into heaven but how can God let a sixteen year old boy die? These questions haunt me every day and as I go through life and encounter new challenges I hope to find some answers.
In June of 2002 I lost my very best friend in the whole world. My grandmother was brave, stubborn, funny, persistent and honest. She suffered from many things, but at the age of nine all I understood was that my grandmother could no longer walk, breath on her own, and made frequent visits to the hospital. My mother and I went to see her every other weekend for as long as I can remember. Every visit we talked for hours, played dress up, and were just there for each other. I went to the hospital every time and at times it became pretty scary. I was never afraid of the machines she was hooked up to and I never thought she would leave me. In my eyes she was invincible. To this day I have yet to meet someone who stared fear in the eye and took it head on. I never understood why God would not fix her I would pray and pray, maybe it was because I didn’t go to church or because I didn’t really know if I believed.
For a long time I blamed God, but then it came to my mind that if I blamed him then he must be real. So I both blamed him and accepted he was real, or well, that seemed the only option. But it does not seem fare to only believe in God when I blamed him for something but did not thank him for the good things in my life. The next event in my life really threw me a curve ball. In April of 2008 my father’s best friend lost his son. Michael was sixteen years old and died of an accidental drug over-dose. Michael was not perfect and he was going through a tough time in his life but, how could God let this happen? I only met Michael a few times but when I did I could tell there was something about him that was special. I think Michael wanted to be a good person but he did not know how. Why couldn’t God help bring out the good in him instead of the bad?
Sometimes I pray to God to keep my family and friends safe, but does he hear me? I cannot help but be confused. Is God merely a figure people created to help them do the right thing, or does he really judge you and determine whether you go to heaven or hell? If you find forgiveness in yourself and others will God find forgiveness in you? Does he take these people from us or do we live and die on our own time and he just accepts us when we do go? This paper may seem scattered and all over the place but to be honest that is how I feel. I do not know what to believe, people find peace, love and redemption in God which is good for them. I think my biggest struggle with my belief in God is whether he takes the people I love away or if he only accepts them.
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