“Why Am I Here?” This thought has crossed my mind so many times in the last year of my life with all the pain and struggles I have had to face every single day. The life I once lived now seems like it was someone else’s or a very distant memory.
Ten years ago I was still employed by the U.S. Government, earning $82,000 per year. I was about to sell my house and make a $200,000 profit which would be invested fully into a new bed and breakfast venture with my then partner of several years. I was soon to be owning a home and a business on a small island off the coast of Virginia. And I felt like I had finally arrived to a life that I was always meant to be living in.
Since then I lost my mother, then that partner, then that business, then all that money, than my health, then most of my friends, and finally my ability to be employed. There are days like today that it takes every ounce of courage and determination to keep moving forward with faith that God will deliver me out of this state which I have referred to lately as Hell. Religion speaks often to a fire and brimstone place that one’s soul goes to when they die a sinner. On days like today when pain wreaks havoc in various areas of my body and when depression fills my vessel, it often feels like I’m in that fiery pit now.
In the Bible, there was the story of Job who was tested for his faith as he endured great losses all around him and within him. For anyone who’s read the story, Job was able to maintain his faith even as he lost more and more. But eventually he would cry out in the end and plea to God to take his life because the pain was so great and because he had no answers as to why he was suffering. God finally did speak to Job after his plea. The chapter in the Bible concludes with God restoring Job on every level with even more than what he originally had lost. Unfortunately, there is no proof that Job’s story is even real. Some biblical scholars say it’s true. Other’s have said it’s a parable to provide hope for those going through great suffering. For me, I have often thought of myself on some level as Job, like on days like today, when I have cried out in my own anguish and wished God would take me from this life.
The memory of me having all that money, all those friends, and all those possessions so many years ago obviously wasn’t supposed to be the journey that I was meant to be on. Where my journey is heading, I don’t know. What I do know is that I have endured great pain and suffering for almost three years now, the last year of which has been more than not, unbearable.
I don’t understand God nor His plan for me. To a few people that I know, comparisons have been made to the life I’m now living as somewhat of a monk. Quite often, it’s extremely difficult for me to be around a lot of people. I spend most of my days and evenings alone now because I find it very hard to explain to everyone what I feel inside when what they see on the outside doesn’t quite line up. To some I’m sure the feeling is that I have some area of unconfessed sin that is driving all of this. Job’s three friends even tried to convince him of this, except Job’s suffering was due to Satan trying to prove that Job would denounce God when all of what he had was taken away. Rest assured, I have confessed everything that I am aware of in my life that wasn’t done in love and light. I’ve made amends wherever possible. I’ve done everything that I know I can do from a health and healing standpoint. I’ve been prayed for, prayed over, and anointed with oil. And I have removed everything from my life that would drive me away from living a completely spiritually God-centered life.
So far I still have no answers. I am told by my spiritual advisor and Shaman, by my closest friends, and by my partner, to remain patient. It’s really hard. And on some days, like how I feel right now, tears come to my eyes, and I silently ask God “Why?” I don’t know why I’m still going through all of this. I don’t know why I’m still even here. It’s even harder when I see people all around me getting away with behaviors that are filled with a lot of darkness and hate while I try to do the best I can to stay spiritually centered with God.
What I do know is that I am going to continue to do the best I can to keep going and trust that God will one day bring light to the darkness that I feel. That He will deliver me out of this pain and suffering I continue to endure. And that He will show me the next step on my path as to why I’m still here and how best I can serve His will.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson