There have been so many times over the last few years where I’ve found myself questioning whether God even exists. With the amount of pain and suffering I’ve had for over ten years now with little to no relief and countless unanswered prayers surrounding it’s plaguing persistence, I’ve been having this existential crisis of faith more than not these days.
While faith has been the very thing that’s kept me going thus far, it’s also led me to having this daily philosophical debate with myself surrounding the existence of God. Chronic pain and suffering of any sort seem to have a way of doing this. And for people of faith, when things aren’t going their way, that often seems to become the case, especially when chronic pain and suffering get involved. Everyone knows how easy it is to follow God and praise God when life is going their way. But when life falls apart, and remains fallen apart for a good chunk of time, it’s becomes just as easy for one to lose their faith and belief in God.
I’m sure many on this planet are currently going through their own crises of faith in light of this ongoing pandemic that has taken so many souls already from this planet. The loss of a loved one, specifically when it’s taken abruptly, truly can make one question whether God exists. I went through that very thing after my father took his life, as well as when my mother had her tragic drunken fall down the stairs. After both of their deaths, I went through a number of years wondering whether God was just something people made up. But, I never fully stopped believing in God, even when I doubted in God greatly back then, and somehow that faith kept me going through it all. Somehow that faith kept me supported through all the pain and suffering I faced surrounding my parent’s deaths. I can absolutely attest that if I hadn’t had my faith during those periods after their deaths, I would have turned to hard core addictions and probably taken my life like they did.
That being said, I’ve kept my faith in God over the past decade, even as so many years passed one by one with such great pain and suffering. But that’s not to say that all this chronic pain and suffering hasn’t corrupted my mind, because it has, especially as this pandemic has left me at home more than not to sit in my pain and suffering, with relatively nothing to keep my brain occupied from it. That’s a really dangerous place for an addict of my nature to be in and I’ve had to fight off many urges of wanting to give into carnal desires to numb myself and some to even take my life.
There have been a number of individuals in recent years who’ve asked me what I’m going to do if this pain and suffering never goes away. I try to not go there in my brain because the only thing that has kept me going after all this time is my faith in God that it IS going to get better one day. But, for the sake of argument, what IF it does never go away and what if I do give up my faith in the process. What’s happens then?
A life of becoming heavily medicated to deal with it all?
A life of negativity and anger that comes from resentment towards my life and God?
A life of turning back to addictions to numb myself and cope?
Or a life not worth living at all just like my mom and dad felt and chose?
I honestly can’t see anything positive coming out of giving up my faith in God because it’s this faith that has provided me the ONE thing that a life without faith can’t provide throughout all this pain and suffering, and that’s HOPE.
Hope in that all my pain and suffering isn’t the end of this life’s story.
Hope in that there’s a greater purpose for all this pain and suffering that’s beyond my understanding.
Hope in that everything does happen for a reason, even if I may never know what those reasons are.
And hope in that a brighter day will come for me.
My father and mother both gave up their faith and lost any hope of living because of it. That’s why I must keep my faith because I don’t want my life to end like either of theirs did.
But, will my faith in God ever lead to anything better than all this pain and suffering I continue to face in my mind and body, I don’t know, yet I choose to keep my faith anyway. Because at its very core, keeping that type of faith is the truest definition of faith itself, one that continues to believe, even when it feels like there’s no real reason to believe anymore…
Peace, love, light, joy,
Andrew Artur Dawson