I use this phrase in jest when I feel like everything is spiraling out of control, but sometimes the question turns serious.

Like, seriously. Are you there, God? It’s me. Laura. You know, the person You created. Down here. Suffering. Nothing? Really? It’s fine. It’s fine. Nothing’s on fire. I’m fine.

But deep down inside, or maybe just below the surface, I’m not fine.

I’m not okay. And there’s the age old question that’s always asked and never answered:

Where is God in the suffering?

If you’re looking for an answer, or an uplifting anecdote that will leave you hopeful for about 12 hrs, you won’t find it from me. I don’t know where God is in the suffering. Right there? Really? Because I don’t remember Him picking me off of the floor. I don’t remember Him counting out my meds every day. He doesn’t schedule my doctor’s appointments.

“Pray about it.”

Oh, you mean stare at the ceiling in the dark until the turmoil in my head subsides or the clonazepam kicks in?

“Trust His timing.”

How am I supposed to trust someone who’s essentially 6 years late to the wild party that is my life? When will it stop hurting, when I’m dead?

“Leave everything at His feet.”

What, so I can come back and pick it up 2 seconds later? Mental illness doesn’t move for any person, distraction, or chemical compound on Earth. Jesus can’t solve my problems. They are not neatly tucked away into a backpack that I can leave with Him forever.

The worse I get, the farther the concept of an all-knowing being gets. This isn’t a Christian college student puff piece on Jesus healing my depression, and just because I go to a Christian university doesn’t mean I read my bible as I hammock. This doesn’t make me a bad person by any means. Just because I’m too tired to “chase God” doesn’t mean I’ve sold my soul to Satan. We need to stop alienating the people who are still questioning their religious beliefs, or people whose religious beliefs have been compromised.

If God knew me before I was born, then he would have created me to struggle. He would have created me to someday deal with this thing called bipolar disorder. And when I’m doubting, I’m told to turn to the very person who created me that way in the first place.

I feel like a child whose parents forgot to pick them up from school, a child who’s swinging their feet as they see all of the other children being picked up and carted home. 

I find solace in poetry. I find solace in cinema. I find solace in music. I find solace in fiction novels. I find solace in dancing. I find solace in a good cup of coffee.

I’m still waiting for God to show up. I don’t know if there is even a God, and I’m not afraid to say it. I haven’t figured out how I feel about that yet. Until then I’ll sip my coffee and read a book. They haven’t failed me yet.

The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

-Carl Sagan


3 thoughts on “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Laura.

  1. I wish i knew what to say to help. I wish i had just the right words to make you see how much God loves you. The struggle IS real. That’s the truth. I don’t have an answer for you as to why God created you and allowed you to have this illness. I hope and pray that God will draw you closer to Him and reveal Himself to you so that you can better understand His love and your purpose. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I think you’re a truly beautiful girl and i would love to get to know you more and be there for you. I’m here for you.

  2. I agree with both of the previous posts. Please also know that I have never commented on anyones blogs nor have I ever even written a review for a product. I’m a comment skimmer at it’s finest. But as I read your words, I felt compelled. I don’t know if my words will mean much, but I have to share.

    You are not alone. It would be childish not to question God or have doubts or to look up at the sky and ask, ” ARE YOU THERE (because I need you to fix this and fix me and help me, God, before you lose me)? ” You are going through SO MUCH, everyday, all day, and probably all night too, as you lay awake waiting to feel “better”, even though “better” may not be really better, but just not as bad as it was. I can attest to that and I resonate with you. But I really want to share with you where I’ve found myself recently–I’ve found my joy. In the midst of crippling depression and anxiety, a literal broken heart, a past of abuse, and a loss whose grief can never be matched, I have found the joy that had previously evaded me. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect. Having watched so many people suffer and to count myself among them, I can promise you, belief in God or not, we suffer. That’s part of life, I guess, and it sucks. But if we didn’t suffer here, why would we ever want to be with God? Why would we ever yearn for heaven? I really don’t mean to sound cliche, but thats where I’ve found myself recently. I DON’T have all the answers and I can promise you I am no where perfect, but that’s where I’m at. I’ve worked through a lot of my pain and anger, which seemed to dissolve somehow (not due to my own effort), and I’ve started to notice Him more. In the medicine that helps make things “better”, in the wheelchair that gets me from place to place, in the late nights in bed in pain and tears, He’s there. Holding me. And while you may not feel Him now, or see Him, or want anything to do with Him (because that is a real place and I spent a lot of time there), He’s there, with you, in your late nights, and your clanozepam, and your cups of coffee and poetry, and in the people around you who love you.

    I really don’t know if my words meant much, but please know that I’m here. Here to yell at or cry to or talk to (while I welcome all, I’d prefer the latter). You are a cool person and you were wonderfully made and I love what makes you–you.

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