Most people who know me know that I'm not the religious sort. Indeed I profess undeniably that I am agnostic. In the past when I've heard that someone has "found religion" or "found God" I looked on them with infinite pity and some slight scorn. In their darkest times, they've needed someone or something to cling to when they've thought there was nothing else. It was die, or cling to a faceless being that may or may not exist - who had the power to provide redemption.
"How deluded, but sweet" I thought to myself. I knew that God had no "plan" for everyone, and everything happened by happenstance. My own story was classic - I was God's babe and he threw me into the pool of life to sink or swim, watching, perhaps with concern, from the side of the pool. Once I was in the pool I was on the own to make my way.
Last week I went to visit my Grandmother and she asked me how I was. I was honest in how I felt and where I thought I was and the report was quite bleak. She looked at me, loving concern on her face and said "God would never give us more than we are able to handle". I nodded through my tears, remarking to myself that I'd really never heard my grandmother speak of God.
Through the week that has stayed with me, and I've mulled it over in my mind again and again. I've come to a few realizations. The first one is that I know how wrong I was about those who've found God. I envy them that they are so strong in their convictions so that they can share and discuss it with others.
The second is that I was wrong about myself and God. I am not His babe. I am His child. He did not throw me naked into the pool of life to sink or swim. He is there with me, teaching me to swim. Like every loving parent who has done this task, and every child who was taught so lovingly knows - you will get wet, you may sputter, your head will go under, you may be scared and feel that you're not ready for them to let go. Although they will let you sink and feel the power and danger of the water around you, they will never watch you drown. God is here with me, whispering sweet encouragement as I struggle to discover my own buoyancy in this pool. I won't drown because His hand is hovering under me, waiting to lift me when I truly need Him to - not just when I think He should be there. If He was there when I thought He should be, I would never learn to swim.
I don't believe I've found religion, but I have found God in my own way and it is a comfort in the darkness.