I grew up Catholic and have gone through an evolution ever since. To say I was a strong Catholic by any means was a stretch. I was more of a Sunday and during lent Catholic. Then the rest was free range to be a heathen. One thing was clear to me even as a young girl. God was a scary being not to be messed with. This was my image of God for a very long time. In my mind, God was a new testament God, wrathful and willing to punish the disobedient. Looking back on it now, it makes sense that I fought against religion for so long because who wants to be involved in something that seems so condemning.
View on God
My view of God changed when my relationship with Him did. I accepted Christ for myself outside of my Catholic upbringing when I was an adult, 21 to be exact. The evolution and peeling of layers to really understand who God was and the revelation of who Christ truly takes some diving into on my part. I’ll be honest I was hesitant at first. I didn’t want to over-commit, just if I needed a clear escape or in case things got weird or I felt guilty about the way I lived. For a while, that’s was my relationship with God, and arms distance, close enough that I could hold on when life was hard but far enough that I didn’t have to think about it if I didn’t want to.
Then there came a day that I felt like that wasn’t enough. I couldn’t understand how people had “God experiences.” People said they could hear his voice or get visions in their dreams. That God seemed foreign to me, like a movie effect type of God or a genie in a bottle. An evolution that I was not experiencing: I’ve always been a competitive overachiever, and I figured if I was going to do this Christian thing, I had to be good at it.
I couldn’t just be a 50% Christian. I wanted to be part of the elite club that had those experiences. Well, be careful what you wish for my friends.
Immediately after experiencing one of the hardest seasons ever, there was nothing great about being part of this Christian club. In fact, this club, for lack of a better word, sucked. But I grew drastically. I read more and learned to pray deep and intimate prayers because I needed to. I discovered a sensitivity to God that I’d never experienced before.
God felt close, and little things looked like blessings, simple reminders that God always around began to appear daily. An evolution before my eyes. The world seemed more beautiful despite what was happening in the news and my personal life. Suddenly I, too, was able to hear whispers from God. They are not audible like how you hear people talking but internal whispers that came straight from my soul. My view of God had completely shifted as someone I could trust and lean into even in my darkest moments because I felt He cared.
Evolution of God
But I suppose I share this with you because sometimes I feel like there is a distorted view of God, a stigma, if you will. God can either be this impersonal omniscient being too far to ever relate to or your best friend, too, to who you tell all your secrets. But I feel like God isn’t really either one of those. In fact, I think God is something far more complex. A mix in the middle between the greatest spiritual being, which far surpasses humanity, and a Father for who you have the greatest respect for and who in turn truly cares about every one of his children.
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That revelation has been the most profound understanding of God in my life. The understanding that the greatest creator in the universe cares about me and everything I go through. I never would’ve understood that if I hadn’t decided that I wanted to know more. I truly wanted to experience the evolution of my relationship with God and what it could develop into.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.