Some of you have written to me saying that there is no mention of God in my website and asking me if I believe in God. Some have asked if I believe and has it made a difference in all that I have gone through. And quite a few have sent me notes saying that you have prayed for me (for which I am grateful, and humbled. Thank you).
Although I have my opinions on God, I never wrote about it on my website because I did not want to change the focus of the website. My website is on being depressed and being bipolar, and I didn’t want get bogged down in discussions on prayers and which God and how to worship, etc.. There are other places on the ‘net to do that. However, I recently returned from a pilgrimage. In my current reflective mood, I thought that I would finally share how I feel with others. So here it is.
I’ve said that God isn’t mentioned on the website because I didn’t want to change the website focus. However, there is actually no mention of God in the entries of my written diary either – it’s not that I edited them out when transferring them to the website. So does this mean that I don’t think or believe in God? Well, not really.
The reason that God is never mentioned is pretty much the same reason that I never mentioned how wet the water is where I live. It’s not that it’s not important, it’s that it is so self-evident that it never occurred to me to mention it.
I do absolutely believe God exists. The faith is there, and it is; I have never needed any reason to justify my belief. I also absolutely believe that God has a plan and that each of us is an essential part of that plan – even if we do not understand how. I also trust that God would not give me more than I can bear, even if things seem absolutely hopeless at any given time. And trust me, there have been days when I despaired that life would be anything other than unremitting misery.
My belief and trust in God has been central in my surviving being bipolar. If I thought that all I had gone through was meaningless, I would never have had the hope or belief or trust or desire to make it through the worst of my depression. If I didn’t think I was important in whatever small way to the workings of the world / universe, I would not have bothered to fight like crazy to get better. If I didn’t trust that God would only give me what I could handle, I would not have thought that I could beat this.
And yes, all the faith was in place before I found out I was bipolar. I didn’t pick it up along the way to act as a crutch to support me. But it certainly came in handy when I did find out that I was bipolar, and it was often my only source of strength / solace during some of the depression episodes and their aftermath.
So. There it is.
There are are few addendums I need to mention. The first is that this website is a direct offshoot of my faith in God. If I am able to contribute to help others, then I am morally obliged to do so, and it is my duty to do my part in God’s plan, however large or small my part is. The website is not a thanks to God, but an ongoing acknowledgement of my faith.
The second thing is that I do not think that God inflicted being bipolar on me as punishment. I just don’t think that’s how God works. Nor did I ask God along the way to help me because I don’t think that’s how God works either. (Mind you, I could be wrong on this and and if I am, I’m going to feel very silly on the day of judgement). But I trusted that God gave me both the strength and resourcefulness to survive this and therefore I did everything I could think of to help myself. I still do everything I can.
Although it has often been difficult for me, I think that anything more than a little self pity is a sin, or close to one. We have been provided with the resources to go on and succeed, even if we don’t think so. (But mind you, we all need a little self pity sometimes).
I don’t expect others to necessarily share my outlook on God or the role God plays in our lives. But it is not necessary to. If God can create a thousand different types of butterflies, each one of which is shimmeringly beautiful, God can certainly create a thousand avenues that lead to God. I follow one, you follow another. Just so long as there is a connection to God. That’s the important thing.