And Other Thoughts

A Cause to Blog

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The God Hater Within

This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusions, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.

I’d love to claim those words, but they are not my own. These were the words of Jesus in John 3:19-20 (The Message). The reason I wrote this scripture is because at one point in my life, I was that person…a hater of God-light. Basically, though, I was just a God hater, period!

What makes a person hate God the way so many do today? For one thing, it is an absolute lack of knowledge combined with the denial of a loving God filled with illusions of the worldly ways. I’m telling you straight-up, this scripture, translated in The Message bible, speaks reality like nobody’s business!

I feared for quite some time to tell my story publically. I don’t exactly know why, because years ago I spoke about in public schools. It was a part of who I had become because of the amazing things God did to change my mind about who He is.

Let me start at the beginning. I’ll take you back to an innocent little girl thrown into a world of religion but with a piercing desire to know Jesus. Being raised Catholic can nearly drown any hope of that ever happening. With nuns busting my butt constantly telling me how “evil” I was, I can’t tell you the number of times I was pushed aside in an empty hallway and told I was going to hell. As a seemingly ageless child, how could I know what I’d done so terribly wrong that I would already go to hell!?

You begin to ask yourself, “What’s the point then if I’m just going to hell anyway?” And so the destruction begins. The classic phrase fits like a glove: sex, drugs and rock n roll. Sure, on the outside it looks like so much fun, and no one can deny I had good times, but quite honestly, I knew for so long that something was missing and the emptiness always punched me in the face. But you want to believe another classic phrase, “I’m a good person, surely God will take that into account.” I mean, really, I wasn’t hurting anyone…until I was.

My past defines me. That doesn’t mean it’s who I am today, it just means it has molded my beliefs into a nicely wrapped package with meaning and motivation. What does that mean? Follow along…it’s going to get bad.

In 1987, when my first son, Josh, was only three years old I tried to commit suicide. The guy I was madly in love with dumped me for another woman. He was my first love, or so I thought. I was devastated and ached for him. My life seemed useless without him—or any other man for that matter. So I was tired of chasing a dream that seemed so surreal to me. I believed that love would never find me, because I wasn’t worthy of love. Oh, did I mention I was sexually molested when I was eleven? Yeah, that explains a lot.

So I downed a bottle of pills and as the world began to faze in and out, I called my ex-boyfriend and told him what I’d done hoping he’d care. He cared enough to come get me and take me to the ER. It was there that I discovered I was pregnant again. I felt my heart sink as I knew full well that the man standing next to me not only didn’t want me, but he surely didn’t want a baby with me. But he put on a brave face and said we’d “discuss” it.

After three days in a psych ward, my ex-boyfriend picked me up and we began a new life together. Only our new life wouldn’t include a baby, he made that perfectly clear. If I wanted him, I had to terminate the pregnancy.

We drove up to the abortion clinic early one rainy morning and he reluctantly walked me in. He dumped me off and told me he’d come back to get me when the procedure was over. We asked the nurse how long it would take, and he determined he’d be back by 11 AM.

While my baby was being sucked out of me and chopped to pieces—sorry, but that’s reality, like it or not!—my boyfriend was out partying and having a good time. While I laid all alone in a huge hall-like room filled with empty cots, crying and aching, and more than ever, feeling entirely empty, he was laughing and hooting and hollering.

When the time came for my release, I was brought out into the empty waiting room. No one was there waiting for me. So I sat in one of the sterile chairs, wishing I could be anywhere else, and waited. And waited. I watched the clock go from 11:00 to 12:00 to 1:00 to 2:00, until 2:15 he finally pounced in the door like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, so happy and bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. The embarrassment and shame I felt was overwhelming, and when I asked where he was, I was yelled and screamed at and told not to badger him because he was going through a rough time with this. I could tell…

If ever I believed I was going to hell, I have to tell you, those hallway incidents with the nuns never convinced me; but this…well, this was different. I knew how God felt about abortion. That was not a secret; my fate was sealed. And my life spiraled out of control.

Within weeks from that experience, I was snorting as much cocaine as feasibly possible. I even had a moment when I felt I was overdosing. I didn’t care. I took the line in stride and tempted the devil to just take me and get it over with. But something supernatural took place that night. As I sat utterly paralyzed and stoned, unable to move but hating the place I was in—a drug house, mind you, I mean a real, nutty, drug dealer’s house—I felt lifeless and hopeless, when suddenly something pulled me up off that dingy brown sofa and took me home. I didn’t say goodbye, I didn’t even move my feet. I was just home.

You would think that experience would have had me on my knees, but it didn’t. It was, though, the beginning of God’s nudging, trying to tell me I was alright with Him. But I didn’t listen. I feared a “painful exposure.” The God I knew was angry and vengeful, and I knew if I went to Him I’d be doomed, so my best bet was to keep practicing evil.

The second abortion was the worse.

This was a man I believed I’d spend the rest of my life with. He was a good, decent guy who adored me and never mistreated me. I, on the other hand, treated him like dirt because I didn’t feel I deserved that kind of love.

It was a snowy morning, a blizzard to be exact. But we weren’t going to miss that appointment. The memories of the first abortion just numbed me, and after they called me back and had me wait in this beautiful old renovated warehouse loft, I found myself gazing out the window overlooking the Milwaukee River. Again, I was alone. This big room swallowed me whole, and I liked it.

I wish I hadn’t heard the suction sound of the machine ripping my baby out of me, but I did. And that’s a sound I’ll never forget, and the blankness in the eyes of the doctor and nurses. This time, I was welcomed out of my haze with a room full of crying women. Seven of them to be exact. The crying, moaning and groaning—the sounds of broken hearts!—sent me into a deep hole I knew I’d never be able to climb out of. But something happened in that moment of time. Every single one of us—all those sorry, remorseful women—grabbed our neighbor’s hand and cried together. Never in my life will I forget that moment. Never… I couldn’t tell you what was said, because the weeping and aching groans were too loud. We just…mourned the murder of our children together.

The world thinks a pregnancy is a choice—one that can be chose to keep or not. Yes, pregnancy is a choice. You choose to have sex or you choose not to. If you choose to have sex, you choose to get pregnant whether you like it or not. That’s the reality of sex, and that’s your only reality of it being a “choice.”

You can take all the precautions you want, but nothing—NOTHING—is 100% guaranteed. So by choosing sex, you choose to get pregnant. By choosing to get pregnant I believe you NO LONGER have a choice after that. You. Are. Pregnant. You are carrying a child. From the second of conception, that baby, that life, begins to form inside of you. It is a life, not a tissue—stop being addicted to denial and illusions—but a life.

When did murdering an innocent child ever become normal and considered a choice? I’d like to know how this epidemic of lies has been able to manipulate so many women to kill innocent children, like I had. Abortion is a lie. And if you believe it’s just a choice and just a tissue to get rid of like the flu, you are so incredibly delusional and insanely brainwashed. I bet if you have gone through it, the truth has smacked you around day and night and never lets you go. Some choice, right?

I began to hate God. I mean, full out HATE God. I considered myself an atheist—which is why I can relate to most atheists today. I’ve said it a million times: they believe in God, they just hate Him. Most atheists have a story to tell you. If you listen closely they will tell you about a hateful, vengeful, terrifying God. Well, that was the God I knew and hated, too.

Want to know something funny? While I was hating God with every fiber in my being…He was working in my life and loving me. He was carrying me through one destructive relationship after another. Sexual abuse. Mental abuse. Physical abuse. Promiscuity. Drugs. Alcohol. Self-inflicting hate! When you hate God, you almost always hate you, because YOU have a story to tell, don’t you?

My story is the story of two innocent lives I took as part of my womanly “right” to choice. They would haunt me forever and a day. I saw their face. I even had a dream once where the first one was a little girl in a pink dress with black curls, asking me quite matter of factly, “Why didn’t you want me, mommy?”

I slept with so many men it made my head spin. I was searching and aching. The other funny part of this story: I HATED SEX! I hated every single part of it. Why wouldn’t I? My first step-dad molested me, I had countless men use me for it, and three times I got pregnant, two of which I had to abort!

I hated intimacy. I hated being touched. I hated being treated kindly. I hated…God. I hated everything and everyone. My love for others was fake and superficial. I had no love in me to give! All I had was a body full of regrets, a memory full of murder, an earful of women crying, a nightmare of children badgering me, and a handful of nothingness.

An abortion is like ripping your mind out. You might as well while you’re at it, because you’ll never in your life get over it. Never. Unless, of course, you’re heartless. Because even the most hateful of us still had a heart. Barely beating, mind you, but nonetheless, it was there, and I hated that too!

I hated God because I felt He was to blame for everything. The choices my mother made, the choices I made, the abortions, the revolving door of sex mates, and the lack of love in my life. Through it all, every night when I closed my eyes I heard a still small voice say, “I love you, Tristine.” I would always say, “I love you, too,” never knowing who I was telling it to. I just assumed it was my hopeful desires of the man of my dreams rescuing me. Little did I know…it was.

It was the abortions that kept me from wanting anything to do with God. I was ashamed. I was terrified of hell, but knew I would end up there. According to the Catholic religion, my fate was sealed by the first one, the second one merely provided me a special place in hell.

Let me tell you something: God is good. So good. So incredibly…good.

When I had people witness to me, I never confessed my sins of the abortions. I just resisted believing there was a place in heaven for a murderer like me. I was doomed for eternity, so the God-talk was useless on me.

And then one day, this amazing young woman came into work and told me about her mother who was a $100 day junky and cohort with Jimi Hendrix. She then proceeded to tell me what Jesus did to save her from that life. Well, I’m not going to lie…it was the Jimi Hendrix story that lured me in.

I didn’t tell her about my abortions. I was too ashamed. One night she invited me to her house to meet her family and I was overwhelmed with a sense of love—something I had never felt in my entire life. After dinner we went for a drive and when we pulled back into the driveway she asked me what was holding me back from asking Jesus into my life.

The night was so beautiful, with a clear dark sky, full of countless stars twinkling over us. I remember thinking it was a gorgeous night and I was going to ruin it with my guilt and shame. I just stared out the passenger window and let out a small moan. “God will never forgive me because I did the unthinkable. Something that can’t be forgiven.” She was intrigued, and rightfully so, considering there’s NOTHING too big for Jesus, but I didn’t know that then. I had no clue!

I felt my heart racing as the words fell out of my mouth as if someone had bust my lip. It was oozing with pain and blood. And the reaction I got was surprising. She laughed at me. Not in a mocking way, but in a pure, innocence, acknowledging way. “Is that it?” she asked. “What do you mean, ‘Is that it!?’” She then told me her mother had an abortion, two to be exact, and if God healed her mother, He would surely heal me, too.

Anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

Again, I’d love to claim those words, but they are once again the words of Jesus. John 3:17. The verse before that is one you’re probably familiar with: For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son. So no one need be destroyed.

No one. Not even the God haters. Especially the God haters. Because we are the ones who know a version of Him, a version that condemns us constantly. It is a lie that the world is telling them. A lie that is easy to grab onto. A lie that is far too easy to believe.

The God haters need Jesus the most. Not because they are so far gone, but because they desperately desire to know the Real Deal. You know why I know that? Because as a previous God hater, I screamed at God constantly and asked the same questions atheists ask day after day. Why, God, why…

The answer to that question is simple. Go back to the top and reread that scripture.