I am skipping over many years, because those years have a story of their own to tell. Lets just sum it up that I had many painful teen years where I had been painted with the stigma of abuse. Predators of all ages seemed to hone in on that mark and torment me. It was painful. It damaged my heart and soul. It shattered trust and innocence. I prayed repeatedly for God to rescue me. Nothing changed. I had a very difficult time with the knowledge that the God who moved mountains by the sound of his voice, would not move this mountain for me.
At a critical time of my life, the Lord brought a mate to me. It was not someone I expected and when the Lord told him it was time, I was swept off my feet by his courtship. I had already trusted and confided in this friend, and realized he was someone I wanted to spend my life with. We were married.
Through the first 7 years of our life together, we held together despite numerous traumas. Our marriage was strong, but with each trauma my trust in GOD weakened. Even as a child, my view of God was of the angry, vengeful creator of the world. I saw Christ as the loving, sacrificial savior. But I was afraid of God. Each trauma caused me to put up another wall between me and God. I feared him. I did not trust him.
It was a very important time of my life, I was gestating another life. We had lost our first pregnancy and I had been devastated by that experience. With this second pregnancy I was told, God will take care of you. Trust God. Believe. All things work together...blah blah blah. It made me want to punch someone. I did learn when someone is in a crisis, a scary, ugly experience is NOT the time to quote Romans 8:28. It was not comforting. How could letting my child die be for any good? (On the other side of a crisis, is a better time to remind them God redeems the ugly times and recreates them for good.)
I told a friend that I felt as if I had somehow had a few good years that escaped God's notice. But He looked and saw that Tina was happy and thought, "Oh I can't have THAT. It's time to pour down the pain upon her." Yes, I felt that way. I angrily yelled at God that "If this is how you treat your children, I don't wanna be your kid anymore!!" I had no faith that God would help me. I was on a downward slide, believing that He did not love me, like he loved others. She offered to pray for me and carry me in her faith.
The end of my second gestation came with the delivery with a healthy boy. My husband had to keep reassuring me that we did indeed have a healthy son. My single thought was "I wonder how I slipped that one past God."
I know. That's how low I had sunk.
The birth of our child, also brought the end of our Navy time and we returned home. The next year was spent raising our son, getting through schooling, living on a shoestring, and enjoying being near our family. We were attending church and loved our new young pastor. During this time, I tried. I tried to set the fear aside, I tried to trust. But then something scary happened, another mountain popped up that did not move despite my prayers. Ignored by God, I felt more rejected and colder. I did not feel loved.
Raised in the church, I knew how I was supposed to believe. I knew how I was supposed to speak, act and behave as a believer. I went through the motions but I found no joy in heavenly things. My joy was my son, my husband and my home.
I went to nursing school and was surrounded by nonbelievers for the most part. I looked at them and thought, hmmm....these people are doing okay. Contrary to the teaching of my church, they weren't guilt ridden and miserable outside the will of God. They didn't need God in their lives. I didn't need God either.
Whether you believe that a willful sin separates you from God or if you believe that Grace stretches, there comes a point of absolute denial of God, the absolute rejection and willful defiance of God that puts you outside the reach of God. I had turned my back on Him. I did not need Him, I was doing okay in spite of Him and I was going to try this on my own.