I’ve not-so-recently come to the realization that I deeply admire and am jealous of those who have faith in something. Like true, life-changing, unwavering faith. The most obvious example is someone who strongly believes in a higher power, like God.
All during my childhood my parents would attend church. I had so many friends there, but that was all church was for me — it was a way to see my friends. We would bow our heads to pray, and I could hear their faith dripping out of their mouths through prayer, and it was something I never experienced. Our pastor would be preaching with such enthusiasm and love, and I always wondered how he could do such a thing. During worship, people would raise their hands to heaven and sing and cry, but it all felt wrong to me. Foreign, almost. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t feel what everyone else felt, and in my mind that made me an outsider. And it made me feel like a terrible person because I couldn’t feel God’s presence while everyone else could.
I stopped going to church sometime in middle school and stopped being friends with those who went to church because I continued to feel alienated. My mom kept trying to get me to go, but I felt like there was something wrong with me when I was at church. My mom had a lot of her friends try to talk to me about God, but it only angered me and I began completely rejecting the whole notion of there being a god. It made me angry that their lives and feelings could be so heavily influenced by a being they have never seen, heard, or met and mine could not no matter how hard I wanted to believe, to feel something. They truly had faith that there was some higher power out there with this grand plan for everyone on earth. Was my plan to never feel the same connection everyone else has?
I’m realizing that the anger and hate I felt towards those people was actually jealousy. And now that I know I’m feeling jealous and not angry, I also realize that I’m yearning to feel what those with faith feel. There have been so many times I have felt like my world is crashing around me. There has been this darkness that is always at my peripheral, always making me feel claustrophobic and stuck. How great would it be to have the feeling like everything is going to be okay because of God? I have seen people completely turn their lives around because they have found faith. I have witnessed so many friends falling apart, and they are able to put themselves back together through “the love and acceptance of Jesus”. When I fall apart, I put myself back together without anyone’s help, and I’m not nearly as complete as those with faith are. It amazes me how their moods can be lifted simply by faith alone. Faith that it will get better. Faith that there is someone out there who can make it get better. But no matter how hard I pray, no matter how hard I want to feel that same thing, I never have.
It amazes me that the people of Gaza and Israel have such faith that they are not afraid of death because they truly believe there is a better place for them. They say, “If it is God’s will.” That is something I want to have. I want to have faith. I want to be able to let go of all my pain and burdens and lean on someone who loves me and wants what is best for me.
Maybe something will change in the future to where I will have that faith. But until then, I will remain faithless, yearning for a feeling I might never have.