DailyRi 025: My Relationship to God - A Timeline
I STARTED ACTIVELY DEVELOPING & HONORING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AT THE BEGINNING OF 2017.
like most things in my life, i have this documented. in a minute, i’ll explain why i’m so happy i documented this transition. but first, the context behind this post:
i am a proud arab, muslim woman. i love god & god loves me. i am a deeply spiritual person who does not feel comfortable calling herself religious because i have not done my due diligence in reading the quran or hadith or even familiarizing myself on the history of islam. i just know that being muslim has deeply impacted my culture, my value system & my overall identity. & for those reasons alone, i am a proud muslim woman.
as a toddler, god was this man in the sky who turned on the lights in the morning & turned off the lights when it got dark outside & it was time to sleep. i’m so serious. this was my conception of god. an arab-looking, bearded man with long hair (idk don’t ask lol) who gently controlled the light switch we know as night & day.
as a young girl, god was a no-nonsense nurturer. he was someone i didn’t feel particularly involved with or connected with until we were talking about rights/wrongs or dos/donts. in these moments, god was a judge & a jury. he was fair & consistent.
as a teenager, i put my relationship with god on hold. i insisted that there was a gray area or middle ground between believing in god and being an atheist, & i knew i fell somewhere in the middle. it’s not that i doubted god’s existence, it’s that i didn’t want to blindly follow what everyone else was doing. what if “god” was just this idea we all accepted without asking questions. & if there is a god, wouldn’t he think i’m disrespectful for passively claiming to “believe” in him without putting some serious thought, time & consideration into his existence? belief was never a passive word for me, so i refused to say i believed in god until i was sure.
as a young adult, i grew the furthest away from god i would ever be. at face value, it seemed like i was rejecting god, when in reality, i distanced myself from god because i felt unworthy of his grace. i didn’t realize this until recently, mostly because i was so caught up in toxicity during this time period that i didn’t really investigate my distance to god. i just knew i wasn’t nearly being my “best self” & i felt ashamed of myself for not living in my potential. subconsciously, i assumed that god was ashamed of me. that he wouldn’t want to have a relationship with me. it’s no surprise that during this time, i was most distant from the people who loved & knew me most.
shortly after i turned 24, i started changing my life for the better. i disengaged with a lot of toxic relationships, habits, thought patterns, etc. i started doing work that made me feel energized & purposeful. my relationship to my parents & family was strengthening & i felt empowered knowing i was making decisions that were best for me. i started the (very rough) version of this brand/blog, & i started writing consistently again. one of my first posts (in february of 2017) was about signs. this was one of the first times i wrote publicly about god & being spiritually connected. i felt like i was growing into the woman i always knew i could be, & i just felt overwhelmed in gratitude.
a month later, baba passed unexpectedly, & who did i turn to? god. the rest of the year would be about god, grief & gratitude. on repeat. & here we are in 2019. my relationship to god, grief & gratitude is better than it has ever been in the past.
the part of this journey that blows my mind every single time is how well god knows me (duh). had i turned to god randomly after baba died, the rebel/independent thinker in me would not have slept peacefully because i would forever wonder if my faith was real or if it was just a defense mechanism as a result of tragedy/trauma. the fact that i have documentation of this relationship dating itself to before baba’s passing was so important for me to trust god & trust that i’ve always had incredible faith. this proof was pivotal in giving me permission to lean on god during this difficult time. it was real.