Throughout my life I have been blessed with many friendships with varied amazing people who have diverse beliefs in G-d. They run the gamut from unyielding blind faith to atheist and almost everything in between. I’ve learned that every person is inextricably complex and that it is not so simple why one believes as she/he does. I have found each person’s relationship with G-d, or lack thereof, to be of a very personal nature.
I want to share a piece of my story out of gratitude. This is my way, much akin to Seudat Hodaah, to thank G-d publicly for always being there for me.
For as long as I can remember I never felt I was alone. Even when I was alone I’d sense another presence (stop with shrink jokes. I’m more or less normal). Being raised orthodox I was nurtured by faith, but never made the connection to that sense of not being alone. When I was little I believed G-d was some lofty grandfather type figure residing somewhere in the clouds as I’m sure many children do. Even though I was only taught formal prayer I’d often talk to G-d throughout my day when I was alone. I always had lots of friends and family, but no matter how great they were/are, let’s face it, they aren’t G-d! I feel the only One who truly gets me is G-d. G-d, who has no ulterior motives. G-d, who only wants whats best for me. G-d, who has all the time in the world for me. G-d, who has the power to make anything happen! People, on the other hand, being that they aren’t omniscient, don’t always get it.
Furthermore, to me life without G-d seemed too random and senseless and not very worth my while. While I know many people feel differently and I can appreciate that, my gut instinct and peace of mind always went by way of G-d. I found many blessings in my life and am eternally grateful for the fortune I can not claim to deserve. In addition, I suffered years of pain through difficult trials and tribulations and in these too I have turned to G-d. I can not claim to have reached the level of tov vemativ (blessing G-d with equal fervor for perceived bad as perceived good) on those difficulties, but I can say it never made me doubt G-d. I did indeed question the reasons for certain happenings, but never did I doubt there was a G-d.
Whether in gratitude or in question one thing that always gave me great comfort was my relationship with G-d. What that means is I can talk, pray, ask, beg, cry, scream, laugh, sing and praise G-d. All through which I trust He not only hears me, but He is with me. This is not because I am such a holy person, as I am a regular Jane and my share of sins are many. Logic would say I’m far from G-d, but I don’t believe that. G-d in his great love and kindness lets anyone draw near, even me. Just as we love our children and are always around for them regardless of their state of being, so too is G-d for us.
I’m not ashamed. I’ve been mocked by many, but I care not. I have made G-d my best friend and received only blessings in return. That is not to say bad things don’t happen to me; they do. It is to say that no matter what happens I can withstand it because my best friend IS always there. No mortal can be. No mortal will be. My life is only as good as my peace of mind. Peace (שלום) coming and going (שלום) all with G-d whose name is שלום. I thank my best friend for all the support, for every breathe He has given me, and for the knowledge that I am never alone.