Once there was a girl who believed in God. She wasn’t exactly raised in the church (though her Mom did her best to take her and her siblings to church and Sunday school when she could), but she believed a higher power existed: God, Gaia, Buddha – pick your flavour. Much like John Irving’s Owen Meany, she believed there was a reason she’d been put on the planet – there was a reason she’d been born, there was a reason for her existence. And along with her belief in the deity, the girl fervently believed in herself and her abilities, which she readily admitted this higher power had bestowed upon her.
And so the girl grew into a woman. Secure in the belief of this higher power and confident in her abilities, she amassed awards, certificates and diplomas. She worked hard, acquiring those material things that all humans long for as proof of their success: a lovely car, a home filled with beautiful things, a closet full of shoes with matching handbags and clothes to die for. She had a good job, a freezer full of food, her health, friends, someone to love who loved her back and money in the bank.
And as she grew older, one by one these things were taken away – and “taken away” was how she thought of it – not once did she attribute her losses to wrong decisions she had might have made, or even the thought that the God she believed in had decided that it was time for her to do something else and that’s was these losses were about: putting her in a position where she could move into a better place.
She lost faith: in God, not in herself. And although she eventually recouped all she had lost (apart from the person she’d loved), for many years, she would tick the box marked “no religious beliefs”.