Something has been keeping me awake at night. It’s this nagging question–a doubtful feeling–that perhaps I really am predestined to Hell.
It’s odd because I’ve never really believed in predestination–at least, not consciously. I’ve never said the words: “I believe in predestination.”
And yet, it’s always been there, niggling my subconscious, occasionally waking me up at night with its cold, somber face. I don’t think I’ve ever dared look at the concept of predestination fully, to stand in the harsh glare of its unforgiving light. Because it really is my deepest fear, the unspoken shadow.
Predestination confirms my deepest fear that God’s love is conditional–or, at the very least, He doles it out discriminately. As a child, I was taught that God might not choose me for the Rapture and that I could be left behind to face the End of the World alone.
I can’t tell you how many areas of my life this has affected. One simple example is that I’m always afraid my husband will walk out on me. I didn’t realize how deeply this was ingrained in my thinking until recently when someone remarked, “Wow, you’ve been with your husband for 16 years? That’s a long time! What’s your secret?”
It was so strange because I almost felt like saying, “There is no secret. Next week, I’m sure he’ll leave me.”
Ultimately, I think I’m just very uncomfortable with uncertainty. Perhaps more so than the average person. I get worried sick about being abandoned.
And I have been abandoned before. In the depths of my trembling fears, I tell myself that I have survived. I sing little songs of hope to myself, reminding myself of comforting Scripture that I dare hope applies to me.
But I’m not sure. I am always doubtful that even if it were true God loved me the way I hope He loves me (ie. that He’s the God who always searches me out, loves me unconditionally)—I’m too messed up to believe it for long. I can remind myself of the times I felt and knew His love. But I’m always needing affirmation because my default mode returns to: I’m not loved.
Isn’t it a symptom of unbelief and distrust that I cannot believe His love for long? Shouldn’t I get past the point of needing to hit that “Do You Love Me?” button and hoping a little morsel of love pops out–temporarily assuaging my aching need?
Sometimes I think God must get really annoyed with my constant punching of that “Do You Love Me?” button. I mean, even I’m annoyed with myself!
All of which makes me wonder: what if it is true? What if my inability to trust God’s love and to always flee from church buildings is proof that I am predestined to eternal separation from God–to Hell?
I’m thinking the Calvinists might see me as their very own walking proof that predestination is real.
I wouldn’t blame them.