Just wanted to tell you, Michaela, that I haven't forgotten you. I have been struggling with some spiritual things lately, about God and who he is and whether he is good, and what I believe. I have been posting blogs about them in my other blog, at just-sharon.com. I used to post everything here, but I don't anymore. This is your blog. It is about you, just you. But at one point or another, even faith is about you.
I always tell people that my falls from faith are not related to what happened to you. It's not that I have trouble believing in God or in God's ultimate goodness because he allowed you to be kidnapped, and because he didn't save you. But in all honestly, I think my faith journeys are tied more deeply into you than I would outwardly believe. Both times that I fell from faith followed on major devastating events regarding you. The first time was just before the one-year anniversary of your kidnapping. The second time was shortly after the whole thing about Jaycee ended. On both of those occasions, my heart and spirit were so broken ... well, even though I said that it was something going on in my head that caused me to leave my faith, it is entirely likely that my head was just following my heart and spirit. There have been times in my life that pain was so great I longed for the disconnect of insanity.
You also played a part in my embracing faith. I remember when I came back the first time. It was January 24, 2004. I was driving past Neighborhood Church, the one with the three gigantic crosses, and I was arguing with God and telling him that no I didn't want to be a Christian when the thought struck me that you were a Christian, Michaela, and I thought if you had died you would have gone to heaven, and if I wanted to see you again in heaven that I should go back to the Lord. I haven't had such thoughts this time in my struggles. This time, well, if I don't believe then that must mean it's not true, so you wouldn't be there anyway.
Although, I do want to believe.
I was thinking the other day about a dream I had many years ago. I had a dream in which I was dying, and I was saying goodbye to your brothers and sisters and to your stepdad, and I was telling them that I'd see them again but that I was going to see you now. My spirit started to be pulled up out of my body and up through the ceiling in the corner of the room and suddenly I was terrified that when I came down on the other side you wouldn't be there. I woke up then, so I never found out.
Faith is a difficult thing in this world. We know so much and we think we are so smart. We have been so far, to all corners of the earth, into the sky high above the clouds, and into the far reaches of space. We have walked on the moon, but we have not seen God, and we have not found heaven. But when you stop to think about it, as much as we know, there is so much that we don't know. We don't know where the universe begins and where it ends, or if it does, and if so what is beyond the end that contains it, and where does that end? The same with time. How could it have had a beginning? What would have existed before the beginning? How does something come from nothing, and if it didn't where did the something come from? It seems to me to be the height of arrogance for people to trash the idea of believing in God considering the vast, mysterious and unknowable universe of which we are so tiny a part.
Before you were kidnapped, I had taught you a few things. I had taught you that whenever you were alone and lonely that all you had to do was look in your heart, and I would be there with you, always. And I am. I also taught you that whenever you needed help and I wasn't there to help you, that you should turn to God, and he would help you. I hope that he did, my sweet girl. I know that he didn't bring you home to me the way I wanted him to, but he could have sent angels to minister to you. He could have taken the fear and pain away, and could have just scooped you up into his arms. Like all things, I will know the truth about this one day. Like so many things, for this day I will just have to hope and pray, and have faith.
I love you, Michaela. Forever.