Every night my mom would have me recite a prayer that I memorized to help me sleep at night because of my irrational fears of getting raped, killed, or kidnapped at night.
My mom had watched a lot of crime and investigation shows while growing up and it had no effect on me until I realized my parents were missing at home one night.
I was left alone with my siblings and I suddenly felt responsible for their safety. I couldn’t bear anything happening to them so I called out for my mom and she didn’t respond. I later realized both my parents were upstairs in the bathroom together and left the four of us downstairs. This was the scariest thing that could happen to me at that age because it triggered a giant fear that haunts me to this day and it’s the fear of something happening to me while I’m alone.
I’ve always wondered if I would escape murder, or be able to help someone and I find it overwhelming when I feel out of control of my destiny.
I’ve tried coping with this fear in many ways as I grew older but the only thing that let me sleep at night was the small prayer my mother taught me:
Angel de mi guarda, dulce compañia. No me desampares, ni de noche, ni de dia. Amen.
From Spanish, it translates to, “Guardian Angel, my sweet company. Do not abandon me, neither by night or by day. Amen.
I had no idea what I was praying. It was just the guarantee my mom gave me that as long as I prayed that prayer, nothing would happen to me. That night, I prayed that prayer and the next day I woke up and I was alive.
This prayer was my only safety net. I believed that I was alive because I prayed this prayer, and if I forget I would die. This prayer was s important to me that I would wake up later in the night if I forgot to pray and pray my prayer.
As you get older, the childhood things you did kind of disappear from your habits. At night, ten years later, I know I’m not praying my prayer. I don’t pray it anymore because I want to have faith I’ll be safe and God’s protecting me without my safety net.
At 25, I get nightmares. I wake up in fear at night and having my husband by my side makes me feel safer but I pray that prayer when I can’t handle my fear.
As I’ve gotten more “wisdomous” I’ve decided that praying that prayer kept me in a religious state of mind. God isn’t keeping me alive because I pray this prayer but because He loves me and I am righteous to Him by Christ’s sacrifice.
But then, this belief has led me almost to not pray at all. I just want to believe everything’s ging to be great with God by my side. I also hate being vulnerable to God. I hate sharing my mistakes with Him. It’s my own pride and shame that keeps me away from Him.
I don’t like to make mistakes and I hate having my feelings hurt. Between those social problems, I’ve learned to handle my emotions gracefully over time and I feel as if I’ve gotten more protective over my heart, my feelings, even from God.
I find that when I’m close to God, I can pray my butt off. I talk to Him about everything that I can think of and the relationship I have with God is great. I respect God because I know He’s kept me alive for some reason and it’s not because I pray to Him.
But I’ve learned that prayer is our hotline with God. It’s how we receive our blessings from Him. He wants us to ask and pray bold prayers to Him. He goes by the, “ask and you shall receive” memo.
Even though I know this I’ve realized when I’m distant from Him I cannot pray. I condemn myself for not talking to God in some time and don’t want to ask for His help. I’m completely aware that He has never left me. Jesus is close to me at all times but it’s this condemnation that holds me back from praying to Him. The guilt of the lies I’ve told, the secrets I’ve kept and the persona I hold up that isn’t entirely me, is getting in between me facing my Father.
This type of relationship with God is a religious one. A wise woman shares with me that if you hate being vulnerable to God it’s coming from a religious view of a relationship with God. She stated:
When we look at a a relationship with God in a religious way then yes, praying to God becomes hard because it is a ritual but, when you look at it as a relationship than your prayers change because it is like talking to your friend. The difference is you need that kind of conversation and intimacy with Him.
I totally understand this. At some point, I jump back and forth between a religious and intimate relationship with God and I’m tired of it. How can I keep myself from getting religious on God?
There’s only one way. It’s not by how much you pray, what you pray about or how good you are as a person but it’s seeking God. God has never left. He’s always next to us speaking to us whether we listen to Him or not. He uses the Holy Spirit to do this.
He loves us no matter what. It’s a weird concept but it’s true.
To seek God is to read His word, and listen to His teachings. It’s making God important in your life. The same way you make time for your girlfriend you need to make a deliberate time space for God. Not necessarily religiously but make it important to you to make time with God.
Work, business, school, and sleep take us away from Him and sometimes that’s not our choice but I challenge you to read scripture in the morning. Listen to a sermon first thing, or pray yourself awake.
God asks for our first fruits and if we look at the time we have we can give God our first few minutes of the day. That means while cooking breakfast you can listen to Joseph Prince or Steven Furtick, worship, or pray.
Keeping yourself in God’s Word is what keeps your relationship growing, brings faith and challenges to your faith.
I find that when I’m like, “eh I’ve listened to enough sermons” I begin to decline in my closeness with God. I have to purposely keep myself seeking his wisdom and knowledge to feel close to Him.
It’s as if to be close to God, you have to seek Him through different methods to reach Him in the heavens such as music, sermons, and our Bible but don’t forget that you can also talk to God. When I am close to God, I begin to depend on Him in everything I do. I love talking to Him.
This is when I lose my condemnation and remember that He doesn’t care about that other crap. I begin to pray again. It’s sad that at some points I choose to take a break from God but while I’m in that weird realm of thinking, I know He’s waiting on me. He absolutely loves me. I’m only human.
I want to stop leaving that relationship with God. I know we all do it but when I ever leave my relationship with God on hold I feel as if I can’t pick things back up but I actually can. I shouldn’t feel guilty and stop talking to God because of condemnation.
In business we make mistakes but we should keep going, learn from mistakes and do better. It’s the same with God.
I’m a work in progress but luckily I’m loved by God anyway. I’m glad I understand this concept and I hope this helps some of my friends and readers out there.
With God, anything is possible and it’s through prayer that we can receive His infinite blessings. God is for the hypocrites, thieves, religious, and even those who seem as if they’re holy.
We’re all on a journey. Only God knows the end of our tale.
Yessenia Diaz has a background in graphic and web design but is also intrigued by writing and teaching. Yessenia created Tru.Works as an outlet for all her talents and continues collecting stories from around the world to share with people all across the interweb. Follow Yessenia on Instagram and her favorite, Twitter, @ythegreatdiaz.