I waver between believing desperately in a force for Good and Kindness and Parity in this world and total Atheism.
Those who are "legitimately/ specifically" religious DO NOT READ FURTHER!
GOD is NOT easing my burdens, making a place for me at "HIS TABLE" I have no use for be-jeweled crowns, or arranged seating charts by burdens and goodness.
No GOD is taking my part or my place, Jesus is not cleaning grandpas urinals, or wiping feces off the walls. Mohamed is not standing between me and grandpas disgusting leering glances. Buddha is no where when I twitch,stressed out trying to sleep. Yahweh, Jehovah, RA, Zeus and the Prophet Moroni are NOT walking my steps with me and doing the work or soothing the aches of mind and body. I have prayed, begged, hoped, wished, VISUALIZED, pay'd it forward, meditated on it, slept on it and yearned for years of nothing but the same BS. IF I believed in a GOD of endless, repetitious misery, I would be an enigma in that I would have actual proof "of".

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I am a person who says I will pray for you and actually does it. I also step up to the plate. Not to blow my own horn but just trying to stick up for the side of people who say they will pray for you. We are not all hypocrites.

But evil prevails when good men and women do nothing. I think if all the people in the world who profess to love God did their share this world would definitely not be the horrible place that it's becoming. If you walk by a homeless person, tell them you will pray for them and then keep going that's not right. I remember my Hubs and I were on vacation in London and this homeless guy was sitting there with this big, beautiful husky dog. I ran over to pat the dog and then suddenly realized that here I was patting his dog and completely ignoring him. So, I went over to him and patted him on the back and said I guess you need a pat some time too. He got tears in his eyes and said yes.

It says in the bible "what you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me"

Sorry for preaching but if I didn't stick up for the side of God, I couldn't call myself a believer.
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Jsomebody, if I were in your shoes and living your life, I don't think I'd believe in a god either.
I questioned God many times why I got stuck with an abusive, mean mother. I asked him why he took my wonderful loving father and left me with the witch to care for without any help from my sister. Over the yrs, I have just chalked it up to life. We are born and we die . . . and the stuff inbetween happens. I feel it's up to us to choose, cope, deal with, remedy, laugh about or cry over. Sometimes we can find answers, sometimes we make mistakes. How you cope in your life is up to you and should not be open to judgement by others.
I happen to believe there is a God. On the other hand, I respect your right to not believe. I think some people are sincere when they say they'll pray for you, others just say it as a cliche. On another thread someone said they'd pray for me (because I said I didn't agree with their answer and statements) but they weren't sincere and I found it all to be very silly. Because of what you've said, I see that it doesn't help people who don't believe in a god, to hear "I'll pray for you" and I'll never say it again especially if I can't do anything for them. Having said that, may I say that I WISH and HOPE something good will happen in your life to bring you some happiness whatever that may be. Nobody deserves to be as unhappy as you are.
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Wow--an old post, but still a relevant comment.
I have been through the wringer in my life (as have most of us) and have maintained a faith in God, Jesus, and the Atonement. Knowing our lives are but a brief moment in the eternal scheme of things helps me.
Also, if I say to someone, "I'm praying for you"...I also add, "and what can I DO for you". I believe God works through us. "Thoughts and prayers" are all well and good, but ACTION is what is needed.
I respect each person's right to believe/not believe. But I do remember once, when my hubby was dxed with Primary Liver Cancer due to HCV---people would say "why YOU?" and he'd reply "Why NOT me" It rains on the just and unjust alike.
I've cared for aging, sick parents for years on end. Cared for sick hubby after a liver transplant. Care for him now as he is only 65 and has no will to do anything, ever. I see 15-20 more years of just taking care of all the things, while he sleeps his life away. Is this fair? Absolutely not. Am I angry at God? Absolutely not. This is life. This is what we signed on for. I look for the gold in each and day and most of the time, I can find it.
My life has been no better nor worse than many others. It's NOT the life I chose, or would choose again, but it's the life I have and I am living it to the best of my ability. Without my faith, I too would wallow in despair.
(and BTW, I don't have the ability to "let go and let God"--I need to be in charge :) and I know I'm not.
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I had this with the one sibling that still attends church regularly. (The rest of us don't - being forced to go to church or stay home with an abusive parent who was all too willing to "watch us" so he could be alone with us kind of soured us on the whole church experience.)

Aside from taking mom for an occasional ride, paying for her breakfast if we went out, or ONCE taking Mom to the doctor for me, there was no help, physical, emotional or financial. What I got from the one sibling was, "I'll pray for you." I wanted to scream back, "I don't WANT your prayers. What I NEED is your HELP!"

I put myself behind the 8 ball financially to take care of Mom, both at home and after she was in the nursing home. I paid almost a double share of her funeral bill, which was split 4 ways, because one sibling didn't/couldn't kick in more than $100 at the outset of the bill. So I paid almost a full double share on that. I bought Mom clothes, I took her on trips (only one of which was accompanied by a sibling who helped take care of mom on the trip - one diarrhea mess and I knew she wouldn't be helping again), took her to doctor appts, made sure she ate healthier (resulting in a 90 point drop in her cholesterol and weight loss over the course of a year), paid bills that she couldn't afford on her social security income, helped her pay off the 2nd mortgage on her home by making double payments with my own money, and far more.

And they want to pray for me.....and that's supposed to be enough. Sorry, but I'm not buying it.
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Great thread - I also am a believer who disobeyed you and read on. But seriously, I have had an ATHEIST friend spout off some "don't worry be happy" (a-) theology at me. So I thoroughly understand why that's offensive - you are in a very sad situation, grievng - and someone wants to blow that off by telling you how happy you should be. And then you find yourself not only still unhappy, but feeling guilty about being unhappy! The only solution for me was to read and remember what the Bible really had to say about that - one is that we are expected to dance with those who dance and mourn with those who mourn, NOT to tell them to quit whichever they are doing so they can feel like we want them to feel - and TWO - imagine what it would be like if one of these "dime store theologians" (love the phrase there!) walked into the Garden of Gesthsename and tried to tell Jesus he shouldn't be distressed. :-) Any religion that clams to be a pass to a stress-free, sorrow-free life is a load of phony baloney.

The battery cable story brightened my day - good one! And I thoroughly identify with the guilt of doing the right thing against parent's wishes. Its hard, very hard, whether or not said parents are able to circumvent. My mom likes to tell people she is allergic to any food she does not want, so if I don't sneak around her back and tell them about this habit, she could end up with nothing safe to put on her tray. She hates when I talk about her and polices my going to talk to her nurse or anyone, so I have had to get clever and go out one entrance and in another to do it without her knowledge.

That said, I'll take all the prayers I can get, however imperfectly intentioned. The God I believe in is highly tolerant of human foibles, including my own, and who am I to tell anyone how to pray or what to pray for? There are people who have not been through what we are going through, who have not had to learn the difference between joy and happiness, who will need our hugs and prayers for sure if ever reality should ever strike their little world.
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years ago when i was in so much stress , i cried so hard in my bathroom , didnt want my kids to see me crying ,
i cried so hard and said out loud , THERES NO GOD ! by that time my mom appeard and smiled at me . i bawled oh mommy oh mommmm i need u and she just smiled and fade away . i bawled and bawled , how i miss my mom and it was just a split secs she poped up and smiled when i said theres no god . im thinking mmm she showed up to tell me yes there is god .
called my dad , i didnt tell him what was going on . just told him im just stressed out and down in the dump and told him what was my pblm . he said oh linda , something better is coming at your way .
i thought long and hard about it and snaped out of my depressions state and start lookin forward to something better coming at my way .
yes there is god , he s out there . answered or not answered ,
there is help out there ! go get one . dont jump up cuz someone barked and growl . go outside and let him bark and growl all he wants . u are not cinderlea . u are human begin .
if pa was at the nursing home he would have to wait hours to be his turn of care . so when he hollars i let him hollar till i get me myself done . then i ll go see what he wants .
be strong girl ! bark right back at em and let them know ure not going to tollerate it anymore , hire a help ! get a merry or a sara !!! go away and have urself a time alone . i go outside and sit and enjoy my time , pa hollars alot anyway wanna wanna wanna , then he realized i aint jumpin anymore so he apprecates what i do for him . i AM NOT CINDERELA ..
girl there is god , other wise we wouldnt have this agingcare dot com . :-)
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Most people are in their own little world and do not see what the truth is next time someone tells you that they will pray for you tell them you prayed that someone would cook a meal for you or sitt for two hrs. with your loved one so you could take a nap or a shower beause you are going 24 hrs a day-and would they be that person.
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Jeanne, that is so true. "I am praying for you" is just something someone says to make themselves feel comfortable without having to do anything. Most likely they don't even include the people sincerely in their prayers. An offer to wash the car or the windows or to watch out for our LO while we take a break would be the answer to the prayers, but most don't want to be that involved.

It really did help me when my father was dying to put it in god's hands. It was giving myself permission to not to try to make him better and to just take things as they come. I've not been able to do this with my mother, because she is so mean and demanding. Maybe it is why she is still alive. God doesn't know what to do with her, either. :)
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Jeanne and Jessie, you took the words right out of my mouth. And to top it off I get to deal with those who use this situation as an opportunity to push their religious beliefs on me as if there is something wrong with what I am doing. I have my own beliefs, thank you. I am so tired of these "friends" that offer words of prayer AND schedule visits only to not show up or call to cancel. If you are not here to help please step aside.
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Prayers do help - but prayers get answered often through the hands of human beings. God doesn't let us sit on our behinds doing nothing and expect miracles. My stepmom had an annoying old Lutheran pastor (man of course) who came to visit and would tell my stepmom to be more patient, pray more and she got out the Bible and read to him the section (in james??) where it criticizes those who wish some one well when they see them without a cloak or going hungry, but do nothing. Her point - he could help her more by asking members of the church to sit with dad a few hours so she could get a break, or pick up prescriptions / groceries and bring them in etc. Concrete help. Of course he took offense. (this is the same Lutheran pastor that chewed me out for not doing more than a weekend a month and i basically told him "bite me").

I have taken to telling people "of course i am praying for you, but i have two hours on Saturday - what is something specific i could do for you" and i find that i get specific answers and can do something - even small tasks - that make a difference. These helped my stepmom also when dad was still home. Running a few errands for someone housebound seems to always be a big help.

But just saying "give it up to Jesus" makes me want to give a swift kick.
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