First off, I believe in God. Why? Because I choose to. I have no proof one way or the other, but I find comfort in the concept of God, and therefore choose to believe.and am sad to say that it sparked something of an epiphany for me. Sad, because this was not a natural line of thinking.
I decided I don't need to worry about the nature of God, because I can believe in whatever I want to believe. I don't need to accept someone else's vision of him, not even that of the church I've spent my entire life in. If it doesn't feel right to me, then I don't need it. God is not prove-able, and I believe that I have my own authority to know her/him in my own way (yes, I wrote "him/her" first and then deliberately switched it). At the beginning I sort of knew that this was the point I needed to reach--being able to feel comfortable with my own vision of God regardless of what the church said about it--but that isn't something you can force. I had to wait for it come, and I think it finally did. Mostly.
At this moment I don't know exactly what I believe God is. I do know what God isn't, though, so I will start with that.
- I believe that God is not a man who would hide his wife from view and prevent their children from knowing and communicating with her.
- I believe that God does not endorse the patriarchal order, does not want women to be "guided" or "led" by men, does not want women to do nothing in life except raise children and keep house.
- I believe that God is non-violent. I do not like analogies of Christianity as war, and I don't think God wants to be "crusaded" for.
- I believe that God doesn't care what religion you are, doesn't care about missionary work, doesn't require us to parade our religious beliefs in front of everyone else. I don't think that she/he necessarily dislikes people sharing their faith, if their personality is inclined to do that (as mine is not); I just don't think it's a universal requirement.
As far as what God looks like, for now I think I may as well continue picturing him/her as a man and a woman, as heavenly parents, though I'll confess that I no longer feel very confident about the idea of that being literal, and us being literally their children (because what does that even mean? God sex? Actual pregnancy and delivery of billions of spirits? Seems unlikely). But right now this doesn't seem very important to me. I needed to know that the God I believe in is not sexist. I needed to prune some of those unhealthy beliefs I've been carrying around since childhood. With those gone, maybe it doesn't really matter what God looks like or how we came into being. For the moment, at least, I have much more pressing questions to answer, so I'm happy leaving this where it is.