I am by no means an expert on God, or religion, and have been staring at this question for over a week (my apologies now to whomever asked it!) out of unsureness at what to say. Until easter of this year, I had not been in a church for 19 years, and was not really sure what God had to do with anything in my life, much less anyone else's. I know that I have had a bad taste for "religion" for many, MANY years, and a mild disgust or hatred of God himself became pretty strong in the last few years...and especially this last one.
I was raised LDS (or I was LDS as I was being raised, depending on how you look at it), was baptized at 9, stopped going altogether at 15. My mother is Catholic, but allowed us as kids to go to whatever church we wanted to. When I stopped following the mormon church, the only other brush I had with religion for many years was my husband's lunatic ex wife, who would cuss you and curse you all in the name of Jesus. Needless to say, if I am going to hell, I want it to be on my own terms, and not the ones that others have laid down for me. I hadn't "talked to God", or even really thought about what He was doing for years, and years, and then the adoption happened.
When the downward spiral of my sanity started in the ugly aftermath of the most beautiful thing I will ever be a part of, I tried a lot of avenues of escape. NONE of them worked, and one night I ran across an article that talked about how when people have done all they can do, and still feel an enormous hole inside themselves, that's a good time to try and fill it with a love of God. At first, I laughed, cried, and made A LOT of sarcastic comments regarding the article. But for some reason it sat with me...sat with me hard and wouldn't go away. I had a dream several nights later (probably after listening to the Fray's "You Found Me" about 600 times) where I was driving down some street, frantically trying to prevent the end of the world, and had to slam my car to a stop. And there in the middle of the street, amongst the burning buildings, and looters, and screams, and destruction was God. And he just shook his head, smiled, and put his arms out to hug me. And then I woke up, completely freaked out. And went to church the next week.
Has it healed my "hole"? The answer is no. But it's helping. I am relearning it all over again, and growing more and more each day. I subscribe to the view that we do not go to Hell for the bad things that we do, but that our ability to enter the Kingdom of Heaven will be based on the GOOD things that we DON'T. I have done good things. I have done plenty of bad. But to me...bad is in the Judger's perspective. What is wrong to some, is not wrong to others. I do the best I can on a daily basis, and some days I do more good than others.
I do think that somewhere along the lines God came up with a big plan for all of us. I don't claim to know what it is, but I do think it's there. I think, that the problem lies in the details...in the specifics. In the day to day grey area that we call our lives.
Many people feel that we are tested by God so that we can show our love and dedication to Him. That he will never give us more than we can handle. But my vote is still out on that one...right, wrong, or indifferent. I think his overall goal is for us to do the best we can, and hopefully meet him in the afterlife. (And other stuff too...but this is getting long) I don't think we are here as science projects, and I do not think that he has either the time nor the interest to get wrapped up in each of our live's details. He may in fact have ultimate power, but I don't know why he would purposely allow the horrible things that happen in this world. I choose to NOT believe that He would make a woman who has wanted to be a mother her entire life infertile. I do NOT believe that He allowed me to get pregnant, give my child away, and almost die from grief as a consequence to some wrong I commited in my past. I do not think He chooses to see us at war, or in poverty, or starving. I do not think that He would purposely allow such terrible suffering on the world as a "test". And I don't subscribe to the "It's all the Devil's Fault! school of thought either. I am probably wrong...but I just don't. We as human's cause a lot of our own suffering, and a lot of suffering occurs that is no one's fault. Shit happens...and we deal with it however we can.
I think we do have a stake in our own destinies. We are placed on this planet out of God's divine love for us, and we return to Him out of our unwavering/unconditional love of Him. I really think we are on our own for the details.