Monday, November 17, 2008

Lost and Confused...

...yet fortunate for everyone and everything around me.

*Warning: Scott, if you are reading this, you may or may not be happy with me afterwords. Please understand that I am human and these feelings that I am about to express may or may not coincide with yours. I will still love you regardless*

*Warning: Long Post*

First of all, I'd like to say thank you, Sara. Your comment lifted my spirit and reminded me that I am still doing a "GREAT" job. For anyone else reading this, check out Sara's blog here (or in my sidebar: Football & Fried Rice). She's about to embark on a wonderful journey to China to bring home a beautiful little girl, Mya Jian. I have to say, that when it comes to faith and trust in God, this woman has so much of it. She is inspiration to me and I hope that some day I can come to terms with my own state of confusion when it comes to faith.

In fact, Sara's comment inspired this post (I hope you don't mind). She commented in response to my own comment. I mentioned how I difficult things have been caring for both kids and how guilty I feel for not giving my son the attention he needs and deserves. Sara's response was this:

"there is NO GLORY in self condemnation!!"

I read those words a few times over. I pondered at what it truly meant. What is the "glory" that she mentioned? Am I deserving of this glory?

Before I go on, a little background might suffice. My life's faith journey has been tumultous. It started slow, at a snail's pace. As a child, my religious journey was dictated mostly by my mother. My father only accompanied us a few times to church, but kept his religious beliefs to himself. He's a private person and mostly keeps to himself. That is the way he his, which is cool. My mother baptized my brother and I in the Catholic church, but rarely brought us to church. I didn't take communion until I was 19 years old. I went to a Jesuit college my freshman year, took catechism class while at college, and went through confirmation. I did it because I felt it the right thing to do.

Well, life happens. I had an abrupt end to my first year of college, came home, and, even though I went back to school in Colorado Springs, my life as an adult began. My brother ran away, my parents divorced, my mom remarried, and I was in and out of relationships (if they could be called that). In the midst of turmoil, I found solace and comfort in the Latter Day Saints faith. Again, it felt right and I felt like for once, I belonged. I even was baptized and confirmed. But I was alone. Except for my LDS friends, I was alone. My mother shunned my newfound faith. My father didn't express any opinions other than a bit of shock, I suppose. And my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. I thought the solace and faith would keep me going, keep me up. But it didn't . This was when Scott and I started dating. He and I had been friends prior to us dating. He didn't go to church. He wasn't a religious person, at all. He still isn't. And even though the bishop at my ward had told me that it wasn't in my best interest to date Scott, I stuck with him. Why? Well, he had no issues with us not having that kind of a relationship. He was okay with just dating. And, I liked him.

The issues in my life still compounded. I dropped school because my grades were falling and I had to work full-time to pay the bills (I moved out shortly after my mother left my dad and my brother returned home). I lost touch with the church and eventually just stopped going. I had only a couple of visits by the ward's missionaries, but those eventually stopped altogether. Since then, I've only been to church a few times. My mother's wedding and my mother's funeral. After my mother passed, bitterness has grown in my heart. I shut God out and hated Him. But as I sit here typing this, I cry because I feel like I've let Him down. I'm still angry. And part of me knows why.

I can't imagine being with someone else. I love Scott with all my heart. While at times, he can be a pain (I can be just as big of a pain, I'm sure), he's my sweetheart. We have two beautiful children together and talk of having more and/or adopting someday. However, it breaks my heart that I cannot share something such as faith with him. I guess I am angry at God because here I am with someone I know I'm meant to be with, but we can't have or share something as intimate as faith with each other because of his lack of it. So, my response these last few years has been to have a lack of faith. I shut God out. I was and am angry at Him. Not only for taking my mother away, but for living with someone who is faithless, who has no care for church and religious harmony. But the longer I keep shutting Him out, the more and more He comes into my thoughts. His presence in my thoughts means only one thing: I am not completely devoid of faith and belief. Now, how do I find my faith, what is the right way to do it, and how can my family share this belief together? More so, is it ever possible be in a relationship where our faith can be mutual and shared? I envy married couples that share their faith, go to church together, love God as much, if not more than, they do each other. Can I ever be truly happy with my relationship if God is not a part of it? This I don't know and I am more confused than ever before.


Back to Sara's comment. "There is no glory in self condemnation". I want that glory. I want it for my family. I want it for my relationship. Well, recently part of my prayers have been answered. My father one day before my grandmother passed away mentioned possibly going to church. This was my sign, my chance. So, I offered to go with him. We found a small congregation that met in a local high school. It was, in our opinion, too small. We only went once. We then decided to go somewhere else. That was almost a month ago. This last Sunday, we found a different church. In fact, we brought Tristan and he went to the Sunday school with other preschoolers. My father and I liked this church. It has a big congregation, but I think that is why my dad and I like it. We didn't feel like we are being watched or pressured. Worship wasn't intimidating. Best of all, it was uplifting and the scripture being covered was personal and seemed aimed right at me:

Matthew 23:39 "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"

I, having shut God out from my life, still have a chance. There may be hope for me yet. The pastor spoke of God being hurt from His people denying him and becoming sinners. Then he spoke of a just God, saying He is still giving His people a chance.

James 4:8 "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

The pastor spoke of God's promise to be near us, if we drew ourselves near to Him. God wants us to come to Him even in our sinful state. He will take us up no matter how downtrodden we are. This made me feel good. In fact, this made me feel really good. Dad and I are going back to church next week and I am looking forward to it.

When I got home, I was reminded of why I am angry with God. But now, I am more saddened by it. I am not so much angry anymore. Mostly sad. I want to keep going to church. Scott doesn't mind me going. He just doesn't want to go or participate. But what message are we sending our children, if I were to continue going to church and he does not? More confusion. And why can't he join me in this journey? More sadness.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my time with my father by going to church with him. I am glad this is something he and I can share together. Who knows, maybe he can me a lady friend there, too. He just needs to get out more and meet more people. My dad is such a great guy, so I'd love to see him be happy with someone that he can grow old together with. Maybe he can meet someone that knows how to sew, crochet, cook, and bake - so I can learn a few things :)

My apologies for the lengthy post. I debated writing about this, but it is something I am starting for feel very strongly about in my life. I hope you don't mind my sharing my thoughts with you, even if you may or may not agree with them. I welcome any comments, so long as they are tasteful, and any advice you may have.


Paula November 20, 2008 at 11:11 PM  

I think a relationship with God is personal. Just concentrate on getting close to Him and the rest will fall into place. Just my 2 cents.

sara November 24, 2008 at 1:55 PM  

Paula is right. Your personal relationship is just that. YOU can't change or "fix" anyone else. You can pray for their hearts to be changed.

Not everyone's story is one to "envy". I know that Paula shared her personal testimony & God used a lot of "junk" in her life for His purposes!!

I know that my husband married me, an unbeliever (well, everyone believes in something. I believe in ME) And for 7 years, life was pretty uncomfortable. Hard. Empty. Sad.

Until I accepted that Jesus Christ is not just My Savior, buy My Lord and the SON of God. It has really changed my life.

I would love to invite you to come to Woodmen Valley Chapel sometime. EVERYONE is welcome there. Hippies, Harley Riders, and especially those just "kicking the tires" of faith - seeing what it is all about.

I would encourage you to check out the SCROOGE production Woodmen is putting on as well (t The Rockrimmon Campus) Maybe Scott would be willing to go on a DATE with you and see the play..I have heard it is AMAZING! And they offer childcare! Check out their website....

About This Blog

My name is Mary and I'm a working mom with two beautiful children. I've worked for over seven years at a credit union, currently as an administrative assistant. Last fall, I went back to school and started on a Bachelors in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Elementary Education.

My hobbies, when I have time, include photography, sewing, photo processing, digital scrapbook, online gaming, reading, role playing games like DnD, and board games. But what I really love doing is just being a mom to my two children, Tristan and Melayna.

Tristan, whois four, is an awesome big brother and such an intelligent little boy. He loves Transformers, animals, Dr. Seuss books, and eating.

Melayna, who is one and a half, has definitely taught her momma patience. Unlike her easy going brother, she is curious and persistent. And if something stands in her way, she will definitely let you know her displeasure. Regardless, she is a sweetheart and daddy's little girl.
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