I have had many requests for this post. Friends there were curious about my faith, what deepened my faith, and how it played a role in my life. You know I don’t usually write about this kind of stuff on the blog. I never want anyone to be isolated and I respect and love the fact that we all have different perspectives and backgrounds. With the overwhelming number of requests I received, I decided to write a post about all this. This is vulnerable and I want to thank those who choose to comment in advance for sharing my heart and being kind.
Please keep in mind that this is my story; This doesn’t have to be your story, and if you don’t believe the same things, that’s okay! I have friends with different beliefs and I honestly think that makes life more exciting and interesting. I’m friends with people who think crème brûlée is a real dessert (it’s not), but even though we have different beliefs, we can still love each other. 😉
As many of you know, I was raised Catholic. We went to mass every Sunday, prayed the rosary, and the Catholic environment was a big part of my teenage and young adult life. At the same time, I was not a big Catholic. I daydreamed during the sermon (I still do sometimes), and was really more for the music than anything else. But, I was there.
While I don’t agree with *everything* in the Catholic faith, I do agree with a lot of it. Above all, I love the rich traditions and comfort of it all. The group reminds me of a hot yoga class with a set flow; The structure is the same every day and I know what to expect. Sometimes I give it 100%, sometimes it’s as high as 60%, but I’m there.
While I went to mass pretty much my entire life and trusted God completely, I was never very close to Jesus. He was a man who did amazing things, but when people talked about having a relationship with Jesus…I just didn’t understand. I respect the man who gave his life for us, but we don’t feel like BFFs and that’s okay. It was like this until a couple of years ago.
For some people who are suddenly drawn to Jesus, it may be after a major life change or event. For me, that’s when the world turns upside down. We all have our own struggles and 99% of me will never see the pages of this blog, but I am having the hardest time. Here I am, still trying to work and provide an income for our family, the kids are home from school (so many Zoom classes and so.much.damn. homework for Liv), I’m trying to keep P from bouncing off walls and injuring himself, and the pilot is traveling internationally with airlines at unexpected times. . Bella died, it broke my heart into a million pieces, and a relationship with someone so close changed in devastating ways.
It hit a point where it was a lot, and one night I cried on the bathroom floor. I cried for Bella’s death, for losing a man so close to me, I cried for the children of the world, I cried for those dying of sickness without family and having a monster, sadness, pity party.
Afterwards, I felt some relief…and knew in my heart that deepening my relationship with God and Jesus was the only thing that would get me through all of this.
I needed hope, and it gave me that.
On a whim, I ordered a daily devotional, I ordered a Bible, and I began my way through the devotional. I did a page each day after my daily meditation and it gave me a positive outlook and some peace after I had done it all day.
I met a friend through another friend, and we started hiking together, chatting for hours about the world. He mentioned his weekly Bible study and asked if I would like to join one day. It turns out that the head of the Bible study was someone I used to teach at the gym and we had recently become close friends. All these pieces seem to fit together, and I believe God put them in my path because our Bible study changed my life.
The first time I went, I was very nervous, because even though I had been Catholic my whole life, I had never studied the Bible. I didn’t know who the majority of the people on the pages were and felt like I didn’t know enough to participate. Our group includes people of all ages – I’m the youngest, and the oldest is 83 – and all are at different stages in their journey. Our meetings are more interactive than anything, they are very vulnerable and we ask questions and challenge some of the things we read. I am surrounded by beautiful perspectives and have so much kindness and wisdom every week.
One woman was talking about how this group was different from some of her other close friend groups.
The reason she gave was:
He has hope.
For now, my weekly faith practice goes a little something like this:
– I complete any Bible study homework we have. Usually it’s a couple of chapters and discussion questions. We are currently doing Don’t miss out, which is very interesting. (I literally thought the Holy Spirit was a devil my whole life, not a person, so there you go.)
– We meet once a week for an hour and a half to discuss what we read
– We meet for extra activities like dinner parties, movies or coffee house patio chats
– I cover it with a part Jesus call Before sleeping
– Still Catholic and still go to mass every week. But now I understand and recognize some of the passages and gospels they are reading. 😉
Although I feel it has changed my life, I still have a long way to go. My goal is to constantly be the best version of myself; More patient, loving, kind and positive. I know it is a great blessing to have these women in my life, and I treasure their friendship as well as the things they teach me.
As far as the kids and our family go, it hasn’t had a big impact on them. The girls go to a religious school, so until last year, they both knew more about the Bible than I did. I will try to implement and share some of the things I have learned. (“Hey Liv, you want to know something funny? I thought the Holy Spirit was the devil until this afternoon and I learned that He is actually a person.” P asked more about it and I told her that the Holy Spirit is always with us, and she never has to worry that she is alone. “Even if you’re scared or afraid, or going through some great difficulty, He’s always with you. Isn’t that cool?” she told me a few days later. She was afraid of the quiz, but then remembered that the Holy Spirit was with her.)
So here it is! I am somewhere in the middle of my journey and excited to keep this a part of my life. <3
Have your beliefs changed or evolved over time? I’d love to hear more if you want to share.
Thanks for reading and for being here.