Here’s another one of those designs from My Big Toe that I would love to stitch. Isn’t it pretty? I also find it amazing that one little word can bring a flood of thoughts rushing down. Would you like to wade around in my flood for a bit? (I am currently imagining the scene from the end of “O Brother Where Art Thou?” after the dam has broken and you see the various stuff floating around in the water)
I have been grappling with faith for quite a while. Technically I was born into a Methodist family so I’ve always referred to myself as being Methodist. I attended Sunday School at our local church until my dad was angered by a statement made by the minister. At the Christmas program our minister informed the congregation he expected that all of them would give at least 10% of what they had spent on Christmas gifts to the church. This rubbed my dad the wrong way. He figured that it was between him and God as to how much he decided to tithe. My dad is not one who takes orders very well so this went over like a lead balloon (yes, I know that Mythbusters actually made a lead balloon float, but just go with me on this one).
I was never baptized because my parents wanted me to have the freedom to choose my own religion. I was raised with the belief that God does exist, but we didn’t pray as a family nor did we attend church. As children my parents were both forced to attend church so they didn’t want to do that to their children. I understand where they were coming from, but somehow I feel like I was missing something. I was raised to be skeptical of those who openly talked a LOT about God. Again, one of my first experiences with church was in the one where the money-grubbing minister presided over things. He had two daughters who acted like the stereotypical preacher’s kids. The oldest one was arrested after stealing from the local Ames store where she worked, and the youngest one was constantly doing things and then blaming it on my sister so that my sister would be the one to get in trouble. Then my aunt married a Born Again minister who ended up leaving her after he found another woman who had more money than my aunt. Then he sued my aunt for more money, although I can’t remember why, and it turns out that he had been cheating on my aunt. Not a very positive experience.
So despite the fact that organized religion seemed to be showing me all of its bad sides, I still continued to believe. Until my family went through some really tough times; a HUGE family fight that left my mom’s family having nothing to do with us, and then my older sister passed away. What kind of a God would do this to me, I wondered? I had explored Wicca in college, but the friend who had really helped to lead me down that path hurt me very badly. Besides, Wicca never really felt completely right. I knew that it wasn’t what I was missing. As things started to really go downhill in this country I looked around and was disgusted by the lack of morals that dominates our culture. I needed something more wholesome. I needed something that I could hold onto while things were going down in flames around me.
That’s when I started to listen to Glenn Beck’s radio program. Glenn is a Mormon, but he has a profound belief in God. As I listened to Glenn something just spoke to me and started leading me back to God. At the time I was dating somebody whose mother was very much involved in her church. She was a Methodist so I wanted to attend a service again. Things had really changed since the last time that I had been to a service! It didn’t click, but I thought that maybe it was because it was ‘new’ to me. I attended the service a few more times, but the minister really turned me off. (What is it with these Methodist ministers??). As I tried to get closer to God my boyfriend, David, seemed to applaud my progress. I purchased my first Bible and started to pray. Then things got bad with David so after we broke up I had to do a lot of soul searching. You see, when you are with somebody who spends the entire time you were together telling you everything that’s wrong with you and what’s wrong with your family you begin to believe it to an extent. I had actually started to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I needed to change. And I really did try, but God wouldn’t let me be somebody else. He wanted me to be the woman whom He had created, so after kicking David to the curb I spent a lot of time reconnecting with the real Kerry.
Everything happens for a reason. You are led down certain paths without realizing it, and it’s not until you get a ways down the road that you can turn back and realize how everything fit together to put you where you are. It wasn’t just a random series of events. So when I fell in love with Jay and realized that it could really turn into something serious I knew that Faith would play a part in our relationship. Jay was raised in the Catholic church, and despite the fact that he hadn’t been attending church or confession for a few years, it was still important to him. So we got married in the Catholic Church and have attended Church regularly since the end of September. I really enjoy it because I feel like I ‘fit’.
For the most part, that is. I joined the choir and have found myself feeling like an outsider sometimes. These people all used to sing in the choir together before so they know all of the words to all of the songs. All of this is new to me and so I’m learning on the fly. Also, I don’t know how many of them are aware that I’m not a Catholic. They see me go up during communion, but that’s only so that I can receive a blessing. I definitely don’t partake in the actual communion. I have also been invited to join a few church events, which makes me nervous because that’s when they will find out how little I really know about things. I want to learn them, but it’s going to take me a little while.
The strange thing about all of this is that I feel like I’m turning my back slightly on my family and what they believe. My dad rolls his eyes when I mention that we attend church and I know that he can’t quite comprehend why I would want to join the choir. Yet, should Jay and I have children I would want them to have a solid church foundation on which to stand. I think that a lot of our problems in society nowadays are all caused by the fact that morals are not held in high esteem and people don’t feel like they have to answer for their actions. A lot of people don’t live in a Christ-like manner, which is sad. We never attended Church, but my mom ALWAYS reminded us about the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would want them to do unto you.
Anyway, those are a few of my rambling thoughts when I see the word ‘Faith’. How about you? What are your random thoughts?