Sunday, September 20, 2009

Struggling with faith

Some things have happened recently that have me questioning faith. Recently I have been facing things that I feel like I could find the answers to in church. But I don't feel a connection to my church - I was raised Catholic and still attend (I use that term lightly) the church I have grown up in, but oddly enough I don't feel a connection because it's such a strict religion and frankly haven't followed the rules and am doing okay - so I feel like a bit of an outcast in a sense.

Not only am I struggling with that, but if I were to break away from my church and begin researching or even attending a new church, how would I tell my parents. My family have been strong Catholics for generation and I almost feel like I am a bigger disappointment if I decide to be Christian or Methodist vs. not going to church at all. However, our family has faced major disappointments and I almost feel like if I were to change churches that would be a fairly mild thing to do.

I pray, I have faith, I believe, but I'm just struggling with the fact that the religion that I know to turn to doesn't support me in what I believe in. I want to give my children a good foundation in faith, and have sent them to religion classes every Wednesday night since they were eligible, but they are being forced to go just like I was.....but I have been less strict about attending church every Sunday. I feel like I am praying so much about this and all the while I am needing direction.

I need direction in how to be a good wife, parent, daughter, sister, and friend. In my life right now I am struggling with all of those things. My husband and I are dealing with the stresses of parenting a child that has major anxiety issues, my family is dealing with the deceit and lies that are the result of an extra marital affair, and within my group of friends we are dealing with a change in personalities that is threatening our relationships. I feel like I need to turn to someone who can guide me through this. The other weekend I found myself saying "who is taking care of me?" - and I know who is taking care of me....I just don't know where I fit in to worship him.

So I am struggling with my faith and I think it shouldn't be something that is stressful, but feel like I am going against generations of Catholics here and have to think that they would all support me in this knowing that I am seeking out direction and am turning to my faith for that.


illinigirl said...

Well, I think only you can find this out by doing research and trying out different places to learn about their faiths. . . but I guess you have to look at what you don't agree with as far as being Catholic. . . because as far as being too strict, I think Catholics tend to be not far off from any Christian religion. While the beliefs in the Eucharist and the Pope differ, many of the tenants are the same.

I have been blessed in finding a church that I LOVE. While I have liked aspects of all my churches in different places, I love that so many young people go to my church. . . and I love, love, love the priests at my current church. Now, I know you are not always going to make a connection there. . . but as Catholics, we are lucky to have so many options as far as different churches to go to.

I am slightly biased to my faith because I do love it. :) No, I am not in love with 100% of things about it, but really. . . can you be 100% in any faith? If you can, good for you!

And think about this. . . not trying to be judgmental, but just giving food for thought. . . what do your parents think of you being "Catholic" but not going to church? How is that any better than trying out something else where you are actually involved?

Good luck in your quest!

heresthediehl said...

I realize this is a touchy subject, but I applaud you for writing about it!

I left the Catholic church 10 years ago, primarily b/c my husband is not Catholic and we decided well before we were married that we would find a church that we both could agree on (he grew up in the First Church of God - it's a very small denomination, but Bible based and pretty traditional).

We've now attended two churches total in 10 years: one was a non-denominational Christian church, and the one we attend now is the First Evangelical Free church, which is a denomination but doesn't really seem like one. Meaning, there isn't a lot of "religion."

I don't mean that in a postmodern, "I can do what I want but if I'm still a good person I'll go to heaven" way. I mean that religion is man-made. The truth is in the Bible. I highly recommend McKMama's explanation of why she isn't "religious" but is definitely a Christian. Her post is here:

If you ever have a question, I'd be happy to answer! You can message me on FB. :)

Angela said...

Thank you both very much....I appreciate your input and am still on the fence. I think for now I am going to look for a Catholic church that fits our family because I know there is one out there....and in the mean time I will continue to pray about this along with a million other things! ha! ; )