Daily Prompt: Faith

Well hello there!

This is just a sign, a sign that I really need to go to church tomorrow. 

Early this morning while tossing and turning I started to think about blogging.  My head was still very foggy, it must have been before 6 am. My thought was to blog about my faith.  Upon looking at some of the blogs I follow I saw the daily prompt.  A few weeks ago I used this as well, and as I said then, I usually just see it and move on.  Today, however, the topic was EXACTLY what I was thinking about in my sleep!

Prompt: Un/Faithful  Tell us about the roll faith plays in your life- or doesn’t.

Growing up the only time we went to church was with our Grandma Connie or for a wedding, funeral, or baptism.  My Mom grew up going to church with her parents, she says it was Baptist, and my Dad did the same but he was Catholic.  I don’t even know if my Mom was baptized but I know that my Dad was, and he went through catechism.  Last year we found out that he was never confirmed even though he thought he was. Turns out he decided he didn’t want to go through with it.  I guess that is the point of it all, not to do something that you are not able to follow through with.  Anyway, my parents never agreed on what to do with us as far as faith and decided to let us chose when we were old enough.

My sister would go to church with her friend sometimes, but I didn’t have many friends who went to church so I would stay home.  I was always curious about religion and always seemed to ask my Mom questions. Most of her answers were negative as she has a negative view about it all, and it left me feeling sad and helpless.  She always said we were Christian but I didn’t even know what that really meant.  I knew that I would pray before bed every night just like my Grandma and Grandpa Dickerson taught me.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless…”

As I became older I started to read little passages in my Precious Moments Bible.

Precious Moments Bible

It was a gift from my Grandma, I think. Anyway, it left me with more questions and a slight anger with my Mom. I knew so little.  I knew that I believed in God and Jesus Christ, and that he died for our sins.  That was it.

Up to this point I considered myself “Catholic” because it was the only church I had ever been to.  In high school, one of my friends invited me to go to Mass with her and her family a few times and I did.  It was St. Anthony’s in Manteca.  One day she told me to go up with them and get blessed instead of taking communion.  That moment changed my life.  I finally felt like I was allowed to participate in a religion.

When I started dating Joseph, he went to church with his Mom. Joseph’s family is Catholic, and one day his Mom asked me if I wanted to go with them. I was so excited and so nervous. I didn’t know the words or when to sit or kneel and my Mom made me think that it was going to be a bad experience.  I had went with my friend recently but I didn’t feel like I needed to impress her family like I felt with Joseph.  I didn’t want them to think I was Godless or that I didn’t care.  I went anyway and asked A LOT of questions.  Most of them still went unanswered.  I found out that most people just go through the motions and most of them don’t ask questions.  I wanted to learn more.

At Cuesta college I took a course called World Religions.  It wasn’t required, but it piqued my interest.  I learned about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.  It was eye opening. 

I had been to a few different Christian churches with other people since high school and still never felt the same way I felt at a Catholic church. It always felt more familiar and like home to me.  I wanted to learn as much as possible anyway, because I didn’t want to be another person in the pew who is participating in something that I knew nothing about.

SLO mission

One day I was shopping down town in SLO and walked right by the mission.  I had done so countless times, and I always loved to hear the bell ring and see people going to Mass.  I decided right there that I would try it out and that week I got in touch with Teri who ran their RCIA.  I began going and found that every question I asked was answered.  The answers made sense and I was finally getting somewhere.  I was still curious about other religions, just in case, and kept researching and talking to people.  Probably about 3 months in, I knew it was right for me.  Almost 2 years later I was baptized.  In the meantime I moved back up north and continued RCIA at St. Anthony’s in Manteca, and when I was baptized, Joe’s Mom was my sponsor.

Since we have moved I haven’t been to church.  It weighs heavily on my heart.  I feel such a deep connection to my faith and not going has been hard on me.  It seems like every Monday I find myself really needing something.  I still read my daily Grace and sometimes I read my Bible, but this prompt has really made me think about it.  Why haven’t I went? There is no good reason. I am not working, and 45 minutes is not going to stop me from studying.  I have found it hard to go without someone, even though I did it in SLO, I would like Joe to go with me.  He has a different story to tell, and his includes not wanting to go to church, similar to my Mom and Dads.

When I have children I want to be able to answer their questions, and I want them to feel like they are worthy of God and feel that they belong to something.

So now I ask you…

Prompt: Un/Faithful Tell us about the roll faith plays in your life- or doesn’t.

xoxox

Amanda

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12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Faith

  1. Found this scrolling through the daily prompt comments – thank you for sharing your heart and experience!

    I know what that kind of deep yearning feels like – borrowing from Jane Eyre, it’s like there’s a cord wrapped around my heart, and around God’s, and whenever you wander, you feel it pulling, fraying, but as you stand closer, it grows stronger. I work a lot, and when I’m not able to go to church, I’ve found lots of online listening to be encouraging – if you get the chance to look it up Tim Keller has some amazing, thoughtful messages online.

    But in about 10 years of learning to love the Lord, nothing replaces just digging into the Bible. Sure, it gets pretty dry some days, but perseverance always pays off. Psalm 73 has been very precious to me lately.

    Sorry, I don’t normally ramble on blogs like this, but I felt connection to your writing. I hope it might encourage you. Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ!

    • Hi Marli!
      Thank you for your kind words! I will be sure to check that out. I have often listened to radio shows while driving that help me feel close as well. I have never thought to listen at home, what a great idea!!
      God Bless!!

  2. Best of fortune to you as you learn to love the Lord more and more. Make your Bible your best friend and read it. Study it. Memorize it. Apply it to your life. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the challenge and it will improve your life. Take care, and enjoy 2013!

  3. Amanda, the Lord tells us that if we seek Him, we will find Him, and that gives me so much comfort. It’s like when I play hide and seek with my grandchildren. I hide out of their sight, and they try really hard to find Nana, and if I sense that they’re beginning to get anxious about finding me, I make a noise, or make my presence known, so they can find me. If you continue to seek the Lord with all your heart, He will make His presence known to you. I pray the Lord blesses you abundantly with His presence, as you continue to seek Him, in Jesus’ name.

    God bless you,
    Cheryl

    • Cheryl,
      I have never heard an analogy like that before and I must say, it moved me. I hope you don’t mind but I shared it on facebook. It was exactly what I needed and I think it makes sense to a lot of people. THANK YOU!! And Amanda, great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

  4. Amanda, As I am moving farther away from Catholicism, it is delightful to hear about how someone else fell in love with it. – And it is true, there is nothing like the Catholic mass. One of my favorite things about it is the sense of familiarity and recognition no matter where I am in the world! Perhaps you will make it to mass tomorrow or next Sunday!

    Much light and blessings to you!

  5. Hi Amanda, Bless your heart. I can see myself in you when I was growing up as a Catholic. It takes years of wisdom when you finally realized that being a Catholic is more than going to church. Just like you, I studied world’s religion and attended their services. The more I studied other religions the more I embraced the Catholic religion. It’s a slow journey. I will pray that you will reach your journey with or without Joe. For only you can do this. Keep on praying with or without the Bible. It’s good to know the Bible especially when you go to mass. That readings are all from the Bible. Maybe Bible study is good when you have time. There are so many options at your nearest Catholic Church. Volunteer at the church, anything to expose yourself in the Catholic church. That’s what I did until I am fully comfortable coming Home to Catholicism. Pray with your heart to Jesus with the intercession of Mother Mary. Prayer is powerful. Here’s a link to Catholics Come Home. http://www.catholicscomehome.org/index.php
    God Bless you and Have a Happy New Year.

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