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My Faith

Posted 05-05-2015 at 04:40 PM by Just A Girl
I’ve often been a fierce defender of faith in our ever so glorious newsroom. My religious background really has nothing to do with my faith, as I’m able to distinguish that one does not have to be religious to be faithful.

A little background….My entire extended family is Catholic. I went to Catholic school as a youngin and continued to practice in that religion until shortly after my parents got divorced. I participated in everything there but was never “confirmed”. One of my fondest memories is sitting with Father Jim talking to him about all the feelings I had about my parents’ divorce. I had my “first confession”, I think I was right around 9 years old. I remember sitting with Father Jim and telling him how I had nothing I could ever confess to. That I did everything I was supposed to do. I got good grades. I listened to my parents. I didn’t fight with my siblings and if I did it was all their fault. I was quite the proud lil leo, even at 9. Until he asked me how I felt about my Dad and I went into a fit of rage on how much I hated him. Father Jim was such a huge part of my life during that time. I found comfort in chatting with him, in being around him during that time. Shortly after my parents divorced, we stopped attending church. The Catholic church wouldn’t give my mother an annulment unless she paid $650.00. She took issue with that and we never went back to that church again. When I was in 8th grade, we moved to a different town. I had to go to a new school. I was approaching my high school years and I didn’t know anyone. In my new 8th grade science class, there was another new girl – just like me. We became fast friends. She had just moved to Illinois from Utah. Her family was Mormon.

I spent so much time with her and her family. I loved how much fun they all had. There was a Mom and a Dad and no one fought. They watched movies together. They played games together. It was like having back the family I felt I had been robbed of. One day we were driving home from a school activity and my friend’s Mom was listening to church music in the car. I commented that it was beautiful. She said “doesn’t it just make you want to be baptized?” I said yes. And I was. I was 14. My Mom and sister followed 2 weeks later. Now we were Mormon. I was a practicing Mormon until I turned 19. Then I didn’t go to BYU and I found a whole new world during my college years. I did go back to church for about a month after my Mom passed away. I think it was partially for comfort, for being around people who knew my Mom, who wanted to support me during that time. Part of me wanted to go back to church to make my Mom happy, so she’d be proud of me, that I could grant her some unspoken dying wish. But, I’m just not that girl anymore. I disagree with so many principles that the church believes, I felt like a hypocrite. I will say that the Mormons stepped up for me and my family during the loss of my Mother more than I ever expected. We had meals for weeks at our house. There was no fee for using the church for her funeral. They provided everything, selflessly. I have spent a great deal of time around Mormons. They are by far the kindest, most generous people I have ever known. Part of me wishes I could be a good Molly Mormon girl, my life would seem far less complicated. But that’s just not me. It’s not who I am.

That said, I do believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the principles taught in the bible. I have faith in them. I believe that religion is for man. But faith, that’s where it’s really at – at least for me. I don’t have to go to church or say my hail Mary’s or go to the Mormon temple to be faithful. I can be a good person because being good is right. I can try to be the best person I can be because it’s the right thing to do, not because my church tells me to do so. I believe in God, Our Father, who has fatherly, UNCONDITIONAL love for ALL of his children, whether they be homosexual or unwed mothers or women who obtain abortions. That’s the God I believe in. Not the God that won’t let you into Heaven because you smoke or drink coffee or the fire and brimstone God so many religious zealots want to believe in.

I take great issue with people who criticize religious people. I take great issue with religious people who judge others or push religion down other people’s throats. Neither is as good or as bad as the other. I believe we should all have a right to practice our faith as we see fit. I find my faith is strongest and I feel the closest to the God I believe in when I’m alone in the peaceful quiet of my car, a walk or even a the gym.

If believing in something makes you feel good, then do it. If not believing in anything makes you feel good, then do that. There’s no need to believe one is superior to the other because in the end we’re all just worm food or we’ll be spending eternity together feeding you crow.
Total Comments 9

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katydid's Avatar
I think this is an excellent blog, JaG and I especially like your discussion of how you found something in both religions.

I think believing in whatever brings you strength and a feeling of being loved is what's important~not the name you put on it.
Posted 05-05-2015 at 04:48 PM by katydid katydid is offline
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TomIAm's Avatar
sincerely thank you for sharing. We have some similarities in our background for sure. But here's the thing...you have rejected a couple of religions now because of disagreements with their doctrine, right? So I'm not clear about what your faith is? You said Jesus, so by definition I guess that lines you up with Christian doctrine. So are you a believer in the basic Christian story that Jesus was born a man, rose from the dead to save us, yadda yadda? The reason I ask is this...I got to this point as well while I was "transitioning" (interpret that word as you like...but I mean it in the "religion" sense). I grew up Catholic, had issues with "the church", but still felt safe and warm with the Jesus story, so I ran with the "Well I still believe in God and Jesus...I just have a problem with the church and all their other lies and hypocrisies"....but over time, I had a tougher and tougher time reconciling the idea that if they lied about all the other stuff then why should I believe the central message?
Posted 05-05-2015 at 05:18 PM by TomIAm TomIAm is online now
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Just A Girl's Avatar
I believe in God. I believe in Jesus and the resurrection blah blah blah. I guess my belief is that the principles taught by Jesus have been corrupted by man and their religion. I don't know that the words in the bible were those of Christ because who knows who translated it. King James? Were they real translations or translations meant to control the masses? I don't know. No one does. But in short, I do believe in God and Jesus Christ. I just don't believe that there is any one true Christian religion today. Religion is built by man, in my opinion. I chose to find my comfort privately while others find theirs in going to church faithfully every Sunday.
Posted 05-05-2015 at 05:48 PM by Just A Girl Just A Girl is offline
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hijiller's Avatar
I'm in heaven! JAG and Tom in the same blog on the same day.
Some may think I run this just to annoy people, but my goal is always to bring out the blogger in a way the threads can never do.
JAG, I remember your saying you went from Catholic to Mormon, and I always wondered how that happened. I enjoyed reading about your journey.

Tom, thanks for joining in!
Posted 05-05-2015 at 06:07 PM by hijiller hijiller is offline
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gdgrl's Avatar
My parents didn't go to church. If I ever went as a kid, it was with my grandmother. My father used to say that he didn't need to attend church to prove to others his belief in God. And he's probably right.

Why do we have to attend church? To be with other like minded individuals? To be reminded every week of our faith? I got baptized Catholic so my husband and I could marry into the Catholic church. I remember thinking it odd that I was allowed to cut corners to do so.

I would have been willing to do what was necessary at the time. I think the lack of consistency within the Catholic church bothers me, they hypocrisy and how they can change rules to suit their needs.

I agree with JaG, I don't like religious people bashing others for their beliefs. Everyone thinks theirs is THE faith. I just can't see everyone going to hell for not believing the exact same thing.

I do have faith and I like the cozy feeling it gives to have guidelines to live by. Although maybe we'd all be play nice without it...that's an unknown.
Posted 05-05-2015 at 06:09 PM by gdgrl gdgrl is offline
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This was a very good read. I'm grateful that you took the time to open up and share. Faith is a virtue and a powerful thing. I hope you hold onto it forever.
Posted 05-05-2015 at 11:41 PM by Rickyc1023 Rickyc1023 is offline
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Iceburn's Avatar
What touched me, was the option that you had at such a young age, to be able to talk to a "grown -up" about your parent's divorce. It must have been very comforting and reassuring to have that someone's ear.
Thanks JaG...excellent blog!
Posted 05-06-2015 at 12:29 PM by Iceburn Iceburn is offline
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light71's Avatar
And excellent post. Thank you for sharing.
Posted 05-07-2015 at 02:09 PM by light71 light71 is offline
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tink062570's Avatar
wonderful blog JAG
Posted 05-09-2015 at 05:01 PM by tink062570 tink062570 is offline
 
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