Everyone has different beliefs when it comes to religion. I for one was raised Catholic. In recent years however, I have really begun to question what it is that I believe. It’s hard to admit that I’m a doubter, and I really do long to have that ever-trusting faith back that I once had.
When Derek and I had Mack out-of-wedlock, even though I had been a regular practicing Catholic all of my life, we had some bad run-ins with the Catholic church. We had just moved to Chesterland, and I had not yet enrolled in a new parish. The first church we went to refused to baptize Mack because we weren’t “financially contributing” to them. Even though I said I would like to join the church, the fact that we weren’t married was apparently an issue. So we tried another church, where we enrolled in a “baptism class” which are now apparently required for your first child to be baptized, where the priest did not turn us down necessarily, but explained that at mass, Derek and I would be unable to receive communion due to our “situation”. I explained to the priest that we were engaged, and would be getting married in just a few months. He told me that if we did not marry in a Catholic church, then our marriage would not be deemed “valid” in the eyes of the Lord. (*NOTE: for those who don’t know, Derek and I were honored to have my Uncle, who is not Catholic, but has known me my entire life, marry us at our venue). Since I know for a fact many people are married outside of the Catholic church, I asked him what we have to do to make it “valid”. Here I was thinking he would say something like we take some sort of class about faith, or we pray certain prayers or something…..nope! That’s when he said that we could pay $200 to the diocese, and we would receive a piece of paper that deemed our marriage “valid” in the eyes of the “Lord”. That was the moment I lost my faith. I’m still not sure if it was my faith that I lost, or it was simply my distaste for the Catholic church in general (and please note…..every church is different, so I’m not saying that they are ALL like that. Some Catholic churches are much more conservative than others, and St. Francis of Assisi for one welcomed us with open arms, “situation” and all), but I must have missed the part in the bible where God came down from on high and said “pay me money, and thoust shall enter into heaven.”
When I got sick, I started praying a lot. Then I felt bad because I always used to think that people only turn to God when bad things happen. I also felt bad because I wasn’t even sure what I believed any more. When you’re faced with dying, suddenly shit gets real. Its one thing to believe something from afar….heaven…..angels…..God. But when it comes down to something like that–well I suppose it’s a true test of your devotion and faith.
Now all of that being said–I’ve been looking for a source of inspiration. Something to get those “feelings” back that I once had. Feelings of comfort/understanding/fearlessness.
My friend Kris has been battling a very aggressive form of breast cancer for over a year. Throughout this whole time, Kris has been very devoted to her faith. She doesn’t seem scared like I always am. She seems more confident, stronger, and in a nutshell, happier. I often mention prayers are needed for her in my blog posts, and when Mack and I sing our prayers at night, we always include her. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know if they would help, but I thought they sure couldn’t hurt. Yesterday, Kris underwent a CT scan to check on her progress. She wasn’t supposed to receive the results until Friday. She posted this last night: