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:

Well, had my scan this morning and appt scheduled for Friday to get results. So, when my phone rang this afternoon and it said Dr Silverman, my heart sank. It was her nurse, they had the results from the scan and wanted to talk to me. I’ve been here way too many times before. I sat down. In April the scan showed multiple nodules in both lungs and spots on the liver. The nurse said there was no evidence of any mets in either lung and decrease in size and number of spots in liver. So, again, nothing in the lungs and decrease in liver. In just 3 months!!! So, I still have some work to do but this is awesome. I am living proof that The Lord is the Great Physician and does heal and listen to prayers. I will get more details Friday but wanted to share this wonderful update and praise God for his grace. Thank u to everyone for your prayers, support, help, and love. So I will stick with my crazy eating habits and daily jokes from my best friend, episodes of I love Lucy, playtime with my kids, back rubs from my husband, love and visits with family and friends, and prayers. Thank you and God bless you!
Living proof that prayers work. Thank you, Kris, for being my inspiration. I feel 100 times stronger today than I did yesterday, and it is because of you. Keep up the good fight. You totes got this 😉
…and in that spirit of strength—
Have you ever had a bruise on your shin?? like right on that bone there?? I mean seriously, those bruises stay for like a year! No joke! It’s like they never ever go away!!! Well I got one the other day. After I filled up Mack’s pool in the back yard, my feet were all wet, and I slipped out of my flippy floppy and scraped my shin bone on the top step of our deck. Anyway this morning I thought that I will beat this cancer before this bruise goes away!–but for the first time, I really believed it. ❤

One thought on “Inspiration!

  1. What a great post Mary! I feel the exact same way about our Faith too! Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a higher power and this life (as wonderful as it can be sometimes), just can’t be all there is. I believe in prayer and in people coming together to wish others well. I read a blog about this dad who was (is) very religious and he wrote something that totally stuck with me. His daughter died of EB and he always prayed and asked others to pray. And he wrote this:
    “Two summers ago, while trapped in that room, I read countless blog comments about faith communities locked in prayer for Bella. Last night at a small group session, and again today with our whole congregation, Ang and I got to offer up those same prayers for Charlie Knuth and Jackson Baldwin. It felt great to be on the other side of that coin paying it forward. Now, I am still at square one with prayer, but after reading Heaven is Real on the way to MN last month, I’m willing to believe that some prayers get answered in the way we can see and understand them… like directly. It was hard reading that book. Not gonna lie. I sat there and felt like asking God, “So, were all the people praying around the world around the clock for Bella not praying hard enough? What were we doing wrong? Tell me so we can get it right next time.” I felt like a prayer failure. I remember being afraid to prayer for a miracle when Bella was born. Who was I to ask for such a thing? What made me and my request any more urgent than the millions, maybe billions of prayer requests God was receiving?
    I just heard God in my ear answering as I was just writing. He said…
    What makes you think I couldn’t answer all 1 million prayers that day if I wanted to? Do you think that there is a hierarchy and a quantity to how many prayers I can answer per day? Like a quota? Why did you think you weren’t worthy to be first on my list ‘that day,’ or any day for that matter?”
    SO MANY people PRAY so MUCH. EVERY DAY, for years and sometimes we don’t get the answer that we want. We are simply meant to win some and lose some. No one gets cancer or a brain tumor (like my sister) and dies simply because people didn’t pray “enough” for them. Prayer heals those who pray. Prayer provides a sense of serenity. But unfortunately, sometimes those prayers do not have to be answered EVEN when lots of people pray a LOT. It will always be a mystery to me. How come good people are faced with horrible things? Why? We have to believe there is an ultimate plan. And hopefully, it will all make sense in the end. With that being said, I pray for you and think about you OFTEN. And you, Mrs. Buell, are meant to beat this! I just know it!
    PS. While our new Pope fills me with Hope, the Church really bothers me A LOT sometimes. I wish I could just blindly believe everything like I used to. It was easier, but it was mostly ignorance.

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