I was brought up as a Catholic. I went to catechism….or Sunday School if you wish…..every Sunday. My father would be upstairs attending the church service while I was in the basement of the church being taught all about the Catholic religion by the nuns. I had my first communion, did my confessions, had my Confirmation and everything else that I needed to do. Once I left Sunday school, I started going to church with my father every Sunday. And I can tell you that as a young child around the age of 11 or 12, church was very boring…..and long! I stopped going to church when I was about 14 or 15. I just didn’t want to go. My social life was more important that going to church in my eyes. My father still went though. I would still go to church on Christmas Eve with a friend and her family. I loved going on Christmas Eve. To me, it was so peaceful.
Now do I believe in God? I honestly cannot tell you what I believe in. Growing up I was told that I had to believe in God. It was what we did back in the 70’s and 80’s. Do I believe one person created this world? Hmmm…..I don’t know about that. Do I believe God hears us through prayers? I guess. Do I believe he answers our prayers? Not really. I have prayed many many times and nothing has ever happened. I have prayed for others to heal, my family and friends….and nothing. Now do I believe in God because I have 2 great kids and 2 beautiful granddaughters and a husband who worships me? If that is who helped me have that in life, then yes I believe in God. I am very thankful and grateful to him for giving me that in life.
I have a friend that calls herself the “Daughter of the King”. She believes you should serve God and give your life to him. Now that to me is a little bit much. I have no problems with religion or anyone’s beliefs…..in fact, I find different religions quite interesting. However, please….and I cannot stress this enough……PLEASE do not force your beliefs on anyone else.
Neither of my children believe in God. And I am fine with that. My daughter claims there are no actual facts proving that he exists. My son believes in something entirely different. They were never brought up in the church like I was. My ex-husband was protestant and neither one of us went to church or considered ourselves religious. We never had either of our kids baptized. We decided to let our kids grow up and choose to believe what they want to believe, instead of having one religion forced upon them. Everyone should have the right to choose their own beliefs, whether we agree with it or not.
Now I haven’t gone to church in a very long time. I mean a VERY long time. Probably 25 years. Yes I have gone to churches for weddings, funerals, etc……but not for a church service. But honestly, lately I have been feeling the need to go there. Not because I necessarily believe, because I am still trying to figure that out…..but because when I walk in a church, I feel at peace. I feel at peace with myself. I feel a calmness wash over me. Like all my stress at that moment is taken away. I can forget everything that is going on at that very moment and just breathe. With everything going on in this world this day and age, everyone can use a little peace in their life.
Most days I have a hard time believing that there is a God. If there is a God, why would he take my mother away from me when I was only 4 years old? Why would he allow people to suffer with cancer and other terminal illnesses? Children to suffer with sickness, poverty, starvation? Why does he allow flooding, devastating forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes….and the list goes on? I have a hard time believing that someone would allow all that suffering.
I had another friend say to me one time that right now we are living in Hell. And when we die, we go to Heaven. That makes a bit of sense to me. Some days it does feel like Hell on earth.
There is a country song and part of the lyrics goes like this: “If I ever get to Heaven
You know I got a long list of questions
Like how do You make a snowflake?
Are You angry when the Earth quakes?
How does the sky change in a minute?
How do You keep this big rock spinnin’?
And why can’t You stop a car from crashin’?
Forgive me, I’m just askin'”
That last part always resonates with me, because my mother was killed in a car crash. I know that is one question I would ask God if I ever met him.