I’ve had so, so many requests for this post. Friends out there were curious about my faith, what deepened my faith, and how it plays a part in my life. You guys know I don’t typically write about these types of topics here on the blog. I never want anyone to feel isolated, and I respect and LOVE the fact that we all have different views and backgrounds. With the overwhelming requests I’ve received, I decided to write a post about about all of this. It’s a vulnerable one and I just wanted to say thank you in advance for being kind to me for sharing my heart, and also to those who choose to leave a comment.
Please keep in mind that this is my story; it doesn’t have to be your story, and if you don’t believe the same things, it’s ok! I have friends who have different beliefs and genuinely feel that it makes life way more exciting and interesting. I’m also friends with people who think that creme brûlée is a real dessert (it’s not), but even though we have different beliefs, we can still love each other. 😉
As many of you guys know, I grew up Catholic. We went to mass each Sunday, prayed the rosary, and the Catholic environment was a large part of my adolescent and young adult life. At the same time, I wasn’t a great Catholic. I tended to daydream during the homily (I still do sometimes), and was really there for the music more than anything. But, I was there.
While I don’t agree with *everything* in the Catholic faith, I agree with a lot of it. Most of all, I love the rich traditions and the comfort of it all. Mass reminds me of a hot yoga class with a set flow; the structure is the same each day, and I know what to expect. Sometimes I give it 100%, sometimes it’s more like 60%, but I’m there.
While I went to mass pretty much my entire life and absolutely believed in God, I never really felt super close to Jesus. He was a man who did miraculous things, but when people talked about having a relationship with Jesus… I didn’t get it. I was like yeah I respect the guy who gave his life for us, but we don’t feel like BFFs, and that’s ok. That’s how it was until a couple of years ago.
For some people who have a sudden draw towards Jesus, it can be after a huge life change or event. For me, it was when the world flipped upside down. We all have our own struggles, and 99% of mine never see the pages of this blog, but I was going through an extremely difficult time. I was here, still trying to work and make an income for our family, the kids were home from school (Liv had SO MANY zoom classes and so.much.damn.homework), I was trying to keep P from bouncing off the walls and injuring herself, and the Pilot was traveling internationally with the airlines during an unpredictable time. Bella passed away, which broke my heart into a million pieces, and a relationship with someone very close changed in a devastating way.
It hit a point where it was a lot, and one night I cried on the bathroom floor. I cried for Bella’s death, I cried to lose a human who was also so close to me, I cried for the children of the world, I cried for those who were sick and dying without their families, on and on, and had a giant, sobbing, pity party.
Afterwards, I felt the slightest bit of relief… and I also knew in my heart that deepening my relationship with God and with Jesus was going to be the only thing to get me through all of this.
I needed hope, and that’s what it gave me.
On a whim, I ordered a daily devotional, I ordered a Bible, and I started making my way through the devotional. I did a page each day after my daily meditation, and found that it gave me a positive outlook and an extra bit of peace as I made it through the day.
I met a friend through another friend, and we started hiking together, chatting for hours about the world. She mentioned her weekly bible study and asked me if I’d like to join one day. It turns out that the leader of the bible study was someone I teach with at the gym, and we had recently started to become closer friends. It’s like all of these pieces fit together, and I believe that God put them in my path for a reason, because our bible study has changed my life.
The first time I went, I was super nervous, because even though I’d been Catholic my entire life, I’d never studied the Bible. I didn’t know who a majority of the people were in the pages, and felt like I didn’t know enough to participate. There are women in our group of all ages – I’m the youngest, and the oldest is 83 – and all in various points in their journey. Our meetings are more conversational than anything, they tend to get pretty vulnerable, and we ask questions and challenge some of the things we’ve read. I’m surrounded by beautiful perspectives and so much kindness and wisdom every single week.
One of the ladies was talking about how this group is so much different than some of her other close friend groups.
The reason she gave:
they have hope.
For now, my weekly faith practice goes a little something like this:
– I complete whatever bible study homework we have. Usually it’s a couple of chapters and discussion questions. We’re currently doing Don’t Miss Out, which has been very interesting. (I literally thought the Holy Spirit was a ghost my entire life, not a person, so there ya go.)
– We meet weekly for an hour and half to discuss what we’ve read
– We meet up for extra activities like dinner parties, movies, or coffee house patio chats
– I cap it off with a passage from Jesus Calling before bed
– Still Catholic and still go to mass each week. But now I understand and recognize some of the passages and Gospels they’re reading. 😉
While I feel like this has changed my life, I still have a long way to go. It’s my goal to constantly be a better version of myself; more patient, loving, kind, and positive. I know that having these women in my life is a huge blessing, and I treasure the things they teach me in addition to their friendship.
As far as the kids and our family goes, it hasn’t had a huge effect on them. The girls go to a religious school, so up until this past year, they both knew more about the Bible than I did. I try to implement and share some of the things I’ve learned. (“Hey Liv, you want to know something funny? I thought the Holy Spirit was a ghost until this afternoon and I learned he’s actually a person.” P asked more about it, and I told her that the Holy Spirit is always with us, and she never has to be worried that she’s alone. “Even when you’re scared or nervous, or going through something super hard, he’s always with you. Isn’t that cool?” She told me a few days later that she was scared about a quiz, but then remembered that the Holy Spirit was with her.)
So that’s it! I’m somewhere in the middle of my journey and am excited to keep this up as a part of my life. <3
Have your beliefs changed or evolved over time? I’d love to hear more if you feel like sharing.
Thanks for reading and for being here.