Thursday, December 11, 2008

All this

inspired by a question from another blogger :
"And so this is a very personal question but I wonder how faith has informed your journey -- if it has."

This post was going to be a comment as a question asked from another blogger's post. Then I decided I should just share it on my blog because I have actually never really written about this touchy/taboo/forbidden topic

I was raised Me.tho.dist with a ba.ptist mother and a met.hodist father who met at a metho.dist college.
Somewhere between the age of 4-6 as a child growing up going to sunday school, I asked my mother if the nursery rhyme about Mary having a little lamb was about Jesus because of stories I was told at sunday school and the experience of going to a public elementary school where religion was not discussed.

In Junior High, church was more about my socialization than anything. There were people there that I liked hanging out with and my parents didn't ever mind taking me to any church event. So, It was a win win situation.. Middle School Years were very hard for me. It was such an awkward stage of growing up .. and the friends I met at church made it easier to deal with every day life ... It's actually amazing that Most of my friends from Middle School Years still keep in touch one way or another

In High School, I began questioning some of the teachings and lessons learned at our youth church. I was not a complete rebellion, but I did tend to ask alot of questions. I just won't take the "because it says so, or I said so" or Everyone has to believe it route. I investigated on my own. I needed to understand the beliefs before I could believe in them .. And not simply believe because everyone else did. I guess I would be what is considered a skeptic? I was not out right defiant about it. This personality trait did not make me well liked among the leaders but that also was ok with me because I was not creating their Faith and Values, I was creating mine.

In College, I went to many many different organizations and groups just to see what was out there. I ended up finding a group that I spent a few yrs going to. They are funded by the Asse.mbly of Go.d demon.ination. (something I was not familiar with) But the People were really nice and open and I enjoyed their meetings. I actually met E there. (Which is also so strange because E was raised in a Ca.tholic home - even attending Cath.olic schools) . Again, I still did not believe in everything the organization believed in.

My views tend to be many different shades and not all about either black or white all the time.

E and I got married in my church from childhood. It was actually the biggest controversial thing in his family. His father refused to go to his only child's wedding because he didn't think E should marry for one ... another reason being I was not cath.olic. E's mother was married to E's father, but only because she got pregnant at 16 and both were catholic. I am not really sure of the whole reasoning but E says it has something to do with babies needing the spiritual atonement when they come down the birth canal ... E's parents were married for like 10 months, then they divorced. E's mother has since remarried many times but could never be married in the church's eyes again because she annulled her first marriage to E's father then Remarried and divorced him also .... Tangent .. sorry .. all this to say that E's mother was all worried that our marriage would not be legal in the eyes of god because it was not done a ta catholic church. We assured her that the State of Fl would recognize it.

After Marriage, we did alot of church hopping. Mostly because I have this inability to find what I am looking for I guess. I have certain standards/criteria that need to be met. I don't know why really ...

Then a few yrs of TTC did me in with my views and beliefs. I was no longer a believer of some of the same things I used to value. Basically, alot of my personal beliefs were being challenged and I hated it. So I stopped attending churches altogether. I felt like it was pretty pointless. I think it would be fair to say that there were ups and downs with my faith over the past 6+ yrs. But one thing that TTC did have me discover was eastern religions. Breathing, techniques, yoga, acupuncture, herbs, unconventional ways of thinking. Which I really have enjoyed learning about

I also believe me achieving pregnancy has had a positive impact on my values and beliefs and has allowed some healing in unconventional ways. I am not sure I would have been able to understand or get through different situations in the past year w/o the experiences I lacked before strurglling through my TTC years. Eat, Pray, Love and The Shack played a huge part in these healings also. These books (and a few others along with all of your blogs) have allowed me to examine myself and encourage me in so many ways. I have been encouraged to be myself and enjoy the present. I am inspired to learn and understand my surroundings and my beliefs much more than ever before.

6 comments:

Wordgirl said...

Farah,

Thank you so much for sharing this story with me -- I was certain I had created some giant bloggy error in posting mine -- the silence was deafening -- I thought "okay, so maybe no one wants to share something so personal...that's okay" -- and then your beautiful, thoughtful response.

Thank you -- I'm really touched because I think it's difficult to talk about it.

XO

Pam

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I'm definitely with you in that dealing with IF and watching others that I love deal with it has made me question my faith many times. I'm still at a standstill with religion, but I hope that one day I can get back on that wagon. :)

Barb said...

Wow. Really really well said Farah. Loved reading it. I find myself identifying with you in this way a lot. We have found one church we LOVED (Catholic btw) when we lived in NY. Sadly we had to leave it, and I haven't found that peace since. I think it's normal to have certain criteria for your church. You need to feel comfortable and at peace there in order to even hope to attain anything from it.

I'm currently reading a book by the Dalai Lama and enjoying it very much.
xoxoxo

Dreamer4agift said...

Thank you for sharing this side of yourself, Farah. I grew up in an A/G church, and even though our church got out of that organization, our beliefs are pretty much the same. Dad being the pastor made it difficult for me to "explore" other churches, but he always said that just b/c he was the pastor didn't mean I was going to heaven. I had to find my own way. IF has made me questions my beliefs and God down to my very core, more than ever before. The journey has been long and hard, but I believe that it only made me solidify what I've believed. I know there will still be hard times and I will still question God, but I think He's big enough to handle that.

Thank you again for sharing. Very brave, and very strong.

Amanda said...

Excellent post, Farah. It is always such a touchy subject and people should be more open and less worried about offending others. I have had some of the same experiences as you when it comes to religion. I now want my baby to be raised in a church because I just think that is the right thing to do. But it is hard because hubby was not raised in church and I have not gone since moving four years ago. It really is hard to visit around and find what you are looking for, as you said.

AJ's mommy said...

Thanks for sharing! Excellent post!