As per my Facebook status, I went to church today. Not for a wedding, or a bapism or because I was on a date, but because.. well I honestly don't know why, other than I wanted to give it a try.
When I was 13 and I read something that said that 70% of Catholics polled felt birth control was ok to use and this bothered me. This was at one of the Smithsonian Museums during out 8th grade class trip. I was a virgin and had never even worn a tampon and my first french kiss had happened a few weeks previous. I was far from some worldly girl. It wasn't even about the birth control at all. It was that 70 percent said something was ok, but one man had deemed it not ok that bothered me. This was on top of me being bitter about letting the non Catholic boys be altar servers and not the Catholic girls at my old school (the year I left, they finally allowed it).
As I contemplated this, and was just kind of offended as a thirteen year old could be, I heard a commotion. One of the girls in my class was making a huge fuss. She refused to go into the Darwin room because Darwinism was a sin and that anyone who even looks upon that will go to hell. That God made us in his image. Even our teacher told her that it was an interesting theory and God wouldn't be upset if she just went in and looked.
It was the first time I realized I that I never really truly believed like others believe. To me, it made sense that we came from monkeys. How could you look at a monkey and NOT think we were related? We had scientific proof for most things, but we just had faith when it came to Bible stories and this is where I got myself in a pickle with my faith. I was headed that way for awhile. The priest never could tell me why Norse, Greek and Roman Gods were considered myths. The stories were just as fantastical as miracles, walking on water and turning water to wine, and rising from the dead.
I've always been a practical girl.
As I grew older, and I started to develop into the person I am today, I often felt like I could never go to church because I couldn't allign msyelf to what they believed in and so by going to church and choosing to not follow blindly as faith would dictate us to do, I would be nothing more than a hypocrite and that's not WJWD. I never stopped believing in God. Sometimes, my practical nature would try and sway me into thinking a higher power did not exist, but I could never go the Athiest route. At the end of the day, I guess I just need to believe that some things are simple out of my hands. I always prayed every night in bed, usually just a prayer I made up and I said every night. Logically, I knew that the the ritual of saying the same thing over and over, night after night was comforting, but I liked doing it and I hoped that God took my prayer to keep us all safe just as seriously even if it was said by rote.
I have always been more of a liberal minded person and I believe in the live and let live theory of life. Even though I believe in God, I didn't like being preached to about God. I didn't like having God shoved down my throat. I didn't like being told what God thinks about stuff because it's so presumptious to think you know. In my head God was cool and loving and as long as you lived your life as a good person, you were kind, good and honest, you were ok in his eyes, no matter where you stuck your pecker, and if he DOES have a problem with it, God's cool and loves you anyway. Just like I don't like shopping, but my sister does. I love her anyway.
I also believe that if someone chooses to worship a different God that was ok, too because in MY head, they were either all the same entity bringing comfort to those with a certain set of beliefs OR all the Gods worked togehter in like a big huge Justice League of Higher Powers. All different, but all working for the common good of humanity. This line of thinking isn't always welcomed in mainstream Christianity.
With my weird pseudo-divorce crap I have going on, I found myself leaning more on prayer. Sometimes, prayer was the only thing that got me through a day. My liberal sensibilities would sometimes make me give myself shit about it. "Oh drinking the Kool-aid are we? Soothing balm for the stupid masses." Then I realized that yes. IT WAS a soothing balm for my soul. There were times I wailed in pain for God to just get me through one more fucking day. PLEASE GOD JUST LET ME FIND A WAY TO DO THIS. A few weeks ago, the only thing that kept me from really losing my shit was to scream my prayers from my house to my job while in the car, crying the whole time.
One could say well, ok you probably would have found a way eventually and they would be right. I mean, I got through my life before, but my life has never been this HARD before. I am not going to lie and say my life is the hardest it's ever fucking been and I need to feel like someone is looking out for me.
I had looked into different churches and was told that the Episcopal church is very liberal minded. They welcome logical thinking and questioning. They allow women priests and gay people and just all walks of life and so today I went to one. It's a very small congregration and it has a female priest who used to be a Catholic nun. The people were very welcoming and were very excited to have a new person there. I sat with at a table after with some older ladies as we had cookies and coffee and they told me their stories. Most people in the Episcopal church are from different Christian sects. It seems that it's a good compromise between two people with differing branches. There were a few "Well, I was raised Catholic and he was raised Baptist and we couldn't agree on either, so we came here" stories. And I kind of like that.
I plan on going back