I have been procrastinating on this post. I have received many questions about the blog title, when are you going to talk about your faith and why is faith in your name of your blog?
At my core I love Jesus and HE is my SAVIOR. But my faith is hard to put into words and it is hard for me to be honest. for the fear of judgement. I added Faith into my blog because our faith is a huge part of our lives. I deeply want to share in a honest way the journey I have had and our family is on with our faith. I don’t believe what I have to say is revolutionary but it is honest and very real which I don’t think we always hear about people’s faith.
I do believe our culture, especially fueled by social media, has become a society of comparison, which combined with faith is a very bad mix. Faith is deeply personal, and is ever changing. God has given us the power and knowledge to make decisions, so here we are, a group of sinning humans trying to make the right decisions daily. I have struggled with what to say, how to say it and how people reading will take my words. My faith is my faith, deeply personal, I struggle with sharing and being judged but our faith is at the core of our family life so it binds us to each other and a community of believers.
I am committed to my faith, my church and my family. Is this easy? No not always. Is it rewarding, yes but not always. This is not a normal thing for families and people of my age to be focused on. Organized religion is shrinking at a high rate, people are not joining churches and to regularly attend church is a novel concept. I don’t share this to make a comparison of what we are doing as a family, to make others choose this, but to explain why we make this a priority and a focus for us. Our faith has grounded us and guides us in our family life, to be in a community of believers is a huge part of practicing and growing our faith.
My reason for being in church has changed over the years and it will continue to change as I journey though my life and faith. I grew up going to church regularly, my church life looked normal to me as most of all my friends did the same, they grew up “churched”. I went off to college and when most people take a break from church, I got plugged into a Christian sorority and attended church regularly thoughout college. My faith in college deepened and was challenged by different thoughts and practices of different denominations, but I believe this helped ground me in what I truly believed. Finding faith is a journey but the practice of your personal faith is much harder. Graduated from college, moved back to my hometown and started attending my home church again.
Fast forward 11 years to now – we have 2 children, 2 full time jobs, friends, family, and a church. Life is packed full and priorities are made, or you start to drown in the chaos of it all. I would like to write about the deep fulfillment we receive when we attend church, but that is my prayer for the future. We are at the stage in our life that getting to church on a Sunday morning, dressed, fed, and not crying is a small miracle. I find solitude and peace for the hour we sit in our worship service, but with my mind racing on the to do lists, work, laundry, lunch…you name it – it races through my mind.
My reason and focus:
The reason we are in church and are committed to church in our stage of life is for our kids. I have been struggling with this reason for a while, is it enough, am I being filled… my questions and doubts flood into this reason.
But, YES, this is enough! My kids and my family need this foundation of church and that is why we are here. I am reminded of the commitment we made as each of our kids were baptized in our church, YES we would raise them in church, YES we would share Jesus with them and YES we would guide them on their faith journey. Holding sweet babies, making this promise is a beautiful memory but a tremendous task. I was more preoccupied with the outfits and food of the day then to really take in the words of the service during our children’s baptisms, but they weigh heavy on my heart and mind now. Church is wonderful, exhausting, challenging, and enter your own words here. It is everything that is good/positive in this world but also the reverse, to claim Jesus as my savior and not be part of a church is counter intuitive to me. To be a believer, I must be in community with like believers, to help in the dark times and help praise during the happy times.
Our community is a strong partner in building our children’s foundation in faith. We were not alone in making a commitment at our children’s baptism, but our church made one as well, to raise our kids and share Jesus with them. That is why we are here, for our kids! Faith is not easy but nothing that is worth our time and energy is easy.
I have started this blog to share our families journey on finding balance in our life, our faith is a huge part of this and I don’t want to sugar coat it. Time and commitments with 2 young children is not easy, add in two full time jobs and I want to be honest and open with our challenges in this journey. I have had some wise words recently shared with me by a dear friend as I told her about my reason for being in church. “There is no bad reason for being in church” she said to me. What, this didn’t make sense to me, I needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit each week when I leave the service, I need to pour into other people’s lives and make a difference, I needed to be the church. After thinking on her words, they made a lot of sense and have been a constant reminder for me, there is no bad reason for being in church. Our faith journey is different, but I am grateful for our faith community and the impact they are having our families faith.
jleardiniFebruary 6, 2019 at 6:57 am
Wow! Deeply powerful and touching. I felt myself reflecting on the religious journey I have taken as I read yours. I grew up in a family where I went to church every week and got nothing out of it. Many weeks, it was a struggle to stay awake.
When I left for college, I stopped going except for the weeks that I would be home with my parents. The only church memory that I have from my college years is how a girl passed gas in front of me and everyone within a 10 pew radius erupted into laughter.
Fast forward to when I moved to Charlotte. I was in a disasterous relationship and knew it was time to move on. I didn’t know where to turn, so one Sunday I stopped by church and started praying for a fresh start and to be shown the way. That was in 2000 and since then I’ve only missed weekly church services 2-3 times.
Now that I have a daughter, I also feel a strong obligation and desire to show her how beautiful church and religion can be. Unlike my parents, we sit close enough so that she can see what is going on. We have discussions about what was said at church and who the people talking and singing are. It brings me great joy to see how loved she is by our church community. It gives me hope that she will grow up living a Christian lifestyle and making church an active part of her life.
Amy ShookFebruary 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm
This has made my day!! This is the reason I share, to be real about my life and not sugar coat it. I am so GRATEFUL for you sharing! Our kids become the driver for our lives! So glad to hear you are doing well!