Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trying to figure out my faith and beliefs

Last Saturday night as I was just chillin at the house not doing anything I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to find to young ladies from the Church of Latter Day Saints. My first instinct was to just get them to go away but these poor young girls were so determined to get me to listen. I did for a few minutes, not openly but just as a courtesy because they were so passionate about their beliefs. I admired them for that but was not really interested in their message. I exchanged pleasantries with them and they were gone.

That visit did cause me to think and for the 6837th time I tried to figure out where I stand on the faith spectrum. I still am at lost for where I stand.

I was not raised in a religious environment. My parents used the excuse that they wanted to leave it up to us to decide but the truth is they were just lazy and had o beliefs themselves. I remember feeling so left out not having a faith base in my life because it was like a status system. In our neighborhood the Catholic Church was regarded as the most prestigious. I remember one time when I was in high school a friend and I went to a local Catholic Church to get information so we could start going. The man that we spoke to was very dismissive and said you don't just become Catholic it is a process with classes. There was no invitation to join or learn just a feel of disapproval from him. We left embarrassed and from then on I have held on to a grudge towards the whole Catholic Faith.

My sister in law has discovered her faith within the last five years. She married a pastor and has totally, completely changed who she is. I am still trying to figure out who I like more. I know I am SUPPOSED to like this new person that totally lives for her God but a lot of it seems so dramatic and fake. That is such a judgemental thing to say but really that is how I interpret the transformation. I am happy that she is happy and feels better for the commitment she now has.

I have gone to a variety of churches trying to find my relationship with God. I come out empty handed, I don't ever feel that over powering feeling that makes me jump, shout and speak a different language. I don't even get that close feeling that makes me want to cry. I just stand there observing to try an ensure I am doing all the right steps as far as praying, bowing, giving money, clapping and singing.

I just don't know if there is even a God. I mean if there is he sure has a weird sense of humor and can be down right cruel. I don't understand how people can say things happen for a reason. I don't see why innocent children should suffer as much as some children do, I don't see why some people are so "blessed" and others live suffer with no food, homes and other tragedies.

I grew up in a disadvantaged, abusive, neglectful home. There were times there was no food and I dug out of a scrap trash box from a local BBQ Restaurant trash to feed myself and my sisters. My parents drank every single night and then fought and made up in the same night. That was of course after they physically and mentally abused us. My mom finally left when I was 12, she took my little sisters with her. I found her note where she wrote she couldn't stand me because I looked too much like my dad. That is why she left me to fend for myself. My best friend from school's mom took me in because she saw what I was living in and what was going on.

I worked all through high school, not a part-time job but 40 hours a week. I joined the Army and worked my ass off to have what I have and to change my children's life. I feel slighted when people minimize my efforts by saying that is god blessing me. No that is my blood, sweat and tears, I did that. Besides did I not deserve his blessings back then? Why did I have to earn his blessings?

I am struggling here trying to figure out what I believe and what I should teach my kids. I wish I had that strong belief and passion I witnessed in those girls last Saturday. Maybe one day but for now I have a lot of anger to deal with.


Heidi Louise Stein said...

aw anji. i'm so sorry. reading your blog made me teary eyed. and i've already cried a lot today [i watched extreme home makeover and i bawl every time]. i'm sorry for everything that you have had to go through. you are so strong, woman! i admire you.

on myspace i wrote a blog about my beliefs too [gone now] but i also grew up without church [unless it was xmas eve and we were going w/ my stepdad's family], i'm also not baptized, nor are my children, and i've come to the conclusion that i'm agnostic. i believe there's gotta be something/someone.

i've always said 'things happen for a reason' and i do wonder though, why the bad things happen to good people all the time, cause it's not fair.

i pray to god [in my head] and hope that someone is listening, but sometimes i think it's just our own conscience.

i wish i was there to hug you.

Tasheana said...

OMG! I'm so sorry you had to live like that. I also had a rough childhood.(not nearly as hard as yours) My dad and mom split up when i was 7 or 8 and my mom remarried a complete asshole who abused my siblings and her...never me because he knew i could get him back i guess. My mom pretended none of it happened and stayed married to him for 10 years. At times i'd go to my dad who was living in a nice house while we lived in a falling apart trailer and never did he try to get us out. I think having been raised that way has made me such a better person. I am blessed now to have a great home, amazing husband, and 2 wonderful healthy boys. I have chosen to live life as it comes and to give as much as i have to those who don't. My husband isn't too fond of me doing that though. I was not raised to be mormon, but that is who i am today. I don't push people to listen to my beliefs because i feel everyone has that choice. You are such a strong woman to be where you are today. Just stay strong and live your life with your family always being 1st in your life.