27 April 2012

Coming along quite nicely.

Just when I thought I 'got it', I couldn't have been more wrong.


I'm referring to my faith.  My spiritual journey.

If you are new around here, this may come as a surprise.  If not, you are certainly aware of my struggles.

I like to think that I represent the common {wo}man.  A Christian that is a Christian because...well, what else would I be? 

Make no mistake...I've never been one to be complacent about my spirituality.  I've always investigated, read, researched.  Other faiths have always especially intrigued me.  Maybe it's the scholar in me.  Maybe it's just plain curiosity.  Maybe it's wanting to understand just how much most of our beliefs have so many of the same fundamentals. 

Who knows?

For whatever reason, I was at a point that I was satisfied with my Christianity {more specifically, Catholicism}. 

Almost smug in the fact that I was one step ahead.  I 'got it'.  Church on Sunday, a bit of light scripture reading, prayers of gratitude at night, or prayers for help & guidance when things were hard.  God was on my side, and that was something that not everyone really understood.  But I wasn't one of 'those' people.  No, sir.

Recently, I have been 'uninspired' to say the least concerning my spiritual growth.  It plateaued for lack of a better explanation.  Never reverting, but certainly never reaching towards grace.  Never glorifying this God that was responsible for all of my many blessings.  Just continuing on the same way, everyday.

On a whim, my family and I attended church with my sister and her lot on Easter.  It's a different church.  A church my old school Catholic mom & dad were less than thrilled about her attending. 

But, she's been there for about 2 years. 

And she talks about it.  She more often than not seems inspired by the sermons.  Her kids love it.  Her borderline agnostic husband is now a believer.  I've witnessed with my own 2 eyes this church's message work its way into the hearts of several of my extended family members. 

That message?

It couldn't be simpler...the Bible.

No smoke & mirrors.  No snake charmers, no one speaking in toungues.  No 'write your check and we'll promise miracles for you & yours'.

Needless to say, we've gone every week since.

Let me clarify...this isn't about 'church'.  This isn't about checking that box off of our 'to do' list week after week. 

For me, it's about finding those 'aha' moments within my faith.  The times where even for a just a fraction of a moment, I am unwavering.  Everything clicks.  I am filled with a lightness that can not be duplicated with any other earthly endeavor. 

And what I realized, no matter how difficult it was for me to understand, is that God is there, but you have to seek Him out.  You have to do the work.  YOU have to SEEK Him.  NOT the other way around. 

How full of myself I've been all of these years.  How arrogant to think that the God that made the Heavens and the Earth would go out of his way to seek ME out in a deliberate way to have a relationship with Him.  It's foolish, really.  Any human relationship requires work, why would a relationship of a divine nature be any different? If not harder to develop?

I've heard this analogy before...an adult plays hide and seek with a young child.  The adult hides under the bed, but with their legs hanging out from underneath the bed frame.  The child sees those legs no doubt, but may have had to walk around the house a bit before they made their discovery.  The child is comforted in the fact that those legs sticking out meant the adult was there all along, but is also pleased that he 'found' him or her. 

The presence of God is always there looming over us.  Accessible.  Available.  Just not always obvious. Does that confuse the heck out of you?  Hope not.

When I think about it...it makes me sad.  During the most difficult time in my life {to date}, I thought I was carried along by God.  And He was there, of course, somewhere.  But I didn't look.  I just assumed.  I never cried out for His help.  I never poured myself out to Him. 

I wonder how much different the experience with Betsy in those early years would have been if I'd tried to do those things.  I was grateful just to wake up each day, and meet my kids' needs.  If I had had a deepened relationship with the Boss maybe I could've found joy in small things when it was so, so hard just to make it until bedtime.

He is eminent to be sure, but we have to ask him into our lives.

I have so much work to do.  I don't think I'm ready to testify after only a month.  That almost seems laughable to me right now.  And, the truth is...I may never be.

But I take comfort in knowing that I'm on the path.  There are days I feel like that path has no end, or it is full of too many roadblocks to bother.  In just four weeks, I have had more days than not, that I think it's not worth it.  Maybe I'm not worth it.  But, one tiny thing will change that.  A passage from scripture {of which I've never really read, not like I do now, anyway}, Rosie riding her bike with no training wheels, Pete helping Betsy off of the bus, Jake helping to clear the dinner table without being asked.  That's God's work.  I like to think I had a hand in it, but it all goes back to Him. 

I hope some of you aren't balking at the fact that I/we Christians cling to an empty promise.  I certainly don't take offense to your personal beliefs.  And, not to get all Donald Miller on you, I also apologize if you've had any negative experiences with people carrying messages of hate who claim to be a Christian.  That is a shame.

Jesus's message was love.  Charity, outreach, forgiveness.  No matter your skin color, beliefs, actions, unlawfulness.  In all honesty, it doesn't get much more liberal than that. And every single person on the planet deserves those things.  Every last one. 

And you doubters, the unfaithful...you may be right.  Maybe.

But, I've never been the gambling type, and I'm not willing to take that chance.  And so my faith stays in tact.  My heart believes it ALL to be true.

And for that...I am pleased.


  1. wow... just wow! this is an awesome post! you write... "I don't think I'm ready to testify after only a month. That almost seems laughable to me right now. And, the truth is...I may never be." sister you just testified your heart out and I loved every word of it! amen! hugs to you!

  2. I love this Beth. From the heart and I totally get it:)

  3. love, love LOVE this.
    I could have written it myself.
    What church is it?

    1. It's The Crossing (Windsor Crossing). We attend the Fenton campus. Love it, love it!

  4. beautifully written!

    i was really struck by "the Boss" because i wanna be the boss, but i'll never be the Boss.

  5. So true isn't it? It isn't about church - it's about making the effort so you can truly know God and he is just waiting for that.

    I'm so glad you shared this today! It's a great thing to be reminded of.

  6. Interesting. I happen to be going through something similar but quite opposite, if that makes sense. I'm leaving a religion I've Belonged to my whole life and trying to start anew. But it's good to hear somebody else's discovery.

    1. You have me intrigued. I come from a long line of mid-western Catholics. More cultural than spiritual. Letting that culture and those rituals go doesn't come without a certain level of guilt.

    2. No smoke & mirrors. No snake charmers, no one speaking in toungues. No 'write your check and we'll promise miracles for you & yours'.

      This is the greatest thing I have heard on the subject of religion and faith in a very long time. Being raised in a religious cult and escaping when I was in early adulthood, I can't tell you how refreshing it is when all of the show is removed and the Written Word is what lies at the core.

  7. Amazing Beth. Our family loves that church.

  8. As long as you always seek God, He will reveal himself to you.

  9. I also have just gone on the same journey as you Beth. My family went to church with some friends & have been going since. The church was my husband's religion (penecostal) & my religion (catholic) is very different. I am slowly adjusting to the change with the new religion & I actually like it alot. It sounds bad since I had been raised catholic all my life & my husband was raised penecostal all his life. But I don't really feel that it's what religion you are as long as you belive & do right. Everything you said is exactly how I feel right now. It's comforting to know that there are others out there like me as well going threw the same thing. Steph W

  10. Agh, how i love this. And you're so right it's not a church thing, it's a God thing..an us thing. Keep pushing and going. I'm rooting for you and can't wait to see what all He does through you beth. I think you are amazing. Are you tired of hearing that from me yet? ha...it's true though. happy monday late night to ya. :)

  11. We are in the process of finding a new church as well, after a very painful experience that we never thought possible in a church. That church had the liberal view that you mentioned (and I really like the way you said it!), but they are hard to find up here. I'm so happy your family has found such a great place...I'm praying that we find the same!

  12. I stopped attending a Catholic church for a few reasons, but the biggest being that my daughter, at age 3, wasn't doing anything there but annoying us. We started attending a Lutheran church that a friend recommended, and I found a lot of what you wrote about. Our daughters are taught with the bible every week, as we are, and feel part of the church. It is a nice feeling to have a spiritual connection with your family : )

  13. i miss your blog! come back after the kids are back in school! *hugs*

  14. Love your heart and how God is working in you life. Woo hoo! This was very well written and I was blessed to have stumbled across you this morning. Thanks :)

  15. OK....so on a whim, I decided to look up your bloggity tonight. I LOVE this post. And now I'm SO curious to see what the next chapter is. PLEASE give us an update...even if it's less than stellar (which I highly doubt!) Your writing is FABULOUS...and I want to read more...FROM YOU!!! P.S. I'm sure you can figure it out, but this is your IG "friend, tweetpotatopie :) Hugs, friend. WRITE!!! :)

  16. I just came across your holiday home tour on life made lovely and I'm fa-reaking out! I love your style and spirit and can hardly wait to read over your blog! Just wanted to tell you that:) Merry Christmas!

  17. Hi, I just came across this post looking for something else. It is quite motivational and speaks to my Christian development. I'd like to re-post this at my Facebook page and on my blog. Is that okay with you? Please let me hear from you.


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