finding God: part 1

8:35:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 3 Comments

I hesitate to write about this, but the more I think about it the more I realize that I may not be alone in my feelings. There may be someone else out there going through the same thing, needing a little inspiration on their own journey, and may benefit from reading my path as it unfolds. So here is my story...

I lost God a long, long time ago. I was raised in a home full of faith and love... attending church every Sunday morning and night, most Wednesdays, and being an active member of the children's and youth groups. My best friends were those that went to my church, I spent my summers working at the mother's morning out program and VBS, and God was a huge part of my life. I was baptized early, and never thought that I would feel any differently than the way I did then about my faith.

As I entered high school, church was less and less appealing to me. I still believed in God and the way in which I was raised, but it didn't fit into my life the way it used to. I would miss church because of my part-time job, or choosing to stay at a friend's house Saturday night, or just not having the energy or desire to get up on a Sunday morning. I did attend Young Life each week and a few retreats, but purely for the social aspect of it all. I started to question what I believed.

I moved away to college, and away from the only person that ever pressured me into going to church when I didn't want to (thanks, Dad). I don't remember attending church a single time while I lived in Wilmington, except for tagging along with my family when I was home for the holidays. I believed less and less in the values that had been the foundation of my childhood, and really didn't believe in God at all. I took a class titled "Great Books of World Religions" and became intrigued by Eastern religions, but couldn't fit any Western ideas into my current way of thinking about the world. Christianity didn't make sense to me anymore.

Nick and I moved to Tennessee, and continued to not attend church or allow God in our lives. Nick was raised in Catholic school, and although he maintained his beliefs we made no effort to practice any religion. God was completely lost from my mind and my life. I didn't believe anymore.

I was always ashamed and embarrassed about my lack of faith, but it seemed so far lost I could never get it back. While I couldn't agree with my friends' thinking and beliefs, I was still envious of their devotion and everything I lacked in my own life. It is something I have struggled with for so many years now. Occasionally I would attend church with a friend, hoping for something to bring me back to Him, but I always left remembering exactly why I had lost my faith. It was hopeless... I wasn't a believer.

I accepted my life as it was, until I became pregnant with Logan. How would I teach my son the values and foundation I had been raised upon, when I no longer understood them myself? I couldn't imagine not raising my family in church. It had been such an important part of my childhood. But how was I supposed to sit through church each Sunday, not agreeing with anything that was taught? Wouldn't my children see right through me? I didn't want to be a family that only showed up for the holidays... I wanted this to be a way of life.

So here I am, still unsure of myself, still trying to figure it all out. I see Logan growing more and more everyday, and I know the clock is ticking.  Nick and I have discussed attending church over and over again, but I'm still not ready. I'm still drawn to the beliefs of Eastern world religions, but want to raise my children in a Christian home. I feel as if I am always in conflict... always struggling to find my own path back to God.

I don't see anything changing overnight, but I want to document my slow journey that hopefully results in a happy ending I can be at peace with. There is only one thing for certain: I need God in my life... maybe now more than ever.

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