July 24, 2011

i am not...

a person who faith comes easily to.
this is the definition of faith...
faith  (fth)
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. .
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: .
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

i'm not sure why exactly i am this way.
there has been situations in my life that have
made it difficult to believe in and trust people.
you certainly have to prove to me that you are 
worthy of those things in order for me to
give them to you.  as i get older i find
that there are more people that i do trust,
i think i am getting better at seeing what 
people are all about and what their intentions are.
i also have a problem with loyalty.
i consider it one of my greatest faults really.
and the funny thing is...
it says so at the chinese restaurant we always
eat at on the little paper menu that describes
what animal that you are.
that's weird, huh?
reading that is what made me see that in myself.

but for the last 8 months i have been really
struggling with faith in religion and god.
i will think it's there solid, faith,
but then something
comes along and the doubts creep back in.
i am an analyzer.  
i analyze everything and everyone.
i am also a thinker.
i think, think, think until my head hurts.
about everything.
worry and think.
it drives me a little batty sometimes.
i envy my sisters and my husband
who never waver in their faith in our
religion.  never ever.
they never give it a second thought.
it is just part of who they are.
i remember when i started doubting god.
i was in the fourth grade.
my family was in the happiest
place they had ever been.
things were going awesome
in my 9 yr old brain.
my parents were together,
we went to church,
my brothers had just gotten home 
from missions for our church.
we were living right according
to the standards we were taught.
then, it seemed like out of nowhere to me at the time,
my parents were getting divorced.
i didn't expect it.
when i remember it it seems like
it came from way out in left field and
i didn't see it till it hit me in the head.
maybe because i was so little, 
i don't know.
i found out later what happened
but i didn't see it then.
hell, i didn't see it until someone told me the truth
when i was much, much older.
and then it made sense.
the thing is this...
i prayed and prayed and prayed
that my parents wouldn't really
get divorced.
it happened anyways and 
i didn't understand at the time
that sometimes god answers our prayers
but it isn't always the way you want 
them to be answered.
so that is when the seed of doubt was planted.
i struggled and struggled with that from
then on...still struggling.
i married a returned missionary thinking
that would be the miracle cure to my doubts.
turns out just because someone is a returned 
missionary doesn't mean they are going
to be strong in their religion.
my faith had to come from me and me alone.
so here i am...
nearly 40 yrs old and still struggling.
i emailed my brother a few months ago.
he is also a thinker.
he doesn't push his belief onto others
and i knew that i could ask him a question
and get a neutral response.
the other people i would normally talk
to are either so faithful that they don't
quite understand how i can't be or 
they are completely anti-mormon.
i just needed someone who could give me
something different, i didn't know what for sure.
i just knew it had to be something different.
so i asked him...i can't even remember what
for sure now.
his answer was this...i am not
the right person to talk
to about religion but i am so proud of you
for questioning things.
that's not word for word but pretty close.
now, you have to know this,
i have been dying for the approval 
of my brothers for as long as 
i can remember.
they are intelligent and lived outside
of utah and i have always
wanted them to think that i wasn't just some
hick from utah.
so to hear this from him was 
monumental to me.
no-one else would have given me 
that response and for some
reason that response gave me peace.
that is was ok for me to think differently
than those around me.
it was ok for me to question.
then came more thinking along those lines.
i will probably never be full of faith.
i don't know that i have that in me.
it's not just part of my nature.
but i like that about myself.
it's not necessarily a bad trait.
i have to learn things for myself.
my oldest is the same...it's hard to see sometimes
as a mom but i know those lessons will come
in their own time with her too.
the last 8 months i have also
been blessed with an amazing amount
of women online who are full of faith.
women from all different religions
that are connected with one great faith.
faith in heavenly father and jesus christ.
it has been a great inspiration for me.
after taking soul restoration
(which is starting tuesday again!)
i had a peace in me that i am not sure
i have ever felt.
things came into perspective.
the people in my life, my faith, my family,
the things that matter most to me.
i have grown immensely.
i still have a long way to go
and i know with my bi-polar that i will
never be completely 'fixed' emotionally but
i am starting to see things clearly and 
have been able to know when things
are bi-polar and when things are me.
i have always wondered do i say 
'i am bi-polar or i have bi-polar"
i am definately not defined by bi-polar.
it is one of the trials i will deal with in life.
it has brought me and my husband
compassion for those who suffer from it.
in his line of work i can't tell you how 
much my struggles have helped him 
help other people who are suffering.
so, back to the subject.
for some reason i had a peace after
 working through 'soul restoration'.
i didn't have any more faith but knew
that it was something that i had to work
out for myself.
it didn't make me a bad person...
it just was something that was 
a part of me.
one little part in a million others.
i decided that i would go back to church
as long as it was something that
 i wanted in my life.
not because i felt guilty not taking my girls,
not because it was embarrassing to be
one of  the only ones 
on our block who didn't attend church on sunday.
not because i didn't want to let other people down.
i would go because it was something
that would help my life be better.
it has to be about me.
i know that sounds so selfish but here is the way i look at it...
if i go for any of those other reasons my faith will not grow.
i won't believe because someone else expects that from me.
i will not grow if i go for someone else.
i will only take in what is offered to me there if 
i am open to receiving it.
i am that kind of person.
if you feed me something i don't want...
it'll come right back out or not sink in at all.
so...i sat out for awhile.
i let myself be ok with sitting out for awhile.
no guilt, no shame, just pondering.
i have read so many women over the last little while
talk about their amazing faith.
hopefully someday i will know without a doubt
that it's all true.  
i do know this right now.
i will go because i want to go.
i will go because i feel like even if  i will never 
 feel like it's all true without a doubt it 
makes my life and the life of my family better.
i want the very best for my family and if
my girls can have the opportunity to feel
absolute faith then i want
 them to have that chance.
i want for them what i can't have.
isn't that what being a mother is all about?

thanks for letting me ramble.
if you made it all the way to the end
of this long ole thing you love me
and i thank you for that!!



Felicia said...

I am a thinker too. I think until I'm crazy. My husband always tells me to stop thinking and go DO. It's easier said than done.

The stitchery you gave me after one of my miscarriages reads "faith, hope, and love bring healing to the soul". I love it, and I believe it.
Through my miscarriages I learned that hope is just as important as faith...almost like a tangible "power". My husband is afraid to hope for things because he doesn't want to be let down, but the more I sit and think, and think and sit, the more I believe they go together.

If you struggle with faith, try hope for awhile. It's a little easier, I think.

I'm glad you're my friend...if only through email and blogs most of the time.

Anonymous said...

1. I loved your rambling.
2. I think we often assume everyone else at church is full of faith, but that's not always the case. I think sometimes we go with the hope of hearing what we need to hear. Sometimes we hear it, sometimes not.
3. I think faith is like an ocean wave. Sometimes super strong and pounding. Sometimes just gently rolling in. At least for me.
4. Annnd, now I'll quit rambling. :)

Mindy said...

I love you. I love your thoughts. I also love Felicia... and her comment was more perfect than anything I could think up myself. :)

Marci said...

i totally had forgotten what that stitchery even said...wow, just what i needed to hear and it was right there in my pattern drawer the whole time!!:D
i commented on your blog but my bishop just gave me the same advice...smart people you two.
thank you for caring felicia you are an amazing woman and it makes me feel good to have people like you in my court.

mindy...girlie, i love you.

stephanie...why oh why weren't we better friends when you lived up the street from me???? you are an awesome lady and i am so glad we are blog friends.:D

Noelle said...

I DO love you...and I love you for this post...and I love you because you're real...and I love you for lots of other reasons too.

Rachel Holloway said...

Can I just say I second Felicia. She's a wise woman--and a wonderful friend. And she said it just right.
I think it's true also, that we are all at different stages ALL THE TIME. Sometimes, I feel full of faith and hope. Sometimes, I feel despair and discouragement and emptiness. But deep down inside, I know the seeds have been planted and have bloomed at one time or another. Sometimes there are just weeds...or clouds...or other things blocking from what I know and feel in my soul.
I LOVE YOU MARCI. And I am seriously working on figuring out a way to come back through Utah on the way home...so I can still give you that great big hug I so very want to give you!

Mel said...

'ppreciate your thoughts. Read them - every single word. You are your own gardener. Nurture your seed. Everyone's grows differently and at it's own time and in it's own way. You've been a great example to me of faith and raising a family, in whatever form it comes!

I love you!

Tanya said...

Well....I do love you! You are a wise woman and know what you need to do. Everyone can learn from this post Marci! You are inspiring, and such a God sent friend to me at this time of my life. We go way back, but your friendship in my life right here, right now, is priceless to me. Thanks for your insights...for sharing those things that you think about and for helping us readers of your thoughts learn from them. I love you!
and Felicia....thank you for your words of wisdom! You are incredible!

the WINTERS family! said...

Love ya! This is very deep! We all figure it out with time.

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