Monday, May 06, 2013

Letting My Light Shine a Little

Yesterday, I skipped church.

One thing I haven't talked a lot about is my faith and where it all fits with this cancer journey of mine.  The fact is - I 've always been one of those folks who figured my relationship with God was ... well, between me and God.  I've never been one of those who wishes everyone a blessed day, or beat everyone over the head with my particular brand of religion.  I'm just not geared that way.

I was raised in a variety of religions.  My mom was a Methodist who married a young man who wanted to be a Southern Baptist preacher.  Although he decided when I was a baby that ministry wasn't where he wanted to spend his life after all, we still went to Baptist churches for a significant part of my childhood.  At some point, he and my mother decided they weren't happy with the direction the Baptist church was taking them, so we began our family's search for something else.

It was an adventure, let me tell ya.  From the big fancy church where ladies in high heels and exquisite hairdo's danced in circles and the preacher ran around the sanctuary hollering "The King is coming!  The King is coming!" to the little hippie church that you got to by going down an alley near Mid-Sized University and in the yellow door then up the rickety stairs with earth mama types nursing their babies, candles in wine bottles everywhere and singing Kum ba ya....we tried 'em all.  In the end, we ended up going to a non-denominational church.  It had a little of the raising hands in praise, a little speakin' of the tongues, and a little of the newer gospel songs that were being written left and right in the 70's.  (Am I the only one who's childhood soundtrack includes the songs from "Come Together"?  And I don't mean the Beatles song.)  It was different from what they were raised in - but it touched their souls.  They felt God there....and they taught me that's where you go to church.  Where you feel God.

My husband and I have tried a few different churches in our life together.  But I never found one that really touched my soul until we started attending the Methodist church in Hicksville.  It's different from what I was raised in - but it touched my soul.  I found a place that soothed me in a way I didn't even realize I was missing until the first service I attended and they sang the doxology.

It may not be for everyone, but it works for me.  And that's kind of how I view religion.  There are so many different flavors because we're all so different.  What speaks to me may not speak to you.  My husband attends the same church I do, but for him, where he really feels God is out in nature.  I'm good with that.  I know he attends for me, but if he doesn't feel like going, I don't hold it against him. 

I believe in God.  I believe that He's helping me in this journey.  I believe He hears the many prayers that have been said on my behalf.  I believe He doesn't care where those prayers come from - whether its from the Methodist church, or the Baptist, or the Church of Christ, or Catholic or Pagan or the church of williewonkas.  He just hears the prayers.  Knowing that comforts me.  I'm not asking that it comfort you - unless you also believe.

And if you don't?  That's cool too.  I'm not a big believer in assuming my spiritual path is the only path.  There are many paths - and I think they're all valid.  Your mileage might vary.  

I skipped church yesterday because my son had a friend spend the night, and we were all up late.  I don't think God holds that against me.  I think He knows my heart.  He knows this week will be a tough one for me as I wait to hear my CT results.  I think He's holding me up.  I know having my faith helps keep me strong.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.  I hope your faith - in whatever you choose to believe in - keeps you strong as well.  I hope it soothes your soul in some way.  I hope it gives you peace.

Most of all - I hope it makes you feel as loved as it does me.

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