>> Wednesday, March 12, 2014
After many years of searching, here in Colorado, for a church home. I think I've finally found one that I feel completely and totally comfortable in. I still have to learn to open my heart and trust.....but I believe that I'm on the right path. This church and it's Pastor gives me hope and excitement......when I don't go to service, I miss it. The other important factor is that this church has an amazing youth ministry and the girls enjoy going with me.....in fact, ASK me..."Mommy, are we going to church?"
But something was said at church this past Sunday that really got me to thinking. The youth pastor was substituting for our regular pastor who was on vacation. This particular Sunday involved a Q and A which involved the congregation asking questions of any kind to be answered. I really enjoyed it. But towards the end, the pastor answered a question that involved teaching our children about God. He made a comment to the effect that teaching our children about loving God needs to start at home and that, as parents, we shouldn't expect to drop them off in Sunday school and expect the youth ministry to do it for us.
This truly struck a chord with me because I have to admit that I'm guilty of that. Growing up in the church the way I did, I have a warped sense of God that I don't want my girls to have. I wanted to find a church where they would learn about a God who loves them and forgives them...a God who they can talk to and not fear about making angry because they didn't follow some church doctrine. I found that with this church and thought that by taking them every Sunday, they were getting the groundwork that they needed.
But after this Sunday, I realize that it goes much deeper than that. It comes down to me, as a parent, to show my girls the way as well. I'm conflicted, though, because I just don't know what that "way" looks like.
I grew up with a strict church background. There were rules for everything. You went to confession every Saturday and you would sit there and think of every little thing that you did wrong. While I love the tradition that our church has, I did not like how everything else felt "forced". I always felt that I was a disappointment to God because I made mistakes -- big ones and a lot. I felt that I wasn't worthy, that I couldn't do anything right so I didn't deserve His love. So why bother.
But recently I've come to realize that as I'm relearning how to let God back into my life, this is an opportunity for me to teach my girls how to let God into their lives too. But in order to do that, I need to take a leap of faith and step out of my own comfort zone. I need to step away from the forced relationship and learn how to accept God's love instead of feeling like I am not worthy of Him.
We've already taken some steps down that road, and it's my hope and prayer that we can learn together.....................