Finding a Little Faith

I have promised myself that I will get back into my own little swing of things. I will write about the end of the year. I will write about the beginning of summer. But I have been sitting with these thoughts for a few weeks now, and I am thinking I can finally put them down, so I am. 

I was raised Catholic.

I went to a private Catholic school from Kindergarden to 5th grade. After that I attended catechism classes until I was a sophomore in high school.

I went through all of the sacraments (baptism, reconciliation, first communion, etc.) except for confirmation. The process of committing yourself to the church, basically a renewal of the vows that were made for you during baptism (assuming you were baptized as a newborn, as I was.)

I couldn't do it. Sophomore year was not easy, to say the least. It was the first year that I really came to terms with the role that The Big D has in my life. I was sorting through so much, mentally, academically, and socially that when it came time to get serious about confirmation, I couldn't honestly say that I was ready. I knew that despite all of the backlash from my family that I would simply feel too guilty if I stood in front of my congregation and said I believed when I didn't, I so didn't.

Well, last weekend my brother made his confirmation. And nothing will get you thinking about God, and faith, and where you stand, like a full Mass and a sacrament that you didn't complete.

It is not as though this is the first time that I have thought about what my faith means to me. Yes, when I decided not to become confirmed, I had lost my faith. It was one of the last things I wanted to think about. It always left me panicky, and filled with guilt. At that time, I was also lost in so many other ways, that faith was too much to add to the pot.

As the years have passed, I have lost people in my life, gained confidence, perspective, and some insight into what it means to have both faith and The Big D, some of my opinions have changed.

I spent a lot of this year thinking about what it means for me to have faith in something- in anything- religious or otherwise. With that I have sort of come into my own with my beliefs. I have begun to create the buffet of my beliefs. The ones that work for me, the ones that don't, the ones I can accept, and the ones that I cannot.

Some days I am still filled with questions. Some days I struggle to believe in anything other than pain, and desparity. Other days I see the way that the sun spreads on the ground, a bit differently, I recognize things in my life as blessings.

I don't know yet where this will take me. I know that going to Mass and seeing a confirmation service was difficult. I struggled to accept the processes taking place around me. So maybe I won't always be a Roman Catholic. Maybe I will just be me, with faith, with beliefs in things that are bigger than I am. I think I would be okay with that. My guilt that surfaced after I mentally denounced God is starting to abade. I know why I felt that way then, and I know why I feel the way I do now.

I like knowing that I can still have faith. I like knowing that there is some concept of love, and kindness out there that I can still hold on to. For now, that is my faith, and that is enough.

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