Blessed and Confused

I don't know why it still surprises me that people get a little weird when I talk about God, or religion, or Jesus, or prayer.

I know why people get a little weird. Religion makes people a little weird. The shroud of political correctness, the common misconception of the line between someone who is religious and someone who is just righteous, even just what it means to believe in God and evolution. Religion has a lot of weirdness.

Being raised Catholic, going to Catholic school, to catechism class, and then denouncing all of it at 14 years old, that's weird. Picking that back up in college, all confused and unsure, that's weird. Finding out what it means to reestablish your faith when you took a deep dive into depression when you were 18 - that's not just weird, that's hard.

So. Talking about God, religion, Jesus, and prayer, that's important. At least to me. At least in my life. Because here's the thing, navigating this whole thing - what it means to believe in a God that doles out depression and also had a hand in the Magic Kingdom - that is hard. And I need people for that. I need discussion for that. I need truck-fulls of guidance for that.

I didn't know that when I first started thinking about God again.

I had no idea that I needed other people. I had no clue that learning from people that were already rooted deeply into their faith would change everything for me. I didn't know that my understanding, and my desire to learn and grow even more, would be amplified by listening to other people talk about their relationship with God, and how they see Jesus in their lives, and what grace has done for them.

When it started happening, it shifted the entire idea of revisiting religion for me. It was approachable. It was tangible. It was doable, I had proof! There were other people not just in the world, but in my life that knew about Jesus, about uncertainty, fear, and how that can all work together. That was remarkable. That not only was I the only one with doubts, or a speckled past with maybe some anger and a lot of misunderstanding - but there were plenty of people on the other side of that.

I needed that.

I still need that. I still constantly need others. I still need to see that other people have walked this long road before me. I need to know that other people are ahead of me on that road.

And I think, more recently, a big part of that is also recognizing that there are people behind me on this wildly metaphorical road. More over, there are people that will literally never plant a foot on it.

Both of those are so okay.

Both of those people are why I keep encouraging myself to talk about this bizarre "journey." I so hate that word for this, this isn't really a journey. This is my life. But, bear with me. Because talking about it makes it real, it makes it approachable.

I know that some people actually never want to hear that I pray. Some people get 100% turned off by the idea that I truly believe that God has a hand in my life every day. It weirds them out. That is okay. I get that some people don't believe, and don't want to believe, and never will. I mean, this is Vermont. It's 2016. I'm a millennial. I can't quote statistics, but I can tell you, this isn't a Christ-centered community. Actually, I bet most people I know wouldn't even use that term. That's why this freaks people out.

But I know there are some people that are exactly where I was when I started this journey. I know there are some people that have this great big question mark on their heart. I know that when I was right there, I needed someone like me. As broken and imperfect as I am, and as unfinished as I am on this road, I have made it this far. And maybe someone needs to see that.

That's why I talk about His plan for my life. That's why I let you all know when I feel like He as put something on my heart. That's why I am trying to talk about how I am doing this.

Look, I'm not considered devout in any circles. I still don't go to church. Although, I am trying. I am actually researching Burlington churches, and chickening out just about every Sunday, so you know. Basically the same Rylee that was a Christmas/Easter/Mother's Day Catholic. I still don't open with "I'm from Vermont. I'm a wedding planner, a Pure Barre instructor, and a Christian." I still don't think of this as part of my "public" identity.

Because religion is weird.

Because it makes people feel weird.

Because try as I might, it still feels weird to know that some people absolutely think of you differently when you start to talk about God. Which, we will chalk all that up to being part of the journey.

I know this is part of me that is important. I know this is part of me that is going to continue to shape my life. This is something that actually changes how people see me though. It shifts their perspective on how I logically reason, how I speak, and how I think about them.

That is the tough part for me. That is where the weirdness still hits me. I think that means this is one more place where I need to defer to others. This is one more time that I need to look and see how other people deal with being treated/spoken to/looked at differently once they start to publicly talk about their faith. I need to keep learning, keep growing, keep leaning on this faith to get me through the reality of a very nonreligious culture.


  1. You're always welcome to come check out our church. I promise people are friendly and you can sit with us so you're not all alone! :-). You may have already seen the website in your researching but here's a link in case you're interested.

    1. Ha sorry this is Jordan (since it's not really obvious)