Friday, December 12, 2008

My Faith Part II

This is the good part. Where I finally come around. I wake up and smell the coffee if you will. I hope I didn't offend anyone with part 1. Like I said before, this is uniquely my experience. I do not claim that any church/religion is bad. Certain ones just weren't for me. That is my official disclaimer.

Since returning to Al-Anon I have been struggling to redefine my relationship with HP, as I call Him... God. I grew up in the Christian vain and at this point I do continue to believe in many of those principals. I believe God is forgiving and loving and is not the harsh punisher that I have been taught he is. I struggle with the idea that if you are gay, lesbian, Jewish etc.. you will not go to heaven. I believe that it is between me and God or you and God or whoever and God to work things out when the time comes. I know how I feel and that's all that I can control. I have a hard time with communion and the body and blood of Christ... do you get my point? I still have many questions. BUT, if I continue to pray and grow in my relationship with God all answers will come in time.

This brings me to my new Episcopal church that I have been testing out. It is only a few blocks away and they have many outreach programs in the area. I vote there and I have attended some book fairs and art shows in the space. Almost three weeks ago I gave it a go. It was a little nerve racking because I sometimes get uncomfortable when strangers come up to me and start a conversation. But, it wasn't so bad. The church has a bad, not just a choir, which I think is great because I love to sing at church. I believe that church should be fun. I like to sing, dance, clap hands. The pastor of the church is a woman. I have never heard a woman pastor speak before and it was amazing. I felt connected in a way I have never felt before. There was such an acute understanding. In her sermon she referenced art, literature, architecture and I thought that was great. I consider myself and artist (though on a long hiatus) and her connection were brilliant. Her sermon was about walking through life asleep. How many of us sleep through most of our lives and wake up one day to see how much time has been wasted. She said that there are many reasons why we sleep through life. Fear, addiction, anger etc. She referenced Alcoholism more than once and I really felt that God was speaking through her directly to me. I mean what church talks about alcoholism and drug addiction? No church I attended before. She spoke how important it is for us to be awake, to face our fears and live each day to the best of our ability. I was so moved by the sermon that last week I showed up again.

I talked to some more people and felt a little more comfortable. Her sermon this past week was about John the Baptist. According to the bible Jesus said that John the Baptist is basically as good as it gets. He was and amazing man of God, and that is because he knew two things. 1. he knew that there was a light, and that light was not him. 2. That John the Baptist knew that there was a power greater than himself. Okay, at this point I am freaking out because obviously the pastor knows all about me and wrote this sermon just for me. I was amazed. She was speaking the program to me through Gods word. Now, I am a firm believer that there are many ways to a relationship with a Higher Power. All I am saying is that for ME this was just a miracle. I spoke with the pastor after church to express my gratitude. In our talking I mentioned how I felt that the sermon was meant for me and that I am in Al-Anon etc... and she said to me, that's great. I am in Al-Anon too! How amazing is that? My pastor is in Al-Anon. And she brought me over and introduced me to some other women in the Program. What a miracle. God truly works in amazing ways when I let him.

Obviously that sealed the deal for me. I plan on attending the church regularly. I may have questions but I am certain if I continue to grow in my relationship with God and trust him all of those questions will be answered.

Today I am grateful for:

Eight days until Germany
Steps 1,2,3


cw2smom said...

Hi...I am here via some other recovery blogs..and also in Al Anon! I am glad you found a connection at the new church and the pastor really sounds "real." Have a wonder-filled weekend! Blessings, Lisa

Lou said...

This is so similar to how I found my present church (and AlAnon group). I drove by it for a year before I got the "nerve" to go in. The pastor talked to me with the first sermon I heard and now I feel like I have a home. A church family. My renewed faith has given me strength to face anything in life..and filled me with gratitude.

I totally understand this post.

Syd said...

There are many ways to a relationship with a Higher Power. I'm glad that you have found a pastor and church that you can relate to.

J-Online said...

Sounds like you have found your church home. My Son and I go to a church with a band and really enjoy it. We can feel the love and spirit all around us.

Cat said...

Kristen what a great post! I am excited for you - and happy - this is what helps me so much - when I see that even without our paying attention - god is there working for us, putting things together.