What “Faith” Means to Me

I can remember being a little girl, visiting a different church each week with my little brother and father.  For months, we tried on different religions throughout our town before we finally made it back to the Catholic church.  And just like that, I was Catholic.

I’d been baptized into the church as a baby, but my family didn’t attend until I was older and my dad brought us back into the church.  When it did become a weekly part of my life, I never really thought about what it implied.  I heard the stories – Noah’s Arc, Adam and Eve, the Crucifixion, and I knew what my teacher’s told me they meant. But I never really thought about the faith that was supposed to come with it all. Church was just another weekly obligation, a “people to do, things to see” as my dad liked to say about the errands we would run on Saturdays.  It held no deeper meaning than an hour out of my week, and sacraments I had to study for in school.  I suppose I must have believed it all, but I don’t know if it was ever truly faith in God, or just faith in my parents and teachers.

At some point as I got older though, I started to realize that if I’d ever had faith in God, it wasn’t there anymore.  It never had to do with the awful things in the world, because I recognize that nothing is perfect and what would be the point of that anyway.  And it wasn’t because I had a hard time with the things I had learned in Catholic school, although I did and still do.

Time and again I came back to the same question – how do I know? 

I simply can’t find any reason to believe that there is something greater out there.  At least not just one something.  I have absolute faith in life outside of earth, in an underlying force that wakes me up every morning, and sets the sun every night, in life that exists inside all of us and undeniably connects us all to one another.  I have faith in a lot of things – in my family, my friends, the sun rising in the morning, and the flowers to bloom in May.  Just not Heaven, God, or the stories written down in the Bible.

I spent a long time wanting to have faith, to find the same meaning in the church that my father and so many millions of other people do.  But wanting it didn’t make it happen.

And the thing is, over the last few years…college has helped me come to terms with that.  Maybe one day I’ll find a religion that speaks to me in the same way that Catholicism speaks to my father.  For now though, I’ve found that I feel about the world, about my and your existence in that way.  And maybe that’s my religion.  Maybe that is my faith.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10765023786410264588 Jessica Marie

    Something similar happened to me, except church wasn’t a big thing in our lives. I was baptized, made my communion at 7 and was confirmed at 10 (mom didn’t believe and dad was more spiritual, but it was just something that was done since nan was Catholic), but at 11 I just didn’t believe anymore. I did Wicca and general Paganism for a while, then I was agnostic for the longest time until I became a Muslim for 7 months. I felt Islam had a lot of the same feelings I had when I was Catholic… the shame. Nan accepted me and accepted I didn’t ID with the Catholic faith — after I left Islam, I just became spiritual. I believe there is something higher, but I believe in the beauty of everything and just the feelings of being alive. It’s a weird thought sometimes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17973724548964906810 Notes from a Newlywed

    I’m so glad that you wrote this post. Religion and faith is tricky, and I struggle with it too. I think it’s perfectly OK to have doubts, to explore beliefs and question them, and to go about life with or without knowing what you believe. I hope no one ever pressures you to believe in what they do, because we all have the right to believe what we each believe. Whether that’s nothing, something we don’t know, or a specific religious system. I do call myself a Christian, though I want to learn more about other religions. I think it might be OK to pick and choose parts from each too. To each their own, I say. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00715563067298988683 Kelly Louise

    “I have faith in a lot of things – in my family, my friends, the sun rising in the morning, and the flowers to bloom in May. Just not Heaven, God, or the stories written down in the Bible.”

    YES! just, yes!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12719739976483266140 Brittany SSP

    It’s always interesting to me to hear from people who are ambivalent or unspecific in their faith. Personally, I am the opposite– my faith in Christ is the one thing in life I am sure of. Periods of doubt or questioning is normal though I think- and I would much rather see someone openly question and consider than blindly claim a faith they truly don’t have. Good luck on your journey.

    (found you through 20sb’s new blogger intro btw)