I don't talk about religion often on this blog. I guess because for me, it is still a relatively difficult subject.
Religion and God specifically, were a part of my life growing up. They certainly were not a "main part though. We went to church on Sundays and I attended a Catholic school (despite not being Catholic, it was a good school). Family issues and my eventual focus on skating meant that for about 6 years my sister and I rarely went to church, with the exception of holidays. At some point during those 6 years, I went from loving attending church and Sunday school, to dreading having to go.
About the age of 12 or so, my dad felt we needed to start going to church again. However, he wanted to find a new church. This meant that we visited several before he settled on one he liked - but this process was very difficult for my sister and I. As two very shy young girls, we didn't have an easy time fitting in or feeling comfortable in these new environments where we knew no one.
When my dad finally settled on a church, he sent me to Sunday school. My sister didn't go for some reason I don't remember. But I remember how uncomfortable I felt in that Sunday school. It was awful for me. Everyone there already knew each other and they weren't very welcoming. I was made fun of more then once. I hated going. I tried hard to get out of it as often as I could. I hoped my dad wouldn't wake up in time to go. When I was old enough to start attending services, I continued to struggle. Our pastor's sermons were an hour or longer most days. I didn't understand what he was saying half the time and had a hard time paying attention. I had questions that went unanswered and was often too afraid to ask. I struggled.
I struggled up until I went to college. When I got there, I stopped going to church. My boyfriend and I attended a few times, but never found one we liked. I often had the desire to go, but just never could make myself. Laziness and fear I think.
I often told myself when I first went to grad school that I would find a church. And yet I didn't. And that June, I was faced with my father's illness.
Watching my dad struggle as he did through his melanoma diagnosis and treatment significantly impacted me. During the time he was sick, his faith only increased. I certainly prayed more, but I was angry about what was happening to my dad - a good man who believed and tried to live his life the best he could. How could so many people who were unmoral and bad people still be out there living their lives while my dad was faced with the knowledge he was dying and significant suffering?
My dad knew where he was going when he passed, but that didn't make it any easier on me. My pain at having lost him and seeing him suffer - my pain as I grieved and through the events that continued to happen over the next few years. I was angry with God and angry at life. I began questioning more and more. And I could never find the answers to my questions. I became very cynical. And that seems to be where I am stuck.
Going to church since my father passed always makes me feel an overwhelming sense of sadness and brings tears to my eyes. I don't like to go. So, I don't.
I can't say I'm necessarily comfortable with where I am right now, but I also don't know how to change where I am at. B tries hard. He is very knowledgeable about religion and tries to talk to me every day about things. To help me understand. To help me find my way back. Sometimes I am in the mood to listen, others I question what he says (I can't help myself), and others, I don't want to hear it.
I guess I'm not even sure why I chose to write about this today, but it is a struggle I thought I should share.