Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jesus Christ Superstar

Those who know me well are well aware of how I feel when it comes to my faith. I'm lucky to have an awesome assortment of friends with different beliefs who allow me to debate and grow in my own faith and they can in theirs. I love that openness.

However, apparently quite a few people seem to have other ideas about my faith and assume I have never been a Christian and are shocked and figure that oh that's why I changed...more about that later.

When it comes to my faith, I believe that my relationship with God is a personal one. I don't need others chiming in and I don't need to stand on a street corner shouting, "God, God, God" because our relationship is fine. I've had a very long personal relationship with God that has stretched over years.

I remember going to my Grandparent's house for two weeks every summer and Grandma and I would sing "The Blood Bought Church" at the top of our lungs as it played on the record player. My Gramnoo was the person who really established my early belief in Christianity and she is the example I strive to live as every day, but while she succeeds, I fail miserably.

Granmoo is liberal. She holds many Southern Baptist beliefs but the woman is faithful. She has been through hell and back in the last six years to the point many would have committed suicide. Not Granmoo. She opens one of the 80 or so bibles in her house and reads. She's devoted to prayer and carries worry for many in the world...even people she hasn't met yet. She believes everything is God's plan and the decisions we make are either influenced by him or Satan. She doesn't go to church much because she's found her happy balance in her personal relationship with God and has found other ways to serve him. I've never really figured out where Grandpa falls in his beliefs, other than John Wayne movies are the greatest ever. But there have been times when I see him silently away with head bowed down. I love my Grandparents.

My parents are also more of the non church going Christians.,..but they have reasons. We went to a very nice Baptist church in our town. It was huge, had a good youth Group and the pastor was devoted. However, he was not one that the older generation in the church liked so he was run off and when he left, the church died. Everyone left in disgust. My parents were ostracized because they both had to work to put food on the table. We were poor but my brother and I never knew it because we never lacked anything we needed. Now that I myself have all the financial obligations and see the financial mess my parents continue to deal with even after 30 years, it shocks me.

Dad is a truck driver. He has left to other jobs, but he always comes back to the truck. To him, that's God's plan for him. He accepted it and while his bosses are kind of jerks, he endures and continues down the road one mile at a time. I do remember how excited we were when he would be able to make it one of our school recitals. Up until I was in middle school and my brother in fourth grade, many people assumed my mom was single or divorced. Mom, was sad when she could no longer stay home with us, so when we entered school she became a CNA. She has worked hard for 22 years, going to school to work up to her LPN and she is a damn good nurse.

I'm lucky to have such awesome individiuals as role models who have shaped my faith. I myself have always been devoted to God. However, I have never made it public knowledge or stood in the church screaming "All hail God!" I'm not attacking anyone who does that because that's their way of showing their devotion but for me it doesn't work. To me as I stated above, my relationship with God is a quiet and reflective one. I don't usually go to church because none can feed me spiritually. The experiences of years past with preacher has made it hard for me to find one that speaks to me. However, thanks to my awesome friend Kelsey, I have finally found one. But I'm not going there to shout and praise. I enjoy church as it allows me an hour of quiet and uniterrupted time with God. I can sit and reflect with no distractions.

The best way to describe me is I'm a liberal non-judgmental Christian. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means I try to not judge people for their beliefs or how they choose to live their life. I won't force feed you my beliefs, but I hope that you will also do the same for me with yours. Judging people takes way to much time and that is something that is hard to come by these days. Plus, frankly it's not my job. I think God, while he knows the details, also knows that we aren't perfect and is just happy for us to lead a good life, treat others with kindness and continue his work in small ways, be it spend a day at the homeless shelter serving food or going to a small gathering on easter Sunday. AS long as you keep the commandments, all the other stuff kind of falls into place. He is always forgiving. Sadly, his followers don't always practice what he preaches and those are usually the ones who make a big deal of their walk with God.

MY faith was truly shaped when I moved 3 years ago. I moveds to a large city from farm ville , away from everyone and everything I knew and that was familliar. The first six months here were the somne of the worst months of my life. I didn't know anyone so I did a lot of praying because it was the only relationship I had close. I had three awesome friends who kicked it into gear and did everything they could to support me, even if it was a simple phone call or a bitch slap to get over myself. I love you, Mon, Ape and Sar :)I think this trying time was when I really understood what I wanted my spiritual relationship and faith to be. I haven't looked back since and now my life, despite crushing student loan debt is awesome. I have a wonderful husband who is supportive, lovin and cracks me up with his wit daily ( I love you Hunbun!), two fur ball children (although I still remain convinced they are going to kill me in my sleep) and a job that is slowly killing me everyday, but I love it and love what I do.

I'm just keeping on , keeping on. Trying to be good and yet failing daily in his grace. But, I think that's how he likes it. I learn more. This is the last time you will hear me preach. Because I've revealed too much already. :)


1 comment:

  1. Very well put Manda....You have done something that I have not ever wanted to nor would ever do if I was held at gunpoint.....Moving far far away....I will forever reside here in little ole Concord while you flourish in the big ole world:) Congrats on your accomplishments!