Help? - Spirtuially lost?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Help? - Spirtuially lost?
28
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 1:26pm
HI, I am going to spill out everything here. I am kind of in a rutt on what to do with our families religon.

Let me first start out by saying that I'm not sure I believe anything. My Husband and I were married Catholic 8 years ago, and had all of our Children babtized Catholic (much to my Dismay( We mostly did it for he and his family.

I have a Daughter who is 7 years old and She is terrified of Death, I know realize that it is because we have raised her with mixed religon, and She hasnt' been to church in a long time. I have strong problems with my "faith" and not sure where to turn to, I have done tests on belief.net and they came up something I am totally not interested in.

One religon that some of the background appeals to me is Mormon, I'm not sure why especially being that I am on the verge of Atheisim. I guess it is the strong family background, views. ect. But, I also know that I don't buy some of what they have to say either! - HELP!



I don't care for the Catholic religon, I have been there, Done that, and I just don't care for it. I want to be "happy" at Church, not down in the dumps. I really want my children and my family to be a religon household, and I know I emphizise a lot of the "church" aspect of all of this, but It is very imporntant to me! I need to feel at home and happiness when I am at church, I was a Babtist for a while when I was younger, and that was a lot of fun. When I go to church I want to feel like I am family there, I like to have a church that has functions, Dinners, Friends, all kinds of things. Am I wrong to want these things in a religon? - Or does all of it have to come from my heart? How does one who is totally spirtually lost "find" god. When I was younger I used to have a lot of questions for older adults, priests, pastors, ect.. They all would tell me "You will know when you find god": well, 30 years later and I don't know???

Anyway, I am at a loss, I don't have any clue what to do. If I just let things sit the way they are my Children are going to grow up with no background, no religon, no faith, and that scares me! At this point I am almost willing to force myself for a while just so I can find something that is going to make me happy. We have a few friends who are religous and they are Catholic, for about a year we were going to church every sunday and I kind of liked it, I *know* I liked the way I felt when I left church, but like I said, it didn't last long. and the actualy Mass was so depressing and rehearsed?? ( I hope that makes sense)

What should I do? Should I spend a good month going around "church and religon shopping"? How horrible does that sound? I wish I could get the rules of the Christian church, with the family and tighteness sense of the Mormon church, I realize that god said he doesent have to be worshiped in brick and stone meaning the church, but for *me* and *my* family I think it does. I need my Children to have Sunday School, Friends, a NON FEAR of Death, and all the things that comes with religon. If you read this far you are a saint ( no pun intended) LOL...

I need help, I really do. What am I going to do?

Thanks so much for sugesstions!!

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Avatar for emmlevin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 2:25pm
Hi and welcome. It sounds to me that you have somewhat limited yourself to Christianity. As a Christian, this of course is my bias and I'm delighted that you are interested in rejoining the fellowship. However, you might wish to examine other religions and their belief systems. A library book might be just the ticket. I found that in my studies of other religions, none of them ring quite right for me and it has strengthened my faith.

Going to different churches is a great idea. I recently changed churches (and denominations) and I did some church shopping. The church I have decided to join won hands down because I could meet God there - His presence was very evident.

IMHO, it is also very important to look at the doctrinal statements of the denomination just to make sure there is something you find absolutely irreconcilable. And my advice might be to do this early in your visit - even after the first visit - especially since you want your daughter to be involved in Sunday School. It could be difficult if she falls in love with the Sunday School and then you find there is some doctrine that you can't swallow. Lots of churches even have websites now and you can find doctrinal information, mission statements etc online.

And I don't think you are wrong to want the social part of church - an important part of the Christian faith is Christian fellowhip. And I have faith that God will find you.

Hope this is helpful.

Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 4:10pm
I have been through something familiar. You might not like my conclusion but here is my story. :o)

I was Athiest, married my wife who was RC. I got baptized eight years later. I found God. I found Jesus. I was happy there until people started asking questions about doctrines. So I found myself researching to 'defend the faith'. The Bible was important. I wanted to makes sure what I believed was right. I found a few things wrong with the RC church. So I looked at other churches and their beliefs. None of them measured up to what I read in the Bible. The problem I found was that the Bible itself had the problems. I am now an Agnostic Christian. I believe the good messages of the Bible.

...I have a Daughter who is 7 years old and She is terrified of Death,...

I have the same thing, my son went throught that phase. I am now going through this with my daughter. My children go to RC school, my wife is still a practicing Catholic. Last night I was tucking my daughter in, "Good night princess", "Good night my king." I said, "you will always be my princess." "Even when I am bigger?" "Yes" I replied. She started crying. "Whats wrong," I asked. "Even when your dead?" Well, what a brick in the face.

"Yes, even when I am in heaven." "I don't want you to die." "We all go sometime, even when your an angel, you will still be my princess. Even if we are on different clouds." "I will fly up to you." She said, smiling again. "Will our dog be there to?" She asked. "Yes, I said, everything we truly love will be with us in heaven." She was happy and went to sleep.

Every once in awhile she does this. :0( Oh and I forgot, during our conversation, she said, "to bad we cannot die together."

Breaks me and my wifes heart I tell you. As I said before, my son went through that at the same age. I wish you the best. Good luck. :0)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 6:47pm
first let me say upfront that I'm Christian. What kind you might ask? I just say Christian. That's for a couple of reasons, one being that nowhere in the Bible did Christ "pick" a denomination. And two, becuase over the years I have belonged to a number of churches of different denominations. What I got from your post seemed less a person who is spiritually lost and more someone who is seeking a "home" church for herself and her family. I could be wrong but I got the definite feeling from your post that you DO beleive in God and want to share that with your kids. I was raised catholic, but left the church when I got older and found doctrinal things that didn't match up to the bible for me, I went thru a period of searching other religions (hindu, buddha, zen, islam) but returned unerringly to Christianity and gave my life to Jesus Christ. I spent a number of years in a Moethodist. I am currently very happily in a Baptist church, which finally provided me the bible base I was looking for along with wonderful fellowship and activities for myself and my family. Finding a church the YOU feel brings you community, fellowship and the opportunity to grow in your faith is very important and there's nothing wrong with church shopping. If there are any questions about faith and salvation that I can answer for you I'd love to help if I can, I'm sorry that when you had questions you where brushed off. God Bless and keep you and your family.

Peace, Cecelia
Avatar for maryrca
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 7:57pm
I don't know how much I can add to the above, but...

the fear of death thing is very common, and I think you'd be mistaken to believe it comes from some lack of religion. I remember quite distinctly going through this at about 7-8 years old. And this from a kid in RC school, church every Sunday -- totally immersed, in other words. I don't know, quite honestly, if its ever something I fully got over, but like most adults, you just deal. I remember needing a little counseling as a kid.

So what I'm saying is, I think it's great for you to be searching, and I do hope you find what you want, because it does seem that a religious home is what you want. (And, yes, the social side of it is important, and that's not silly). But don't beat yourself up during your search. Be honest with yourself and with your kids, and keep hunting!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:09pm
I thought I posted back to you earlier, but I guess not!

If you're interested in learning more about the LDS faith, join us over on the LDS Parenting board here -- http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppmormon?outline=-1.

I have been LDS for 2 years, was Catholic for 37. I think fear of death is common among Catholics. I'm not saying it's not common among other groups, this is just the group I'm familiar with. I don't know if it's because Christ hangs dead on the cross in so many Catholic churches or if it's because the message of hope isn't strong enough. Or maybe it's that incense! ;-) My daughter had a stillborn baby in January and we held the service at our LDS Church. My daughter was so confused about what she believed and her Catholic faith wasn't bringing her comfort. She was really searching for teachings that told her what she felt was true, that she would see her daughter again. Anyway, I think she derived a lot of peace from the things we taught her.

Anyway, good luck on your journey!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:10pm
Ok, well, you will have to tell you what the beliefnet results were. Most of us here have taken that test, some several times, and I am very curious to know what your results were. Would you share?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:21pm
This is what I would have said too, if I could have figured out how to post it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:40am
Hmmm, was one of the top ones *Quaker*? It seems like many people have Quaker in their top couple! I wonder why?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:01am
Sounds like you are looking for a church to call home, more than looking for a new religion, or even denomination. I think you are quite right, and you need to find somewhere that suits your family. It is very hard to stay "warm" out there on your own, without the encouragement and support of other believers.

Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy method for finding a church - you just have to go try them out! If you liked a Baptist church in the past, maybe start with them, or another Pentecostal/Charismatic church, or one recommended by someone you know. In my experience, the individual churches can vary widely within a denomination and the only way to find out what works is to go see. I have found that Catholic and sometimes Anglican and Orthodox churches tend to be more formal (rehearsed) and less social, but that is a huge generalization and doesn't even apply to my own church!

About finding God - I would say the best way is among people who know Him. It is very hard to beat a new path out all by yourself. I'm sorry you had negative experiences in the past. I think some people just aren't as emotional as others, and some never feel "Hallelujah! I'm saved!". CS Lewis was like this too, so you're in good company! He says that you need to rely on the promises of the Bible, not on emotions. Our emotions come and go, but God's promises stand eternal.

About the fear of death thing, I can't offer any specific suggestions, except that if you and your husband are firm in your own faith then you have the best chance of reassuring your daughter. The easiest way to do this is within the context of a support network of church friends and community and family.

Good luck! Choosing a church is not an easy (or quick!) adventure. Here's hoping you find a lovely new home!

Elizabby

Avatar for babyjoel2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 6:40pm
You can be spirtual without belonging to an organized religion. I hope you find peace within yourself. As far as death it is part of life. Everyone and thing has its own path in life. If you need to socialize with a group of people how about contributing to the less fortunate....I'll leave that up to you. Hope this helps.

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