I believe in God.
There. I said it.
There was a time when I wasn't open about my faith. I kept it to myself and it stayed stagnant. Looking back I know it is one of the reasons I have felt a bit of disconnect in my life in the past.
I didn't grow in my faith because I was married to someone who wasn't a believer. He didn't feel the same way I did and I let that muffle me.
That was a mistake and I am the first to say:
That was my fault, not the fault of the man I was married to.
I tried to get us in church. There was always a reason why we didn't go.
I asked for help from friends to help influence us as a couple so we could get on the same page spiritually. We were bad students and it didn't sink in.
When we were really suffering in our relationship towards the end, it was on my list of what we needed to do to save our marriage. It wasn't on his list and it made me mad.
At the time, I was mad at him. I should have been mad at myself.
But I see that now.
In September 2009, the exact Sunday after I filed for divorce, I took my three boys with me to Christ Church in Plano. We sat in a back pew and I cried.
Sitting there on that Sunday I felt like I was finally home. It was so familiar to me. It offered so much that I wanted for my children. I cried because I felt relief and I knew I wasn't alone. It just fit and I realized how much I missed it.
You may think this story is about religion. Okay, it is about one of the most personal and transparent traits about me - my faith. But it really is about personal choice and being loyal to yourself in the presence of others. It's about being who you are, in the presence of someone important to you - who has a different way of thinking.
I know that going to church would not have saved our marriage. This is not a story about regret.
It is a story that is about me, being "me".
It is a story about you, being "you".
I was raised Episcopalian ("Catholic light") and, growing up, my parents taught Sunday School, my dad ushered, and I was an acolyte (such a controversy for a girl). I got to ring the bell during communion and stand in the isle when our minister read the gospel during the service. I remember signing "Onward Christian Soldiers" in a large auditorium when I was really little. I remember how it made me happy to be in church.
It makes me happy now to be in church.
My first "real" kiss was when I was a teenager at youth group (sorry for the disclosure mom and dad) and some of my best friends in high school were those I sat with in church. I attended in college and dabbled after moving to Texas.
Then I dated a man whose faith wasn't as developed. He had a cynical view. I wasn't bothered by it . . . at least for the first few years.
Now, those who know me know that my boys and I go to church every Sunday. I am privileged to serve as a chalice bearer and as a lay reader during services. Being the reader during Christmas Eve services is an honor I take so seriously. When I read, it is not about me. It is about the Word, the teachings, the mercy and grace.
All three of my boys are acolytes and my oldest son Alex worked most of last summer as a camp counselor for 8th grade boys at Pine Cove Christian Camp. I am a proud mother of Christian boys.
My boys were finally baptized in their teens. We say grace before every meal, even most times when we are in a restaurant. We are THAT family. We are grateful
When I marry again, I'll marry in Christ Church. I just haven't found "Mr. Right" yet, but you can bet he'll know too that I'm a believer. I know he is out there and I just haven't met him yet. He needs to find me and I need to find him.
And that's okay.
Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Sunday - goodness . . . just be happy!
All the best to you on this Sunday from my family to yours,