I grew up a cradle catholic, and when I was younger, church was just part of our routine. I thought it was something everyone did for their own religion’s version of a church. We’d go early morning every Sunday, and we would say grace before dinner every night. To this day, my father still doesn’t know the words to the prayer they use daily: “Bless us our lord for these thy gifts which we’re about to receive from your bounty. In Christ’s name, Amen”
As I went into middle school I Dad was deployed with the Coast Guard, my mother went into crazy diets that we were all to follow with her, and I became angry. Why the hell should I believe in a God when things weren’t working out for me? The routine of still going to church was forced, and it resulted in things like finding patterns in our freckles and my sister and I coming up with stupid competitive games (like who could stick their finger furthest into the notch at the bottom of your throat [it hurts when you let go]) I went through confirmation with my best friend, and that’s when I stopped going to church.
Once I was in college, I took comfort in the idea of the church. I found it soothing to think that wherever you are in the world, you would hear the same passages/lecture for that week. It made the big scary world a little bit smaller. When I would get depressed, I would think about how connected we all are through church, and that even if I ran off to anywhere else, I could always look at the same stars, and hear the same word of God as anyone else that I loved. I did not return to church.
Today I feel that I am spiritual, but not faithful. I believe that there is something bigger than us out there, but I don’t think that it comes down to one particular savior who follows the constraints that we have put on them. I would like to become a better person, and strive to meet a high moral standard, but I don’t think that it is anyone else’s place to say what my moral code should be. Despite being in a liberal church, I have catholic guilt that I don’t know what to do with.
As we look to foster/adopt/have a child, I am again finding comfort in the idea of a universal church community. I want to get my foot back into the steeple in case I have a traumatized child who needs the comfort that church once gave me. I want to be part of a larger community that I can go to when I feel like I failed, and be told that there’s a larger plan, so I can’t fuck it up too badly. Mostly, I want to be able to say that I did everything I possibly could to provide for the future child, even if it was something that I wasn’t comfortable with.