Have you ever been afraid to believe in something?
Most people who know me know that I used to be a goody-two-shoes go to church twice on Sundays and once for practice kind of girl. I loved it. I loved singing, I loved serving, I loved being there, but slowly things started to change.
A few years ago I changed. I ran away from most things I knew and tried to be someone different. Everyday that I pass my old church I yearn to go inside. I want to go back to singing in the choir and being an alter-server and having great friends and even the dreaded Sunday school, but every time I see the church I am also reminded of why I left. I am reminded of the things I didn't believe in, the conflicts, the disappointment and I think "how can I go back now?" I have thought about going to other churches, however, I've been to many and I just I can't get my old church out of my mind.
When I was 8 years old my mother and I joined the congregation. Shortly after I went through classes to be an alter server. I loved it there. It was small and dark and crowded but everyone knew everyone, no one was afraid to say hi or sit too close, and the priest was like a grandfather. I know they are supposed to be like fathers but I like my dad and I didn't have a grandfather, and Father O'brien was very old and very wise so he reminded me more of a grand father. It was a happy place for me.
Then it changed.
The church moved and became... modern. Now going into the church is like going into a gymnasium, half of the people don't even seem to know why they are there, no one speaks to anyone any more. It's as if we are all strangers, well we are all strangers, but praising God in one house makes me feel as if strangers is not what we should be. The thing that really got me was when our new priest fired most of the volunteers and hired people who didn't even share our faith. Watching our choir director it crackers and drink a pepsi during mass broke my heart. I couldn't understand why we would hire someone who not only did not share our faith but also did not respect it.
One of the reasons I joined the choir in the first place is because when I was young someone told me singing prayers got them to god faster because the notes and melody carried the words like a cloud up to him. Watching this woman sing our prayers broke my heart. Slowly others began to change too. A few of the band members stated they no longer believed, however, continued to participate for various reason; ie families, playing time, etc. Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore and left the choir and eventually the church.
Every day I think about going back but I am not sure I can. I am so scared to go back but I am scared I am not whole without it. Steven and I decided to dance our first dance to God Gave Me You and ... I feel so guilty believing God gave him to me and everything else I have in my life, yet I can't suck it up and go to church to worship him. People have told me that I don't have to return as long as I worship him on my own, but something in my heart tells me that's just not working, it's not good enough. I wish he could tell me what to do.
Yesterday my mother and I drove around to see if any stores were open to look for something, and while I was surprised and a little irritated that majority of stores were closed, it made me kind of happy. It so hard now to decide what is right and what is normal. There are so many different beliefs and none of them can be proven wrong or right.