Recently I've been feeling jealous of people with strong religions. Over time I've started following quite a few blogs written by ladies of faith and I'm always amazed at their belief system and the role it plays in their lives.
I suppose I should start this post by backing up a bit on my religious past. I grew up in a Catholic household and when I was in middle school I started attending a very liberal christian church. Through middle school and high school I went on many missions trips and attended a few conferences with my church. I volunteered a lot and have many journal pages filled with my musings about my relationship with God. Later in high school my church went through a lot of changes and I was very turned off by some of the new leadership actions that were taken in my church. I went from feeling like a very strong woman of God to avoiding all ties with the religion. I took a few years off of church while I attempted to find answers on my own. It wasn't until late last year that I found a new church and started sporadically attending. This semester I'm determined to get more involved because I'm finding myself longing for the days when I felt I had a strong faith.
Back to the present day. I've been struggling recently and feeling rather lost. I'm not sure where my future is headed and to be honest I feel as though my life is a bit out of control. I'm hopelessly lonely but feeling depressed so I rarely go out. Since being back in Chicago I've found myself watching too much TV and not doing enough of the things I love to do. I think back to the times I was highly involved in my church and reminisce about the quality friendships I gained through those activities. Almost all of my closest friends are those I met at church and bonded with while volunteering or at bible study groups. While I feel skeptical about the existence and role of a greater power, I cannot deny that my life was better when I was more faithful.
I'm still hesitant about church. I originally stepped back from Christianity because I feel that far too often people use it as an excuse to further their own hateful agendas. Condemning people who have other beliefs is not my thing. I don't like to be associated with Christians who stand on a street corner handing out bibles and telling strangers that they are sinners who will burn in hell. I know every religion has their extremists and it's not necessarily a reason to steer clear. It's definitely something to consider though.
Anyways, that was quite a bit of thinking out loud. Are you ladies (and gents) religious? I'm always curious about this. If you aren't, do you ever have any religious envy like me? People with strong faith seem so certain. I wonder if that certainty comes from a relationship with a God of your choosing.