I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and debating whether or not I want to introduce the topic of religion to this little blog. But, in the end, I’ve decided that it’s my blog after all and I really can write about whatever inspires me so here goes.
I have always considered myself a Christian. Coming from an Italian-Mexican family, I was baptized Catholic and I have a lot of memories of going to church with my grandfather and lighting candles for ailing or passed away friends and family as a child.
On the other hand, my mom went to a very progressive Christian ministry and I – always the kid who wanted to be with the adults and not other children – spent Sunday mornings sitting in the seat next to her or on the floor in our row coloring in my books or playing with toys. When I was very young, I rarely paid attention to the sermon and I guess she figured I was getting enough by just being there to soak it up. And I was. I loved the worship part of the service however and seeing the song lyrics illuminated on the wall in front of me always made singing along so easy. And I loved to sing – at the top of my lungs.
Over the years, my church-going days have waned although my faith has never faltered. I truly believe that I have a personal relationship with God and it’s not defined by any standards imposed on me by organized religion. I do still enjoy the structure of church and welcome any opportunity to walk through those doors however it is not a Sunday morning ritual for me any longer. Instead, I talk to God. I pray regularly and feel the presence of the Lord in my life every moment of everyday.
Depending on where I’ve been in my life and what I’ve been going through, I’ve relied on my faith to varying degrees. Interestingly enough, this pregnancy has made my relationship with God stronger than ever. I’ve had to accept what little control I have over everything – from conception, to the Nugget’s health and safety, to our birth plan and there’s no way I could’ve done that without my faith. It’s been a remarkable source of reassurance and energy for me and I am so grateful that I’ve had the Lord to turn to this past year.
And now, as we patiently await the arrival of Baby Girl I’ve begun to think about the many ways faith will play a role in her life as well. We plan to baptize her because I believe it’s fundamental and frankly, because I have the most incredible relationship with my own Godmother and can’t wait for her to have the same with hers. We will expose her to the words of bible and I will share the essence of my relationship with God with her but we also plan to give her the freedom to explore whatever religion speaks to her. I want her to be curious and because I believe that faith is so incredibly personal, I will encourage her to follow her heart in whichever direction it takes her.
To me, believing in something – anything – bigger than myself is so important and frankly, it’s the only thing that gets me through those tough days that we all experience. Long after Mike and I are gone and if she ever finds herself standing on her own, I want her to be able to trust that she isn’t really alone at all. It’s up to her to decide what that “something” is but it’s our job to give her the encouragement to discover it, develop it, and foster that relationship throughout her life. Not by shoving any one way of thinking down her throat but by exposing her to various ways of worshiping and letting her decide which way makes her little heart sing.
And those are my thoughts on religion and faith on this here Monday of our 37th week! Thanks for reading.