Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Losing my religion

I never quite understood the lyrics of that song by R.E.M. But its title seemed fitting to the turmoil going on inside my brain.

If you know me well, you probably know my brain is always in turmoil. There are usually a thousand thoughts racing across my poor brain cells, and making my brain overly tired and overworked.

This time the reason for my unrest is my spiritual life. I seem to be losing my religion.

My faith is intact. I pray daily, I read the Bible daily, and meditate on it. I just cannot bring myself to attend service at my home church.

Until recently, I was one of those people who hardly ever missed church on Sunday. I volunteered, and actually enjoyed being there. I simply need to be surrounded by others who believe and worship as I do. At least I was that person until recently.

I'm not sure when it all began to disconnect, or the reason behind it. At first, I started missing church because I was sick, or one of the kids was sick. Slowly, it began to feel as a chore, not as something I wanted to do.
But only on Sundays. I just couldn't bring myself to attend services on Sunday.

I have been making time to attend daily services near work. I have no issues going to a different church, with a complete group of strangers, and worship during the week. But when it comes to Sunday, my will power depletes and I just cannot find it in me to go.

I have been knowing something was off for a while. I started to notice the "change" going on in my brain. I thought maybe it was a midlife crisis, although my midlife crisis come and go rather frequently and I'm not old enough to have one.

Then I noticed how happy I was to attend daily mass with a bunch of strangers but I simply dreaded the thought of going to church on Sunday with my church family. I have been attending church there almost 20 years, yet I no longer want to be there.
I'm not sure what's happening. No one has been rude or demeaning towards me or my family there.

Am I having a religious crisis? Perhaps. Identity crisis? Quite possible.

Funny how a long drive is the best source of therapy for me. I was driving yesterday for work and started thinking about this particular issue. I often use my driving time to think about whatever is bothering me at the time. Most of the time I simply have a conversation with myself and it helps clear the confusion that's my brain.

A few things popped into my mind as I was wondering what was happening to me.

I'm not questioning my faith or my beliefs. I still feel very strongly about those, so it is not my faith I'm losing.

But I do feel like I'm missing out on something at my current church. I miss not having other people like me there, people I can relate to. Who are these people? Mothers, wives, other people who are going through the same period in their lives. Other women with young children, women who may have the same interests as me. But more importantly women I can worship with.

I am missing the chance to worship with other women like me. I miss not having a group of women who I can attend bible studies with. Not just women, but women who are going through the same stages of their lives as I am, who may be juggling work, kids, husbands, just as I am.

Going to a different church of the same denomination is a possible solution. But the nearest one is 30 minutes away and I've already "tried on" before and it didn't fit. Does that mean I'm the misfit?

And I can always try another denomination. I'm a believer God is the same in every church, we just chose to worship Him differently, so attending another denomination is not an issue for me.

What if I'm the one who simply doesn't fit here, there, or anywhere?

What about my kids? Is my "crisis" going to affect their faith? Strengthen it? Should I start saving for their therapy bill?

One thing is for sure, my spiritual journey has always been filled with roadblocks that turn into road trips. I wonder where this road trip will take me...

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