How many of you grew up going to church but as you got older did not really see the point of it anymore? I was one of those people up until this past year.
I grew up in a very Catholic family. I went to church every Sunday and catechism classes every week until I was 16 years old. I really enjoyed church when I was younger but eventually that feeling faded.
When I turned 18 and I could choose whether or not to go to church was when I really started questioning if it was for me. Every time I would go with my mom to mass I just didn’t feel like I belonged there. That was when I stopped going.
Over the next ten years I always wondered if it was right choice to stop going to church. For a long time I said I was “spiritual” but not religious. I thought that if I was a good person that was enough. But what defines a good person? Whose set of morals was I really living by? Was the life I was leading really a positive and righteous one? The answer for me was probably not.
A couple of years ago I started talking to my sister about going back to church and giving it a try again. I did miss the mass and the lessons I learned from the scripture readings and sermons (despite that one that turned me off in the first place). Part of me felt like something was missing from my life but still was not sure church was it.
Even though I talked about it I never went back. I think part of me was scared of finding the same thing I did the last time and I really didn’t want to be disappointed again. Plus, I felt like I would be disappointing God if I did not like it. It wasn’t until I met a new friend who talked very openly about his journey with God and faith that really inspired to me to make that first step. So I did!
I didn’t go back to my old church but a new one that I had been to a few times as child with my dad. I was very nervous when I walked in but excited for making this step. The service I attended happened to be lead by the boy scouts and girl scouts from the church. That day a 16-year-old boy lead the sermon and I realized how much of my faith I lost. He was so sure of his faith and convictions it made me sad that I could not speak that way about God and my faith. I tried to hold back tears that first service because I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.
That day when I prayed after receiving my communion, I had my first real, honest conversation with God. And no, not all my problems were fixed in that moment but all fears and insecurities were finally all on the table. After that service I began to attend church every Sunday, and every Sunday I left feeling lighter than when I had entered. It was like each sermon was meant for me to hear that day. There is always something to learn from God. When I was struggling with a person or situation I would find the strength I needed to approach it.
Not only did going to church open my heart and life to more possibilities it opened new doors for my friendships. I had a lot of friends who were trying church out again or had been going to church for a while. It gave us something we could talk about and connect with on a deeper level. I know those friends are always going to lead me on the right path in my life because they have the same relationship with God that I do.
I know church is not for everyone and that is fine, everyone is different and seeks different answers for life. But for those of you who are questioning your faith or wanting to try your church out again, I say do it. There is no harm is exploring your faith. It can only answer the questions you keep asking yourself.