I used to be hardcore. I grew up hardcore. I still know more Bible verses and stories than almost anyone I know. Once, I was a Bible-Quizzing champ. I worshiped hard, and prayed harder. The evangelical movement was made for me. Jumping up and down: check. Hands in the air all the time. Sang my heart out.
Then I hit my teen years, and I wanted rules. I wanted something solid. The evangelical movement FEELS amazing, but so many of the leaders are banking on the feelings and not the reasons behind them. One whole half of my extended family is Catholic, and I knew Mass from years of religious osmosis. I also understood the dogma. What’s more, as a “troubled” teen, the age and structure of the Catholic Church (compared with the youth and free-loving spirit of the fundamentalist evangelical movement) appealed to me something fierce. So I became Catholic.
(Catholics say “once a Catholic always a Catholic” so I guess I still am one. They’re kinda like the Marines.)
Then the bomb of my adult life: infertility. Christianity, Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Orthodox Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, all celebrate fertility. Many encourage large families. Catholicism in particular considers having and raising children THE goal for marriage. And nearly all branches of Christianity have some level of a “God is in control” belief.
When you throw unexplained infertility in the mix, something doesn’t jive. And for the longest time, I just didn’t have the energy to deal with the disparity between “loving God,” “omnipotent God,” the family prerogative, and my personal situation. So I put it all on the back burner.
Now I’m taking it out and dusting it off. Upon close inspection I can say without a doubt that things have changed. My understanding of “God” is different. My “relationship” with God is also different. (Completely different.) I don’t know that I will ever recover a feeling of connection and purpose that I used to have about God.
Something is there, though. It’s nebulous and vague, and it might always remain so, but it’s present. That’s what matters, I think. At least for now.