Less Why: Thoughts On Faith

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If I think about it too much, I get stuck. If I let myself wonder how anything could be true and what is true anyway and what’s the point and why does that even matter, I get so stuck. I’ve stopped letting myself think about the hard questions. Maybe just for now. Maybe for always. The last time I did this, it didn’t go so well, so I’m trying a new way. A lot less why. A lot more just go.

I don’t know why we’re going to church. I don’t know what to say when Riley said “I believe in God” today. I don’t know what to do with the fact that her tiny voiced statement took my breath away like when you fall too hard, too fast, straight onto your back. And you can’t breathe. The kind that comes from the depth of fear. Because all I want for her is that she can find her own way. All I want is for her to not know and be okay and not the mess that I am in my head, in my heart, in my chest.

I asked her if she knows what God is. She said no. I told her we’ll talk about it when she’s 19 or so.

I know that I don’t know. But I believe. I know that that’s enough. I know that’s terrifying. Still. And probably forever.

That’s okay. It’s okay to be scared. It’s better than being stuck. Way better. So I’ll just keep going.

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19 Comments

  1. I struggle so much with wanting to not indoctrinate my babies into what I believe just because it is what I believe, but also at the same time, hoping it is okay to instill my values in them. I have a very long history with religious beliefs, including years of Christianity that have now transitioned into a pseudo-athiest humanist philosophy. I don’t know how I’ll talk to my 5 year old about god and religions… so far we’ve only had to talk about sperm, eggs, and how the sperm gets into the mommy’s tummy. Wanna trade? I have that talk DOWN. ;)

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  2. I believe and I know it’s enough too. And if I were close I’d stop by and give you a huge. Because it’s ok to not know.

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  3. Henry has friends at school that talk about g-d with him. It’s interesting to see what he comes home with. He told me he knows where g-d’s enemy lives. In case you were wondering, it’s in the bathroom. Of course I didn’t ask who that was. As an agnostic, I just try to let him think and talk it through. Sometimes he seems to believe in something and other times not. His older sister on the other hand is not a believer. Santa Claus yet…g-d no. Good thing we’re Jewish because that doesn’t complicate things at all…oh and by Jewish I mean in terms of traditions not religion…if that makes any sense at all.

    As a rule I try to just list, and reply with “oh” or “that’s interesting” or “Why do you think that is so?” It seems to work so far, but as they get older I think I won’t be off the hook so easily.

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  4. After Kaden, I was railing at God one night on the phone with my dad. Bawling and screaming about how He could let this happen to me again, why He didn’t bother to show up and how could I ever, ever trust Him with anything after this? And my dad (a pastor of many years) said something profound, “Then just let go for a while. Stop thinking about it, trying to figure it out, trying to find a reason for it. Don’t. Don’t read the Bible, write on faith, anything. Give your heart and mind a break until you can come back a little.”
    I know this isn’t quite what you’re dealing with, but I understand that need to know. I question a lot that I’ve been taught/told my entire life and some of it I’ve been able to let go of and just be. That’s really hard to do for long. xo

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    • I love this. And I so loved all that you wrote about your struggles with God after Kaden. I wasn’t believing then, but was paying very close attention. I see all that you wrote then as a a turning point in my own journey that started to bring me back. So, even when you are giving yourself a break, the light is still there.

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  5. Faith isn’t science, which is why there’s certain required surrender. It’s a lot like love that way.

    This from an atheist who believes in faith and love and magic :)

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    • Yeah, I wasn’t so good at the surrender part last time around. I’m better this time. Because it’s way too hard otherwise.

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  6. I know we just met at Mom 2.0, but I don’t know if you know that my husband is on staff at our church. That doesn’t mean we have answers, and it totally means that we’re constantly learning and questioning and trying to be like Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible, not the Jesus of the Right-Wing Conservatives.

    I read “Heaven Is For Real” on the flight home and it was a game changer for me. That boy’s experience took everything down to the level of a child, and it made everything seem so simple. Just a thought, if you were looking for something to read.

    My girl would see angels and hear from God when she was Roozle’s age, which knock me on my back whenever she talked about it.

    xoxo

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    • Angella-well written. I’m with you on this one. Would like to send you a PM. Please contact me, if you are willing @ dkaponte@aol.com. God bless!

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    • I’ll check that book out, though I’m not sure if I’m ready yet. I’m trying to go slowly with all of this after having such a hard experience with the church last time (I went to Bible college and YWAM and did all the things and was kicked out of my home church when I came out).

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  7. I ant my children to own their faith, and to decide on their own if they will have faith. I told them that faith without proof is what makes belief a gift. With evidence, it’s not faith. They will do what they hear in their hearts. Breathe in, breathe out: exhale.

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  8. I love this. I don’t know either. But I think the compulsion to go, to pursue, to worship … well, for me at least (whether that happens in church or on a walk or while staring at a sunset) is powerful and, for that, I’m grateful. xox

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  9. So many wise commenters here. I think I’ll just leave it to them. I learn so much about what I don’t know through other people. I think that’s more evidence….but I’m not going to think too hard either.

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    • When we think too hard, it’s exhausting and confuses us into thinking we could actually find answers. But we can’t. That’s the whole point of faith. So there we are. Here we are. I’m glad to have you here with me.

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  10. What a hard question. We don’t take our 2.5 year old daughter to church, nor do we have any plans to discuss anything with her…currently. But who knows what we may decide in the future. I see Pope Francis and he isn’t perfect but he makes me smile and believe in the good in this world. I went to public school and it was awful, I also went to catholic school and it was wonderful…struggling right now between putting our little one in catholic school, yet not teaching her about faith…the nice part is we can all change our minds if we think we are making the wrong choices.

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  11. If the all powerful, all present, all loving, all knowing god, creator of the universe, actually loved us, I would hope that he wouldn’t want us to burn in a lake of fire for all eternity. I would hope that he would be able to find a better way to make his message of love and compassion known than by killing his son/himself in a illiterate part of the Middle East during the bronze age, leaving it up to second, third and fourth hand accounts of other self-interested street preachers and politicians of the day to relay his message of hope and love.

    “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, the more knowledge, the more grief”. Ecclesiastes 1:19

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