November 28, 2014

Give THANKS - November 28th (Faith)

Day 19 - Faith

All month I have known I wanted to do a post about how thankful I am that I have God in my life but I kept putting it off til another day. We are almost at the end of November and though I still have so many things I am thankful for the Give THANKS posts will be done so before I put it off too long this post needs to be written. You may ask why I keep avoiding something so important to me and the answer is; writing about my beliefs and having others read it scares me. 

From the time I was young Jesus has always been a part of who I was. My family went to church every Sunday at 10:30 and sat in the second row on the left. I went to a Catholic elementary school from Kindergarten to the sixth grade which included daily lessons in religion and mass every Wednesday. I was an alter server. I sang in the Sunshine Singers which was the church choir. All of this was just what we did. There was no questioning it but also no longing to be a part of it; it just was part of being in my family. Little did I know that all of this was part of the values my parents were instilling in me from a very young age. 

It wasn't until junior high that I really started taking a look into what my faith meant to me. I know without a doubt that my desire to learn more about what being a Catholic meant and actually wanting to have a relationship with the Lord had everything to do with our youth pastors. They showed the youth of our church that going to mass was so much more than just sitting there for an hour each week because our parents made us. My parents gave me the introduction to my faith but my junior/senior high years are what defined it.

I continued to be active in my church until I left for college and then like so many college students I started becoming really lax in my faith. I still believed all that I had come to know during the first 18 years of my life but without people as giddy in faith sitting right next to me it was easy to just let it fall to the side. Thankfully I had the good old Catholic guilt so Paul and I found a local church and we continued going to mass throughout our college years. It may have been more out of obligation than really wanting to go but at least we made it there. 

God came back into our life with a bang when Paul was diagnosed with cancer. Though I hate to admit it we were desperate and needed someone bigger than we were. We couldn't walk the walk alone and thankfully God was not only right there but he carried us when we couldn't go any further. We continued to rely on him again and again during our twenties and we occasionally remembered to praise him when things were going well, though most times it's so much easier to just call on Him in times of need. The one thing we still struggled with was really listening to what God wanted us to do. Paul and I still wanted to control our path.

It wasn't until we became pregnant with quadruplets that we handed everything over to Him. I cried so much over the first 2 weeks after seeing that 4th heart beat simply asking one question; Why? I felt we had been tested over and over in our married life and in 9 years had gone through cancer, infertility, miscarriages, cleft lip and now when we had said yes to giving 4 embryos a chance at life instead of destroying 2 tha we were told were non-viable He gives us a high risk pregnancy and 4 more babies when we were just making it financially as a family of 5. Hadn't we already survived everything He had asked us to? Why did we need another test to prove we believed in him...or did we really believe? Paul and I both believed in our Heavenly Father but we never allowed Him to enter our life except for when things were going bad. When faced with carrying 4 lives we both came to a point when we simply said 'Okay Lord we will listen. We will follow You. We lay this in Your hands because we are not strong enough.' I could not do it alone and so for the first time in my life I truly allowed God to enter and not only when I needed help but daily. It still amazes me to this day how things started falling into place when we turned everything over and finally asked God to lead us. 

I can't name all the books in the bible. I pray to God like I am talking to a friend. I can't recite bible versus on command. I don't even know if I could list all 10 commandments. As I became a mom I started praying more to the Blessed Mother and this started the day I was in labor with Natalie & Aubrey. I have not been to confession since high school. I always start my prayers the same. We often forget prayers before dinner now even though we never forgot before we had the quads. Even with having a relationship with Jesus I still sin and must ask for forgiveness. I can not remember the last time I read the bible. Sometimes I change the subject when my kids ask me about a particular bible story.

What I am basically saying is that I have so much to learn about my faith and that is what scares me when talking to others about it. I can answer questions that young children have but once it gets much deeper than what a six year old questions I am calling my mom (though she didn't have any clue either on how to explain what a spirit is to twin 4 year olds!). Like I said in my last post, I am a child of God. I have always been but it was not until the last couple of years that I realized how important this was in my life. Today I am thankful that though I am not perfect, God loves me and someday I will get to heaven and meet him face to face.

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