Thursday, April 22, 2010

Story of My Life: Roots

Previous Entries in the Story of my Life Series: Salvation

As I mentioned before, I was raised in the Catholic Church.
Before I say more, I want my parents to know that I am absolutely, 100% grateful for my upbringing. Their dedication to their faith, their marriage and our family made me who I am today. Words can't express how much I appreciate being raised in a safe, loving home (especially working with girls who didn't.)

With that said, my experience of faith growing up was that it was: a basic belief system, a label, and a safety net.

Everyone has a basic belief system, right? Humans are descended from monkeys.... The world appeared from nothing with a bang... Everyone is connected... The energy we send out is the energy we get back... How we live life now will affect who we are in the next life... etc. etc. Of course there are people who are unsure about where we came fromn or where we are going, but they still have a belief system. They believe in kindness or selfishness, in community or anarchy... there is something that drives their actions. Growing up, I knew what I believed. God created earth and mankind. Man was sinful, so God sent His son to die so that our sins could be forgiven. We don't have to be perfect, but we should strive to be loving and kind. These beliefs gain us a place in heaven.*

In addition to knowing my basic beliefs, I had a label. "Catholic" was a part of who I was in the same way that "White" or "Irish" or "American" or "student" were. Sometimes those labels were/are important, sometimes not. It was just a part of how I defined myself.

Lastly, my faith was a safety net. Outside of church on Sundays and saying grace before meals, prayer was for asking for God's help. Help for people I knew who were sick or injured, dying or grieving a loss, taking an important test or interview, doing something dangerous or traveling.

My faith, in sum, was a belief/understanding of where I came from, where I was headed, and how I should act. It was a part of how I defined myself, and it was something I turned to when I or someone I knew needed something. Faith is still all of those things for me. But it's so much more.

The Story Of My Life continues with Answered Prayer, Bumps In The Road and Freedom.

*This was my understanding of faith at a young age. If you would like to know the full extent of Christian beliefs, visit your friendly neighborhood church. :) Or feel free to contact me.

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Miel Abeille said...

Hi Colleen,

"Catholic" is a label I've grown up with, too. My dad is Irish Catholic and I didn't have a choice. My faith is important to me, but I find the more accurate label to be "Christian." I am no longer affiliated with any church, and while I do miss the shared experience going to Mass can offer, I've found that it is more honest for me to call myself a Protestant. (Now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my dad doesn't read your blog!)

I appreciate how you share your faith with your readers. Thank you!

Rob, Kelly, Bennett, and Elodie said...

So far, sounds like my life too...but then again, we share parents, so that would make sense :). Looking forward to hearing more! I will be reading (and have much catching up to do)!

SomeGirl said...

Can't wait to read the rest! ♥ Michelle

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

I've never been to a Catholic church. I am definitely interested in reading the rest of your story. Thanks for sharing!