please help me with my spiritual struggles - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh, when I was in the shower right now, this all seemed so clear....

Well, let me try to sort it out.
I was raised catholic, went to a catholic school, and my parents were very involved. However my childhood was not necessarily a happy and healthy one. .

Now as an 30yo adult with 3 children and a 3 year marriage, I struggle daily with my spiritual self. Dh is Christian, and wants to attend Calvary Chapel, and I hate it. I do believe in Jesus Christ, I believe he was a great person, and his actions are to be modeled, but I am not sure I believe he is the son of God.
Im actually not sure I believe in God, at least not in the way he is prtrayed in christianity. i do beieve there is a higher power, not sure i believe in spirits or occult, I want to believe in something, and I feel the strong need to have a spiritual connection to a higher power, but what??? : I did try the Calvary Route, an went to a womens retreat. I was always left with many many doubts and anger at their beliefs.
I believe that the spiritual journey is a personal, private matter, and I DONT believe in imposing your spiritual beliefs on others. I dont believe, and I hate to even think, that non-believers go to hell.
That said, DH wants to go back. I dont want to, but have never voiced this. I actually have said that i think it would be a good idea. i do want my children to grow up with a sense of spirituality and morality. but i just dont know how to do this if i dont believe in the church? (nak) what i would like, is to create our families own spiritual journey, without the need for a church, or imposed christian beliefs. i voiced this to dh awhile back, but he feels the need to belong to a church, and i dont necessarily want to be the one to deprive him of that. he tells me i should just go, and take from it what i want. that i dont have to believe in missionary work, or that non-believers go to hell. but i truly dont feel "right" there.

Now, a little background on dh's religious journey. he was also raised catholic, but a few years before we met started attending calvary with a girlfriend. He says he doesnt believe in spirits, but he believes in god and that jesus christ is the son of god. I dont understand this. Can you believe in god, and not believe in spirits?

I am sooo confused by all of this, and i know much of it doesnt make a whole lot of sense. But let me narrow it down to this. In my life right now, I feel lost. I want to feel serene, I want to reflect this on my children. I dont want to be depressed. I want to have a good sense of spirituality, and I want to feel natural and I want to be at peace with myself and my family.
Phew, I know this all probaly need clarity, but that is what I am after too. Thanks to anyone who will help me gain that clarity.
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#2 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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This is going to get rediculously long, I already know it is. Sorry.

Wow, thats alot....I hope I remember all the responses I thought of!



First of all, just so you know where this perspective is coming from, I am a born-again Christian. I was raised nothing, and was agnostic, athiest, pagan, etc. for most of my life. At age 23 I randomly "got saved." I was not interested in christianity at the time, in fact-it was the only one I had ruled out completley. I hated Christians. My story isnt unique though and I have met other people who have had the same spiritual awakening. My catholic in-laws are also "born-again."

Not sure if you are totally familar so I'll try to explain breifly: Born again means to have the spirit of Jesus actually sort of take over your body. Its mentioned in the Bible over and over again.

That said, I will not put God in a box like most churches and denominations do. I think God is God (the infinate, higher, whatever you want to call it- power, and Jesus is the son of God, and I also belive in the 3rd part of the trinity the holy spirit. I go to church (most of the time) because its as close as I can get to people who belive what I do....although I dont know if I have ever found anyone to quite share a level with because my beliefs are more broad than most Christians I meet. I am actually going to join my first church since g etting "saved." (Its been 3 years!)

I just KNOW God in a personal way and I dont put too much faith into a church or even sometimes a book.

Now to actually respond to your post!

1. God didn't want you to get hurt when you were little. It saddened him.

2. I belive there is a hell, (that you go to when you arent born again-which you have to accept Jesus as the Son of God to be.) and I think Bible beaters suck. (Not that I dont use it as a point of refrence, but no reason to tell someone about it when they dont want to hear it. You know)

3. I know its sooooooo hard to have a spiritual crisis when you have kids because you are trying to raise them beliving something is true! (Often times) When I got born again, it was intense, I felt that God was talking directly to me, it was weird-but an entirely positive experience for a few months. Almost immedietly I started to struggle with it. (How could you struggle when you HEARD GODS VOICE?) I am still baffled at my struggles. I still have them! I also have a good amount of depression, which is just really hard to deal with when you are trying to have a spiritual path.

I dont know what else to say, I just wanted to chime in here...I understand. I hope my post isnt too much from the side you are edging away from!!! :

Try not to stress too much! What you need will come to you. :-)
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#3 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First, I want to thank you for your response. I really appreciate it, especially since my post isnt very clear, and to offer a bit more clarity....
1. I dont believe God or a higher power wanted me to be hurt, I dont blame anyone else but my father. But what I do have the problem with is soooo may people who claim to be Christian, but live their lives in an extremely un-christianlike manner. And I grew up with alot of that. And Im talking more about crimes against humanity, such as abuse, murder, things of that nature. So I should be more specific. The fact that I was abused as a child didnt necessarily cause my struggle. The people who did the abusing have.
2.
Quote:
I belive there is a hell, (that you go to when you arent born again-which you have to accept Jesus as the Son of God to be.)
This is one of my struggles, if I am not born again, and dont believe in God as christianity portrays him, then I am condemned to an afterlife of eternal suffering??? I just feel that God is an all loving God, he will not condemn the people who are not born again christians.
3. I have always been very interested in living holistically, being one with nature, like pagans say"harm none"and can I live holistically, and believe in the Christian God? I know the basis of all religions is harm none, but can you do both?
Is it possible for DH and I to combine our beliefs to be one solid belief system for our children?

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Originally Posted by transformed View Post

1. God didn't want you to get hurt when you were little. It saddened him.

2. I belive there is a hell, (that you go to when you arent born again-which you have to accept Jesus as the Son of God to be.) and I think Bible beaters suck. (Not that I dont use it as a point of refrence, but no reason to tell someone about it when they dont want to hear it. You know)

3. I know its sooooooo hard to have a spiritual crisis when you have kids because you are trying to raise them beliving something is true! (Often times) When I got born again, it was intense, I felt that God was talking directly to me, it was weird-but an entirely positive experience for a few months. Almost immedietly I started to struggle with it. (How could you struggle when you HEARD GODS VOICE?) I am still baffled at my struggles. I still have them! I also have a good amount of depression, which is just really hard to deal with when you are trying to have a spiritual path.

I dont know what else to say, I just wanted to chime in here...I understand. I hope my post isnt too much from the side you are edging away from!!! :

Try not to stress too much! What you need will come to you. :-)
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#4 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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1. Point taken. Most Christians suck at walking the walk. Even me. I am doing a crappy job of it right now!

2. Yeah, I tend to take my lead from the Bible because whether its the "Word of God" or not, the guys that wrote most of it actually knew Jesus when he was alive. Basically I personally belive that he has already saved the Jews-because all in the Bible it says that they are Gods chosen people. I personally hold jews in that regard. So I dont know what Gods plan is, but mabye theres a spot in heaven for Jews....Mabye some others? I dont really know. God is so infinate he can do whatever he wants, we dont get to tell God that only born agains go to heaven-I belive he is boss of Heaven. LOL. All I know is that it says in the Bible that you must be born again to go to heaven. (The Nicodemus thing....I dont know where it is-the Gospels somewhere. If you want it, I can find it.) I am so trying to not be "religous" here but its just coming out. I dunno why cause I hate Bible beaters. LOL. Sorry about that. 3. You know what I think? I think you guys should talk about your beliefs (Mabye make an appointment cause it could be a really lengthy conversation....you are probably gonna want snacks and possibly alchohol....LOL) There has to be something in the middle. You could go to belef.net, LOL. Its cheesy but hey, its better than nothing!

I have a kind of weird perspective because I had such a BIG God experience. I didn't kind of "choose" a religion from the list. The last one on my list chose me. I wonder if I am coming across as a total kook. : :
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#5 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if I am coming across as a total kook. : :
Totally the way I feel...: . I know DH and I need to have a lengthy discussion about things, but I am so bad with conflict, I juat need to get over it
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#6 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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Yeah! get over it! But remember that men are much more black and white and he may have no idea what you are talking about. LOL. That ought to make you feel better. I am remembering some of my conversations with my dh....Giggle.

Mabye try praying about it....or sitting in a lonley quiet room reflecting on it....or being outside in some quiet place for a while reflecting.

(Unless you are in Florida right now-its just best to stay inside....I melted when I left the house earlier.)
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#7 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by transformed View Post
Mabye try praying about it....or sitting in a lonley quiet room reflecting on it....or being outside in some quiet place for a while reflecting.

I like that idea, too. Get to know you.




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Originally Posted by babyroos View Post
I want to believe in something, and I feel the strong need to have a spiritual connection to a higher power, but what??? :


I so hear you, dear mama.


My belief is that you are the one. You're the one you've been waiting for.

That has been my personal experience of discovery on the path of self inquiry.
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#8 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like that idea, too. Get to know you.








I so hear you, dear mama.


My belief is that you are the one. You're the one you've been waiting for.

That has been my personal experience of discovery on the path of self inquiry.
Thank you, I think I m going to try this.....
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#9 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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You are so welcome.
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#10 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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melissa , what a struggle! the other women here have had some wonderful words for you!

the first thing that comes to mind while reading these posts is to try not to focus on "hell." it's a very rough starting point. i grew up with a southern baptist father who preached strongly about "hell" and it scared the criminy outta me!!! as i've been forming my adult spiritual life i've concentrated on the beautiful teachings of jesus. there are so many fabulous, redeptive qualities to christianity but oftentimes the "fire & brimstone" gets in the way.

and as far as church is concerned, is your dh open to trying a different one? dh & i had a rough time finding a church home where we both felt comfortable but i knew there was a place out there somewhere! there are so many denominations with differing perspectives....and from the sounds of it, calvary must be pretty evangelical. perhaps you need to start a little more liberal (if i can use that word ).

and i agree with prayer.....the listening side. open yourself up to god & hear the still small voice!

stephanie asl.gif

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#11 of 19 Old 07-01-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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the first thing that comes to mind while reading these posts is to try not to focus on "hell." it's a very rough starting point.
Yes! I agree! Thanx for saying that! I really dont like religions that try to scare you to belive-and thats most religons as far as I am concerned.

You know, its funny that I am still just a hippy and yet a christian. That must be confusing to people.
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#12 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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I totally understand where you're coming from! I was raised Roman Catholic, was very involved in the church and even taught two years of catechism.
When I was about 18 I started wondering about the rules of the church and where the "roots" of the religion came from. So I had a meeting with the priest and it did not go well. I had questions and instead of being able to answer them, he just kept quoting bible passages, then eventually told me to leave his office.
I believe in Jesus Christ; I believe that he was an amazing humanitarian and that more people should try to be more like him. But I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus.
I do not believe in one almighty and powerful god, and I do not belive in the physical or spiritual existance of hell, and by extension don't believe in satan. I do believe there is evil and I do believe there is alot of good and beautiful people in our world.
I left the church because I couldn't live with the idea that my life wasn't my own. I couldn't be a part of a religion that man created, it didn't seem right to me.
That said tho I spent the next 7 years learning as much as I could about all religions and beliefs. I felt spiritually misplaced; I was raised with belief and if I didn't believe in christianity anymore where would I put my faith? It was an odd feeling. It felt terrifying and free. Now I walk a path of my own. I live with peace and the highest expectations of myself. I have faith and I embrace it.
If you have questions, seek answers. Learn. Arm yourself with knowledge. Whether you find an idea, a belief or a religion, you'll know when you are home.
Happy trails!
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#13 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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melissa , what a struggle! the other women here have had some wonderful words for you!

the first thing that comes to mind while reading these posts is to try not to focus on "hell." it's a very rough starting point. i grew up with a southern baptist father who preached strongly about "hell" and it scared the criminy outta me!!! as i've been forming my adult spiritual life i've concentrated on the beautiful teachings of jesus. there are so many fabulous, redeptive qualities to christianity but oftentimes the "fire & brimstone" gets in the way.

and as far as church is concerned, is your dh open to trying a different one? dh & i had a rough time finding a church home where we both felt comfortable but i knew there was a place out there somewhere! there are so many denominations with differing perspectives....and from the sounds of it, calvary must be pretty evangelical. perhaps you need to start a little more liberal (if i can use that word ).

and i agree with prayer.....the listening side. open yourself up to god & hear the still small voice!

Thank you, I agree with you that Ineed to not focus on the heaven and hell apsect of christianity so much, but its hard when your church is so into scaring their members with threats of hell. And in the catholic school, hell was a word that was thrown around all the time to implant that famous catholic guilt.

And Ill work on DH, and see if he will look into other churches. I dont know, maybe if I was in a church that was more liberal, and less evangelical, I would be more open to christianlty.
ANd I will pray. I do believe that prayer is more of a reflection on ones self, and not so much a form of worship. I hav edecided I need to start writing a journal , also.
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#14 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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When I was about 18 I started wondering about the rules of the church and where the "roots" of the religion came from. So I had a meeting with the priest and it did not go well. I had questions and instead of being able to answer them, he just kept quoting bible passages, then eventually told me to leave his office.
!
LOL. You know what Bible Passage comes to my mind in regards to this thread?

I dont know where it is in the new testamant but I like

"Work out your own salvation." -Paul?

Jenny
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#15 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 09:14 AM
 
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Melissa, where are you located? Church shopping is so exausting. Take some time off and ready yourself. Think outside the box. If you dont go Christian, cool, but if you do-just know that there are some really cool ones out there. (And three times as many shitty ones. LOL) Be prepared! My church is really cool. They are accepting (My rule #1 because I am not going to hide my sins-I am going to want to be prayed for.) If people are judgmental, I am gone in a heartbeat. I like a church where the people are relativley screwed up because you dont have to be fake around them!!!
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#16 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im in southern california, and I think before we church shop, DH and I need to start having more heart to heart communication. Since we've had the kids, we've been somewhat lacking on the communication part. I really wan to get this sorted out, and stop worrying about it. But it does get me down, because in the meantime he is like, "we need to start going back to church" and Im resisting, and I dont want to keep holding him back from his journey.
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#17 of 19 Old 07-04-2007, 10:01 AM
 
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How are you doing?
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#18 of 19 Old 07-04-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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Melissa,

I am sorry that your priest didn't really listen and talk to you based upon your concerns.

People often fail us- DH had a similar experience asking about fundamentals of the faith from a deacon who, rather than answering him, just got mad at him and accused him of being in rebellion. Thankfully DH found those who would answer him and understood that questions don't need to be threatening.

Hell's not an easy place to start, but understanding where it should fit in Christian doctrine might help. It's not so much a place where anyone is sent, it is where we are already headed if we don't return to the One who loved us enough to die to open the wall which exists between us and Him.

1) The point of Genesis is that God is the originator of life and has the right to set the rules and boundaries. Within the boundaries he set for man there were endless possibilities for good and enjoyment. However, we as a race chose to go past the boundaries. So we are all born outside the boundaries of blessing and cut off from God, from the life He longs to give us.

2) God doesn't want us to be cut off from Him! To quote a song I love, He would "really rather die than live without us".

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me". If any other way back into the place of blessing were possible Jesus wouldn't have had to die in our place.

(If He isn't the only way to God as He said He is, then He is a liar and no kind of a moral teacher nor role model.)

3) The way is open to anyone and everyone who will agree with God's terms and accept that Jesus is the way and that He paid the price to reconcile us to God.

4) If we refuse to go back into the place of blessing by the only Way He has provided, then we have chosen to remain cut off from God. That place of being cut off is Hell. The place of being with God is Heaven and that is our hearts' true home.

5) Jesus was asked, "Will all be saved?" He answered the man "Follow me". God is perfectly loving and just- we can leave the question of others in His hands. What we need to do is decide what we will do, personally, with Jesus' invitation to follow Him. I hope this helps put hell in its proper perspective. Let us know how things are going for you.--PYJam
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#19 of 19 Old 07-07-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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If you just go to the church b/c dh wants you to, you will resent him tremendously. Since what they teach already makes you mad, trying to find some way to reconcile yourself to it is just giving away your self and power. But it is really important b/c you would be compromising your own soul (I don't mean christian soul, necessarily.) You also don't need to figure this out now. You don't need to justify your beliefs or lack thereof to anyone.

As for what to do with the kids, you can teach them what you think and let dh teach them what he thinks, and eventually, they will make their own decision (maybe not till adulthood, but that is okay b/c that is their journey, too.)

If any of this makes dh angry, you could see a non-religious counselor. Dh is not the keeper of your soul and cannot make you do anything without your consent. Think hard before you sacrifice part of yourself. If he is in a hurry to get to church, then he should do that. Nothing stops him from going without you.

As for a higher power, there are many ways people conceptualize it. Personally, I think everything in the universe is made of the same thing, and that thing is the power of the universe, but there is no higher part, b/c how can you be higher than yourself? I believe in the UNIty of the UNIverse and have no room for divisive religions that do nothing except sow dissension.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
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