I’m having a hard time staying distracted right now, so I am going to try to complete some more of these questions. Then some homework or another good book sounds good, but whatever I do, I need to stop thinking! Thanks for understanding (whoever may be reading this that understands). Even invisible support is appreciated.
- Describe how you have stepped out on faith.
I used to think Faith was a silly thing; we all went to church for Sunday School to memorize this book and these passages that I never thought I would relate to or use in my entire life. It was like someone wrote this novel, just like any other novel, only longer and more confusing. I guess as a child, I didn’t really believe in the Bible. I believed in God and prayed more often than I have done at other points in my life, but I sort of stepped out simply because I never stepped in.
As a teenager, my life changed a lot. At some point I started praying for so many negative things to get better that I felt selfish and just stopped praying on a regular basis. I still believed in God but I questioned what was happening in my life and why it had to happen, especially to my family. At that confusing point in my life, I took a step back from my faith because I didn’t understand anything going on at the time and was entirely confused about every part of life.
- How do you look at your life?
I’ve come to realize that life is a learning experience and if I don’t treat it as such, I will spend my entire life questioning things that have happened in the past for no good reason. It’s important to understand why things happened in life, but it’s more important to be able to understand that they did happen and to keep on living until the reason brings itself to light.
At this point I also feel like my life is all about helping others. Sometimes I feel selfish when I think about myself and my own problems, but for the most part I am giving to others. The only people who I don’t give to as much as I really should is my family; they are all much better at giving than I am, though I am trying to get better around them. I guess by the time I am done spending all day giving, my give has run out and I need to rely on my family more than ever.
- Do you pray?
Constantly. Though I have to say my story has changed in reference to this subject. As a kid, I would say the same prayer every night right before bed. My parents taught me the prayer and it stuck with me. Even when I was a teenager, I would still say this same prayer with just a few extra thoughts or wishes added to the end. Sometimes I still do this…
Now though, I find that by the time my head hits the pillow, I’m zonked. There’s no energy left in me or thoughts to be able to put together into a full sentence, let alone a prayer. Sometimes my prayer is as simple as “Goodnight God, watch over everyone for me.” Other times it is longer and more specific to what is going on in life.
Lately, as I am trying to regain my independence and find my strength again, I have found myself praying at completely random times. At work, in between my classes. At night or in the morning during my travel to or from work. The only real consistency that my praying has is 1) when I have the chance to go to Church and pray with the rest of the congregation or 2) when something bad has happened to someone who needs as much prayer as they can get.
- Do you have a spiritual relationship with God?
I guess that really depends on what you consider a spiritual relationship with God. I’ve already established that I pray and look to him for explanations of things that humans cannot explain, look to him for help in which decisions to make, etc. So if that’s what you mean, then yes.
And since we are on this topic of “depends what you mean”, I think my biggest issue with Christianity and religions in general is that it is more complicated to be religious than to be a teacher! A teacher of a very difficult subject! I am never going to remember the definitions of all of these terms and meanings, especially when most of them mean at least two different things for at least two different religions. Just saying… I’m smart, but not that smart.
- Describe how your faith has been easily wavered or increased over time. Give details.
Life makes it waver just as easily and fast as life makes it increase. Give details you say? Well any time one bad thing happens or one extremely good thing happens, my faith has been known to change. I am getting more sturdy and confident in my faith as I grow older, but since I am still young I still have a lot of that wavering and increasing. Luckily, over the past few years, I have felt the love of a person who truly loved me, I have done good for others, and I have grown within myself; all of these things have led me to see that God does do greater things than anything I had imagined before. Which is why my faith has increased so much recently. A few years ago, this would not have been my blog. This would have been the one that I rolled my eyes at and skipped over; not because I never took God seriously, but because people who spoke about their religion and beliefs were outsiders in my world. They were the people who could get you in trouble or into an argument without you even realizing it. (Sorry to those people now. I know I never did anything necessarily “bad” to you, but I also didn’t consider you anywhere near the person who I would become friends with because I judged too soon. I’m sorry.)
- Do you call on God only when there is a crisis, or do you have an ongoing relationship with God?
Both. I am more likely to call on him during crisis, but I am also very aware of the fact that he is always around. It’s sort of like some of my friends; I know they are there but I don’t talk to them every day. I know that I should not be comparing God to friends, but he is a friend in his own way.
- When you’re in the middle of a crisis are you able to surrender to God?
At some point, that’s the only choice I have. But I am so headstrong that I always think I can handle things on my own or find the help I need in others who are here, those who can hug me or talk directly to me and give me a sign or a message that is not as much left up to interpretation as God has been known to give.
- Have you faced a health crisis, and if so, how were you able to work through it?
I had mono when I was a teenager. I guess I wasn’t in too much of a crisis, but it was a pretty big deal to me since I was too stubborn to want to miss school or work. I was able to work through it because of the Internet, because of friends, because of family, and because I was still young. Since that was one of those confusing and hectic times in my life, I am sure I relied on God a lot too. I just don’t remember exactly who I relied on during that time (since, what do you know, I was always very tired and forgetful!)
- What gifts do you believe God has given you?
He has given me so many things. I think I just need to make a list…
- My family
- My animals (and my love for them)
- My maturity
- My stubbornness (no, not always a good gift, but one just the same)
- My strength
- My personality (I’m not sure I could stand myself if I was someone else…)
- My talent and my love for that talent (teaching)
- My love of reading
- My business-like approach to my personal life as far as finances, decisions, etc.
- The experiences that I have had in life (and more importantly, the lessons I have learned from them)
- How do you plan to have your gifts work to help your family and friends?
They already are. I am now able to help my family financially. I am able to rescue animals because I have the maturity and finances to be able to support them. God also gave me my unconditional love. I have been influenced in such a positive way by my family and friends; I have “used” that gift to make me the person I am today. I have used my personality to connect with others and touch lives (even in the smallest ways). I could go on and on… Most importantly, I have learned to teach and I am so dedicated to it that I have already been told that I have changed students’ lives. That is the biggest blessing of all, to hear a child say you made their life better.
- What would you like to bring closure to?
It seems to me that this book has asked this question more than once… And again, I would like to say that I need closure with my past relationships (family, ex, and friends). Though the more I live, the more closure I receive.
- What are you most grateful for?
See all of the talents above? Thank you. 🙂