New territory.

March 30, 2009 at 11:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

To begin, thank you for all the good wishes for Baby O. He’s doing MUCH better – his breathing improved enough that by Saturday morning he was zooming around the house, babbling the entire way. He’s still pretty stuffy, so his sleep’s been patchy, but we’re getting through it.


This weekend was my turn to go to church. (J and I alternate most weeks, given that the service is smack dab in the middle of Baby O’s morning nap.)

For the sake of honesty, I’ll tell you something: we started going to church because we sort of felt guilty about being those parents that baptises their child and then disappears. And it’s a good way for us to meet people in our town, since the church is only a couple of doors down.

When we first started going, I joked with J that “except for all the God stuff, the whole church thing is great.” And since I’m being honest, I’ll tell you too – I’ve had J go more often than I do – usually under the guise of “chores” while Baby O naps.

Mostly because for years now, I’ve questioned EVERYTHING. See, I grew up going to church. My grandfather, my favorite person in the whole world, was very involved in his church. He taught me prayers, and stories about Jesus, and took me to his big quiet old church. And I remember it being simple back then – God loved me. End of story.

But then my cousin committed suicide. And someone, of whom I’m SURE meant well, said something at one of her wakes.

“God has a plan for us all.”

And it stuck in my throat. For YEARS.

Because it was bullshit. Amy NEVER should have died. Even to this day, 15 years later, I don’t believe it.

And then my grandfather, my favorite person in the whole world, died not even a year later than Amy did. Apparently that was “God’s plan” too.


“God’s plan” was a cop out, a way for people to feel better about something shitty that was happening to them. It was an empty phrase.

And it never made me feel better.

So here I am now. I’ve been going to church. And when I go, I’ve found it COMFORTING. It’s something about the church. It’s old, and it smells like my grandfather’s old church. And we say the same prayers my grandpa taught me, and sing the same hyms. And it reminds me of a time where faith came SIMPLY for me. God loves me. End of story.

I’m reminded of this simplicity when I look at Baby O nowadays. He’s fast turning into a toddler. When he’s happy? He nearly glows with it. When he’s not? Tantrum.

With him right now, it’s simple. Block him from doing something he wants to do, like play in the cat’s water dish, and we hear it.

Give him a wooden spoon and plastic bowl to play with? He shines.

There’s no questioning. There’s no agenda. (Not yet anyway.) It’s simple. He’s happy. Or not.

And as I was sitting in church this week, it struck me. Faith is like being Baby O. It’s SIMPLE. It means you have to let go of the questions, of the need to know. That desire to have a crystall ball, the questioning of your choices, the inability to make a choice because you’re not sure what’s best.

And I saw how people find religion a comfort in times of struggle. Because it means you can let go. And trust that someone will take care of you.

I’m not sure I can ever go back to that place, that child-like trust of God.

But I can tell you that the more I go to church, the more I want to believe it IS as simple as that.

God loves me. End of story.



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  1. I like this post.

    You know, I’m not sure I go with the “God’s plan” thing, either. I think that God knows what you will do before you do it, knows your whole life, but what about free will? What about a fallen world? What of all that? Is God’s plan for a murderer to kill someone? For a thief to take from an elderly woman? For someone to struggle with infertility? Not sold there. But what I do believe is that even when bad things happen, great things can come from them if you find a way to work with God through it. A person whose son is murdered might start a support group, an infertile might share her story with others in need, or adopt a foster child. You know?

    Good luck with your faith. 🙂

  2. Serenity, you certainly have a way with words. And getting right to the heart of the matter. I loved this post. I just loved it. I might print it and re-read it. It makes so much sense to me.

  3. This is a beautifully written post. And you hit it on the head – faith is simple. Difficult to have, but very simple. I’m not sure about the “plan” bit – I think that borders on trying to explain, which is not really the stuff of faith, which is maybe where it jarred with you (that’s true for me). Anyway. Lovely post.


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