Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I wonder as I wander

I guess I have never really explained my religious background or current position of truth and understanding on this blog. I must have assumed that some how, everyone in the world knew who I was. Hah! I obviously am wrong (and honestly not that self-centered) so I will gladly retell my story.

My Madre (mother, but I always say it in Spanish) was raised in the Catholic Church, but then when she lived on her own, stopped going. When I was 6 years old, I asked my parents if they would start taking me to church! (What kind of crazy kid asks if they can go to church?) So, my mom started to take me to the Catholic Church that my grandparents where attending. When I was 8, I was concerned because I was almost at the age where one in the Catholic faith makes there First Holy Communion, but I had not yet been baptized. So, I asked one of the Deacons, Deacon Bob whom I had really loved but died when I was in high school from Diabetes, if I could get baptized. (This kid just gets weirder and weirder). I was baptized at 8 years old, First Holy Communion I made at 9 years of age and then joined the Church coir when I was about 11. I stayed faithful with my church activities, Coir, CCD, youth group, until it was my second year of Confirmation. I had a choice: be confirmed in the Catholic Church in 6 months, or venture out of my comfort zone and make for absolutely positively sure, that the Church I wanted to belong to, was in fact the Catholic Church.

Not really knowing about other faiths, or what was even out there, I at 16 found myself going nuts! There are so many churches, and how do you know what was what? So I took the Apostles Creed and started asking friends on the school bus (of all places) if they believed in the same thing I believed.

I was chatting with one boy, who I knew to be deeply religious and asked him if he believed in all the things the creed proclaimed. He said he did, except for the part about the Church and the Pope. I thought to myself, well that’s cool, he’s not Catholic, maybe I could get him to come to church with me….We then started dating. A couple months into the relationship, we both agreed that he would come to my church one Sunday, if I went to his Church. I went, I saw, I fell in love….

This brings me to my next chapter of religious experience. My 3 ½ years in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka the Mormons. What a mess I had gotten myself into. One day I was sitting on the bus wanting to convert some boy to my religion and he ends up converting me! The Mormons are really into genealogy and family history. I had never met my grandmother on my fathers side so I started to do some research. I found out that my grandmothers side of the family where original pioneers of the LDS Church and held high positions in establishing its existence! I thought for sure that I had found my place and my ancestors where proud of me……

OK, this is a very long story, lets make it shorter….boy was an asshole, girl realized that and broke up with him last year at this exact time. Leaving the LDS church was the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life……But, I have grown immensely from the experience and am very happy for it. I learned valuable lessons, made life long friends, and have even figured out what I want to do with my life. Well sort of. I want to be a minister, I have obviously been strangely drawn to religion all my life and it has been a major part of who I am. I am not sure what kind of ministry I want to do yet and I am not sure what Church I want to belong to but I do know that with my LDS experience and help from friends I know I will eventually find the right church for me.

No matter what, I will always hold to the Catholic Church because it’s what I grew up with. Also, living in New Mexico it’s a large part of the culture and there is no getting away from it even if you tried. I love the familiarity of it, the art work, music, rituals…but girls can’t be priests, I like boys way to much to be a nun and I honestly do not agree with all the doctrine.

So that’s my story, hope it clarifies some questions, ellipses marks means there are other stories within the story but I don’t feel like writing a novel and I am sure whoever is reading this wouldn’t want to read a novel :-) I am now getting my bachelors in Religion and in History and I am currently trying to find a church that I can be a minister in, then it is off to grad school for a MA Div. and then seminary.

Blessings!
Jen


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