Friday, April 22, 2016

Good Intentions

Easter came early this year.  But in leading up to Lent, I was researching churches in my area to figure out which one I'd like to call my spiritual home.  Bummer that I could not find any with a Sunday evening mass, as I am a fan of sleeping in on the weekends.  It is also seems like a good way to end the day at the start of the week.  It takes a little bit of that Sunday dread away, a remnant from my life from teaching (Yes, teachers can have that same sinking feeling as students as the weekend comes to an end and early Monday morning is waiting.).  I scoured the Internet and FB to glean the vibe of the church and if I would fit into its community.  Then I saved the mass schedules and addresses of the churches on the short list.  My plan was to try them out.  T~ has been supportive in saying that he will attend with me, despite us having different faiths.

Just before Lent was kicking into gear, we got up one Sunday morning and went to church.  The building was a bit more modern for my taste and the priest seemed a little full of himself and a little showy.  However, I liked the vibe of the people who attended the church.  They seemed friendly and kind and it had a welcoming family feel.

But at a second glance, I realized just how many families were present and it felt like a really high ratio.  Granted this was a mass that offered Sunday school, but it still felt like a lot.  I started to feel uncomfortable and sad.  It made me realize how differently I had once imagined my life.  I pictured it with children, which would include taking them to church.  Surrounded by children and families made my heart ache.  Yes, maybe T~ and I may one day have a child.  But, it will likely be one...maybe, maybe two.  But it will not be the brood I had once imagined.  It will not be the same.

And I felt that twinge of one day having a large family die.

How I longed for a simple life and not one with all of these complications postponing these dreams of a family of my own.  How so many take it for granted that it all seems to fall into place.  Why has it worked for them and not for me?  How very far away it all feels to me as more and more people my age have finished building their families.  They are in the thick of it, the exhausting thick of it, and I feel like I am missing out.  I continue to be the outsider looking in and missing the dream that will never be.

I feel small for having these feelings.  I am tired of the heartache.  I am over the reminders of what I don't have.  It is especially difficult when I am trying so hard to be strong, to be grateful and to dream new dreams.

So, unfortunately, I have not returned to church.  I have avoided it.  It is hard to be in a place to renew your soul while it is being crushed.  I feel guilty.  I have to stop feeling sorry for myself, refocus on the positive.  It is hard to let go of a dream.

But, maybe it is time to try again.  Maybe I will try a different church this time.  Maybe I'll try a time that does not include the children's mass.

The other big hurdle is going to be getting our marriage validated by the church.  That is a whole other blob of judgment and possible rejection waiting for me.  Ugh.


  1. We tried several churches around the area before we found one that we were comfortable with, for many of the same reasons you listed. Typically we went to St. Albert. It felt traditional and had a variety of family structures. Incarnation was ok. St. Charles was too modern. But for me, I think it was more about losing my faith, because I couldn't understand why our prayers weren't being answered (at least in the manner and time frame i wished). I was going through the motions in my religious practice and so nothing felt right to me. It took a long time for me to allow God to truly direct what was going to happen in our journey before I could go back and really participate in chirch, not just attend. Give yourself the time and space you need. God understands and will always welcome you back.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on the churches in town. It is nice to hear your impressions. I'll have to give St. Albert a try. My gut had a little pause on Incarnation. I hadn't heard of St. Charles, but may give them a try. Modern can be okay for me, depends. I tend to prefer more liberal Catholic Churches, which often have at least one mass with guitar.

      I'm sorry to hear you had some struggles with faith in the past. I believe you are right that God understands and I'm just trying to find my way back. I think I'm more concerned if the people running the church will be as understanding.

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  3. I hope you can find a spiritual home that makes you feel included and supported, not reminded of what is lost or what is not yet but different than you envisioned. Oh, yes, to the Sunday Blues... absolutely that's true for teachers too! It's the anticipation of a week to come, even if you're super excited for the lessons and classes you have planned, I always find that I leave the bulk of my work until Sunday night and am always anxious until I'm in the thick of it. I could see how an evening mass would be a centering thing to start the new week. I hope you find a church that has that.
    The death of a dream is so hard. It's also hard when you don't really know what's in store for you, but you know that it's likely very different than what you envisioned. I think you're so smart to look for a place that doesn't smack you in the face with this loss every time you go.
    Thinking of you and hoping you find your church community!

    1. Thanks for your well wishes to find a church that is a good fit. I can also pay more attention to when it is a children's mass and try to avoid going to that particular one. Thank you for understanding the death of a dream and needing to take the time to process it. My life is different than what I had hoped as a child and evolving to an adult. I guess I've been putting some dreams on pause. But, now that I am married and being in my late forties, they rightfully come to the surface and now I can really grieve them. I have pushed them away for a while as there was no point on being sad about them when more was up in the air and I could be in mild denial. Just letting out the steam to make room fir the new dreams.