This is one of those posts that is hard to write. One that I struggle to put into words what is going through my head and one that can't be totally understood without background information. I didn't grow up in church. I grew up knowing that we were supposed to go to church and going occasionally. I vaguely remember attending various churches over the years, one where my parents were members and visiting others. There were plenty of times that I went to bible school in the summer with different people in our area. I went to friends house after school to learn various Bible related things. In high school, I went to church with friends. After Brady was born, we joined a church not far from our home. A little while after, I started wondering, thinking and then doubting. Doubting my salvation. Watching others and wondering how they can be so dedicated to their faiths, that they would do anything. Wishing that I could be that dedicated, that strong in my beliefs instead of doubting. Knowing that even though their hearts were breaking, they were breaking because of a higher power that I didn't know.
Eventually we fell out of going to our church. We had bought this house, leaving us a good drive to get there. Then came a time when money was scarce. There was no extra for anything and we had to cut back everywhere. Including gas to get to church. Lately we have tried attending a few of the churches closer to us, but I just can't seem to get motivated to get up and go. I have every intention on going Saturday night, but when Sunday morning rolls around, I just can't seem to move.
Belle was invited by our neighbor's child to attend vacation bible school with her a couple of weeks ago. After talking to Hubby about it, we eventually told her she could go and I sent her on her way. Later, she called asking to spend the night there and did. The next day, she came to me with questions about things she had "learned" at bible school. Turns out the kids were taught flat out that if "they weren't saved they would burn in the lakes of...." Yes, I understand the truth to that statement and yes, kids need to know that but when did bible school become about scaring the kids into salvation? Bible school I remember from growing up and helping out with was about singing, learning, crafts. There was nothing in there about fear. Then you get into the kids being saved for the wrong reason and then they are in the same boat I am. Doubting. Lucky for us, Belle came to me with her questions and worries.
What I hate is knowing that I am struggling but am trying to lead my children by raising them in the same situation that I grew up in. So I talk when they have questions and hope they understand. Questions they have that I can't answer immediately go to Hubby (the son and grandson of preachers.) I still can't help but feeling like the fraud that I am. I want my kids to be strong in faith and religion, but yet I am not myself. I am uncomfortable talking about it, but yet don't want my kids to be. Wondering if it's too late for me, if I've stalled to long but wanting to prevent that in my children.
Overall, two weeks later I'm still stunned. How could a church be so irresponsible to scare kids instead of teaching them? I know you're not supposed to ask shoulda, coulda, woulda, but what would've happened if Belle hadn't come to one of us? Now is time for us to decide what our next move is. For us and our family.