Since I’ve been sick I find myself turning more and more to faith. Before illness I only gave it a passing thought and went through phases of going to church and reading my Bible (love my NIV version!) . When I was growing up, as an only child, I would go to Bible school every summer with my cousins and we had a blast. We went to a small country Southern Baptist Church and we all knew everyone. One of the memories that sticks with me is going to Bible school barefoot, feeling the cool concrete on my feet & drinking too-sweet kool-aid with generic sandwich cookies.
As I grew older, it became “less cool” to go so I stopped. During that time I became very conscious of a particular close family member’s negative opinion of church. Calling other family members “pulpit thumpers” , “Jesus freaks” and other undesirable things. In my late teens I felt the desire to return to my faith and this family member made a point to frequently call me the “church lady”. This REALLY bothered me; I felt singled out and criticized. Eventually I stopped going. I should have ignored her and went on.
Even now, that person and those memories still have an impact on my life and spiritual practices. I’m very defensive in talking with this person about all faith-related topics and try to not bring up the subject at all. It pisses me off that I feel uncomfortable about this part of my life. I’m not sure how I’m going to resolve this part of it.
However, my faith has brought me through many horrible situations and dreadfully hard times. Had I not gotten sick I may not have made the faith-based discoveries and developed the inner sense of peace my faith has given me. I have not yet found a home church to attend in my area and have some sort of odd hesitation toward going. However, it’s next on my list to figure out and I’m excited. Frankly, I would rather be sick and aware of how awesome faith is instead of well and clueless.