Monday, May 7, 2012

Religion and Faith

Religion has never played a role in my life.  I didn't grow up "as" anything. 

Towards the end of elementary school my step-mom tried to get our family to go to church regularly.  It didn't work.  In middle school I can remember going to church with a friend from my neighborhood.  I enjoyed going with her to youth group on Wednesday evenings and even went to a retreat with her one summer in middle school.  I had fun and do recall becoming very emotional and upset during the presentation of Jesus dying for our sins.  I'm sure I continued attending church with her family after that, but eventually we entered high school and soon after parted as friends.  The older I became the less I cared about religion.  As an adult I'm still unsure what my beliefs even are!  (You would think I could have figured that out by now.) 

When my oldest child was born I knew that any questions he had would be directed to my friends who have faith and strong beliefs.  The last thing I would want to do is give him wrong information.  And I do want my children to make their own decisions regarding what to believe in.  To succeed in that they will need accurate info.  My older two children actually attended Christian preschools for short times.  Adam for a full school year and Noelle for half.

Despite the fact that I don't claim to "have faith" I greatly admire my friends who do.  I appreciate that they pray for me, that they want me to believe, and that they have such strong faith to ground them.

Maybe, some day, I will too.

This post is inspired by I AM FORBIDDEN by Anouk Markovits. Though not sisters by blood but through their Hasidic faith, Mila and Atara view the rules and structure of their culture differently. Mila seeks comfort in the Torah while Atara searches for answers in secular literature she is forbidden to read. Ultimately each must make an irrevocable decision that will change their lives forever. 

To learn more about the Hasidic faith this book is based in read this post by From Left to Write member Robin of The Not-Ever-Still Life.

Join From Left to Write on May 8 as we discuss I AM FORBIDDEN. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. I think it's very noble of you to direct your kids to your friends with questions about faith. I would have a hard time turning my kids over to others for such information!

    Good luck.

  2. I can completely relate to this. Except that it was always hard to explain how I'm not religious, having been born and baptized Catholic and raised by Methodists who regularly attended Presbyterian churches. I tend to consider myself more spiritual than religious. Like you, I am leaving the religious options open to my children, with guidance and plenty of information.

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey, Charlotte.

  4. I don't claim a faith or religion either. I was raised in a rather strict Catholic family. Go figure.

  5. I tend to agree with Brenda...I too would have a hard time not being the source of faith guidance but at the same time, I admire that you want them to have guidance and not just leave any questions they have unanswered.

  6. I appreciate your openness on this topic. And directing your children to friends with faith is a nice way to compromise.


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