My Spiritual History

not quite amish

I used to go to a church like this. No really, I did. And for a while, my wife and children did too. Were we born into it? No, but there are some Christians that do migrate this way, adopting the practices and culture. These folks in the photo are Conservative Mennonites, cousins to the Amish, and some of the German Brethren. They are sitting down to a nice meal.

As a person of faith, I studied these groups for years, for more than 20 years in fact, before I ever stepped foot in one of their churches. So how did I wind up there?

In addition to studying them, some of my ancestors were Mennonite. I remember my Grandmother telling me about it. But then something happened in our family, that was so life changing, so horrible, that I felt an immediate need to get serious about God. My wife had been having very difficult health problems, serious, then life threatening health problems for a couple of years, and then they found cancer. It was a blood cancer.

So we were people of faith, and yet, we lived with death being close to us every day. For me I was in a constant state of grieving, daily. No one saw it, but it flowed all through me, and there was always a great fear that my wife would die. And not only that, I knew I could die at any moment. Life was not a guarantee.

So I started going to the best type of church I could find, like the one pictured above. I had to get this right! No more fooling around with churches I had been so disappointed with in the past.

But it wasn’t until later, that I realized I had made a terrible mistake. At first my wife was not able to go to any church due to her health. Even after a bone marrow transplant, she was on chemo. And it took a number of years for her to improve to a somewhat normal life.

So it was me and the children going. But when my wife did start attending she didn’t want to be there. It was not her culture, and she would never join. She felt like she didn’t fit in. And our children felt the same way.

And me? I was having a great time. So it took several years for me to realize, or to become aware of, how it was all affecting my family in a negative way. And when it hit me, how they struggled internally, it shattered me. There was more grieving then, but in a different way.

And at the core – I thought I had been doing the right thing. So I backed off my faith, we left there, even though we still keep in touch with some of the people. They are beautiful, loving, family oriented people. And by the way they are against war.

We go to a non-denominational church now, and culturally we fit in. But you know what? There a number of things I don’t agree with, and I’m still disappointed with churches. Maybe that’s why I don’t write about them, and why I often turn to nature for healing. I still do believe though, in the One who made us all.

I wish you peace.

P.S. I’ll post some poetry later today.

  

Writing © Copyright 2017, ancient skies

image by unknown artist 

We Find Ourselves Connected

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Our tragedies don’t always make us better warriors,

don’t always make us stronger

having our wings singed,

and faith pulled forcibly from our hearts.

But we do become more human

as we see our brothers

our sisters, struggling

somehow

we know the scars

as we find ourselves connected

in the fight.

     

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2017, ancient skies