Still Trying to Believe

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my faith, you can read the beginning here and here.  It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about my feelings on this topic but a King of the Hill episode sparked it up again for me.  I know, King of the Hill right?  It’s the one where Bobby goes to a new church group who happen to be skaters but are rejoicing and praising the Lord all the time.  Anyways, it brought a discussion between me and my husband.  He’s a believer, always has been. He prays, he knows the bible, he has faith.  I, on the other hand, am still trying to find my way, which seems to be taking longer that I thought it would  Not that I knew how long it might take or would be a simple fix or anything. I guess I just thought I’d “get it” sooner than later.

It’s funny how far I have come though.  From not believing and even almost hating the thought of it all to wanting it so bad…..after all, how could He allow such bad things to happen to people, my mom, to me.   That’s how I thought anyways.  I don’t think like that now but I do still have a hard time with believing.  I was sitting around the other day thinking about all the people I’m surrounded by on and offline and it occurred to me that pretty much every single person I knew is a true believer, a follower of God.  My very closest friends online are all close to Him.  My “in real life’ friends have the same feelings and relationship.  It makes think He’s trying to tell me something you know?

One of my old, very good friends always knew the right things to say that made me want to believe in God.  She was one of the first people who really tried to help me understand, help me accept, and help me trust Him but I was still so damaged at that time.  If only she hadn’t given up on me……..

Me and my husband; I asked why if he had any idea why it was so hard for me to believe.  Why, if I really wanted to, would I have such a hard time accepting Him into my life.  Keep in mind, this is a conversation that we’ve never had.  He just looked at me and said, “Have you ever read the Bible Lori?”.  I instantly said no of course ’cause I hadn’t.  He said, “Well maybe you should.”.  End of discussion for the most part.  I immediately started crying.  In fact, any time I’m spoken to about God, the bible or whatever, I start crying. What does that mean?  I mean why does it make me cry like that!

Truth be told, I feel as though I’m damaged goods.  I’ve experienced some things, seen some things I wish I hadn’t, and seen good people “go” when I don’t feel it was there time and I guess deep down I’m still mad…but mostly feel undeserving.  I don’t mean that as a pity thing either. I mean, I truly don’t feel deserving some times, well, most times.   Deserving of what you ask?  I don’t know…of anything I suppose. Of some good things that happen to me, of Him, even of Love I reckon.

At this point, and maybe it’s the age, but I feel like I need to step it up.  I need to try a little harder.  I’m not ready for Jesus talk and I’m not ready for church or throwing my hands in the air yelling thank ya Jesus.  I am, however, ready to read the bible.  I have asked God for help previously and even though it is a slow process, I feel like he’s doing his part. He’s surrounding me with loving people who believe in Him, and me.  I have no doubt that I’ll find my way. It may be next week, it may be next year but I will.  I’m just thankful for the friends that have been honest with me and haven’t given up on me.  I’m thankful for their patience with my self-doubt.  I’m thankful to Him for introducing them to me and while I may have originally started blogging to make money, I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t part of His plan for me and my journey to find Him.

Happy Easter Everyone.

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Comments

  1. 1


    Bobbi Janay says

    I understand where you are coming from, I am coming back to God after straying from his light for a number of years. The bible is not an easy read by any means but I wish you the best of luck with it.

  2. 2


    Kristie says

    Thanks for your transparency. I’ve felt like this at times too. When you mentioned feeling like “damaged goods” it reminded me of another post I read recently that is so true.

    http://cantcookalick.blogspot.com/2010/03/damaged-goods.html

    Hopefully you’ll be encouraged by this post.
    ~Kristie
    .-= Kristie´s last blog ..Blockbuster Movie Night GiveawayOrville Redenbacher Presto Hot Air Popper =-.

  3. 3


    Tasha says

    The awesome thing about God is that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you can come to him. And you don’t have to sit in Church every Sunday until you “get it”. Sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car. God knows your heart, He sees your struggle, He feels your pain. He knows you are trying, He knows when you will get there. Remember, He is your Father. Think of how you are with your kids. Nothing they do or don’t do can separate them from your love. You feel their pain but sometimes you have to let them learn lessons through the pain. You can’t protect them from everything. I hope you find peace in your journey. Enjoy it, seriously, enjoy every minute of it. One day it will be worth it.

    • 4


      A Cowboy's Wife says

      I love what you said…HOW you said it. I can put myself in that position and then see His position in that way. Thank you for helping to give me a little bit of clarity Tasha and for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

    • 5

      “Sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car. ”

      Somehow, I heard this 20 odd years ago and it made no impact. I read it just now, and it did. Thank you.
      .-= Lucretia M Pruitt´s last blog ..Another Top 10 Tips to Survive & Thrive at SXSWi =-.

  4. 6


    angie says

    Hi Lori -
    I think each person comes into their own belief or spirituality in their own way and time. When you are open to it, it will come in the right form for you. You may not find it in the Bible or in a church. It may just come from things you see or hear, or ideas that open a new area of interest for you.

    Personally, I have been exploring lots of Hay House materials lately. A simple affirmation such as “I am open to receiving the good things that are happening in my life” can be the start of a positive outlook.

    The people who might say someone has the wrong kind of belief or isn’t “enough” are the ones that are really missing the point. You may come to believe that the sacrifice of Jesus frees you of any feelings of unworthiness. Or simply that everyone is deserving of love and acceptance, no matter what they have done or experienced in the past. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to believe.

    Good luck on your quest. Namaste.
    Angie

    • 7


      A Cowboy's Wife says

      Thank you Angie. I definitely think trying to tell myself positive things is a great start…also a hard start. While I many times want to proud of something, some times I feel like I’m still looking or even waiting for something or someone to tell me it’s not that big of deal, even though noone ever does that, it’s just in my mind.

  5. 8


    tzigane says

    great post. very introspective, thought provoking and well written. don’t really have anything else to say except will be praying for you. Happy Easter to you and your family!
    .-= tzigane´s last blog ..Ugh =-.

  6. 9

    I know that took much courage to write. I am a Christian and I believe, but like you, I still struggle with some things…some of the things you mentioned, as a matter of fact. I work in a Christian bookstore, so if I can help you find any books to help you along, don’t hesitate to ask. I have learned from experience that you might want to try a different Bible translation that King James…it’s such formal language, not that I don’t think you can’t hack it, just that some translations are so much simpler to grasp the big picture and then go back to King James for further reading. A good study Bible or Bible commentary can be helpful, too.

    You WILL find your way. I don’t doubt this for one minute.
    .-= Mandy@Mommy Cracked´s last blog ..Workin’ at the Carwash =-.

    • 10


      A Cowboy's Wife says

      I bought an ESV Bible Mandy with a reading outline that Arianne gave me. My boys have already started reading it since Christmas…just not me yet. Easter is a good day to start though.

  7. 11

    And I just wanted to add….there is a BIG difference in religion and relationship. What Tasha wrote above is so true. Seek a relationship…that’s all that matters.
    .-= Mandy@Mommy Cracked´s last blog ..Workin’ at the Carwash =-.

  8. 12


    trisha says

    Lori,

    its really hard for people to believe in something they cant see. But as mothers we know our children are growing inside of us…even though we cant see them. We feel them when they are gone at school, we have these instincts that just tell us things about family-even when they are not there. Sometimes God has to be the same way. You just have to know.

    I look around at the world and i think how can someone *not* believe. Life is just breathing in all things. Sit and watch the grass for awhile and see the entire world that goes on under our feet. Its absolutly breathtaking.

    Believing in God doesnt mean believing that bad things dont happen to good people, or that we dont make mistakes, or that unexplained deaths and terrible tragedies wont happen. The bible does not take destruction away, its all about choice.

    If i could tell you any book to read, start with The Shack. Its written by a father who questioned his own faith when his daughter was kidnapped by a serial killer. Its a book, religious or not, that puts things into perspective. And the story is non-fiction.

    If you read the bible, pick up an edition that allows discussion on one side because the bible is dry.

    :-)

    i wish you luck on your journey.

    Trisha
    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Cropped sweaters: Winter to Spring =-.

    • 13


      A Cowboy's Wife says

      Thank you for the recommendation Trisha. I just made the purchase. I’m open to any reads that might help me. You give me things to think about, as always.

    • 14


      Claire says

      The Shack is a very moving book, but I just wanted to throw in here that it is fiction. It was not the author’s intent to make people think it was a true story, but that is a common misconception.

      http://windrumors.com/2007/08/is-the-story-of-the-shack-trueis-mack-a-real-person/

      Cowboy’s Wife, I came across this blog post by googling “trying to believe in God,” because that’s what I’m doing. I appreciate your openness here.

  9. 15


    trisha says

    Here you go…read this before the bible.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shack-William-P-Young/dp/0964729237/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270386057&sr=8-1

    And no, thats not an affiliate. Im not that tacky. LOL
    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Cropped sweaters: Winter to Spring =-.

  10. 16

    I think another important point is that you haven’t given up on yourself, or God. That’s wonderful. A word of caution, when you do read the Bible, the Old Testament can be difficult to read. Like any good parent God often had to punish his wayward children. But don’t give up because once you reach the New Testament you will truly be able to see our need for a savior and the true blessing and sacrifice that was Jesus. It may help to read it with a group, I’m finishing up my first time through the Bible with the #B90Days (Bible in 90 Days) group and they have been immensely helpful to shed light on things I didn’t understand.

    As for the tears, that is your soul’s reaction to the beautiful Truth your mind hasn’t been able to absorb yet.
    .-= Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy´s last blog ..Who Are You Looking For? =-.

    • 17


      A Cowboy's Wife says

      Love the explanation of the tears. I believe that to be an accurate statement Cheryl. *deep sigh*

  11. 18


    Dee says

    Lori…..God is putting people and situations in your life and everything is in His timing. He doesn’t work on our time line but His. Everyone goes through doubts, even believers have moments when they question, that’s us being human.

    As for the crying, I find I cry whenever I hear God speaking to me. It could be coming through the voice of another person, a song, something I’ve read or that little voice in my head but I get this overwhelming feeling that IT’S bigger than me.

    As for not being deserving. When Christ came he didn’t go to the rich, the privileged or the best of the best. He went among the thieves, prostitutes and the poor. Those were the ones society shunned and felt weren’t deserving.

    You’ll be in my prayers.

    Dee
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Pride =-.

  12. 19


    Dee says

    As for the recommendation to read The Shack. It’s a very powerful, touching story. You’ll laugh, cry and go through just about every emotion and some you didn’t know existed.

    Having heard form one of the publishers of the book it was a story the author told his children and his wife told him he should put it in writing for them. He wrote the book and had 6 copies made. He gave a copy to a friend to read who gave it to someone in the publishing business who didn’t really want to read it. The publisher was encouraged to just read 10 minutes of it and once he did he read the entire book. He wanted to know what the author’s plans were and was told, nothing, it’s for his kids. They decided to publish it but couldn’t get a publishing company to back it since it was too “controversial” They decided to self publish and sell it themselves. From the back of their cars they sold millions of copies in a very short period of time. That had to be God at work, He had a story he wanted to get out there and He made it happen.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Pride =-.

    • 20


      A Cowboy's Wife says

      Thank you Dee. I did buy it. I appreciate your words and taking time for me. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  13. 21

    Hey Lori,
    Great post! Sharing your honest search can help others as much as it will help you. I believe you’re “spot on” that God is trying to tell you something. The bible says that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).

    I think you mentioned something to the effect of how could bad things happen to good people? Well, consider this. God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ (who is God too- one-third of the Trinity) to be born in human flesh, experience every temptation known to man (Hebrews 4:14-16) to which he never succumbed (He was God too!). He was humiliated. Then he was unjustly condemned and died a horrible crucifixion death (because the only payment God would accept for our sins was the shed blood of a perfect Lamb). Yeah, we don’t all understand it, but it had to be done. He was buried, but 3 days later He rose from the dead having conquored sin and death.

    Romans 6:23 says For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    When we repent of our sinful selfish ways (that doesn’t mean we’ll be perfect) and turn to Christ in belief and accept His offered gift of forgiveness by His death, burial, resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ- we become a new creature. All things are passed away… eternal life starts now for us because our once dead spirit has been born-again in Christ. As a result we will live with God in heaven after we die.

    Sorry if I’m being too preachy. I hope I’m making sense, just trying to help ;) Many bad things happen to us because of sin. It wasn’t meant to be that way, but we are all under that curse and that is why Jesus had to die for us. OH, theres so much I could share with you! But I’ll stop here.

    I’ll be praying for you.
    .-= Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms´s last blog ..Great Freebies…Heavenly Information. =-.

  14. 22


    Cat says

    Something you said up there really struck me, in fact shocked me. “any time I’m spoken to about God, the bible or whatever, I start crying. What does that mean? I mean why does it make me cry like that!”

    That is me! I’ve never understood why, maybe too many painful feelings talking about God but anytime a discussion about God/Jesus goes on I get emotional, upset even and I can’t place my finger on why, so I avoid the topic. I don’t like to cry in front of anyone and especially for a reason that I can’t explain.

    These days, I’m not religious, spiritual, whatever it may be called. But I wasn’t always like that. I use to spend hours talking with my dad about Jesus, bits of the Bible, and praying. I prayed every single night. And I prayed one last time, while sitting in the waiting room to get an ultrasound after my doctor couldn’t find my son’s heartbeat. I prayed so hard those two hours. Then my life came crashing down on me. My son had died, God failed me and I became lost. I’m still lost. I’m not even sure I’m willing to try to find my way anymore. I still hold onto a lot of anger and resentment. I know WHY it happened, I know that some may call it God’s PLAN, but it doesn’t make it any less painful. Had my son not died, I wouldn’t have conceived Mattison, I wouldn’t have married Jon and had 2 more beautiful children, at least not these children. I see the plan, I see the meaning behind his death, but it still hurts. For me, God wasn’t there when I need him most. For something so all powerful and loving, none of this makes sense. You don’t let the people you love die, you don’t let them feel this deep of pain.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..Orange Marbled Cake with a Citrus Glaze Recipe =-.

    • 23


      Kathy Stafford says

      Cat, I know you feel that God let you down, but I know He was sitting right there beside you when you heard the grim news … loving you …weeping with you. The Bible says, “In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” (Isaish 63:9)

      Please don’t think I’m minimizing your pain; losing a child is an inconceivable pain. I do know what it feels like, because I lost four infants to miscarriage, and it hurt so badly, but the “God of Second Chances” gave me three beautiful little girls to love. I’m so sorry about your baby boy. Remember that God knows what it feels like because He, too, experienced the death of His Son. Those times we feel that God isn’t there or that God doesn’t hear us are exactly the times He is carrying us through our pain.

      May God bless and minister to you in your pain.

  15. 24


    Jenn says

    The Bible is hard to read, at least it is for me. The New King James version is the hardest for me partially because of the language used. I like the New International Version (NIV). It’s written in more of plain english approach. You might also find it easier to read and understand it if you were to read it with one of your friends (like a book club). You guys can read so much of it then get together one night and discuss it over food and drinks.

    Anyway, it’s just a suggestion. I pray you find your own path in His time! He knows your heart whether you realize it or not and that’s half the battle!

    Happy Easter and God Bless!
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Strut Your Stuff Saturday =-.

  16. 25


    Laura says

    It sounds like you are where many are. But, you seem to be doing what you need to, and that’s listening. Stay on the journey. It will change as you go, and it will take your lifetime. I always hope that I’m paying enough attention to notice that those changes are meant to be! Good luck to you. God IS living in you and blessing you on your own journey.

  17. 26

    Happy Easter Lori. ((hug))

    You are not, as you said “damaged goods” — any more than we all are. Those who lead a life without trials? I do not know any. If life were without those challenges? We would already be in paradise. Our lives are filled with the good AND the bad. It is how we grow.

    You will find your path – but you will find it in your time, one step at a time.

    Love to you!! ((hug))
    .-= Lucretia M Pruitt´s last blog ..Another Top 10 Tips to Survive & Thrive at SXSWi =-.

  18. 27


    Angie says

    Hey Lori!

    I read your other two posts and I’m totally with you. I grew up in a Catholic church which left me jaded. Everything I had read in the Bible was not what I was hearing in church. Things were added and distorted and just the whole “Catholic” thing didn’t help. I was a teen then and I decided I wanted no parts of church or God. I went on until I was about 21 and was in an abusive relationship, going through all kinds of things, and I prayed so Hard one night. I was 8 months pregnant and the child’s father kept running around on me, disappearing for days, spending his earnings on drugs and alcohol. I prayed, please, God, show me the Way. Show me if I am to stay with this man or not. I know it might sound stupid, but He gave me my answer. My boyfriend was there that day, but left that night, and I told him if he left, that was it. He left. I didn’t see him for a week. By the time he came back I was “over him” but kept him around because I was about to have his baby! Finally, when the baby was 3 months old, I left him. I don’t attend church regularly, but I try to live right and treat people right. I live by the Golden Rule. I pray. Alternatively, I sin. Daily. But I know, from those prayers I prayed over 10 years ago, that God is in my life and has made changes in my life. I’d love to share my story with you – I can’t blog it because it’s just too personal. I also know that I’ve seen many people hurt or die too young and it hurts and you just ask WHY but they say that you will have those moments, but to keep the faith, so that’s all I can do.

    I also need to pray more now. I’m in a rough spot right now and I really need His guidance. I’ve been praying but it’s hard, because WE always want what WE want, and we sometimes don’t see that’s what HE’s putting in our lives as the answer, but I’m hoping when I see it, I know…

    Have you started reading the Bible yet? Not that that will sway you either way – turn on TLC, History, or Discovery and you just might see a show talking about the books left out of the Bible – like one on today. It’s hard to discern the truth from lies. I only hope that there truly is a God and that too much wasn’t left out of the Bible… but that’s another story for another day.
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Tip Junkie Spring Fling =-.

  19. 28


    Zippy says

    I think that this is something that so many of us struggle with. I was born Jewish and that’s how I identify myself to others, yet there are more times that not that I’m not sure WHAT I am or if I even believe.

    The best I can tell you is that my belief system ebbs and flows, and maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. The ONLY thing that I regret is having brought my son up without any religion in his life.
    .-= Zippy´s last blog ..Caribbean Cruising….. =-.

  20. 29

    He just wants you. All of you. Not the cleaned up you. You right now. Talk to Him, listen. Spend time doing that, not just 5 or 10 min. Prayer is the #1 thing that will show you His presence. The bible will teach you His truths, and why His sacrifice is proof that none of us was deserving, but that He loves us so much He fixed that problem.

    Love you and love that the boys are reading! :)
    .-= To Think Is To Create´s last blog ..Loss And Resurrection =-.

  21. 30


    Sheena says

    My offline friends and many online believe and sometimes I feel like the oddball. I’m not a bad person. I’m just no “into” that stuff. I don’t want to “fit in” just because. If I’m gonna be religious it’s because I want to and feel it. Sometimes I want to participate in church stuff because they do fun things, but I don’t want to have to pray and use religious lingo. I believe in “blessings” but I don’t use the word in a religious sense. I know I’m blessed or “appreciative of such luck”. I do understand where you’re coming from. Happy belated birthday :).
    .-= Sheena´s last blog ..A Simple Easter =-.

  22. 31


    Lauralee Hensley says

    That feeling that you’re damaged goods doesn’t come from the Lord. Condemnation is not from the Lord. It is a lie of the Devil Satan to make us feel unworthy of the Lord’s love. The Lord loves everyone, no matter what they’ve done. He can forgive it all.
    As for bad things happening to good people. God doesn’t make the bad come our way. He hasn’t made us robots, nor the people around us robots. He gives each man, woman and child free will. So that means what they do are their choices. Unfortunately some of us get caught in bad choice making people’s snares.
    In the Bible it says it rains on the just and the unjust. That means if the rain is so bad it can cause a flood non-followers land and drown their crops, it could do the same to the followers of God. It also means if the rain is a good rain and causes the crops of the followers of God to grow and multiply, it could do that to the non-followers of God’s crops too. Basically meaning we shouldn’t love God and Jesus Christ for what they can do for us on this earth right here and now, because it all has already been done for us through the birth, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should
    love them because if we ask for forgiveness of our sins and for Jesus Christ to become our Lord of our lives, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and will come into our open hearts.
    It won’t mean you know or understand everything immediately after Jesus comes into your heart.
    Most believers will tell you they are still learning and that they learn something new each time they read the Bible.
    Reading the Bible before accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior will bring many questions to your mind and soul. However once you accept his freely given gift then you pray for God to give you understanding of the words you are reading in his word (The Bible) and alot of those questions begin to get answered. Not all at once. Yet, more and more each day and year.
    Once again, you are not damaged goods in the eyes of God, just like you are not damaged goods in the eyes of your husband.

  23. 32


    Lauralee Hensley says

    Above I meant to type cause a flood on, sorry I left out the word on.

  24. 33


    Dana j says

    I Love this post! I believe in some level we all are struggling with our faith, just at different levels.

    I struggled with my faith two and half years ago when my daughter at the age of 3 was diagnoised with cancer. Like you I couldn’t understand why bad things happen to innocent little children. But my faith became stronger and is still growing.

    I second reading the Shack. It’s a great read and it really does kind of get you thinking. Also, if you have a local bible church I would suggest a intro bible study. Here in Irving, TX Irving Bible Church has some great classes for those that just want to learn more. The bible is really hard to study on your own (Old Test. is kind of dry..) and it really helps to have folks to discuss it with, especially as a new/early believer.

    As for bibles, I LOVE my Life Appliation Study Bible (New Living Translation, NLT). It’s written in today’s language and has great foot notes to give more xplaination on what was written (I like the red letter version, where what Jesus has said is in red). The other translation that I’ve heard is good but I haven’t purchased yet, is the Message, which is written really in even more modern language.

    Good luck with your quest. Don’t be discouraged. Seek out guidence, help and ask questions all the time. I think it is so wonderful that you’ve posted this. you’re human and frankly it’s hard to believe in something you can’t “see.”
    .-= Dana j´s last blog ..Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme =-.

  25. 34


    Angie says

    Lori, I will be praying for you. I haven’t fully read all of the comments above, but there is a lot that makes total sense. None of us deserve any good that comes our way (and according to the Bible, every good and perfect gift is from the Father above). We all deserve to die, because of our sin, but God made a way for us to not have to take the punishment for our sin…through Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus took our sin upon His own back, and God turned HIS back on His own Son because of all the ugliness of MY sin. I grew up in church, but did my own thing for a long time. I pursued SO many things to try and fulfill my sense of entitlement and happiness. Alcohol, sex, shopping, even getting pregnant! I thought “If only I could just ____________, then I’ll be happy.” But there is nothing on this earth, and no person on this earth who can fulfill every one of our needs and desires. Only Christ can fulfill. I know that it takes many people a long time to come to this realization. It has taken me a long time, and I grew UP knowing the Bible and knowing God. Even as an adult, I expected that my wonderful and Godly husband would fulfill my needs. I expected things to be wonderful because I was finally doing things right. I expected that we would have no problem getting pregnant, because we were married and “doing things right in the eyes of God”. But God had other plans for us…plans for us to just trust Him, and realize that He is ultimately in control of all things, even though He HAS given us a free will. His plans are perfect, His timing is perfect. I can only see this in hindsight, having gone through everything that has gotten me to this point. My life is not perfect, but it is GOOD, because of Christ and what He did for me. I still sin, I still have problems, I still stress out and don’t trust God when there’s a “mini-crisis”, but He has promised to be with me all the way, so I’m leaning on Him.

    I will DEFINITELY be praying for you! God is so good, and so faithful, and loves you more than anyone ever has or ever will. Even more than you could ever think about loving your husband and kids. :-)

  26. 35


    chrystal says

    It’s okay you have so many questions, it means you want to learn more about yourself. I would say we’ve all seen things and done things we shouldn’t, that’s part of being human. We screw up and he knows that. My belief is that if you are sorry for the things you’ve done and want forgiveness, all you have to do is ask.

    I’m so glad you and Roster talked about it all. It’s so good that you are able to share everything with your spouse. I think that’s what makes strong couples.

    On the church part, I’ll tell you right now, I’m a believer and I think I’m a good Christian for the most part, or at least try to be. I’m not in church very often and I think that’s okay. It doesn’t matter when I talk to God or praise God or thank God, just as long as I do it. I can do that any time and any where I want.

    I’m glad you are continuing your search for knowledge and I’m glad you’re talking about it.

    Read the Bible, see what you think and see what you learn.

    Love ya girl!

  27. 36

    Congratulations, in seeking God, you’ve already gone further than plenty of people.

    I would highly recommend Purpose Driven Life. It helped me go from growing up in church but feeling guilt and shame over things I like about myself to beginning to understand my own faith.

    It was hard for me being a kid in church learning that God hates divorce and being a child of divorce. It confused me about who I was in relation to God. I know you had a complicated relationship with your father, so I would recommend skipping to Song of Solomon – it’s one of the oldest and best erotic poems in the world but also meant to be about God and each of us. Passionate love and longing that goes both ways. I have an easier time due to my background understanding the unconditional love and acceptance of my husband as a metaphor for my relationship with God then I do with seeing it in my complicated relationships with my father and step-father. The God I believe in knows everything about me and loves me anyway. I can’t say the same about my biological father because I don’t know him well at all.

    The God I believe in didn’t send bad things into my life. He gave me the strength to survive the bad things that happen. I struggle with prayer and being involved in church. I struggle with cultural issues involving Christians. But my internal relationship with God is something I don’t question. I suspect once you read the Bible for yourself, you will understand what I’m talking about.
    .-= Tina Kubala´s last blog ..Radar: A Poem =-.

  28. 37

    ToThinkIsToCreate is absolutely right, Lori. He wants you the way you are. He loves you the way you are. It’s not important to HIM that you clean yourself up. :) Truth is, we can’t ever get clean enough without Him – and we’ll wear ourselves out trying. It’s FREEING to simply trust Him to take care of YOU, to take care of EVERYTHING. Doesn’t mean it’s EASY, but oh, Lori, is it ever worth it.
    I HIGHLY recommend you try reading John first. John tells us that he is writing the story so you can BELIEVE. Sound familiar? :)
    And for goodness’ sakes, don’t read in KJV. It’s pretty and all, but it can get really difficult trying to understand what the heck it means! LOL! I’d recommend something easy, a translation you can really understand. You’re not reading to study it. :) You’re reading to hear what God’s saying to you!
    If you ever need to talk, Lori, I know you’ve got a LOT of friends who are believers – but I’m offering, too. I’m praying for you – and I care!

  29. 38


    Karin says

    Awe Lori! That’s one of the amazing things about God! He’ll meet you where you are! We’re all sinners and there is nothing we can do to earn His love…it’s a gift! And getting to know Him is a journey that takes us all a lifetime and the fact that you are seeking HIm thrills Him!

    I love the wonderful comments you’ve received here. God has surrounded you with wise women and these types of conversations are fellowship at it’s best!

    Remember too, that Christianity is not a religion…it’s a relationship!

  30. 39


    Dorene says

    Lori,

    I read this post the other day and set it aside, knowing I would come back to it and comment at some point. Thank you for your honesty, for your willingness to put yourself out there. There are a couple of things that make me think that God IS working in you already.

    First of all, you are questioning your faith (or lack thereof). You are seeking answers within, and from others. You are opening yourself up to others on line and because of your willingness to ask the questions, to seek the answers, etc. you are allowing others to see that it’s okay to be vulnerable, to question our faith, to seek the answers as well.

    One thing you said was “One of my old, very good friends always knew the right things to say that made me want to believe in God. She was one of the first people who really tried to help me understand, help me accept, and help me trust Him but I was still so damaged at that time. If only she hadn’t given up on me……..” My comment to you was that perhaps your friend did NOT give up on you…maybe you all stopped talking or she stopped trying to help you understand, but perhaps, she kept praying for you and for God to work IN you. I know that has happened to me before, where you don’t talk about your faith with others who are not quite ready, but you plant the seed and allow God to work in them.

    I honestly believe that God IS working in your Lori. How else could you be at this point in your life. I am sure your husband prays for you, and for God to show you the way. Every person who is a Christian should have a personal relationship with God. It’s not necessarily about being in a church every Sunday (although we are supposed to be among other believers). It is about your relationship and walk with him as well.

    I will pray for you as well…God HAS opened your eyes and heart . Be patient with yourself. You are taking baby steps and VERY deserving of His love. You are an inspiration to me and have made ME think about how I take my Christian walk as well.

  31. 40


    terrejo says

    It is so funny how God has some things come full circle. I am somewhat new to the blogging world. During one of my many searches I ran across your blog and an article about a childs death you have wrote about. If was one of the first blogs I ever left a comment on. Well, I’m sorry to say that I haven’t visited your blog since then. However, I vaugely remember your blog’s name (mainly b/c my daughter is a super horse fan). Today after dropping my children off at Sunday School I went to the store to buy the Sunday paper (for the coupons of course) and there on the Walmart add was YOUR blog comment and your picture. I thought during my blogging time I needed to check out your sight again. Funny, how I ran across your site again and your struggle with learning to let God love you. I also was going to request the book “the Shack” to you and noticed another reader already had. It is a definate great read that helped me understand more of human nature vs God’s plan for us. One of my preacher’s one time told me that God has a plan for you however, He is a gentleman and He only makes the plan we have to implement into our lives. It is hard to understand the love of our Heavenly Father. Once I became a parent it was a little easier for me to grasp – imagine loving someone so desperately your want the very best for them. Even the title Heavenly Father took on a new meaning for me when I became a parent. He is the best example of parenting. He love is unconditional!! He knows you and loves you so much that he knows how many hairs are on your head. These are hard things to understand and digest but so freeing when you accept them. Nothing you could do could make Him love you more and nothing you could do could make Him love you less. My walk with Christ is like me – not perfect (not by a long shot) but I feel blessed by writing this to you today. Your blog gave me the opportunity to write and to add you to my prayer list. I know when you are ready to accept Christ his arms will be wide open and you will have a very touching testimony that will reach many. Till then I am praying for you in North Carolina. Thank you!!!

  32. 41


    kim says

    I like this quote: Treat the other man’s faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine. – Henry S. Haskins

  33. 42


    Margo says

    The other option here is that you’re completely normal. Maybe it’s hard for you to believe because it’s a pretty far fetched idea in the first place. Don’t get me wrong- I’m not one to criticize religion or someone else’s beliefs. Whatever brings peace, love and happiness into life is a good thing. Especially if it brings people together.

    But for a lot of people, religion doesn’t mean the same things because we are logical beings by nature. The basic facts are a little hard to swallow. How are we expected to completely accept something that’s inherently riddled with errors and inconsistencies and entwined in the opinions of the time it was created? As every religion from Sun Worship to Christianity has been. But just because you don’t believe in God, doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t believe in being a good person. Or even follow the lessons taught in the bible. They’re good lessons. Especially Jesus- what better role model than one who preaches love and forgiveness? I’m not trying to upset anyone here, I’m just trying to say don’t beat yourself up too much if you haven’t “found Him” yet. If you can find happiness and peace within yourself and others, that’s all anyone is really looking for. It’s okay to feel doubt as long as you’re true to yourself. You’re obviously a beautiful person and I’m sure your husband loves you completely.

  34. 43


    Nana Ellen says

    Hi sweet girl. It’s been awhile since I visited you last. It’s wonderful to see you’re still searching for answers; searching for God. From my point of view, telling someone who’s where you are right now, “maybe you should read the Bible,” is a lot like handing them the keys to the public library and telling them, “The answer you’re looking for’s in there.” Wow! Thanks!
    Lori, I’m far from having all the answers you need, but I’ve been working with young women like you for more than three decades now. Recently, some of the stuff that helped me has been posted in my journal. Right now I’m posting notes from a seminar and Bible Study that has been really effective for new and even non-believers. Maybe it can give you some of the answers you need. Let me know if I can give you some encouragement or a hug.
    .-= Nana Ellen´s last blog ..where am i going – part 1 =-.

  35. 44


    Crystal says

    I understand how you feel. I have always believed in God but did not understand why he let bad things happen to good people. Religion was forced down my throat as a child and teen. When I got older I pushed God away and turned my back on him. It has taken me several years to rebuild the relationship with him. I have come to realize that God gave us free will and some times we don,t always make the best decisions for ourself. But free will is a gift from God. he wants us to choose him freely and not be forced to choose him. I am also all to familiar with the fact that I often feel that I do not deserve Gods love and blessings. But if that were true then he would not have blessed me. i see my blessing every day in my children and my husband. The road that I was on I should have been dead a long time ago. But God had plans for me as he does for you. He has always seen me through. I may not understand his plan for me but he always has a way of steering me in the right direction. But the problem I have is some times I dont always listen when he is speaking to my heart or some times I choose not to listen (free will gone bad) LOL It already sounds like you are on your way to a very good relationship with him. I do go to church some times but I do not believe you have to attend church to have a great relationship with him. I still have a long way to go myself but I have come to realize God loves me no matter what (sinner and all) and will never turn his back on me. I just have to be( willing) to listen to him.
    Crystal

  36. 45


    Shasta says

    Wow! I love your honesty! I still have a hard time understanding how He can love me when I can’t even love myself! Sometimes I feel like I will never be good enough! Amazingly enough He continues to show me that I won’t ever be good enough, but that I don’t have to be!

    If you continue to seek He will continue to change your heart! I know He does mine!

  37. 46


    Nadene Delaney says

    Cowboy’s Lady,

    I may seem to come on strong at times, and if I do “seem,’ just say, “WHOA Dene!.” BUT, I am a serious-about-my-walk-with-God Christian.
    Do I believe? You betcha. Am I a holy roller? Nah. I wasn’t ‘born again” until I was 33 years old (I’m 63 now). It’s been a very long walk, but
    it’s always been worth it. I have not attended church in about a year now (different stories about this part), but it has not stopped how I love
    and believe in a truly faithful God. Also, FYI, nothing surprises me about people, I was raised in D.C. – okay? I was delivered from lots. It’s not about “religion” it’s about faith, hope and mostly love; it’s about relationship (just like your marriage). If you ever need a friend or someone to talk
    seriously to, you’ve got my email addy, and you can know that I’m dead serious about being honest and loving ~ it’s the way HE made me
    and I’m glad for these blessings. .
    Big Hugs,
    Nadene (or Dene)