Practice For You- Faith Edition

Why I don’t feel guilty anymore about not being able to make it to church every week. Am I Catholic? Yes. Is this just something personal? Yes. Read it and weep or read it and like. All I hope is that maybe this perspective can shed some light on how you or others you know do or do not connect with a “higher power”. I hope this can create some more understanding of other’s beliefs, feels and why it’s okay.

I grew up in a large catholic family in a small catholic town. I went to a catholic elementary and middle school where we went to church during the middle of the week for school and we all made sure we went on Sunday’s with our families. #blessUP

I treasure and appreciate that this was the way I was raised because it introduced me to Jesus and my Faith. Although now as an “adult” (still feel too young/unknowledgeable/little fish big pond to say that without quotes still), I have the autonomy and power to decide how I want to live my life; whether that is going to church or not.

I think this transformation really begins in college when freedom hits you like water from a firehouse- you either go to church because it makes you feel fulfilled, you go because your mom said, you feel guilty if you don’t go or maybe you don’t go at all.

I experienced about every single one of those reasons through my 4 years of college- while I didn’t go all of the time, how often the saying “ohhh yeahhh, I should go to church” came out of my mouth. And it did because I felt guilty for not making the time to go.

And now post -grad life, As I’ve grown, developed, and started to understand myself more, I realized I went to church to check the box of “Yep, went to church” even if I didn’t really get anything out of it. You know what I mean, felt connected and inspired? It’s not because I didn’t listen… but in retrospect I’ve realized it’s because that’s not always how I connect best with God

Then it hit me, I performed the ever so famous self audit on my Faith and asked myself “What is it that makes me feel the happiest and closest to God??”

When some do this audit they may answer when they are in Church, some may answer when they are serving others, and other people might say they feel closest to God when they feel like they have no where else to turn.

I however, realized that I connect best when I am practicing alone or in a smaller setting. And that’s okay because that’s what makes me feel best right now.

I don’t feel guilty anymore about not going to church every week because I’ve realized it’s not how I have the most quality time with Jesus. We all have our own way of practicing our faith.

Some grow up and change religions, some still go to mass every week, some just jam to Christian Rock, and some don’t believe in Jesus and ya know what  – if they are following their heart and being close to a higher power in the way that feels best to them, that’s amazing.

When other’s find a different way to connect and practice their Faith, it should be supported, not criticized.

I’ve realized that I personally like to practice alone and on my own time– I read a daily devotional, I have alarms set on my phone as daily reminders of what I want to pray for or who I want to pray for, I read blogs and posts, and books teaching me about my faith.

I still enjoy going to church but I don’t beat myself up for missing Church on Sunday morning. I’ve found I have more quality time and feel best when I do small acts of reading or praying every day than the one dedicated hour where I’m in church and quite possibly probably day dreaming.

I’ve tried different churches too and maybe someday I will find one that I really connect with ( I do love hearing the message of how I can practice in my life).

I am much closer to God during the past few months that I’ve done this than I have my entire life of going to church once or maybe twice a week.

To be strong in your faith does not mean you need to go to Church. If you want to grow closer to God, Mae We All find a way that works best for us – whether that’s in mass on Sunday, personal devotionals, Christian jams, or simply just praying when we feel we need it. Whatever it is, as long as it makes you happy and that you’re living your best life- I’m so excited that you’re doing you 😊

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