Thoughts on Faith

About a month ago, my husband and I joined a couples bible study group. You'd have to really know us both to understand just how big a deal that is.

To begin with, it's hosted at the church we started attending last September, after we moved to Catonsville. It's a Methodist church - and I was raised as a Catholic. I left the Catholic church as a young teen, because I overheard my mother telling someone that the priest refused to offer her penance and forgiveness and that her sins were going to send her straight to hell. (My mother had contracted H.I.V. from a blood transfusion following a car accident before nationwide testing was in place.) She was sick, and she hoped for peace of mind - instead she was rebuffed by a man of God! (She passed away just three months later.) I still believed, and held faith, but I blamed the church system years later when my brother died at just fourteen years old, acting out because the pastor at the Christian school he attended had failed to see that he was in desperate need of guidance. He'd asked, was rejected, and two weeks later, was gone.

DH's childhood was centered around the methodist church in his home town of Victorville, so much so that as soon as he was old enough he rebelled against that upbringing and swore never to attend again.

After my daughter was born, I came to understand human frailty in a way I never had before. So I began to attend a methodist church with my good friend. It was perfect for me - traditional service, but no confession, open invitation to worship and break bread, fellowship. I truly felt at peace there. DH, however, simply was not interested.
When our son was born, and those first few terrifying days immediately following, when we were not sure if he'd live, prayer - fevered, desperate - was our only recourse. DH made a fateful choice. He called his mother and asked her to pray, and to call on her prayer circle. With tears streaming down our faces we put our newborn baby boy in God's hands. Within hours more than a thousand people also prayed with and for us. And we were given a miracle. That morning, I was told to prepare myself for the inevitable - and that afternoon suddenly the diagnosis was just an allergy and a major, but treatable, infection. Though we spent two more weeks at the hospital surrounded by monitors, and he endured multiple pokes and prods, IV's and antibiotics, we knew that God had stepped in and also knew that we could no longer deny his great presence in our lives.
Circumstances forced us to move to a new house in a new town. We immediately began attending Catonsville United Methodist Church. We were welcomed with open arms. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the Pastor at this church is. When we saw that a couples bible study was slated to begin, DH and I knew that we had to attend. Though we have both made great strides in our personal faith, our utterly different approach has left us unable to communicate about it in a loving manner. It all kind of degenerates into a "my way is the right way" kind of thing.
Which led us to realize that most of our disagreements come from the same attitude. I think this class affords us the opportunity to work through these things - but since we are part of a group, we're forced to keep our tones civil, and our minds open. Next week, I'll fill you in a little more on what the class is studying, and how well DH and I are utilizing all these new tools we're being given.
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