Tag Archives: feelings

My spiritual journey a year later

3 Apr

 

I’ve been writing this post in my mind for several months, composing and decomposing it.  I started writing it a few times, but always had trouble. Even with the title.  One title began ‘I have found’, but that didn’t convey exactly what I wanted to say.  Then I came up with ‘My spiritual journey has ended’.  But immediately my heart said ‘no, NO’!  Because I never want this journey of learning more of my Lord and Savior to be over.  I think it will take all of eternity to learn and understand the infinite heart of God.

Sometimes it’s hard to put words to feelings.  And throughout this journey I’ve experienced a multitude of feelings.  It’s a scary thing to realize that something I’ve had confidence in for most of my life no longer brings me peace.  And it’s hard to leave the comfort zone and go into unknown territory.  But it was something I realized I must do.  I can’t live without peace in my soul.

Although it has taken me quite awhile, I’m greatful for God’s patience with me.  I would never have been able to take in, change my whole line of thinking and accept what He is showing me without the time to search my soul and reflect.

Soon after the time I described in my April 1st post, I moved.  It’s true that I had liked the community church, but I decided to check out some closer in my new area.  I attended one in the downtown area with a friend,  But in had a tone of some of the things I could no longer handle in my own church.  Then I tried one that another friend recommended.  But to me the sermon was as dry as toast.

Last Mother’s Day I was going out with my daughter for brunch, so searched online for churches nearby with an evening service.   One that came up was Baptist.  When I was living in Missouri I had attended a Baptist church a few times when staying with friends, so I decided to try it.  i enjoyed my brunch and a leisurely afternoon, then in the evening drove to the church–only to find no one there!  Evidently they had cancelled the evening service due to the holiday.  While driving around, wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my evening, I saw two ladies outside of a church.  I drove in and ask if it was a church service.  (I wanted to be sure it wasn’t some other activity related to Mother’s Day.)

They said yes, to come join them.  So I did.  Everyone was so welcoming, greeting me with smiles and handshakes.   Immediately I was struck with the ‘feel’ of the place.  I’ve been in places that were welcoming, some that were friendly.  But this was a warm welcome.  I could feel that they were glad I was there!  I’ve never felt such acceptance.  It brings tears to my eyes, even now, as I write this.

I don’t remember now what the sermon was about, but I liked it. Afterwards there was more greetings, everyone telling me how glad they were I had come and to please come back.  I was invited to the Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Class, which I attended.  I attended the Wednesday evening service, and both the Bible Class and the church service the next Sunday.  And every service possible since then.

Writing this now, I realize it’s going to take more than one setting to relate.  Because of content length and the emotions that I’m feeling as I write, I’m going to end here and contine my story later.

 

Today I went to the funeral of a man I didn’t know

5 Nov

No, that isn’t a normal thing for me to do.  In fact, since my husband’s I have become somewhat anti-funeral.  I know that some people feel that a funeral brings closure, and while I respect that choice, I personally just don’t see the sense, anymore, of people standing around looking at a dead body.

At my husband’s, the funeral director must have noticed I was somewhat avoiding the body because I remember him asking me something about if I was satisfied by the way he looked.  I replied (I hope graciously) that he was ok.  But inside I was screaming, “No, he doesn’t look all right.  He looks like a dead!

So when a friend from an organization I belong to called me yesterday to inform me of the funeral, even as I was listening to her and writing down the information, I was thinking Oh a funeral’.

Yet today I  attended the funeral–of a man I didn’t know.  It wasn’t idle curiosity.  He was the brother of another woman in the organization.  A woman that  has become my friend.  Although we aren’t bosom buddies, we are friends.  And even though I really don’t care for funerals, I felt a need to ‘be there’ for her.

I went to the funeral.  The visitation was just before the funeral and I attended the last half-hour of it.  I met my friend’s sister.  Both my friend and her sister thanked me for coming.

As I listened to the comments during the visitation, It seemed to me that everyone there, except for me, knew the man. My other friend from the organization had known him through his sister, whom she has known much longer than I have.

As funerals go, to me it was one of the better ones.  Simple.  Not large.  Not too long   Simple heartfelt music sung by family members.  Music that uplifted.  There was no sermon.  My friend’s sister led the service.  The attendees were offered the opportunity to speak of things they remembered about the man.  They were ask to speak of uplifting things, things that would bring comfort.

The mother spoke first.  Then her husband, the step-dad.  Simple remembrances of his life.  Some that brought smiles, others that brought tears to our eyes.  I could feel the love they had for the man.  One woman told of knowing him since childhood and of shared memories.   A picture of him was forming in my mind..

One man–ll call him Dan ( I have no idea of his name) spoke in a different manner.  He said he was the father.  He told of struggles the man had experienced.  He spoke of estrangement between them.  He said that he was glad that in the last years they had gotten closer and he recalled activities they had shared together.

After the funeral as we were waiting outside for the family, I overheard someone that was displeased that ‘Dan’ had brought up old hurts.  They said it wasn’t uplifting.  I wondered about that.  I don’t think that ‘Dan’ meant to be unkind.  I think he was just expressing his own memories and feelings.

After I got home I continued to think of the experience.  The more I thought about it, I felt that ‘Dan’ seemed to define the man by his condition, by his struggles.  The others seem to have seen beyond the struggles, to the man and remembered him.  They spoke of his heart, of love and friendship.

I know the others will miss him tremendously and my heart goes out to them,  Yet, really, they are not the ones I grieve for.  That is reserved for ‘Dan’ who through most of the man’s life, and perhaps even now, defines him differently.  For some reason, it seems to me he never fully knew the man.  I feel he had missed the rich essence of his son’s life.  That is sad.  The others are hurting, but they have warm memories, which will help sustain them in the days ahead.

As I reflect on this day, I realize that I;m glad I went.  Although I still don’t care to see the body, just think of what I would have missed had I not gone!   I went there for my friend, yet I was enriched by being there.   I also learned a valuable lesson .  It is so easy to look at someone and see only the ‘bad’ and the ‘different’.  Yet when we do that we miss a rich wonderful opportunity to really know the person.  In the future I want to be extra careful to see beyond the exterior.  To reach further, to the heart of people, to connect more.

I went to the funeral of a man I didn’t know.  But now I feel I do know him.  What I will remember is not the dead body, but a LIFE!   It leaves such a warm feeling inside of me to think of that life.  I’m so glad that I can count his sister as my friend.

 

Which first?

6 May

I have a desire to write today, but there is a conflict within me as to which topic to address.  I have been reflecting on many things lately.  Perhaps I will write two different blogs.  Or I may find that writing just one fulfills my need to write and postpone the other for another time.

I want to write about my continued small efforts in learning Spanish.  And when I started writing this post I really thought that was going to be its direction.  The following is my original–before edited–second paragraph:

In looking at my posts from the Admin page, I noticed one I began last November.   It is a Spanish  post.  I was trying to tell about an event that I read about in a book.  I still would like to finish that blog–someday. But today, my Spanish is taking me in another direction.  And it seems that  it is this direction that has the greatest urgency to get out of me.

So, as I said, I thought this post was going to be about Spanish.  But it isn’t.  I guess, like many of my posts, it is about me.  About more of the things that make me who I am.

I always edit my posts several times before I get it the way it seems to flow best to tell my thoughts.  I will usually cut and paste paragraphs to put them in a different position.   As my thought flow into my hands I seem to change course as I go.  Once in a while I will completely remove a paragraph that just doesn’t go with the way my thoughts have traveled.  But for some reason, today I felt the need to leave the paragraph about intending to write the Spanish post.  (Maybe is my note to myself not to forget about it,)

Sometimes  after I have posted I see things that I wish I would have said differently.  Occasionally I change a post, but usually just leave it.  In a way it seems to help me to go back and read what I had previously written.  I can then reflect on whether I still feel the same way or if I have changed.

While I have always had ideas and thoughts swirling around in my mind, writing is still somewhat new to me.  The actual putting my thoughts down, where they are open to all is a little scary, but mostly it’s exhilarating.  Although I don’t understand why, it really gives me a thrill to actually write.

I recently told a friend that I have always made up stories in my head.  I had felt that I was an oddity because of this.  But she told me that she did that too.  She said probably many people do.  She said that her husband had said she ought to be a writer, with all her stories.  I wonder if my stories are why I feel the need to write?

I doubt if I will ever actually write my stories.  They evolve and become more like sagas.  Sometimes months or even years will go by and then some event triggers a memory and I’m back to a certain family or individual from one of my stories.   (Before I mentioned my stories to my friend I used to refer to them in my mind as “the books in my head”.)

I’ve realized, lately, that these stories have a purpose.  Sometimes they have just filled a feeling of aloneness  inside me.  By the way, I do know that aloneness is not really a word, but that is the feeling I have had sometimes.  Not really lonely.  Just alone.

Although, I have also used the stories when I was feeling lonely, wanting to be with others or missing someone, I have used them most often when I was feeling alone.  Feeling alone–aloneness–can occur even when others are around.  It’s hard to explain, but it is a feeling of being separate, not completely a part of what is going on around me.  That feeling would sometimes carry over for days or perhaps even weeks where  in little moments of quiet I enjoy my “stories”.

One of the reason, aside from my feeling of being an oddity, that I had never mentioned my stories to anyone before was because of the movie “Psycho”.    I didn’t want anyone to think I was turning into someone else.  This seems a little silly now, because I knew I had a grip on reality.  It was just stories.

Yet, in a way, I became a part of those stories.  I felt the emotions.  Now I realize that the stories have helped vent emotions that were bottled up inside of me.  Even now, sometimes I use the stories to release a strong emotion that for some reason or other I just can’t face in my day to day life.  I can cry, laugh, be enraged, etc about the stories, instead of venting on those around me.  As I write this I realize that is how people use movies, music and maybe even sports and other entertainment.

Now that I no longer feel guilty for my stories, they have taken hold of me in a new way.  I have starting writing/composing songs in my mind.  Again, they will probably never be written, but they fill a need inside of me.  

And through those “songs in my head” I have become enthralled with some types of music that I never before liked.  I do want to write about that, but not quite yet.  I want to see if it is just a temporary quirk or if is is something that will remain.

Even though, once again, this post has turned into something completely different than what I had intended, it has expressed some thoughts and feelings inside me.  And this time, interestingly enough, I believe I still have the time, energy, desire to write the Spanish post.  So, hopefully, you will soon see that one.

 

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