Married, moved, and getting it together.

Racquetball / Confession / Marriage 2006 Feb 17

I played racquetball last night.

I am sore with a capital SORE.

Aleve is my friend.

The backstory is that Back in August I posted mentioning looking for a partner here in Simi.

And last week, that call was answered, dude.

I’ve gained weight, but I was able to make some good shots. Didn’t overtax my system, but I needed long breaks between games.

We’re playing again next week.

Rock. Rock. On.

I went to Confession yesterday for the first time in 19 years. It seems my marriages (not in the Catholic Church) put me in a state which is not viable for receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This bums me out, but the priest was very nice, and had good advice for me, so I’m going to look into those options. Leah was very nice to me afterward. She could see how shook up I was by it.

Organized religion comes with some challenges, yo. They have rules. I want to run away from those rules, but navigating them is something I want to do, since I feel so strongly that it’s the Catholic Church (present and past) that has been a catalyst for the change that has taken place inside me in the past week and a half.

In other news… did I mention I was sore? It feels kind of good though, I definitely worked muscles I have not worked in a long time.

A., who I played with (and lost 3 times to) is to be married in India. Traditional marriage. It is said that arranged marriages are:

…more successful than other marriages. They hold that the spouses in an arranged marriage begin without any expectations from each other, and that as the relationship matures, a greater understanding between the two develops, aided by their often similar socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. In contrast, they feel that persons who enter into a marriage for romantic reasons often begin with unreasonable expectations, with little room for improvement but a great chance of failure.

Something to think about. Although I think marriages succeed and fail all the time, be they romantic, arranged, economic, or whatever. The question is really what kind of effort — spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical — you’re willing to put into them. Are you willing to be a partner who is there when things get hard? Sickness, health? Richer, poorer? Because life can get pretty rough brother. It gets really rough.
I am bringing, moving, pushing my actions (which have been slack) to match my passion and love for Leah, and for our partnership.

Joe Crawford blogged this at 10:36am in 2006 in February. The 17th was a Friday. You are reading this 12 years later. You can make a public comment. There are 5 comments now. Tweet me! Email me! It has no hastags.

Comments: 5

I love you, Joe.

I love you too brother.

I need to say some things to you. These things are my heart and soul things so are the dearest that I have to share. I have worked with people as a psychic for many years when they appear in my path and end up asking for what I see. I am not saying that I am offering to give you a psychic reading in a blog comment nor that you would have any interest in that should I do so. What I am saying is that my experiences in touching other peoples lives has given me a unique perspective on the differences in how each of us experiences life and an awe at how so many of us struggle to do and be our best with the tools that we have to use.

When I was 14 I was attending a church with a boyfriend. I was there mostly to please him. All my life I had been searching for God in one religion or another so it was just another search but in this case I had the agenda of pleasing and drawing closer to this young man as well. Over a few months time I encountered statements in Bible classes and sermons that jarred me. They were ideas that stirred up a resistance in me. Because I wanted to feel comfortable in this particular church I ignored those internal disagreements, deciding to try to listen with the ears of faith rather than what I thought of as the ears of reason. At last in one class these rebellious thoughts flared so strongly that they would not be silenced. The discussion was one about being saved. The gist of it was that God sent his son into the world to preach to people about God. Then the material explained that God knew before time who would hear the voice of Christ and believe and that he stopped up the ears of others so that they could not hear or understand the messages of Christ. Those who did not hear and accept the message would be sent to eternal damnation. ‘No one can come to the Father except through the Son,” therefore while some prophets from the past would end up in a kind of Limbo apart from the actual presence of God the rest were going to hell. Those flaring thoughts became instead a wave of outraged fury. I stood to speak to the teacher. “You mean that virtually everyone who was born before the time of Christ or in a place where they had no opportunity to hear Christ’s message is going to hell?”

“Sadly, yes.” I was told.

“And of those who did have an opportunity to hear and follow the teachings of Christ, God purposfully blocked the ability of some to hear and understand this learning?”

‘Yes, that is what the scripture tells us,” the teacher responded. “We do not always understand the ways of God.” she added.

Suddenly I wasn’t angry anymore at all. “Well, I don’t know who you are talking about in that book or in your own mind, but that is not God.” I said, with all the arrogance that is part of my nature and I walked out the door and away from my chances with that boyfriend.

It took me several day of fuming before I came to a realization. If I was so sure that God would not behave in the way that had been described, I must have some idea of how God would behave.

That was the beginning of a new search for me. What did I believe about God within myself? What were these pre-existing beliefs about who God was and what His relationship was with me that incited me to assert that what they were describing was not God. From that day forward the nature of my search for God changed. I wasn’t looking for a church that could explain what God was for me, I was looking for one that would celebrate the God I somehow already knew.

Now that you understand my personal framework of belief what I need to say to you may be more comprehensible. That doesn’t mean that you will perceive things in the same way I do, but hopefully you will see what from where my perceptions emerge.

If you have been going through some spiritual upheaval or changes for this period of time, I think that the only valid source for that would be God rather than any church. A relationship with God doesn’t come with a ‘one size fits all’ option.

You can decide that what you need is to get into alignment with the Catholic church and follow whatever tenets and rules they describe for you. But that is putting the cart before the horse IMHO. Before you take that road, it seems wise for you to turn inward to the true source of the changes in your life. Who is your God? What does He expect of you, what does He want from you and what are His laws? Once you have quieted your soul to listen to that still small voice within, you can begin to understand what is truly being asked of you. With that understanding you can then see if the Catholic church or any church aligns with what you understand in your heart. The Bible does assure you that if you seek than you will find and that God will be a light unto your feet.

God told Abraham that he should go up to the top of a mountain and sacrifice his own son. In great pain, he went forward to do as God commanded him. At the last moment when his open heart was prepared to do the horrible thing that was demanded of him, God stayed his hand and told him to release Isaac and not to kill him.

In my experience with my imperfect realtionship with God he has asked me to make sacrifices. He has asked me to sacrifice my resentment, my self pity, my blame and the pleasure of gossiping. He has also asked me to do things for Him. I have needed to learn to ask, ‘What is the loving thing to do in this situation?’ I have needed to choose to step out of the depression that is an inheritance in my family and refuse to indulge myself in despair. I need to do things that I have not yet been able to do to please my God, such as to stop telling him that I am not good enough for Him to love me. At least I can now see the arrogance of refusing to accept God’s love because I insist I am unworthy. There will always be a next step to take, another fault to sacrifice or another goal to reach. But my God has never asked me to sacrifice other people in my life. He has never told me that I should hurt another person in order to draw closer to him.

Before you choose to let any church tell you what God requires of you, please turn to God. If you ask God to guide your understanding and your choices and that is in alignment with what any other human or organization is asking of you then you can move forward without fear. In my experience, God only asks you to change your own heart, to love Him with all your heart and mind and soul and to love everyone else as you would love yourself.

Thanks for hearing me out.
Gillian

Gillian:

You seem to be warning me away from organized religion. Thank you, but I must follow my own path with regards to that.

Your advice to let love be my guide feels good to me, though. I appreciate that.

Thank you for reading and sharing your own story.

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