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The Religious Wrong

13 Oct

I often fear the way I pray is not the correct way.  The correct way??  Yeah, I said it.  I feel that sometimes I should pray out loud or type it out somewhere.  I get very self-conscious about what my words sound like and if they are ok.  I mean the words I say, and they do come from the most loving part of my heart.  This fear I have goes along with many other injustices I have experienced within the religious realm.  I refuse to consider myself religious, but I am open to declaring I am spiritual.  Throughout my life I have had to, HAD TO, go to church in a particular, specific religion.  I detested HAVING to go.  I especially felt such disdain for it due to the ones making me go sitting at home while I was going.  I learned how the beliefs of this certain group were by the way I was treated by them during my childhood.  I learned that they believed bigotry was acceptable when the preacher as this particular church made a racial joke.  Um, I was sickened by this “joke”.  I hated being a part of that group of people.  I learned that those who thought it was funny were not those I wanted to be around at all.  I was 11 years old at this time.  At this time, I was also made to believe, by this same preacher, that I was going to burn in hell if I did not go down to that alter, in that minute, and let God into my heart.  I was scared and bawling because I just knew I was going to burn in hell for eternity.  I went down there in fear.  I know God would not have wanted me to come to Him that way.  I had experiences like that into adulthood.  The last church I was a member of did not help in nurturing my spiritual side.  One trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to a Women of Faith event showed me that I could never allow myself to trust a church again.  To make a long story short, the preacher’s wife told me that because I did not wear makeup or do my hair, I must be a lesbian.  Um, really?!?!  I was also very upset that trip as my father told me he wanted to kill himself right before I was to go on this trip.  I was told by the preacher’s wife’s friend while I was crying about it that, “nobody wants to come to your pity party, so stop crying.”  Um, really?!?!  I was “taught” how to pray by the preacher’s wife………the words I should use and such.  She left me alone to pray the devil out of me, yes, she believed the devil was in me because I did not want to wear makeup and do my hair.  She came back, and I shared with her how I prayed, and she immediately told me it was the wrong way.  I did it just the way she told me to do it, though.  How could that be wrong??  I was ashamed of myself, and I have had that fear of others knowing what I pray since then.  I only share my prayers with one person, and I know that she would never judge me for those prayers, but that fear, insecurity, and shame raise their ugly heads.  I always ask if my prayers are ok.  She asks if I mean them.  I do.  I always do.  She also states that she is not one to judge how anyone prays.  I do know that if I speak to God from my heart, that it is ok.  He knows what is in my heart.  He knows what is about to spill from my lips.  He loves me regardless.  He does not want me to feel shame.  HE. LOVES. ME.  (with no makeup and undone hair even)

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4 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

4 responses to “The Religious Wrong

  1. cindygrasso

    October 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    He does love you- just the way you are:) I love your honesty and in prayer, that is what counts.

     
  2. dawnpringle

    October 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Sighhhh……..thank you.

     
  3. Samantha

    October 16, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Prayer, I believe, is talking to God, speaking what your heart is feeling and sharing that, no matter how as long as it the truth of your heart – can’t be wrong. I have been jaded by organized religion, feel that the judgement of those in the church while preaching only God can judge you, leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes my heart hurt.

    FYI – I love you with no make up and hair undone too…pretty sure I am not alone!! ❤

     
  4. Jenny

    January 6, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I’m so sorry your early church experiences were so awful. It’s so sad how often “religion” hurts people. But that’s not God, you know?
    The following comes from an article about C.S. Lewis and his thoughts on prayer: “The key to prayer for Lewis was the struggle of getting the “real I” in touch with the
    reality of God. Prayer is saying, ‘may it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou
    that I speak to.’”
    I think prayer can come in all different forms, and they’re all ok. Whether it’s a crying out to him, a thank you or a praise, or a wordless communion – they’re all prayer. Sometimes I struggle with articulating all that I’m feeling, and then I ask him just to take the whole tangled mess, without feeling like I have to explain it all in a coherent manner. He gets it. He knows us and what we need.

     

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