Tag Archives: Jen Hatmaker

Find Your Church

You know the phrase: Don’t talk about religion or politics are the dinner table. Well, I enjoy challenging rules and this technically isn’t 1) a dinner table or 2) a post solely about religion.

I’m sure most of us have experienced how the word religion and the word church can be triggers for people. I know when I say I’m Catholic and attend Mass regularly, I get a range of interesting reactions. Shock, amazement, admiration and disgust are a few I’ve seen on people’s faces recently. It’s a personal topic for sure, but if we don’t talk to each other about it, how will we really know what we each believe? I’d argue that organized religion is one form of church.

In the last three years or so, I’ve reconnected with my Catholic faith. The catalyst for this was my sister’s Confirmation as I was her sponsor. I’m grateful that opportunity arose so I could examine my belief system. Yes, I go to church most Sundays, I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent and I get ashes on Ash Wednesday. Does it mean I believe everything the Catholic Church preaches? Nope, not one bit.

One size does not fit all when it comes to church. I got to Mass on Sundays as a form of meditation and to express gratitude for the beautiful life I’ve been given. It’s not the only form of church I participate in. Listening to Jen Hatmaker earlier in the Fall and similarly, listening to Michelle Obama last night, I felt connected to something bigger than myself. That, to me, is going to church. It’s about connecting to a higher power and having your faith restored in some capacity.

Becoming

Faith, hope, love and peace are somewhat abstract concepts. Yet, when I go to church, whichever kind it is, I can feel and even embody those words. I am repented, I am renewed and I am ready. It’s a part of my spiritual well-being that must be replenished so I can show up each day at 100%. It also helps to build my resilience muscle so when things do go wrong, I have a place where I can draw strength from. It’s powerful and necessary in my life.

No one should tell you what or who to believe in. AND there is something powerful and almost magically about faith. It gets you through the toughest situations and brings peace. Faith, much like church, can be found anywhere within anyone at anytime. You just need to be paying attention and open to receiving it as a gift.

Regardless of how you were raised, I encourage you to pause and reflect on your spiritual well-being. How do you renew in that space? What does going to church look like to you? It only matters what you think and where you find faith, hope, love and peace. Remember, there’s no right answer and it can be a combination of places, people or things.

Hurt People Hurt People

Over the weekend, I got to see one of my favorite authors, Jen Hatmaker, live as part of her Moxie Matters tour. Bonus: I attended with two of my favorite humans. Such an incredible experience!

There were so many highlights, which means there will be many more blog posts. However, Jen spent a lot of her time Friday night talking about pain…how pain is a gift, an indicator that tells us that something is wrong. She also talked about emotional and spiritual pain that’s a lot less obvious to notice. She was so spot on!

Pain, like other emotions, is so unique to the individual. The same thing that gives me a headache might not give you one. How we react to emotional or spiritual trama is also different. My biggest takeaway from Jen’s talk is that we have to move through pain. We have to be aware of its indicators, feel allllll of the feels, lean on our tribe and decide how to proceed forward. It’s a process that takes time, is hard to articulate for sure and everyone moves through it at their own pace.

Think about the last time you felt severe pain, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. Could you see straight or think rationally? I know I couldn’t. People who are suffering or moving through pain do not know that collateral damage they might be doing. Hurt people hurt people because that’s the only way they know how to handle their pain.

While interacting with a hurt person who is continuing to hurt others is hard, we can’t force people through their own pain. Ever the empath, I want to comfort and help my loved ones who are suffering. Sometimes that means talking about it and sometimes it means leaving that person alone. I’ve learned to read the situation and respond accordingly, based on what that specific person needs at that time. All I can do is love them through it.

And still, it’s hard for me to watch people who aren’t dealing with their pain. Why? Because if you put in the work and move through pain, you do come out the other side stronger. I have and so have others I know and love. Why can’t everyone?! The world would be a better, kinder place. Let me go reread my own words about pain being individualized, that we can’t force anyone through pain, I know, I know.

I manage my own expectations and know that not all pain is visible. It helps me compartmentalize actions. I’ll continue to show up, hold space and love my people through it. I encourage you to do the same.

 

 

 

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