My parents are devout Christians. When people hear that phrase "devout Christians", they immediately conjure up ideas of what a devout Christian is constituted of; as I continue to explain the way my parents function and what they believe in, they are surprised at the fact that such people exist in our modern day society. I suppose in some ways they affiliate my parents' devotion and discipline to the Amish or Mennonites. Not using birth control and trusting that whatever happens is up to God's divine power seems bizarre to them, that being only one of the many faith driven approaches my parents have taken in life.
Myself, having grown up with such a mindset (whatever happens is within God's allowance and will happen no matter what action we choose) have found myself becoming fatalistic in my view of life. The choices I make may be mine, but God still knows every contingency and is prepared for whatever actions we make. Therefore, nothing I do is a surprise to God, everything was meant to happen the way it did and all I can do is make the best of the current circumstances.
In some ways, my parents frighten me with their absolute faith in a being, who I believe exists but who remains ineffable and ethereal. My father has a personal relationship with God, something I have struggled for but it continues to elude me, despite my praying, reading long passages of the Bible and talking about my doubts with other Christians. I found that the church drove me away from seeking God instead of compelling to seek and desire more; I would attend the services, walking in and out without one person saying a single word to me.
Anyway, during our informative years my parents bombarded us with Bible stories, proverbs, tales of warning, instructions on how to live a godly and Christian life, cliched statements and interesting thoughts on how one becomes a better person through a relationship with Jesus... All of this was a cumulative attempt to prepare us for a life on our own, even though they never practically offered any advice on curve balls life would inevitably throw at us, such as: peer pressure, drinking, pre-marital sex and birth control, situational ethics, etc. The real issues would avoided and my parents lived their life strictly black and white, no grey matters, situational ethics rigorously rejected.
I wonder now, what I am or what I believe in. I feel as though I'm spending my life trying to reconcile the choices I am making with the thoughts in my head, theology I have been propagated with my entire life. I want to write my own life story, to decide things based on my own decisions, uninfluenced by anyone or anything else, but there are all these voices telling me what I should believe and what I should do.
Most overwhelmingly is the thought that I'm in a relationship with someone who doesn't have the exact same religious views that I do, and each time he disappoints me or leaves me feeling sad and alone, I wonder, 'Is this all worth it? Is this the person I'm embracing instead of the God I was taught to believe in?' In moments when he lets me down, I realize I can't trust him fully and I definitely cannot hinge my happiness on him.
Only people who have this exact background will understand what I mean. I attach meaning to everything I see and choices I make, but I'm unsure of what the meaning is and I worry that it will remain unclear until the end of my life. I believe I may be thinking and worrying my life away instead of simply living it.
I have no answer to these thoughts. It's NaNoWriMo. I'm not writing a novel but I am writing and I am going to try and do so every day. Good luck to you if you are embarking on this endeavour!