My Confirmation was the final stage to complete before I entered adulthood in the eyes of the church. After I went through my Confirmation, I would no longer have to go to CCD which I couldn't be happier about. But the only downside was that on top of attending the religious education classes, I now had to write an essay every week that I would turn in at Sunday mass. Every week at the end of mass, all of the students who were going through the process of being confirmed would walk up to the front of the church in front of the entire parish and would be given a red envelope by the priest that contained our assignment for the week.
I would of course always wait to the last second to write my essay with help from my parents. From the beginning, I did not like this at all. I was not learning anything from it and I felt like it was tedious work. At the end of the school year in May after writing about 35 essays, I finally was confirmed and received the Holy Spirit. I was so relieved to be done with all the work and classes. I barely even recognized the fact that something life changing had happened to me in church earlier that day.
After my Confirmation back in 2009, my family and I stopped going to church altogether. Things got in the way and we no longer made going to church on Sundays a priority. After we stopped attending church, I never felt a change within me that would indicate me loosing the Holy Spirit or God's love for me. I even felt better after my family stopped going to church because I think our specific church created a negative environment. I left mass every Sunday feeling guilty and ashamed for how I was living my life just by the way my priest talked in his sermon. I should have left feeling good, at peace, loved but I sadly never felt that way.
Event #5 - First time back at church
Flash forward to 4 years later in 2012. Since my Confirmation and no longer attending church, I returned to church but this time it was a non-demoninational church.
During those 4 years of not going to church, I came to a realization that the Catholic Church was not the right fit for me and I no longer affiliated myself with Roman Catholicism. I also discovered how much I didn't like the idea of organized religion. I found the Catholic Church to be too traditional for my liking and I no longer agreed with their beliefs. I thought that everything I was taught throughout the years by the Catholic Church was forced down my throat. It was either their way or the highway. I didn't necessarily feel this way from my parents but by my other family members and my church.
My parents were the type to raise their children in the faith and religion that they were raised in but then to allow their children to pick their own faith and religion once they were confirmed. And after my confirmation, my parents, brother, and I all drifted away from our church and to an extent for some of us, our religion.
During this time, I also battled with constantly questioning and doubting my faith. But I returned to church. During that mass, I realized that I was missing something in my life. The pastor was telling me that it was God but I always believed that I never lost God. He never left my side. I've continued to have a relationship with him throughout the years, it just hasn't been through my presence in church on Sunday mornings.
I've yet to discover what that "missing part" in my life is and whether or not it even exists outside of the pastor's sermon. I have become a more spiritual person over the years and l let that speak as my faith and belief. My story of "religion" has many volumes to it and I am still writing more as I grow and mature. Stay tuned, who knows where I'll be in ten years in my faith.