Wow. This is my first post in a very long time. Our family has gone through some changes and some growing pains. We are now officially Eastern Orthodox as of April 8th, 2017. Our marriage was blessed in the church and we were married April 30th, 2017. We also found out that morning we were expecting baby number 7. Things have been a whirlwind the last two years.
My husband and I both had been attending a church for a good while. I would say I had been there about 20 years and he joined me there when we got married in 2006. After attending this CMA church for quite a while we had moved to a new town and were looking for a new church. We found another CMA church close to our new house and decided to attend there. the first CMA church we had been going to for all of our married life, was fairly typical. We went through at least 5 pastors while we were there, and the turnover was constant. I participated and even lead several groups, bible study, and Mops. I didn’t see anything theologically wrong with the CMA church but we had talked about finding a new church many times due to the fact we felt ours was very broken. Eventually we felt our responsibility was to stay there and wait things our. But then we moved, and we were forced to find a new church. I found the closest CMA church to us and we started attending regularly, and I joined the mops group. Things were great for the first year. I was meeting people and there were a lot of big families in our new location and so I felt encouraged to be myself.
Then there was an incident with a pastor who I felt was completely wrong about something theological. We had an exchange of emails on the subject where I called him out for being unbiblical but respectfully asked him for some kind of basis for his claim, which he had none. I left the church, and never went back.
For six months or so I was sulking in despondency and confusion about my faith and where I needed to go. Because of my personality type I needed to find answers. It made no sense to me that a pastor could tell a whole congregation something as “truth” that was clearly not. But he completely believes he was right. In that I knew something was wrong. I knew that God is not the author of confusion. I knew in my heart this pastor had been wrong- and it was seeming that many so called Christians were very confused on the Bible. I didn’t want to be one of those people. I started researching church history. I wanted to know, who had the oldest version of the Bible? who wrote the Bible? Who translated the Bible? I figured whoever had that information could tell me what it means.
I knew that the Roman Catholic Church was pretty old and I actually assumed it was the oldest of the Christian religions, so I started reading about Catholicism and in that led me to the original church, before The RC church was the Orthodox Church. What the heck is that?! And why had I never heard of it before? I knew one person who is orthodox so I started bombarding her with questions. I was so intrigued with this knowledge. It felt like finding my long lost family origins!
As it turned out the Orthodox Church is actually the church who the Apostles and Christ himself started. But how the heck did that even make sense? There was no Bible at that time! As I had found out from my resrearch the Bible was not complied until about 300 years later (although the gospel was used around 50AD). I needed to learn more about orthodoxy and what it was founded on. So in March 2016, I asked my husband to try out a new church with me. He agreed but was a little reluctant. We went to Saint Andrew and sat through our first Liturgy in the back row. I was literally transformed into another century. Another world really, as I watched the worship. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen inside a church. I cried through most of it. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what was going on. My soul was connected in a way that could not be explained. It was a natural, Holy state that penetrated me to the core.
We didn’t go back for a few months. I think my husband was confused on what’s the heck I saw or felt that first day. He said he was really focused on the kids and them being quiet. He didn’t watch hardly any of it.
A few months later, I would not give up on this church and in an effort to get my husband on board I told him to go without me and the kids and just watch. So he did. I knew I couldn’t ever go to another church again, so if it wasn’t Orthodoxy, then it wasnt going to be anywhere for me.
We started attending every Sunday and I was emailing our priest asking tons of questions. Finally, We became catechumen on Dec 19th of 2016 which declared our intention to become orthodox as a family, and be baptized. I spent over a year researching orthodoxy and what it was, what it meant and actually in the process most every other kind of Christianity. (A default if studying church history.) I was really genuinely sad for the amount of information I was never taught in my previous 30 years as a Christian. I was saddened by the way church has gone- and I’m so glad that I have found my home. Safe inside the Church, where scripture is purely known, understood and never construed. Where children are definetly a blessing from the Lord, and where I am learning what it really means to live a life for God and to be healed.
Our kids and we are so so very happy and I will continue to share our journey!