Finding our way to Judaism. We are still on our road so more post to come-
I have always loved all things Jewish. At Christmas I use blue and silver decor because I love Hanukkah colors. I had told my husband many times I wish we were Jewish. Because I love tradition and the ceremony of it. I only thought someone could convert if they married into Judaism.
But this is not how I made the decision to check in to Judaism.
Unlike a lot of people who find G-d in a religion usually they stories start with pain or addition and end with finding Jesus. From what I have read so far most stories of why people become Jewish is for Love. Either for the love of a Jewish person lead them to it or the love of the cultural. Mine was to give my kids a religious identity that I believed in and felt was the truth. I was not at the lowest point of my life but at the best. My life was very good. Which wasn't always the case but I had healed myself and was happy and healthy.
But I knew I needed to guide my kids and give them something solid to believe in. I didn't put a lot of time into. I was hoping it would just work itself out.
What pushed me over the edge was when my sister in law made a casual comment about her 21 yr old son being an atheist. My sister in law has Christian parents and believes in G-d but hasn't been a church goer just like me and my husband. My sister in law wanted her kids to make up their own minds about G-d but with no direction they learned nothing about G-d so to them there is no G-d.
I realized that if we didn't give our kids a belief in G-d then they may not find one and will be nonbelievers also. They can change their religion or beliefs when they get old enough but we have to get them started to finding G-d's place in their life. I want them to feel at home at a church. I don't want them to feel as uneasy as I always felt. I do not like or believe in the things that Christians believe in. My husband and I don't go to church because we just don't want to pretend we feel something we don't feel. If I go to church I want to feel a burning for it in my heart. I see others with that feeling but I feel like everyone can see that i stopped listening and that I don't believe which is why they are always trying to get me to be saved. Even though as a kid at a Pentecostal church I was saved countless times. I think they could see I wasn't where they were their religion.
PLEASE CHRISTIANS DO NOT TAKE THIS WRONG..THIS IS BASED ON THE CHURCHES I HAVE BEEN TO IN MY HOMETOWN AND I KNOW NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ACT THE WAY I AM STATING. THIS IS JUST WHAT I HAVE DEALT WITH. NOT A STATEMENT TO INSULT ANYONE.
I did go to church as a kid and knew I needed G-d and loved him but I couldn't feel what the others at church felt. I felt judged and not good enough to go to church. The bible says try to be like Jesus and he was suppose to be free of sin. To me I felt I was not good enough and I imagined that everyone else never doubted what they are told about Jesus as I did. So to me Jesus was in my way. I believed the old testament but if I could just deal with the Jesus part I could be like everyone else at church. But even if I did believe I didn't want that part of religion. I didn't need the new hippie style of this Jesus. I like my G-d of Abraham. A tough but fair father who loves us but wants our devotions.
I talked to Lewis ,my husband, about needing to give our kids a direction toward G-d but I couldn't stand the thought of going to church myself. He didn't want to take them to church. Maybe we could send then to a private christian school (like he went to as a kid). He ask me what happens if the kids become like the judgmental christian types I have come across.
WHEN I SAY JUDGMENTAL I MEAN THE ONES WHO EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE A DAILY RELATIONSHIP WITH G-D BUT DO NOT ATTEND A CHURCH, THEY FEEL THEY NEED TO HELP YOU BECOME BETTER THAN THAT BY SAVING YOU AND GETTING YOU TO GO TO CHURCH. THEY DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT OR EVEN IF YOU ARE JUST FAKING IT. IT IS JUST IMPORTANT THAT YOU GO TO CHURCH. THEIR G-D TAKES ATTENDANCE I GUESS AND HE ISN'T HAPPY WITH THE DAILY ACTIVITY I HAVE WITH HIM EVERYDAY. SO IF I HAVEN'T MET YOU THEN I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU.
What if the our kids look down on us or are trying to save us all the time. We couldn't think of what we should do. Which is worse having kids that are none believers or having ones that are preaching to us all the time. I shelved the idea for a few weeks. Then one day I was looking for new work ideas I googled, Love is a verb. I thought I would find a cute definition for love being an action word. I found an article about a therapist talking to a man about how to love his wife.
That the feeling of love comes from how much love you put into that person. Your love for your kids is more than their love for you because you put everything you have into them and never ask for anything back. So if you want to love someone more or regain the love you once felt you need to show more love to them everyday. Love is not a feeling that is there or is not there. Loving others is one our G-d's commandments. If he can command you to feel something then it can't be something that you just feel or you don't. You must be able to control it or he wouldn't command it of us. The love feeling is what happens after you put the love into action. I was so moved by this idea of love that I printed it out to talk about it with my husband. I noticed it was a Rabbi not a therapist. I loved the way this rabbi saw the world. I loved the do something attitude. With most Christian things you are told to put it in G-d's hands. Which is a lazy (don't blame me) kind of attitude. I want to put things into action and make them happen. I know G-d is with me but I believe G-d wants me to put in the fight to get what I need and want. I don't believe in "Meant to be". I can change my life all the time with the choices I make. I feel G-d will get me to a good place but it isn't because I am a train that is following a track, destined to a certain out come that I can't change because it is meant to be.
When I told my husband about this he ask why we don't look into Judaism if it feels this healing to me.
This wasn't the first time I had told him about Jewish beliefs and how I want to apply them to our lives. I just never thought I could convert and I never saw him as someone who could be with a religious person. He told me he would not be happy if I was a 3 times a week church goer. His beliefs just aren't the same as what we hear at church. So for him to point me in the direction of a religion was very different but I guess he felt it would help with this year of healing I was going through.
I have been going to angry management sessions. Angry management sounds mean but I guess that was who I was, a mad and disappointed person. I have learned so much about how I was misjudging other peoples actions and how my negative attitude was causing the crappy stuff to happen. I had even put my harsh feeling toward G-d aside with the first meeting I had. I knew that he had lead me to that place to meet the lady who helped me understand people and helped me to heal myself. I felt G-d was saying these thing to me through her. But I still couldn't go to church. The G-d I knew wasn't the one they talked about. I never read past the old testament, I don't like to see crosses, I don't pray through Jesus, and I didn't know why G-d never lead me to a church that made me feel his hand on me as much as I felt it when I first met my healing teacher (which is what I started to call my anger management teacher) Now the newly healed, kinder and more loving me wanted a relationship with G-d that didn't make my stomach flip and make me run from the room (I do this when visiting new churches)
So I needed to start the steps to find out if I could be a Jew.
Please leave comments telling your Jewish story. I would love to hear them