April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

Hope y'all had a great Easter! This year was the first time that I celebrated Easter without my family. Usually I go to church in the morning with my mom followed by a big Easter dinner at home. Since I moved to Charleston, it has been a big adjustment having to either travel for the holidays or celebrate sans family. Last year my mom was in town for Easter and we went to church followed by a great beach day, however this year I was on my own!

A few months ago, S and I had talked about going to church together. His dad's side of the family is Southern Baptist and I think his mom's side is Presbyterian? He wasn't exactly brought up going to church every Sunday, but his mamaw and papaw are very religious as well as some of his other aunts and uncles so he knows what's going on and does consider himself a Christian. I, on the other hand, was brought up Catholic where my mom dragged us to church every Sunday, I was not a fan. Once I turned 18, she backed off and really didn't bother me with it anymore.

Once I moved to Charleston, I noticed a big cultural, religious difference. I noticed the sheer number of churches in the area seemed to far exceed my neighborhoods in Connecticut. Being new to Charleston and in a totally different part of the country, I kind of started thinking about going back to church. I wasn't really sure which church, but I started to feel the need to maybe become a part of something like that again.

S has never really attended church regularly, but has tried a few different churches in the past. We didn't really start talking about it until about a few months ago. We talked about attending Seacoast, a  non-denominational church in our area. When the time came, he told me the night before that he wasn't ready. I completely respected that and was fine with it if he did not want to go. Maybe I wasn't fully committed to going back and still had a few reservations about religion. I hate to say it, but I feel like my Catholic upbringing jaded me!

Finally, last week, I asked S if he wanted to go to church with me on Easter and he said yes. We decided to still go to Seacoast and it turned out to be a great experience. The service was better than anything I had ever experienced in the past and I honestly think that if church had been anything like that for me growing up, maybe I wouldn't have despised going so much! I didn't feel a lot of pressure, I felt as though I could accept the sermon as I wanted to and I really loved how the pastor related it to real life situations. I also found that it touched S in a way that I never could have imagined; there were times throughout the service that I had to really fight back the tears. I think that this was exactly what he needed to get his faith back on track. He has some reservations as well, but I think this is going to be a new-found, ongoing thing for us. The theme of yesterday's sermon was "Love Is..." and this will remain the theme over the next eight weeks. S said that he is really interested in what the pastor has to say and is looking foward to it. I cannot think of a more fitting topic as we start this spiritual part of our life together.

Back in February, we had visited Kentucky for S's papaw's 80th birthday. While we were there, I got to talking with his cousin's wife, Jamie. Jamie is very committed to her religious beliefs and they attend church three times a week. We started talking about S's past and our future, etc. Jamie had then asked me if we ever went to church and I told her no, however, we had talked about going (at that point). She said that maybe it would be good for us, especially S. A little backstory: Although I only ask things on a need-to-know basis and choose to only ask about pertinant information, S has gone through a divorce that was finalized in December 2010. We met in January 2011. Although everything had just been finalized, he hadn't spoken to his ex since they filed somewhere back around this time of the year in 2009 (apparently things happen real slow in Washington State.) S is over her and luckily they really don't have any ties to each other anymore whatsoever so that made moving on for him a bit easier. S still struggles sometimes though and says that he feels broken. I can't really put myself in his shoes and I don't know what it feels like to go through a divorce, but I think part of him felt that he wasn't sure he could love like that again.

I am actually totally anxious to talk to Jamie about our experience at church yesterday. I can't believe how much she was right and I just know that our future there will help him heal further and what better topic than "Love Is." Going to church set the tone for our whole day yesterday and it was probably the best day we've ever had together. After church, we went to brunch downtown at Eli's Table then met up with some friends at Folly Beach. I felt an even stronger connection with him and I know he felt the same way. He told me last night that he fell even more in love with me yesterday and that he has never felt so loved. He said that he didn't know that he could feel love like that. Now tell me that isn't the sweetest thing you've ever heard?! After the events of  this Easter, I feel like I can confidently say that I know we are going to make it for the long haul. Not that I really had any doubts before, but this just really made me feel even stronger about it.

I never realized what a difference one day would make. I'm glad that we are in this together and that we will be right by each other's sides all along the way.

Easter Sunday

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