The Story of Vera and Her Family, chapter 16

3 04 2008

A LITTLE BACKTRACKING

In this post, I will be mainly focusing on the church and spiritual life of our family. However, before I do that I must fill in the details of what happened to Sandy’s friend, Lynn, and Ben’s friend, Tim. Sandy’s friend Lynn had moved to Texas. The father finally received custody of his four children. Peter’s very close friend, Tim, also moved away. Tim’s father took his own life. Tim’s mother had already been institutionalized for mental problems. Thus, Tim’s father’s parents came and got Tim and his siblings.

To me l989 to 1991 were real transition years. I had lost interest in the church. I never lost faith in God but church seemed too surreal to me. I had questioned over and over why there were so many denominations. I hadn’t been a great fan of church as an institution for years but when we moved to Kentucky, I tried to show some kind of loyalty to the church that I had been brought up in. However, when you children started entering the teen years-I decided that I could no longer make myself attend church. I felt completely empty inside about the institutional church.

Sandy became friends with a family of three sisters. They were close in age just like you children are. They attended a United Methodist church about a mile from our home. Sandy was the first to start attending church with this family. Soon you and Maria also became interested in attending the Methodist church. The pastor had a wonderful personality and created a warm, healthy environment. Ben, on the other hand had a group of friends that went to a Pentecostal church. There was a very nice youth leader who took a great deal of interest in Ben and his friends.

Jim wasn’t as discouraged about the church as I was. He attended a Baptist church but not the one I grew up in. I used to love the quiet hours of Sunday morning. Often, I used as my time to shop at Wal-mart or Kroger. I just savored being alone. However, I was responsible for picking up you girls from church. Until Ben started driving, a church van from his church came and picked him up.

I call those years the beginning of my basement years. I spent a great deal of time praying in the basement because often that was the only privacy I enjoyed. There was an average of two loads of laundry to wash each day. Often, I just sat on the basement steps just contemplating the events of our family and praying. I felt adamant that I didn’t need a church to assist me with my faith. God and I were doing well with our basement prayers.

In 1991 my brother, Phillip, was having domestic problems. Religion was splitting his family up. Phillip had been a leader in a ministry that was becoming heretical. The top leaders were wanting to control everyone’s lives. Teresa, Phillip’s wife, had no intention of leaving this ministry. Phillip wanted out. He eventually had to separate from Teresa. He moved into an old Victorian House which had been made into apartments. Phillip had to find a job since he was no longer part of the ministry which had provided income for his family. Teresa got a job with the Head Start program. Teresa didn’t want anything to do with Phillip or our family. It was a tragic time.

Phillip became spending a great deal of time with our family. He loved playing card games. Often on the weekend, I would cook up a big pot of soup and Phillip would eat with us. Then the cards came out and everyone but me enjoyed playing. I just have never enjoyed cards or table games. Then at times, Phillip would host our family. We loved his apartment with the large ceilings and big rooms. Phillip even got a little kitten that he named Blackie. Phillip still had contact with a group of his friends from Louisville who left the religious group. They came down one weekend to help decorate his apartment. We spent a week helping Phillip paint his apartment. The friends from Louisville brought down a large baked ham with all of the trimmings. They also brought pictures, lamps and small pieces of furniture.

Also in 1991, Sandy got to go the prom as a freshman in High school. Her escort was well known by our family so we didn’t have any problems with her attending the prom. In fact, the boy’s mother even helped Sandy find a prom dress. I believe it was borrowed from someone. Sandy looked so beautiful the evening of the prom. How could my little girl look so grown up. She was already 5 feet and six inches tall. With long dark brown hair, a natural suntan and big chocolate eyes- she was stunning.

So my children were growing up. I had less control over their lives. I had much to learn about parenting teenagers. A huge change in our lives was soon to happen.

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6 responses

3 04 2008
spillay

Hi Nicole3. Just dropping by … I read your post with interest, in particular, about your “basement years”.

3 04 2008
nichole3

Spillay, I always appreciate you dropping by.

4 04 2008
shadowlands1501

Nicole3
I too, had a basement experience. I had been so hurt by “church people” I hid in my basement for two years…I am not as afraid of the potential pain as I was, but it is always a question in my mind why there are so many that advocate so many small differences that they must begin a “church” to promote the difference. As always, I enjoy you posts. They seem to hold up a mirror for me to observe my own life’s journey…Your friend, Shadowlands….

5 04 2008
nichole3

Shadowlands,
That is why I eventually became Orthodox because it is an unchanging church. I can count on consistancy. You are right there is a new church of some kind that pops up every day. I just can’t handle that and I feel safe with the Christian Orthodox Faith.

Your friend,
Nichole

6 04 2008
David Web

Nichole:

I’ve never really understood what happened with Phillip and Theresa in those years and am glad you and Jim were there for him during those difficult times.

As far as the denominational splits and doctrinal disputes, I couldn’t agree with you more. I just finished Timothy Ware’s book and am now reading Peter Gilquist’s. This has been very informative and straightforward. Being a student of History, I already knew some of the background, and split from Rome, but knew nothing of the Filioque controversy. Of course I have never believed in the infallibility of the Pope, but have come to respect why their dogma is adamant. Perhaps there will be a reconciliation at some point in time.

Little Brother

Catherine, who has always favored the Roman side, (her Mother was Irish Catholic), (her Father a Baptist/Presbyterian) is also interested and we plan to visit Assumption after the Easter festivities.

Little Brother

7 04 2008
nichole3

Little brother,
There will be more to tell about Phillip and Teresa. Jim and I are so excited that you have gotten so much out of the books we sent you. Our prayers are with you as you continue to read and study about the Christian Orthodox faith.

love,
Sis

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