Faith Story

March 6, 2006

I have touched briefly on this in some of my past posts but I feel as if I need to address it head on (more for myself than anyone else).

Church life here in Norway is very much different than compared to home. In a Gallup poll published here in Norway on February 17th showed that only 3% of the population regularly attends church. Shocked? I was. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this and why is it so different than at home. We have also done some discussion on the topic in class as well. This is my personal interpretation of it all. When our ancestors came to America, many came to practice the religion of their choice meaning church was a huge part of their life and purpose. When our ancestors came to America to find new land and to find freedom from devastation from home they were foreigners in an unknown land. While they learned to adjust they also needed and desired the comforts of home and often found that in the church where many of their languages were spoken and traditions upheld making church a huge part of their life and purpose. As Americans we are creatures of habit and tradition and going to church became a habit and so that’s what we do- we go to church every Sunday.

For us church is community. We go there to socialize and to find people with the same moral views. Sure there are differences among members but deep in our hearts we can find basic human connections with compassion and love. When someone is sick the church takes care of them. When someone is struggling the church will step in and lend a hand. Here in Norway that doesn’t happen. There is no such thing as a church community. However, they still have community. It is found in their municipalities. They are still taken care of here but through government help, not church help.

It is so very different here but the more I think about it, it all seems the same it is just done in a different way.

Now for the personal part.  This past year has been quite a changing year for me and my faith. I can guarantee you that a year ago I would not even think of sharing any of this with others. I have been discovering where faith belongs in my life and what importance it has. Before I left I was a little scared. I was leaving friends that had been awesome tools in my journey and I was leaving the services and places that I knew. I was curious if I was going to be able to continue to grow here or would a take a step back. It’s funny because looking at how church is run here it would seem as if I would loose ground but it has been the exact opposite. Being here on my own I have found such a longing inside to find my faith and be connected to it everyday. I have been given such an awesome amount of personal time to reflect on life and what I love and who I love and where God fits into it all. I get to talk to him all the time and that’s awesome.

I still have lots of time left here and I can’t even imagine where my faith will take me while I am here but if the beginning is any sign of what’s to come then I can’t wait. I still very much miss singing in church and being able to talk with friends in person and taking communion and I am confident that I will find it (fingers crossed) at least once but I know that I will have that when I get home. For now it’s me, God, His awesome words, nature, and my curious heart and that’s ok with me.

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2 Responses to “Faith Story”

  1. Jake Bouma Says:

    “I was leaving friends that had been awesome tools in my journey…”

    You callin’ me a tool?


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