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50ShadesOfNope's avatar

How do I save my mom's faith?

Asked by 50ShadesOfNope (57 points ) December 17th, 2013

It’s Christmas time again and of course were all stressed out. My mom usually gets the most stressed out of all of us but this year has reached an all time high. She’s stuck in a horrible job, hasn’t been in a relationship since her and my dad split (17 years ago), and has spoken multiple times lately about questioning her faith in God and how “Christmas loses its meaning as you get older.” I’m just very worried for her. My sister and I are in college so it’s not like we’re around a lot to comfort her. She goes to work and then comes home to any empty house (besides the 4 cats). I just don’t know what to do to save her spirit. Any thoughts?

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13 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe suggest ways for her to meet people and make new friendships.

50ShadesOfNope's avatar

That’s the thing. We’ve lived in this small town for about eight years and she still hasn’t made any close friendships. It’s a pretty closed off town.

ETpro's avatar

@50ShadesOfNope Welcome to Fluther, and best of success in helping your mom avoid serious depression. As an atheist, I’m not apt to be the one to help you resurrect her faith in God. I believe that she’s on the right track in setting that aside. But her sense of melancholy and expressions of decreasing interest in life are very concerning. If you have any extended family that care about her, you might try to get them to reach out to her. You might also look for opportunities to help others, get yourself involved, and then do your best to get her into it as well. Perhaps providing care for orphaned kids, or volunteering help for homeless vets. What interests the two of you. Volunteer your help in such a pursuit. It’s amazing how caring for others helps us get back to caring about ourselves.

I sincerely wish you and your mom a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Judi's avatar

Just love her. It’s not your job to save her faith. Just love her and listen. She is a flawed human being even if she is your mom. You’re coming to an age where you can listen to her and be her friend. My grown daughters have become my best friends and closest confidants.

Smitha's avatar

At some stages of life people doubt if God is truly there,especially when a person is depressed. Depression tends to loose their faith. The best way to help is to let her know you’re there for her if she needs you but other than that it’s really up to her. Let her believe what she wants to believe. You can help her sign up for feeding the homeless or some physical volunteer work. If she likes you can take her to the church, talk to a pastor or priest. Church is not only a place to worship God and grow spiritually, it’s also a place to build friendships, find encouragement, and get support through tough times.

KaY_Jelly's avatar

You mentioned that you and your sister are in college.

Are you going to be home at any time during the holidays?

I think you could remind your mother what the holidays are about. Buy her something faith based for Christmas like perhaps a cross that she can wear around her neck.

I do think your mom might be feeling lonely, it’s not the same decorating trees and baking all by yourself.

You should ask your mom why she is questioning her faith. And let her know she should talk with Him and search the bible for answers.

I often have to talk with God myself and seek answers in the bible.

The answers always find me.

Maybe it’s weird but I have POST IT’s all over my bible from times I have randomly opened it seeking advice and found the answer.

Going to church would also be a good idea.

Also, you could watch this movie together.

I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas. I will pray for your mom.

Welcome to fluther.

ragingloli's avatar

Any atheist clubs where you live?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Ultimately it’s up to her to get off her ass and start living again. But maybe you could give her a little jump start by taking her to some volunteer activities, helping out at dinners, shelters, Veterans hospitals, SPCAs, that kind of thing. They always need the extra help. Going to a crappy job and coming home to an empty house will wear on anyone’s soul.

GoldieAV16's avatar

The holidays stress a lot of people out. Give it a week, and see if she isn’t doing better then.

I wouldn’t worry so much about the empty house. A lot of people enjoy solitude, especially as they get older, and younger people have a hard time understanding that. Be a good listener. Let her vent about work, holiday stress, whatever ails her, and then share some good news about your own life. Don’t fall into the trap of commiseration, or hide your own light under a barrel. Moms love to hear that their kids are healthy, happy, and thriving. That alone will lift her spirits more than anything.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think you can save anyone’s faith for them and I doubt that that’s really the problem. It sounds like she is in an unhappy place in her life. You also cannot make someone else happy – or be responsible for their happiness – but you can help her be less stressed by Christmas by having her do less, de-emphasizing gift giving and nurturing her and showing your love in tangible ways.

As an aside, is there a way that she could move to a place where she might be more able to make new friends? They are a key component of well-being as your kids age.

P.S. Practical “gifts” like breakfast in bed or dinner made when she gets in could do much to restore her faith in Santa – or at least her kids.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I understand completely and feel much like your mom.

The thing is, some of us that think a lot, tend to be overwhelmed by the commercialism, the nastiness of mankind, the almighty dollar’s power, etc…and forget the good things. I call it being a little bitter & jaded with reality.

What I do to combat those negative feelings is to help others, acknowledge all the wonderful people who are incredibly generous, to be thankful for what I have, and donate my time and efforts to helping the less fortunate. It’s balm to a jaded heart.

As far as religion, once you see the good & generous hearts in people, it’s hard not to believe in God, because it’s very easy to be ugly, nasty and greedy but a little more difficult to shine His light and love on others. :) Good luck, you’re sweet to worry about mom’s, and welcome.

Coloma's avatar

Good advice, I can’t add anything to all the support shared other than, it is not unusual to lose attachment to holidays as you get older. I have been happily single by choice and divorced for 11 years, have a 26 yr. old daughter and I LOVE coming home to an empty house and my 2 cats. Bliss for me! haha

50ShadesOfNope's avatar

Thank you to everybody for your kind and thoughtful answers. It seems she is doing better now that the holidays have passed. Christmas was great too! I leave for next semester this week and am just a little worried she might slip back into that loneliness, but I hope for the best. I am going to make an effort to call her every Sunday.

@KaY_Jelly It’s not weird at all! My friend used to do that with her Bible as well. I am trying to get back into reading it, as well as build my relationship with God.

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