Growing up, outside of a brief period of time after the passing of my grandmother and my mother turning to religion for what I imagine to be solace and strength, I was never forced to go to church. It wasn’t that my mother didn’t start believing in God until the passing of her mother because she always had, but as a single mom working long hours to ensure us a stable and happy life, there wasn’t always time.
During my adolescent years I attended church of my own volition with my aunt and my best friend’s family, and despite not being able to hold a tune I even joined a teen choir. I distinctly remember always enjoying church because of the atmosphere, always uplifting, convivial, and divine. Eventually after my expressed interest, my aunt surprised me with my first Bible. We’d have bible study discussing verses pertaining to whatever the lesson was for that week and this is where things changed for me. I began to read stories and verses that I found to be hateful, parochial, and sometimes downright scary; not at all in line with what I imagine when I think of God, the embodiment of love.
Now as an adult, those feelings remain. I believe in God, but religion, I’m not certain of. I can’t reconcile what I believe to be ill teachings of the Bible and what I feel in my heart. I still read the Bible and try to use it as the basis for my life but in its entirety, not so much. There shouldn’t be hate and fear where there should be love and comfort.
While it brings me a great deal to ponder over, not having all of the answers right now doesn’t trouble me. I think of my spiritual development as a journey, not so much a destination, and he knows my heart.
I’m not looking for anyone to make sense of this for me because these are not questions or concerned that can necessarily be satisfied by another person. My journey is not yours and I’m on the rode to finding my own truth. But please, feel free to comment.