My mother was raised Catholic, and my father was raised confused (I will touch on this later). I suppose at some point they came to, if not a consensus, a reluctant agreement to raise their children as non denominational Christians. I came to rely on faith as a preschooler after being visited by dark presences in the night. The details of my encounter are almost comedic by today's standard so I will reserve those for myself. There is no doubt in my mind, though that I was a child under attack by the darkness. I was terrified of the night, and until I had been a mother nearly a whole year I could not sleep without a light. I cannot say why I was exposed to evil at such a tender age. The result, however, was a dependence on spirituality and God to keep me afloat in the light. The "enemy" as my mother likes to call it, has stalked me relentlessly at times. My faith has been the cell phone to my ear keeping him at bay. Needless to say I've hung up a few times and paid the price.
Having an established religion at such a young age did not gain me any popularity in school. I am part of a generation that is increasingly revolted by the very idea of religion, nonetheless God. The ways of the old testament are offensive enough, but the people who use it to their advantage are no more than scum on the window of faith. As a child I did not quite understand this. I continually used my meager knowledge of the Bible to debate right and wrong with my peers. I had very difficult time making and keeping friends. I didn't even want to be my friend. In my fifth grade year of school I began to doubt God. In my sixth year I began to resent Him. By fourteen I had all but abandoned my faith. The internal and external abuse I was suffering seemed inhumane. I fell into the common opinion that no God worth flollowing would allow such a thing. I was one of His faithful and He sat and watched as I thrashed in the sea of lonliness and pain. As with other elements of this anecdote, I will retain the juicy details of my struggle for another chapter. More pertinent to this piece of my puzzle is the revelation that built the foundation for my spiritual consciousness. It did not become clear to me until I was crying on the cold hard ground of a jail cell that I was drowning not because God let me go, but because I had let go of Him. I was so consumed with finding my place in this world that I had forgotten that the earth and the people in it did not create me, and therefore did not get to say where my place was. I have one judge, and in His eyes I have a place in the universe greater than any position I could hold on this speck of dust in the wind. I had been trying to plan my life based on the standards of others, when all along He has had and continues to have a far greater plan for me. I came back to my spiritual faith just in time. Not long after I breathed the air of the Spirit once again, I was thrown into a storm that could have taken my life. Without my faith I would have given up. With it I fought and made it through.
I realize that faith and spirituality is not a popular subject these days. Hypocrisy commands on either side of the battlefield, and often leaves a bloody mess in its wake. I feel for those that are angry with God. I understand those that are angry with these individuals. I am very open minded, but more importantly open hearted. Let me be clear that I am a follower of Christ. I am convicted of my beliefs and very opinionated to boot. Where I differ from many who second these claims is in my empathy and tolerance of other human beings and their opinions. I will put more time into my convictions in another piece, and I think the reader will find that I am a rare mix of candid, spiritual, and free-thinking.
At this point in my journey I am in a very existential place spiritually. I am becoming more personally connected to God, and allowing him to fill my soul with his wonders in my rare moments of silence. By no means am I a perfect Christian, whatever that may be. I struggle, I fall, cry and scream; but God holds me. He does not let me go. When I feel I am in the depths of self destruction He is there coaxing me out. He has blessed me and I am thankful. The reader may not understand or even agree with what I feel, but "I think, therefore I am." This is my reality, and to my soul and mind the Spirit of God is as tangibly existent as the flesh on my bones.