Day 7: Views on Religion.
For me, my religion has always been something that I never really open up about or talk about, and frankly, I don’t really know why. Maybe because it’s just something I feel is very personal to me. I do think most people would be surprised to know how important my faith actually is to me. I was raised Roman Catholic. I grew up going to church every Sunday and going to a youth group every wednesday night as a child. I went to Christian summer camps, and have always credited God a million percent for my whole existence. I was born very ill…countless medical problems, birth defects, and what should have been fatal illnesses. Doctors told my parents I wouldn’t survive the first 24 hours of my life, and once I did, they said that there was no hope for me to ever live a normal life. Obviously the doctors were wrong, and here I am 22 years later living an extremely normal life despite everything. I COMPLETELY believe that my mom’s prayers, and God are the only reasons I made it and that I’m still here today. God has made so many miracles happen for me my whole life…nonbelievers can say that it was all the doctors and science all they want, but I know it was God. When I was twelve, we found out that I needed an emergency skull reconstructive surgery…basically, it was brain surgery. Needless to say I was beyond scared. My mom and I got home and prayed that night, and asked God to perform the surgery, and to let me be okay. A few days later at school, it was my last day at school before my surgery. My math teacher gave me a card before I left school that day, and when I got home that night, I read it with my mom. In the card, my teacher had written, “my prayers are with you during this hard time. Please do not be afraid…everything is going to be okay, God is with you and his hands will be performing the surgery. You’re going to be okay.” I kid you not. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. God has saved my life many other times…he’s helped me through the dark times in my life, and has blessed me with so many wonderful things in life. I guess it’s kind of bad that I don’t talk openly about my faith…and honestly, I’m kind of awkward when it comes to talking about it. I think I’m so used to keeping it to myself that I just don’t know how to talk about it. I was always taught not to shove my faith down other people’s throats and to respect the fact that different people have different beliefs. I’m very accepting towards other religions and I’d never want to offend anyone because I know how it feels. Growing up, I had a neighborhood friend who took me to her “Christian” church one day. There, I was told that because I was Catholic, and did not belong to their denomination, that I was going to hell. Mind you, I was only nine years old. I remember going home and crying because I was so scared of going to hell. I never want to make anyone else feel inferior because they have different beliefs than mine. But it’s gotten to the point that I don’t even talk about my faith with people with the same beliefs as me…and maybe that is because of it being so personal to me. I also think that because my mom and I stopped going to church about four or five years ago might also have something to do with it. But nonetheless, whether I fall out of my faith a bit, or keep it to myself, it will always be the most important thing in my life, and I’ll always find my way back to God in the end. He’s the one behind everything. No one else. He makes everything possible, and I’ll never ever forget that. I think religion is an amazing thing, no matter what religion you are. It provides a sense of peace, and love that absolutely nothing else can provide. As long as you have God, you have everything in my opinion. And no matter what phase I am in my life, what I’m going through, or what I have, I always pray, every single night and thank God for everything I do have and ask him to continue to help me through everything. No matter what his plan for me is, I know everything is going to fall into place and work out in the end. I’d be so broken and empty without my faith or religion, and I can’t imagine how people without a religion must feel. I have no judgement, but to me, it’s just weird and empty.