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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

I am not trying to convert you.  I’ve never asked you if you’ve found Jesus or feel his love in your heart.  I won’t give you a pamphlet, or try to legislate what’s taught in schools to indoctrinate your children while they’re still young and vulnerable.  I understand that there are religious people (of many types of religions) who do this, but I am not one of those people.

I have peace in my life from my walk with God, and if you’re curious, I will tell you about it.  However, I don’t think Christians have a monopoly on the truth.  Many practitioners of other religions, and lots of agnostics and atheists, lead lives that are good and I think God recognizes that.  Many Christians lead lives that are bad, and I think God recognizes that, too.

I’m not a Christian because I woke up this morning and felt like it would be fun.  It’s hard for me.  The bible is full of contradictions and I read it every day and I studied theology and I can probably tell you more about how the bible doesn’t make sense than most people who are vehemently opposed to Christianity.  I don’t feel accepted in any particular church.  I struggle with who is going to hell and who is going to heaven.  I have doubts.  There are people I can’t forgive and forgiveness is not negotiable in Christianity.  I’m not happy about being different from the rest of my family and most of my friends.  I feel on the outside a lot – like the black sheep.  Being Christian is a knock-down drag-out fight for me, and I make a choice to be Christian every single day because I feel like I was called to do it – even when it would be easier not to.

I wanted to tell you this because there is someone I can’t tell.   Someone who matters to me seems inexplicably angry at me for being Christian and who acts like I’m attacking them and part of an insidious institution, even when I’ve never tried to convert them.  This person thinks I’m presumptuous and arrogant.  I wish I could tell that person that I am not trying to make them unhappy by practicing this religion and  I am not trying to change them.   In fact, I don’t see how it has anything to do with them at all.  My belief in Christianity is central to who I am.  It informs all of the choices that I make in my life, and I don’t need this person to be Christian, but I need them to leave me the hell alone about my choice to be Christian.

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I suffer from anxiety.  I don’t just have anxiety – I suffer from it.  In the past I have taken medicine to help control my anxiety, but currently I’m wandering around au naturale – I’m like an organic crazy person.  Being on anxiety medication actually caused me to have anxiety; I was disturbed by the fact that it was a Class C drug and I could accidentally get pregnant and have a flipper baby.

People who don’t have anxiety confuse it with normal worry and stress.  For instance, my job is very stressful, and I often come home from work very tense.  In fact, I wake up a few times a night thinking about work.  It’s as though even while sleeping my mind is gnawing on my work problems and will periodically wake me up because that demented corner of my psyche that never sleeps has just realized something that I should remember to do tomorrow.   My husband confuses my inability to relax with everyday stress and tells me to just leave work at work, but it’s not that simple for me.  My mind races and I physically feel different in my viscera – it’s a feeling in my throat and my chest and my belly.  If I could “just leave work at work”, believe me: I would do it.

I’m telling you this because if you feel tense, you should really consider adopting a religion.  I’m hanging onto sanity by my fingernails and I think I maintain that precarious perch through medication or religion.  I was not religious until I was 18, so I have a good basis for comparison.  To my way of thinking, it doesn’t even matter if there is a God.  So what if religion is a fantasy that people use as a crutch or a coping mechanism?  If you’re coping, I say forget reality.  And if there actually is a God, so much the better.

I’ve been doing an extensive study on a bible verse relating to anxiety this week and I’ve discovered a few things that have been helping me to get off that merry-go-round of compulsive thinking.  My biggest hope tonight is that if you also suffer from craziness, you will find some relief in science or religion or love.

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