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Reflect On A Time When You Questioned Or Challenged A Belief Or Idea. What Prompted Your Thinking? What Was The Outcome?

My parents never forced religion on me. Instead, they encouraged me to explore the world and learn new things. When I was nine, we moved next door to a church. It was a new city as well, so I attended with the idea of expanding on my religion and making new friends. It went well. I attended the church for more than five years and even became part of the choir. It was the few years after that would cause me to question my faith.

There were many reasons that I started to question my faith. When I was in middle school, I experienced a lot of challenging times. I lost my stepmother to cancer and my grandmother passed the same year. The boy that I thought I was in love with dated my best friend. That best friend eventually moved to Oklahoma with her father and our relationship was never the same. I experienced many losses and it may have been these losses that triggered the onset of my depression. As the depression overcame me, I distanced myself from the church. These events, combined with the turmoil that I had experienced in early childhood, caused me to question if there was a God at all.

I had not given up completely on a higher power, but I did question it. I still prayed occasionally, but did not really expect any results. There were a few years, the darker years of my life, when I felt that I was completely alone. This ultimately made my depression worse as I distanced myself from the world around me too. The loss of my faith caused me to make many poor decisions and engage in risky behaviors. It was toward the end of my teenage years that I started trying to pull myself from this darkness, realizing that I would not make it far in life if I continued allowing it to consume me.

As I reached the end of my high school years, I was given the opportunity to explore a few other religions. My history teacher had requested that we write about another religion than our own, in an attempt to teach us understanding and acceptance of those who were different. This assignment was a life changing one for me. I chose to study the Muslim religion, which was far from the terroristic ideals that were spread through Islam. This paper taught me a lot and encouraged me to learn more. Outside of school, I also researched Buddhism and Christianity in greater depth. One of the interesting things that I learned was that there are similar ideas throughout all these religions, though they are presented slightly differently. One thing that they had in common was the presence of a greater power. All also believe in Jesus Christ, though they do not all believe that he played the same role in their religion.

The outcome of the loss of my faith and the realization of many others was that there are many interpretations of the seemingly same faith. I do not attend church today, though I do believe in a greater presence. I also believe in the presence of energy throughout the universe. I spend a lot of time outside, breathing in the energy all around me and observing the world. I believe that my outcome is a great one, as it has left me with my own set of beliefs and an open eye and understanding of other religions.

 
 

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