days four and five

posted on: Saturday, February 19, 2011

4. your views on religion

whew. buckle up.

lil' back story: i come from a pretttty religious family.
i'm the granddaughter of two preachers (both sides).
i was born in Brazil...because my parents were missionaries there when i was born.
i can't remember a time when i didn't go to church.
i was more familiar with Bible stories than Disney movies as a kid.

we went to a Church of Christ for a long time, and then started going to non-denominational churches. youth group was as much of a given in my life as eating and breathing. i went to a Christian college. and it wasn't just about church, Christianity was what formed my worldview. my faith was very important to me. i was pretty sheltered, too. even though i went to a more "liberal" Christian college, it was still suuuper conservative. tons of rules and regulations, curfews, etc. i was surrounded by people who all thought and believed the same way (for the most part). and i was pretty judgmental about anyone and everyone who saw things differently than i did. not too proud about that part. but i am thankful for the foundation that faith and church-going laid in my life.

bottom line:
religion and faith (and yes, i believe these are two very different things) have been a big part of my life.

religion, and Christianity in particular, has a tendency to be pretty black and white. as the years have passed, and as i've come into contact with more and more people who believed differently than i did--and came to love and respect these people--i find it harder and harder to believe that God is so exclusive. and in my experience with churches, i've found that all too often, they seem to find it more important that everyone have the same theology than to be representatives of God's love.

i'm not going to get into a theological debate about on the finer points of the Westminster Catechism. and i'm not here to discuss creation vs evolution, the means to salvation, original sin, the infallibility of scripture, or any of that. (though if you want to, email away...i just fear the blog might not be the proper avenue.) i just have a hard time with the "i am the way, the truth, and the life. no one comes to the Father but through me".  like i said, it just seems to portray a more exclusive God than the one i know.

as a result, over the past 4-5 years, i've strayed a bit (okay, a lot) from religion. now, i recognize that i have a lot of religious baggage...and because of that, i have a really hard time walking into a church without waves of bitterness overcoming me. to the point where any attempt to worship is futile. so i'm taking a little break from religion for a while.

but my faith is still here.

admittedly, my faith is a bit fuzzy these days...lacking in definition at times. i apologize for that. but it's there.

so here's what i DO believe: i believe that God exists. always has...outside of time. i believe he created everything that we are and experience as humans on this earth. i believe he is all-loving and all-powerful (though i, too, am confused about when he chooses to play which card). i believe in Jesus, and that he is the Son of God. and i believe my job is to try to be as accurate a representation of God's love to everyone around me as i possibly can.

that's about all i a nutshell. i just try to keep my eyes and my heart open as i journey through life. and above all, i keep asking big questions. maybe i'll never get any concrete answers, but at the very least i'll be fixated on worthwhile pursuits.

still with me?
good. here's a couple sunny pics of me in tanner and slightly skinnier days to break up the heaviness.
i'll be back there in seven days...
get warm for me, sweet Atlantic.

the fruits of my labor.
before i ate him.

5. A time you thought about ending your own life.

well, isn't this just a sun-shiney post?

i can say, with thankfulness, that though i've gotten pretty low at some points, i have never contemplated suicide.

even in my darkest days, circa 2006, when my first attempt at getting into med school failed miserably, i still managed to cry it out, and wake up the next day with a very Pollyanna-ish sense of "tomorrow is a new day, without any mistakes in it yet".

so i'll leave it at that.

i hope nobody hates me after this post. and i really hope i'm not offending anybody either. if you feel the need to set me straight, or berate me in any way, i hope you'll do it "in person". ya know, over email.


  1. sinner.

    ha. i joke.

    I am in similar place as you...didnt grow up in the christian faith, but did attend a christian college, and spent a long time in a group of christians.

    we can swap holy roller stories at another time.

    :insert tan picture of me::

    so much better.

  2. Emily, I feel the EXACT same way you do about religion. Though no one in my family was a preacher, per se, families don't get a whole lot more religious than mine was. Growing up I, too, was more familiar with Bible stories than Disney movies. I surprise people, now, with how much I know about the Bible! But during high school and college I really started asking big questions... and so far, no one has had any satisfactory answers for me. I believe in God, but not necessarily in how the Christian religion has painted him. I think all we can really trust about God is the beauty and intricacy of creation... not all of these "religions" that are so altered by human hands.

    Goodness, if all we had to talk about on our first little "blate" was THIS, we could probably talk for hours. I'd love to hear more about your perspective on it! Thanks for sharing this. It's encouraging to find someone else who feels the same way I do.

    Have a great week pretty friend!

  3. Girl, I LOVE you after this post! Honestly, I am right there with you along lines of religion and faith, but like you, my faith will always be with me. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Could not agree more. Seriously. Plucked the thoughts out of my little brain.


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