How I Left Church and Found Faith

I can’t truly define myself as a Christian. I can’t truly define myself as anything.

Raised Catholic by my dad while being brought up by a gay mother will make your head spin when it comes to deciding what’s right, what’s wrong, and what ultimately to believe in.

After being pulled in two completely opposite directions, when I was 15, I had a falling out with the Catholic church, and ultimately, my Dad, because of our differences in beliefs.

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot. I’m not what you’d call “educated” in my faith. I can’t quote a Bible verse. And when I’ve had “debates” related to religion, I fall back on my subjective beliefs.

I doubt a lot. I question everything. But at my core, in my heart, their are certain unshakable beliefs…

I believe in God, but maybe not the God your church wants me to believe in.

I believe in free will, that the decisions we make, the choices we’re faced with, and ultimately, the salvation we’re after, is a path not predetermined by fate, but chosen by me, and me alone. And while I’m faced with things that are ultimately beyond my control, I’ll always possess the power to choose.

I believe I have a purpose, but not one that’s been destined and hand-picked by the Greater Good, rather, a purpose that through my experiences, I define for myself.

I believe in equality. Something that the church often claims to promote, but in practice, defines itself by who is welcome, and maybe more importantly, who isn’t.

Faith isn’t exclusive. It can’t be. There isn’t a “right way”, there IS, and only is, “your way”.

Faith is deeply personal. It’s an internal, life-long journey toward discovering your best self. Finding your own salvation. Finding that euphoric place that some call heaven and others, enlightenment.

I, along with thousands of other people, watched the video below yesterday, and while I can’t openly admit that Jesus is in fact, my Lord and savior, the message rings true: That Jesus, or maybe in my case, personal faith as a whole, is far greater than “religion”. 

Faith has no bounds. Faith sees no end. Faith isn’t exclusive. Faith drives and defines you on a deeply personal level.

Amidst a generation that doesn’t do much talking about faith and religion, I hope my message, and the message in the video below, sparks something within, and gets you thinking about your own faith relationship. Maybe with a church in your neighborhood. Maybe with a group of friends who share similar beliefs. Maybe a blogger like me who hits a chord. Or maybe with yourself. 

What do you believe?

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Want a full transcript of the poem? Click here. | Photo credit