Religion or Spirituality: Damned or Divine

I grew up in a religious Christian household. We went to Sunday School and Service on Sundays, Vacation Bible School in the summer, took Communion on every First Sunday, and participated in every Christian activity my grandma could put us in. We were taught to love the Lord and to fear Him. We knew that Jesus was our Saviour and the Holy Spirit was God with us, our teacher and guide. I remember Sundays with a warm nostalgia, we went to church, caught up with church friends, and came home to Sunday Dinner(or went out to eat); Sunday was the Lord’s Day in our house and most of us spent it together at church.

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Being a Christian has been one of the cornerstones of my existence. We were taught that there was only one way to God and it was the Christian way. We never discussed other religions because they were idolizing other gods and that was a sin. There was no freedom to explore and discover my own religious path, in my house we served the Lord, that was a demand and commandment. I did what was expected of me, I went to church, obeyed the commandments, learned the B-Attitudes, prayed, and took Communion. As I grew up and matured, I took on leadership roles in my the church, including being a Sunday School Teacher, a Children’s Church Worker, and eventually Minister and Director of Children’s Church. I was a good Christian Girl.

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When I left the Baptist denomination and joined a Full Gospel fellowship, my family was enraged. I was accused of being brainwashed. Nonetheless, I was old enough to make my own decisions and that was right for me. In the Full Gospel world, I discovered God in a life changing way. I learned about prophecy, relationship with God as oppossed to religion, and how to live by faith; it was amazing. After about 10 years in Full Gospel, I felt called to non-denomination/Word of Faith and oh my God, it was miraculous. I literally experienced miracles in my life. However, laced in everything I learned was an underlying message of fear. It seemed that God was just waiting in the shadows for me to mess up so He could punish me. Repentance was always at the forefront of my mind. If you didn’t pay your Tithes, you were cursed. If you had pre-martial sex you are a sinner, and if you were anything other than straight you were on the fast-track to Hell.

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It was as though, nothing I did would ever be good enough to please God. If I paid my Tithes but I had sex, I was doomed. If I missed a service, He wasn’t pleases. Yet, I continued in my religious practices because it was all I knew and all I was allowed to know. I had questions about God and when I would ask them, I would get redirected to a command or told that my inquires were not of God. And then Facebook! Several years ago, I began to see posts about The Law of Attraction and I was intrigued. As I read and learned, I wanted to know more and needed to figure out how to make L.O.A. fit into my Christian Consciousness. Somehow, I discovered my now Life Coach and the floodgates opened. I watched her for 4 long years before I signed up to be a her client/student. In the beginning, I felt some much guilt, I just knew God wasn’t pleased and I was surely going to hell.

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Getting a Life Coach was the beginning of my liberation from religious indoctrination and bondage. I had so much doctrine ingrained in me and it was all fear based. As a person who suffers from severe anxiety, I now know that Christianity isn’t for me. I honestly believe that being a Christian under some of the teachings that I received made me more anxious. I was reared in an environment that fueled my Anxiety Disorder. Understand, I still believe in God and I still love Jesus but I also am aware that there is more than one way to Him. I still pray and if I should choose to, I can speak in tongues. My Christian upbringing has prepared me to delve deeper into the things of God. It is because of the teaching that I received that I am ready to explore spirituality over religion.

If we are to be honest with ourselves, it is all the same thing. People have used words and labels to divide the masses but we are all on a quest for the deeper things, more God and more awareness of our spiritual selves. If God created the earth and all its inner workings and inhabitants, how can exploring his creations be wrong? I want to study Buddhism, sit with a Shaman, understand Tarot Cards, do energy and healing medicine, I want to know my spirit guide, I want to understand more about my life path number(8), and whatever else God puts on my heart. My sister’s passing devastated my life and broke me in so many ways but it also opened me up to living for me. I am sure that once my family and a few friends read this post, they will be praying for my wayward soul, that is not my concern. I have finally arrived to a place in my life where I am doing what I want cause I want and it feels euphoric. No longer will I suppress my urge to be spiritual and learn about those things that I was taught to devil orchestrated. I am open but protected and diving into the deep, spiritually speaking that is. Onward♥

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