What I've Found

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Let me just say, I wasn't raised religious. My extended family are all very strict Mormons or Catholics, and my parents wanted my brothers and I to stay uninfluenced by their passionate prayers and condemnations of gays, lesbians and democrats. But somehow, I found the idea of religion fascinating- no matter how much my parents assured me that I could find spirituality without a church or a God. I wanted that connection, that love, that feeling of contentedness that seemed to radiate from my church-going family members. And I found it. In God.
The first time I went to Catholic mass I came home in tears. Furious at my parents for denying me of Gods love, of the salvation that was waiting for me if I repented my sins and began to love Jesus. Did they want me to go to hell?? My parents were bewildered. They had never seen an identity crisis of this scale from an eight-year-old.
I began to read the bible then, and I prayed every night. I prominently hung the cross my uncle had given me at birth above my bed. I lined the bible, the Qur'an (the Islamic book of faith) and the Book of Mormon on my bedside table. I wanted all religion I could. I craved all the love I could find from God, or, Allah. I thanked God for the smallest of things, a raindrop, a perfectly toasted slice of bread. I praised The Lord for the biggest things- my safe home, a new baby cousin, my family. And I found shelter in all of it.
As I grew, I learned not to hide behind my religion, but to embrace it, walk with it, keep it by my side. That's how I live today. Praying, loving god, loving people. I'm still pro-choice, I'm still more democrat than republican, I'm still pro gay marriage, but I've found something that vbrings me peace and hope. Someone I can turn to in the darkest of times. I've found God.

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