...ihavealotonmymind for the blog address.
Previously I mentioned the "brainwashing" argument regarding Christians.
Personally, I came by my faith in God on my own. Yes, I grew up in church because of my mom's faith, but her faith is not my faith. What I mean is that we believe much of the same things because of our faith, but I didn't just inherit my faith from her.
I don't remember how young I was, but I remember asking Mom how one becomes a Christian? Was it taking communion? Was it coming to church? Somehow I knew I was meant to be a Christian, but she couldn't quite explain the "how" to me. How did she brainwash me when she couldn't answer all of my questions, I will never know.
Then in the summer before high school [hs], I met people of Youth for Christ [YFC]. They had the answer, and I immediately went through the steps to become a Christian. Ah, here's an answer to the brainwashing; I don't spout ingrained YFC mantras (are there any?) whenever I'm feeling righteous, and, while I believe that YFC is a good organization to reach the youth, I don't necessarily agree with one of their beliefs (I'm not going to agree with every fellow Christian about everything). So, YFC did not brainwash me.
I got an answer, I heard a call, and I answered back. Sometimes I think I must have always had faith in God, even before becoming a Christian. I must have known that He exists.
Sometimes I wonder about how people see me, what they think of me. I'm in my late 20's now, having grown up with my mother and father married to each other (as they continue to be), my parents having never been married to anyone else. I have one brother, no half- or step-siblings. Drug-free, smoke-free, alcohol-free, never been homeless, never been abused. People see that, and I think they believe that I had a perfect childhood. I think so. They also believe that means I have no right to hurt, to think, to be saddened.
I know I have been greatly blessed, in so many countless ways that others have not. But I hurt like anyone else. I have my trials and tribulations like anyone else. I have the full range of emotions.
This is the point; my faith in God is what sustains me. I know He is real, that His Son is real, because I could not have gotten this far without Him. I believe He blessed me with this good family because He knows what I need. I can easily imagine how far gone I would be now if I had been born into any other family. In my darkest days, and they can be very dark, I take every blow that the darkness hurls at me because I know that in the end, I will be here. I will survive, for when I glimpse just a speck of light, and I reach up my hand, He will take it and bring me up. He always has, never failing once.
Would you call that "brainwashed"? If I am, then THANK GOD, because I am hopeful because of it.
P.S. Why is it that when people in general come through tragedies and struggles, they say "by the grace of God?" Maybe not when they're in it or right after it (though some do), but in hindsight, they thank God. You might hear "thank Allah," but I have never heard someone thank Buddha or Vishnu, thank myself.