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Try be honest with yourself

By Alin B. ~

Born in a Christian Orthodox family, around half of 1976 somewhere in the North-Western part of Romania, I got little of spiritual experience together with my family. I never had to go to church, we went few times but never stood too much and did not got very intense.

At the age of 10 we moved and start having some problems while my father start heavy drinking. We are 4 children in the family and at that time two of my sister to escape from the super charged atmosphere in our home, married to first guys they met. So why is that important? Because the husband of one of my sister, is a strange guy. They are married for 14+ years and have 6 wonderful children. At the time they met, my sister was young and full of life and her new boyfriend also. But something changed dramatically after a little while.They moved out together in a rented house. So, one night after midnight we got some strange noise in the house where we lived at that time. The noise was actually, my newly married sister and her husband. She was sort of crying and having a strange state of exaltation, and also her husband was in a strange state of euphoria.

They both discover Jesus, and i remember clearly that he mentioned to brake a vase in their home and got a cut in his palm and the cut was in a shape of a pigeon. and they told us a story how he had a devil inside of him and trough that cut the devil came out and now he is free. My sister used to suffer from a complication in her kidneys and that night she was healed by god trough her husband... so, from here the story gets complicated.

As i already mentioned i was not too much in to faith, beliefs, gods and so on, But at a point that night, the husband of my sister forced us to listen his predictions and stories in a loud show. Me, my younger sister and my mom where sleeping in the same room and gathered beside mom in her bed crying being scared and not really understanding what was happening.

While I tried to see how can I practice honesty with myself I found that I have lots of questions unanswered which complicating my life.My father was drunk and sleeping put waked up because of the noise - he used to sleep in a different room. He got scared and took an ax and run in to the garden and climbed a tree and stood there. Well now might sound funny but at that point we all got pretty scared. The whole show took some hours and by morning my sister and her husband left us scarred and puzzled and got to their place.

Next day we had them again with us for few hours confirming what happened few hours earlier was all true and they are going to get baptized in a new church, a Protestant - Pentecostal one.

And from then on my search for gods began.

I had some girlfriends at that time, they used to go to a baptist church so i asked if i could come. They where nice and invited me. Few months later a band of Christian musicians came in our little town and I was really impressed by the atmosphere they created -- got a baseball hat from the drummer of the band, his name is Alex.. :) in few words, my life changed. I have seen hundreds of people in a hypnotic like state crying and praying out loud, very different from what i used to get in the orthodox church I used to rarely go.

So at that point I was around 14 years old.

Year by year Sunday by Sunday I got on a tour of churches, mostly Protestant ones. I talked to people. I've experienced mass euphoria and got loose on praying. Mostly I remember I was praying for wisdom; I don't know why. I thought was kind of cool at that time.

I even got to speak to a famous - don't remember his name - pastor! An American one. Then I got in touch with another one who lives in our little town. I did start to go to the Protestant churches in our little town every Sunday and got to know some of the people around.

At this point my sister was already having three babies and her problems with her kidneys came back complicating the birth-giving of their babies.

My story gets even more religious after experiencing a life and death event.

Climbing once a wall i lost the grab of my both hands and all that I had where my feet plugged in the stone wall while a piece of rock I was grabbing with both hands, broke down leaving me for 2 seconds in a very weird position holding myself only with my feet. So I remember very clear the rock coming out of the wall and not to be hit in the face by reflex, I leaned back a moment where my gravity center moved making me almost floating. By some event, I have no explanation why, I got back in equilibrium and a got grip on the wall with both hands, this time on different places. When the adrenalin was consumed, I started shaking and wondering what was that. I took this like a sign and nobody could explain that to me without giving credit to divinity. I started writing poems, some, religious ones and also start reading the bible more often.

Year after year, my family had different experiences some bad, where I did pray for help and waiting for miracles and some good ones where i was thanking god for being on my side. All this became normal, and I got used to this life, thoughts and behavior.

I met a wonderful girl and got married and part of her family was also Protestant. She is still the love of my life and at that time we were married in a Orthodox church. We had some friends visiting for the party. Some of them came from Denmark where I used to work for them and one of them gave me some advice while I was still there working: "Try be honest with yourself." I did not understood at that time what he meant, and I was also a bit offended.

Life with my wife changed a lot of me and in this process I thought to try what my friend suggested. While I tried to see how can I practice honesty with myself I found that I have lots of questions unanswered which complicating my life.

I've started reading more history and watch some documentaries about other religions.
my mind got confused and in the beginning i liked that, the mystery, and the research fever but i was getting to a point where i asked for conclusion.

At that point in my life I got a job in advertising and start seeing better the behavior of human beings and also triggers, emotions, messages…

So the part where Christianity lost me was in the beginning of this year, when having doubts i was reading some blogs and various websites to see how other people deal with situations like mine.

Things started to clarify when I was watching Benny Hinn performing on stage and i said: this is so wrong, this has nothing to do with faith, is a sad circus because plays with something delicate: hope.

So little by little I got courage and start questioning everything.

At work i have two nice colleagues, both christians and I wanted to talked to them to see what they will say about my questions. No answer, they almost got upset so i stopped.

So, three months ago, before our first baby was born we - my wife and i - decided to go to the priest from the orthodox church where we got married and we used to pay taxes and told him about our choice - to renounce to religion and to not baptize the baby. The priest was a bit disturbed but he did not dramatized the moment. The next ones where our families. They where a bit shocked but no pressure, so was good, and than at work and that was it. Neighbors and distend relatives where not involved.

Being atheist is not easy, when you live in a traditionalist society. We are not haunted or discriminated against, but we get a special relation and some people keep distance.

Friends

We did not have many, but the ones we have are OK with our decision and some of them are also non-believers.

So now instead of going to church on Sunday, we watch debates and talks with Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris. We try to see the world as it is and enjoy every moment of our lives.

Right now, my wife is asleep and also our little girl. We hope for her to get the real notion of freedom on a early age and we would try to guide her to be a good person as we struggle now for us to become.

Thanks for reading and I hope my English is readable (I got it by watching movies).


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