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A complete waste of brain power...

By Sarah R. ~

Where do I begin?

So I'm a African American woman who grew up in the church from ever since I can remember. I didn't like the days where I'm constantly getting up on Sunday mornings, getting dolled up to listen to a preacher go on and on but I couldn't say no to my mom knowing that she would beat me if I didn't listen. I had brothers and and uncles who couldn't stand listening to a preacher who does nothing but, and this is their own words, "Talk up a storm about nothing relevant, take peoples money come offering time, think that we're filled with the 'holy spirit' but isn't, and going home after church feeling like crap." Being as young I was at the time I didn't know what it meant so I ignored it. I was good kid growing up going to all public schools.

High school was the hardest because it was always pressure from cliques of me wanting to fit in with them, I couldn't do because of what my church taught me about the whole temptation of the heart thing. There was one night when I was at night service when I was sitting with my friend who is also christian and I still keep in contact with to this day, about me staying the night. I said of course sure, my mom knew her parents so it was OK. Little did I know, her brother that was in the church band playing drums was there around me and my friend. At her house one night, her brother came in and we started talking, then the conversation led to sex and he asked me if I wanted to do it. At first I said no cause I'm saving my self for marriage the bible said. However I gave in, needless to say it wasn't a pleasant experience. He pretty much used me for sex. I told my friend about it, and she didn't do much to help the situation. Here I was thinking I was in love, that we were going to get married and have kids, I was wrong. Luckily, I didn't get pregnant.

I haven't gone to church since that time, I took time to focus on me completing high school. After high school I attended college where I met a another girl named "J". I recognized her on the pamphlet of a concert program back in high school. I talked to her and we gotten to know each other, and then she brought up Jesus in the conversation. Then invited me to attend her church. I said sure. The people at her church were very down to earth and friendly but with strong christian beliefs. I was having a good time.

I stayed in that church for the next 3 years. But it wasn't until mid 2010 when I found about a scandal that broke out about having gay band members in the church, that lead to a long drawn out sermon about homosexuality, and I started to get frustrated so I walked out and waited in the sanctuary for church to be over. When I got home I turned on the news and their were breaking news of a bishop named in Atlanta who was strongly against same-sex marriage and homosexuality and yet, he's caught up in this scandal. I was speechless. Of course this wasn't the first time I heard stories like this. There has been stories of rape, incest, molestation in the church. I brought that topic up for discussion with J but she didn't want to talk about it, she just swept it under the rug, and so did many other church members including the pastor. Fall 2010 I stopped going to church altogether.

My life now is more fulfilling as an adult because I feel like there's a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.2011, the new year hit. Even though I haven't been to church in a while, I really started to question church and Christianity, but it didn't really hit me until after I came back from vacation. Fall 2012, after thanksgiving my mother becomes really ill, found out she has cancer. I couldn't believed it, my mom was looking healthy but has always had back problems working 9 to 5 as a single mom. Anyway we were doing treatments for her, keeping her health up, until this pastor from Africa came to visit my mom in the hospital. He started praying hard over her, in a way that I never seen before! It scared the crap out of me! I didn't even bother closing my eyes during that prayer cause I thought something demonic would jump out the pastor, so I thought to myself, no way. As I left that night I told my mom I loved her, and that was the last thing I said before she died 3 days later.

Month after my mom's passing, I really started questioning God as to why so soon would you take her away. I went online and started researching about Jesus, then I came across this vid called the The Truth About Christianity, it was about 30 mins long and I was shocked, my mouth dropped open every time I'm seeing something I never ever would think even existed. I even started studying philosophy, logic, and astronomy and it opened my mind to the possibility of transformation! It was from that moment on, that I dropped Christianity from my life. I threw every holy, religious item in my room and from the days I was baptized and all that, straight in the garbage, and I never looked back.

My life now is more fulfilling as an adult because I feel like there's a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. I'm starting to experience things I never knew can enrich my life for the better. I'm taking yoga as much as I can, I practice meditation from time to time whenever I feel stressed from life, and I converted to Nichiren Buddhism where I'm now a part of a lay organization called Soka Gakki International under the guidance of SGI president and Sensei Daisaku Ikeda. It has given me the freedom to be who I am and live the life I want to live without apologies!

To conclude, I want to thank providing people like myself ways to express others testimonies and learn on how to my own master. Cause I run my world.