Not A Remarkable Story, But My Story :)

My name is Caroline and I am 18 years old. I have never really known what I believe in, but my heart is FULL knowing that I am beginning to figure it out :) 

I was raised in the South, and, with no intention of stereotyping or offending anyone, I have been beaten over the head from day 1 with following Christianity, no questions asked. If it's in the Bible, it's right, and there was no other word to be said about it. But I never remember a time when I felt comfortable with that.

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a friend during my 7th grade year sitting on my playroom stairs. My family had never gone to church, except Easter and Christmas and sometimes when the church down the road had doughnuts :). I had recently made a friend who was VERY religious, as was her entire family. I asked her, "How does a person go to Heaven?" Mostly I was just concerned with my own well-being, attempting to ensure that I would get there. However, her answer confused me and from that day until a few weeks ago I never felt as close to God as I wanted to be. She said, "You believe in our God and accept Jesus as our savior. That's all." 

Like i said, I was confused. "What if a person doesn't accept God?"

    "Then they go to Hell."

"What if they don't know God?"

    "Then they go to Hell."

"But that isn't fair. They might've accepted Him if they'd known."

     "God finds a way to everyone. If they don't believe it that is their fault."

I just could NOT accept an answer like that. If a person is raised in a certain religion and their families practice that religion and their friends and their coworkers and if EVERYTHING they ever see is that religion, but some random person on the street says, "Hey. That's all wrong. Believe in MY god." It wouldn't be right to then cast that person into Hell for eternity if they did not immediately change their entire lives. The gracious, forgiving, loving God that I believe in would never do that. 

I have very few people that tell me that my belief is right. And because of my fear that I was wrong, I have always felt distance between God and me. But when I saw the commercial and the actress said the words "I believe in ALL paths to God" I immediately felt an amazing closeness between me and the God I've always known was there. 

My story may not be remarkable, but the idea that all people in all the world that carry hearts full of love and goodness are connected by one central God, and are constantly seeking Him and will one day see that regardless of what name we call Him or what people have distorted His will to be, He loves us unconditionally and wants us to do the same for Him and for each other IS remarkable :)

clbradner clbradner
18-21, F
Feb 16, 2010