This weekend in all three of my posts, I’m going to be talking religion.
Religion was something that I was raised around but never felt much of a pull towards it.
Much of my life, I felt like I was going through the motions…this is the way I am raised, and this is what is expected of me. So I will go along with it and do as I’m told, and once I am old enough to make my own decisions, I will do as I see fit.
I went on a lot of church retreats and had fun, but didn’t like some of the control they administered…like when you can eat or go to the concessions, when you go to bed, how you had to always be somewhere, I guess it’s a lot like my life now in prison.
Also, when I would be in the worship sermons and people would be singing, and I could tell they felt something as they had their hands raised, and they were accepting something into their lives or bodies. Well, I didn’t feel that and felt silly for them, and for myself when I even tried it.
My family went to church on a fairly regular basis and were always in full attendance for the Christmas service. I usually grew bored and counted the minutes of the sermon as I knew it usually lasted 20-30 minutes, and I prayed for it to take less than that as I laid my head on my mom’s lap and asked her to scratch my back.
I grew up and church exited my life completely as I went through college and life on my own. It’s not that I denounced God altogether, I just didn’t care one bit whether he existed or not, I didn’t see how he would fit in my life if he did, and I always told myself if he needs me he can find me.
I would often think if there was a God why would he let such terrible things happen to such good people, why would our world be infested with disease such as childhood cancer, psychopaths that rape and murder innocent people, and he just sits back and lets it all happen? So as far as I was concerned, I didn’t want to be involved with anyone who wouldn’t intervene and help if they had the power.
I never gave myself a label, but after talking with people, I knew I wasn’t an atheist, and I found out I was agnostic.
Life went on, and most of you know my story, drugs became a normal part of my life, things got out of control, and I eventually was indicted by the federal government for distributing cocaine among many other substances.
As I went through pretrial, I went a few times to church with my mom and daughter, simply because I like the idea that my daughter is raised around religion like I was, and when she is old enough, she can make her own decision as well.
I still never felt anything however, but I wasn’t exactly looking for anything either.
I went to prison, and I told myself I am not going to be your stereotypical inmate that goes to prison and finds God, gets saved, just to get out and go back to life before prison.
So, through my time in prison, I wasn’t looking either, I didn’t attend any services, I didn’t go to any bible studies, and I didn’t hang out with people that were attending either.
It’s not till I started being an active member in treatment did I start to even think about religion.
I was finally, for once, starting to think clearly and starting to question some of my core beliefs, as I found out in RDAP, were very screwed up.
I also had multiple people in my life that were encouraging me to read the Bible or give God more thought. But if I’m honest, it just wasn’t working. It’s just like anything else, and especially with addiction, if you are finally going to do something, whether that it’s believe in God or quit using drugs, you have to want to do it, or it’s not going to work.
After RDAP, I joined a faith-based recovery program, and it wasn’t until I did that that I was forced to look at the evidence. That evidence came in the form of how God was working in other people’s lives as they shared their experiences.
Over time I started to see how he was working in mine and had been working in mine for quite some time but I had just been ignoring the signs.
Well, I am not ignoring them anymore.
I haven’t started a relationship with him yet but I am finally getting to the point where I am ready to.
Thanks for listening!