Faith is weird.
There, I said it. It doesn't really make sense to me. Although I have strong emotions and on every Myers-Briggs test I take I score as a Feeler, I tend to think things through slowly and make decisions using my rational mind. And to my rational mind, faith and religion are weird. Believing in a God doesn't really make sense to me.
Oh yes, it makes sense that we need community, and good religious communities are powerful. It makes sense that people want to believe in something Bigger than ourselves. It makes sense that people want to believe that this world isn't all there is. To my rational mind and because of my sound understanding of psychology and sociology, these things make sense.
I understand the logical reasons for faith and religion. I know why these things exist, and I see that for some people, they're really good things. And they haven't been all bad for me either. I know that when people are part of a good religious community, their mental health is better (conversely, according to new studies, solely spiritual people who practice faith and belief alone have worse mental health).
But I feel like I'm having a religious crisis. I was raised in a conservative Evangelical Christian family. Church a couple times a week has always been a part of my life. Talk of Jesus and God permeated everything. I got baptized when I was a kid. I joined the church when I was a teen. I've identified as Christian for as long as I can remember. But I don't know if I can identify as one anymore.
Now that I'm a young adult, I find myself trying to sort through what I actually believe and what I tried to convince everyone that I believe. I'm trying to figure out what I believe and what I said I believed so that I'd fit in and be accepted. I just don't really feel it anymore. I don't know that I ever did. I see people being emotionally moved by religious songs and messages and sacraments, and I often feel nothing (and yet I find myself weeping when I hear Beethoven's 9th Symphony). These things don't grip me the way they do other people. Is this an Autistic thing? I know some of my other friends on the spectrum have told similar stories.
I want to believe. I do. I think faith is beautiful. Religion, when practiced in a way that serves to better yourself and others, is beautiful. Jesus and what he did and stood for inspire me. I love his teachings. I love large parts of the Bible. The Psalms are powerful. The Proverbs have the wisdom of the ages. I love the idea of being created in the image of the Most High. These are all awesome things to me, in theory. But in my gut...I'm not sure I feel it.
This is the first time I've allowed myself to acknowledge my discomfort, my questions, my uncertainties. Being raised in the Church put certain pressures on me. There were expectations. So I went along with the flow, trying all along the way to convince myself that this could work for me too. But I'm not sure anymore. I'm not sure.
I think this will be a long journey. A long journey of becoming and uncovering. But I realized that before I can even start to find some answers and certainty, I had to be honest with the fact that right now, I'm nothing but a bundle of questions and doubt.