It wasn’t until I reached my teens that I began to appreciate all the things I inherited from my mother—my big eyes, strong calves, and most of all– my religion.
My first real exposure to religions other than Christianity came in tenth grade world history class. We read everything from the Qu’ran to Hindu epics.
Studying world religions brought me a new sense of spiritual curiosity and cultural sensitivity, but it also brought something else— resentment toward my parents.
I felt as if they never let me choose. Here were all these religions—Buddhism, Islam, Daoism— but I was stuck with Baptist Christianity. After years of being forced to sit in Sunday school, recite prayers, and take communion I wondered– was I missing out on something?
So I started to explore what being Christian truly means. I studied Jesus’ mantra, “Give, fast, pray.” I fasted for two weeks, paid more attention to sermons in church, and began reading scripture on my own.
Although I never changed my religion, I now believe I chose Christianity for myself. Along with my curly hair and high cheekbones, I’m thankful I inherited my parents’ spirituality. But I’m also glad I have my own sense of skepticism that allowed me to challenge it.