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.