Returning to Belief

As we closed our discussion on religion, I realized that even though it’s done for Under a Tree, I have a lot to think about.

For the past couple of years, I have been struggling with my relationship with spirituality and anything religious.  It started when I went through a rough period of my life which led me to question God and reevaluate what I was really doing. Even though I got my first communion and went to church school each Sunday, it felt like my prayers achieved nothing and that I was doomed to be His least favorite. I went from praying each night regardless of how tired or faithless I felt, to abandoning the religion altogether, in a matter of weeks. I started to envy those who could see His love and the results of praying. I felt like the world was against me and blamed it on God, so I turned my back on Him the way I thought he did to me.

When I told my parents, they immediately thought that I was just being rebellious and didn’t allow me a choice. While they occasionally forced me to go to church or say a prayer, it never stuck. To me this meant becoming a “Pastafarian,” watching science videos by cocky people, and condemning religion altogether. However, I still had some belief in me.

Now after so much discussion, I’m ready to be honest with myself and reevaluate what I truly believe. While it felt good being an atheist, I still caught myself praying in my worst times. While I still don’t know if I completely believe in God, I just know that there is a drastic change in how I feel towards whatever (if anything) is up there... I now find myself praying as a way to find hope, but I can’t ignore the lingering doubt in me. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve been religious or if it’s because it’s just not meant for me. Every time I see someone else show such a loving relationship with God, I feel like I’m missing out, yet whenever I try I feel stuck. I can’t forget all the struggles I continue to face and truly believe that praying will take it all away, but I want to.

I still think about if I want to return to the Catholic Church and I know my views only align with certain parts. I still don’t know if there’s really a religion that I will agree with in every aspect... I feel as if I should just follow my relationship with God of my own but I don’t know if I can actually do this successfully. I forgot what it mean to be spiritual. I don’t know what it all means. However, I know I will have the rest of my life to figure it all out.
— Camille Dumit, House of Shahidi