“I think religion divides people…”

They looked at me with shock on their faces. There I was, the only Christian in the table. My bestfriend’s childhood friend on my right, and my bestfriend’s family on my left. I felt like I was turning red from embarrassment with what I had just said. But I continued.

“…its why I don’t think I have any religion right now.”

They explained their religion more. Deeply. We even watched a documentary after. It got me more interested to learn about them, their practices and beliefs. It also made me feel ashamed of myself in a way. They would ask me stuff about Christianity but it was either I didn’t know much or I just didn’t want to debate about it. I didn’t want to make a point by saying what I knew because it could only mean I’m pointing out that what I practice is right, and theirs is wrong. So I just swallow whatever they try to point out to me.

I knew they meant no harm. It was pretty hurtful in a way but I was in no position to argue with them. I just kept silent out of respect for how strong their faiths were, and how eager they were to make me know more about it.

I’ve been bestfriends with my bff since HS and never did our difference of religion get in the way of our friendship. We just respected each other for having different beliefs, trying to understand why she does this and I do that.

But lately she’s been talking me into converting. She shared things that happens in the afterlife, the punishments we would get for having done a particular deed. She went on about what else was in store after death for people who have not converted to their religion. Hours passed and I felt overwhelmed. At that moment I felt this sudden urge to learn more about it.

But I ended up feeling more lost. A lot of things went on my head. Suddenly I felt scared for myself, for my loved ones. The punishments in the afterlife sounded so brutal. Yet I didn’t know if it was the only thing that was bothering me, or the fact that my bestfriend is suddenly discreetly telling me that she wants me to convert.

I was stressed out for days, trying to figure it out. I didn’t want to convert just because I was scared of not going to Heaven. It is a big deal, and something to think about over and over – but if ever I do convert, its got to be on a deeper ground. Like a calling. Like being struck by lightning.

Religion has always been an issue. I’ve never liked Religion. That’s one thing I realized lately. My heart feels joy for people who have found their Religions, and are practicing it well. The only thing I don’t like about it is that they point out that theirs is the only one. That theirs is the only practice and belief that can save.

I don’t know if I’m saying this for lack of knowledge on each and every Religion out there. But I think God doesn’t want us fighting over something like this. He left us words, he left us rules, he left us promises and warnings. God’s words does not change. That’s for sure. I used to think that God is looking down on us and seeing all the change, he would reconsider altering some of the things He told His people before. But deep down I knew that that was the challenge. The world will change constantly, but God’s ways will never change. Our generation is starting to face the biggest challenges as our era is filled with tons of changes. In culture, most especially. What was taboo then is slowly becoming acceptable now. We have to start remembering God’s words and start living by them again. I salute each and every one who’s already on that road. God truly knows how hard it is for people these days to do that.

I surely can’t do anything about the people divided by having separate religions. But I just think that its best that we go on practicing what we believe in, and just respect others for what they do as well. Because no matter how righteous we are, at the end of the day, we’re still just human beings. We still sin. God will ALWAYS AND FOREVER have the last say in all of this.

He is the only one who knows everything.

In our hearts we will know that what we are doing is right. And God gives us signs telling us that He’s happy about it. We need not to boast about things like that. We need to share it. That’s two different things.

As for me and my bestfriend, I won’t let this get in the way of our friendship. She is to me what she has always been, my bestfriend. My sister. I know that she only wants what’s best for me, and is saving me from bigger sins I might commit and re-commit in this lifetime. Quoting her, “I just want to see my loved ones around me in Heaven. I don’t want any of you to suffer. If only I could carry you so we can get to Heaven together, I would. But you can only save yourself.” My ex-bff the red, black horned monster was whispering in my ear, telling me that my bff is judging me for being a Christian. But I know in my heart that that wasn’t true. She was speaking of God. That couldn’t possibly be a bad thing. You’ve always got to look at the bigger picture. Besides, its not like she’s telling me that she’d forget we were ever friends if I don’t convert. She just knows that I don’t have any specific Religion right now and I know she just doesn’t want me lost. I love her to death. Nothing will change that.

And me? I don’t feel lost. For some reason, at this very moment I have peace in my heart. I know a lot of you would attest to this and would find me weird or troubled, but deep down I just know that God has something in store for me. If its His will for me to find a Religion where I truly belong, then it will happen in His time. I’m still on a journey towards God. I’m not even halfway there yet. I just know that for now, God understands where I am. For He himself has gone through this. He knows what I feel like. It was stated in the Bible that only people who truly seek Him are the ones who would find Him. I have to be strong enough to take that big step. He knows I’m still weak. But what’s important is that I don’t forget Him.

I just know that I’m a Christian. What I have with God is more personal. Others see it as a good thing, others don’t. What matters is that I know where God is in my heart. I haven’t fully entrusted Him with everything that I should yet. And I know I lack in so many things when it comes to Him. But it will come. Just give me time.

Because God is.

"If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you."
- John 15: 18- 19 (The Message)