I am a highly educated and intellectual female, feminist female even, that believes in God. Seriously, humbly and completely. I have never questioned - save a few scornful teenage tantrums - whether God truly exists or not.
*lets pause a moment to let all the athiests who believe intelligence and spiritual devotion are mutually exclusive laugh out loud, then compose themselves and either leave or begin formulating their responses*
I was raised Catholic and due to some unfortunate childhood events my family changed religions. We became Lutheran. Now, on the surface, this is pretty similar. You believe in God, Jesus, heaven and hell, etcetera…right?
Actually, wrong. The similarities exist to be sure. You don’t have altar boys but you have acolytes for example. You still get Confirmation. Similar, yes. But worlds apart. Everything changed. I was raised on Hail Mary’s and Saints and Confession. I was raised with Lent and Purgatory. These things were gone. And that caused my childlike and blind devotion to God to go into a tail spin.
Without going into my long and painful search for Truth, I’ll just skip to the part where I came to read the Qu’ran for the first time, two years ago. It started to make sense to me in ways nothing ever had. There are questions I have to be sure, but the words I read - the more I read - the quieter and calmer I felt inside my heart. I realized soon thereafter that I hadn’t been calm for a long, long time. I had begun to hear God.
My life began to change. I started to pray again and have faith that my life has a purpose. I’d just gone through a divorce and I stopped worrying about that and blaming myself for my marriage falling apart. I started believing in my heart and soul that God has a partner out there for me somewhere. I didn’t, however, convert.
I didn’t convert.
I began to explore. I read and asked questions and read some more. Some things I read frightened me and some made me feel incredibly strong inside. Some made sense and some made me angry. Some just confused me more. So I started asking questions and learning more and giving myself the time and space I needed to process everything I was learning - mostly to process the things I was learning about myself. I began to conclude that yes, I am a servant of God. But yes, I’m sincerely awful at it and if it were a paid position I’m sure God would have fired me long ago. Thank goodness he’s not that type of employer.
I am still seeking the Truth and I know my path is nearing where I will have to make the leap of faith. My dilemma is I know now that I am neither Christian, nor Muslim. I am somewhere in between. I am in no-mans-land. My beliefs are a hodgepodge of both faiths and I am confused, frustrated and frightened.
The strange truth of it all is this - I believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God. I believe the Bible has been distorted, edited and translated where some crucial elements and commandments of God are missing. I believe Muhammad is the last prophet of God. I believe the Qu’ran contains the Truth and the Word of God.
So what I’m saying is, I believe Jesus is the Son of God…And I believe Muhammad is the last prophet of God. And so, according to both faiths, I am neither faith. I am not Christian and I am not Muslim. I am somewhere in between and I am at a stalemate. I do not want to compromise my soul and I pray about it every day. Christians call me confused. Muslims tell me to stop thinking so hard about it. Both my Christian and my Muslim friends pray for me, that I may find the Truth. I am just somewhere in the middle now with more questions than ever before and an inability to move in either direction.
I guess I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this. Ultimately, though I have more questions and concerns and fears and doubts, this one is by far the most intense hurdle to get through. I’ve never heard of this dilemma before and have been unable to find anything on it online via convert/revert blogs, religious texts, etc. Anyone?
To clarify/Answer responses:
I have read the Bible cover to cover five times, which I did leave out. There are so many versions of the Bible - I’ve read two separate translations. I attended Catholic school where I studied it for years. I studied it for first holy communion as well as for confirmation. I also studied it in undergrad during theology courses. I am much more familiar with the Bible than I am with the Qu’ran. Sorry if that wasn’t clear when I first posted.