www.whyville.net Jul 1, 2012 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

The Change

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Have you ever felt that something is different about you, something that you never noticed before that exact moment?

It's a moment nearly indescribable - it's the slight amount of time one experiences when they begin to notice this 'change', and then fully realize it. It's that split second after you think, "Hey, something feels weird." and the split second before you say, "This is different, I never noticed it. But yep, definitely different." It's the shortest amount of time I have ever experienced, and it's just that tiny millionth of a second that changes your whole life upside down.

I've never had such a drastic moment in my life. There are a few experiences in my lifetime that are pretty life changing - my mom's cancer being the one that sticks out the most - but it wasn't like this. I was expecting it. We had suspected that for nearly 2 and a half weeks before we got the final diagnosis, and even before then my mother had a gut feeling that it was cancer. It was a kick in the stomach, no doubt. But nothing like what overwhelmed me this past Sunday when I sat in a small church with my grandmother by my side as I visited her for the weekend in Oklahoma.

I always go to church with my grandma when I go out there to see her. Always. No and's, if's, or but's about it. I never minded it, the people there were friendly and I made a few friends here and there. Being raised in the church, my grandmother is a strongly religious woman, and thanks God everyday of her life for something, whether it be small or large. I was raised in the church (somewhat), and I've been baptized. And for a while, I did accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and all that.

But what I felt as I listened to the preacher talk about other religions, Heaven, Hell, and love, was not a happiness nor sadness. It wasn't a joyous feeling or a gloomy one - that's the thing that set this off, that first second when you pick up on the change. I felt nothing. I looked around and saw all the worshipers, young and old, with smiles or serious faces on, but nothing like what I pictured mine as. It wasn't anything, and as I bowed my head for the final prayer, I stared at the preacher.

His eyes weren't burning with an intense passion for God, but for something else - something I have yet to recognize, but it disturbs me greatly. He stared me down as he preached to the Lord about a person in the sermon that wasn't in tune with Him, a girl who rarely joined the congregation. Only on vacation did she show her face, as he put it, and he knew very well she had lost her way from the Shepherd.

It angered me that this man felt he had the right to demand for my soul to be fixed by something that I feel that I cannot believe in. And that's my moment. It was the first thought I have ever had doubting Christ and Christianity and any kind of religion. I never doubted my own beliefs, but I think that I am slowly starting to fall from the church. Something that I never really felt in tune with anyways, and surprisingly, what hurts the most is knowing that I can never express these thoughts to family because it could very well break their hearts. I may be questioning a lot of things about my raising and church and God, but I'm not sinister. Never in a million years would I aim to harm those I love.

It was a change that has still shaken me, and I'm waiting for the day to come that I can move on. Until then, I feel stuck in that moment, and it's going to be the longest second I've ever endured until I've figured it out.


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