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Last year, I went on a charismatic retreat with my church during the few months before becoming confirmed. This event was one of the most life changing events of my entire life. I still remember the cold, harsh weather and dark sky as we all await in front of the priest. Candles lit among us as we huddled tightly around one another. The priest motioned one by one to step before him so that he could send the holy spirit among us. like dominoes falling, those around me collapsed onto the floor. Faces turned pale, breaths slowed, tears rolled down cheeks, as they lay on the floor unable to become awoken. Within a minute after, many of them gained consciousness for they have experienced the Holy Spirit. As the line begin to diminish, I was standing before the priest. The priest explained to me that I should not be nervous nor afraid for the Holy Spirit is standing before me. In that moment I did not know what to believe, Throughout more whole entire life, religion was something that I had not chosen, church was a place where I had to go, and prayers were actions that I had to do. My faith in God was not strong for I could not seem to believe in what I could not see. In that moment he told me to close my eyes as he prayed over me. Suddenly my heart pounded as I fell unconscious. My legs began to shake as if my seizure was chronic and incurable. As sadness filled my eyes, tears streamed down my face.  Although I could not open my eyes, I could hear everything around me. Beside me, heard a woman spoke in tongues ensuring me everything will be okay. In that moment I cried out for help, but it was useless. I was unable to move and unable to open my eyes. The cold floor against my skin froze one inch of my body to the next. After an hour, tears ceased and light filled my eyes. Peering across the room my friends ran towards me as I tried to free myself from the bundle of blankets that was placed over me. 

“You are either with us or against us.”

Everyone has his or her own beliefs whether it is religion or morals. This quote reminded me of who I am and how it changed me as a person. With all these differences it may be hard to accept one’s own way of thinking because of what you believe. However, we should overlook that because our thoughts, actions, and feelings does not determine who we are as a person.

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