I grew up in a private Christian school from the ages of 4-17. I was made to go to a Baptist Church on Sunday. Throughout this time I had received mixed messages of God. The private Christian school that I went to taught us in a very Anglo Saxon way if you know what I’m saying. I’ve even had a bus driver say that there were no black people in the Bible. This school allowed praise and worship music, but I had a friend who got suspended for listening to a Kirk Franklin cd on the bus. We were told that it was wrong for certain instruments such as drums and guitars to be in church because rock musicians used them. We were told that it was wrong for those churches who have members running around and speaking in tongues.

As far as the Baptist church, I didn’t learn anything from it. All I remember is that the choir would sing songs that I couldn’t understand because the diction was horrible. Many times I would go to sleep because I didn’t pay attention. As I got older, an older boy showed interest in me, but I was not interested in him. He would wonder why I didn’t do anything in church. He would speak to my mom, but never to me. Meanwhile his mom who was an associate minister would watch me as I took care of my nieces and nephews.

When I went to college, I would read bits and pieces of my Bible but never studied it. I went to Bible study faithfully which really helped me to deal with my impossible roommates. In undergrad, I had a Sociology professor who was an ordained Baptist minister. Sometimes he would start preaching and would have to stop himself. What he didn’t realize is that we liked when he preached because he taught us how to respect and learn from other religions. I need to find him for a therapy session. He is also a licensed therapists, and many of us would go to his office just to talk.

After I graduated from grad school, I started reading my Bible verse by verse. It has taken some time because I am also considering the history and astrology that was observed during the time that those passages were written. With all of this being said, this journey has taught me many lessons about God. The main one is that you cannot put God in a box.

God is God whether we call him Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Universe, energy, Source etc. God is the glue that holds this universe together. God is the feeling that tells you everything will be ok even though you are facing eviction. God is knowing whether or not someone you meet for the first time will be a snake or one of the best people you will ever meet. God is realizing that you don’t have to have the same religious beliefs with someone else for you two to get along. God is the lesson you learn through tough times. God is the amplifier of your good times so that you can bless someone else. God is the peace during the storm. God is the discretion you have without proof.

During these last few years, I have met people who follow religions other than Christianity and it helped me to understand Christianity even more. It was a Wiccan who taught me how to use the Bible to manifest my desires. It were Astrologists who helped me to understand the timing in the Bible. Those beasts in the Bible represent astrological signs that show certain times of year. Following those who practice Yoruba and Vodoun religions helped me to understand how King Solomon appreciated the woman’s body. I used to shy away from other religions because I was taught they were false and evil, but when you humble yourself to God you see that He’ll show you who He is in ways you would never imagine.