A few months went by and I was still feeling down. I saw a cousin who referred me to a therapist who later diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. She prescribed me medicines and talk therapy which helped a great deal with my mood. As more time passed I was ready to return to the Church, get back into the ministers training class and complete what I started. However in the five years that I was away, they reconstructed the program. An associate minister was in charge. I approached the associate minister asking if I would be able to re-enter the class. He told me that there were some other things I had to do first. At that moment, I had a flashback to when I was in school and attempted the ministers training there, I was given the same exact answer. No one ever mentioned what this “other stuff” was. I waited…and waited yet no one informed me of anything. Several of my friends had entered the program once I was back in town, which confused me.
I took to more prayer thinking perhaps I heard God incorrectly. Maybe my calling to be a minister was not the most obvious. So I attended church faithfully even though my faith began to wane a little. There was interest expressed in starting a dance ministry and when I came home from school after it was established, I “auditioned” to join the dance ministry. I loved it! I felt that my movement communicated to God what I could not say. It was the way to communicate a message of salvation through dance. As a principle, it is never attractive or godly to be arrogant or prideful but I was skilled for someone who had no training. People would remark about how blessed they were when they saw me dance. The most appropriate response was always, “Praise God.” This had to be the ministry that God was speaking about. I loved it, people responded to it, the team members were not catty and did not do much backbiting. Perfect. But one Sunday, as I was attentively listening to a sermon, I had this question regarding God’s nature, the actions of Adam and Eve, and reason. It stuck with me into the work week. I started researching this line of questioning but it bothered me terribly. Because if God were all knowing and knew that we would sin, why would he put the tree there to basically tempt us and by His nature he doesn’t tempt humans: He allows it. And let’s say that was the Divine plan, why would He not just forgive Adam and Eve? Furthermore, why would He require a blood sacrifice to blind Himself from our sin, which I was taught in support of Jesus’ death as atonement for sins. How does this blood do anything for God? One question led to another. These few were among a couple of pages of questions I wrote down to try to find answers. In a series of sessions on the internet looking up the origins of Christianity, I stopped attending church. I had never done a great job of hiding my feelings and was not about to start with hiding them from God.
It was about this time when I decided to attend graduate school. I had gotten married, had a baby and was floating along through life. Up until this point, I had attended predominantly black schools and churches. I started out in one discipline, but switched to another which mostly had classes on the main campus. In my first class, I observed the people around the room: Whites, Blacks, an Asian, Middle Easterners, and Africans. I was the only Black American. Moreover, there were two Muslim girls sitting near each other. One was pregnant and bubbly; the other was seemingly quiet and scholarly. Prior to this my only experiences with Muslims was in high school - a couple of guys who were a part of the 'Nation of Islam', and two girls who wore the headscarf, but at that time I had not paid any attention to them.
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