Friday, September 10, 2010

"They Had Me At Progressive Revelation"

A new believer from the South Central region shares her story of coming to the Faith:

This time last August, I was settling in at my parents’ house.  I was pretty distraught about going from College Graduate to Boomerang Kid so swiftly, but I was trying to stay optimistic.  I held on to the hope that it was a temporary arrangement.  There was a job waiting for me in January.  All I had to do was wait it out, contemplating the kind of future I was (one day soon) going to shape for myself.  It was only a few weeks later that a possible future I never considered became a very daunting reality.  My mother, at the bright age of fifty-two, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  Since I was living at home, I was able to be there for her from the moment she was diagnosed until her last night with us in this world.

It’s still quite difficult to put into words how those last two months with her affected me.  Every time I try to distill the experience, the words seem…inadequate. Suffice it to say my life was permanently changed.

It didn’t take very long for me to lose patience with fear.  There was no sense in not living the way I wanted to live.  I want to live my life in a way that I can do some good in the world.  And I wanted a faith that will help me achieve that because of everything it stands for, because of the community it creates.  Not despite it.

Idea turned into action when one night I sat down at my computer and sought information from the only Bahá’í I had ever known.

Quickly I met the most wonderful, welcoming people I could have hoped to encounter.  No one ever pressured me into anything, and everyone was open to questions and discussions.  I’ve met plenty of people who put on their faith like a Sunday hat, but I didn’t see that with any of the Bahá’ís that I met.  I felt like I could ask anyone about some aspect of the Faith, and the conversation would flow just as easily as if I had asked what they had done over the weekend.

I jokingly told a friend, “They had me at progressive revelation.”  Which is partly true.  I love progressive revelation.  And unity.  And equality.  I love that the answers I found validated beliefs I was used to keeping as a secret.  I love that I was encouraged to keep asking questions.  After three months of exploration, I decided to declare.  Why wait?  I knew deep down I had already made my decision.

Recently I was introduced to someone as “a new Bahá’í.”  The man I was meeting shook my hand and said to me, “You’ll never graduate from this school.”  I smiled and thought, thank goodness.  I know the search isn’t over.  But I finally feel like I’m headed in the right direction.

No comments: