“I am not my religion”

I was mocked continuously as a girl for being Christian. I was called things I didn’t understand, and people assumed more about me than they ever took the time to learn about me. I was misunderstood, walked around unknown by my peers, and judged for assumed thoughts I never actually had about others. My life became a life not worth living, and I decided that the only way to keep people from mocking me was to stop giving them ammunition–I became silent about my religion. If I did not tell them, they could not judge me, and I would no longer be in pain.

I know now that people of all beliefs end up being subjected to the presuppositions and past experiences of their listeners, but it doesn’t stop the fear I feel when I tell people that I am a Christian. It makes me hesitate to reveal who I am. I am a Christian, but I fear that I will automatically receive the response given so many years ago and that the labels will come flooding back: legalist, judgmental, brain-washed, naive, ignorant, hateful. It silences me more often then I would like to admit. Now, my silence is what causes me the the most pain.