Write about a fear or phobia. How did you work past it (if you did)?

Over the years, I have had a very subconscious fear of going to Hell when I die. So you could say that I have a fear of God. I grew up in a Christian family for eight years of my life, some of my family being more severely Christian than others. I never really had that talk about how Jesus was my Savior; it's like they just assumed that I would automatically become one of them. I make it sound like a cult, I know, but that's how I feel sometimes when I'm around my grandparents, especially. They talk about God. It's like their only conversation starter.

When I was younger, I used to also assume that I was just part of this group of people who believed in one specific Christian God. I know that I liked to go to church. I loved it. It was fun. When I was really young, like maybe four or five, I remember running up on stage when the gospel would start singing and I would dance. It was my favorite day of the week. But as I got older, and actually started paying attention to the sermons, as much I enjoyed the thought of having a Savior that would come down and protect us all from ourselves… because we were apparently horrible sinners and really didn't deserve to go Heaven and – do you get where I'm going with this?

And then, recently, I did a lot of research on the subject of religion. It took me places where I don't think I really wanted to go. But it was all something I needed to hear. I started really reading my Bible. I decided to read it in order, which is the hardest way to do it, actually. And then, as I read, I realized something. (If I offend anyone with this next statement, I apologize). Old Testament God is a jerk! So, he saves the Israelites, takes them out of Egypt and slavery, and tells them all that they are only allowed to believe in Him… Okay, I get all that. But then there's all these ridiculous rules and sacrifices and if you do one little tiny thing wrong accidentally God will strike you with a lightning bolt and send you to Hell even if you beg His forgiveness and mean it down to the very core! Muahahaha!

I got over my fear of God by deciding to change the way I look at religion. One thing that helped was by reading the Chronicles of Narnia series. Don't laugh. It really did help. In the last book, there's one man who is not sure whether he deserves to go to Heaven because the entire time he's been alive, he's been pledging himself to a different God. Aslan tells him that because he was pledging all the good things he did in his life to a God, that he was a good person and thanked a God for everything in his life, that it was okay, because that other God he was pledging himself to was actually Aslan. That got my attention.

All religion was made by man for man. I don't know whether or not God actually intervened. So, I decided that I will have my own God that I believe in, and that if the real God actually exists, which I do believe, He will be okay with the fact that I pledged myself to another God, because, in reality, whatever the name, that is the real God.