Religion, God and me

  • Interesting journey: Juanae Crockwell has been active in the church throughout her life and is now the Religion Correspondent for The Royal Gazette  (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Itís so amazing to watch how life comes full circle.

Four years ago, Nadia Arandjelovic interviewed me for a piece in the Religion section of this paper. In it, I shared my story of coming to faith and how I wanted to bring hope to other young women through my blog, A Little Girl Grows Up. Today, I am stepping into her role as Religion Correspondent and I could not be more amazed by the journey.

My own religious and spiritual background is varied. I was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian and spent my formative years very active in my family church.

But, as many young people do, I strayed from my childhood beliefs and spent years searching for God outside the walls of the church.

Those years of my life were most definitely challenging, but I found God in a real and meaningful way and the experiences and perspectives I gained while searching for God are some of the most valuable things I carry with me today.

Most valuable, I think, is my tolerance of differing religious views and ideas. Perhaps it is the anthropologist in me, who loves to learn about history and culture, but I have long been fascinated by the way humanity relates to God in so many different ways.

As different as the traditions may be, there is always one common factor between each religious belief: a desire to be connected to something more powerful than ourselves and to see that power manifest in our lives.

Along my journey, I realised that my personal relationship with God is more important than any doctrine ever will be.

The experience I had with God while at my lowest has proven His existence to me without any doubt. And while I may no longer align myself with a specific religion, I know I am aligned directly to the Creator.

As such, I find joy in learning from people of all faiths and understanding that, despite the differences, there are so many similarities and universal principles that unite believers around the world.

As I embark on this new journey with The Royal Gazette, I feel so grateful to be able to be used as a vehicle to share God with others. To share how people connect with God; how they choose to worship God; how they allow the God of their understanding to change and mould their lives for the better.

Most importantly, I am excited to be able to connect people across this island and celebrate what is so beautiful and unique about all of us and our varying beliefs.