I remember when I was atheist, I used to take pride in the fact that I didn't need faith to help me through anything. Now after the fact, I wonder why I was so against it. Because of my faith, I can cope better with grief. I have hope in the future, trust in myself, and the ability not only to be happy, but to be euphoric. The best thing is that I can recognize these advantages without being threatened by them -- meaning, no amount of arguing or contrary evidence could ever sway my mind. Faith is real, and it's amazing because it works. I pray for the best, I expect the best, and I receive the best. It's that simple.
I've never felt comfortable with the word Enlightenment. I feel like the very concept it represents is wrong. Enlightenment comes with certain connotations: wiser than others, better, higher, more godly, more powerful, etc... but the very core of my faith demands that I put others before myself, and in all honesty, I love that. Enlightenment is a negative term, as is "Nirvana," though I understand why these terms were coined. It is as Jesus said. I am not perfect; however, I really have experienced a shift in awareness, along with an indescribable spiritual encounter, and I did so without ever touching a Bible or holy text. To this day, I have not been able to comfortably accept a religion; however, my faith is stronger than those of most doctrines, and I have learned to start thinking of myself as a practitioner of "all faiths" as opposed to "no faiths." I have already reached one plateau of the mountain; the road forward lies buried by tradition and old scripture, and it's up to me to research and understand what every religion says. I take my duty very seriously, and I understand it better now. I do not want to start a new religion; I want to unite all religions in the name of god.
It is not the eloquence of my words that will gain the trust of others, but the quality of my actions. I plan on not just promising that my faith is true, but proving it through my deeds. Action is more important than understanding, after all. I will prove myself worthy; and if I can't, it is because I am not worthy.