As in all things, what and how I believe has evolved. With any luck, it will continue to do so.
FOR ME, THE TRUTH WAS ONCE:
A singular God that lived in heaven, which I approximated was located somewhere in the vicinity of the clouds and sky. When I pictured God, God was a "he." He was white. He wore a white robe. He had a white beard, because, obviously, he's very old.
That the earth was formed in seven days.
That a woman named Eve and a man named Adam were convinced by a snake to eat fruit that they were told was off limits, and by doing so they ruined it for all of us.
That if I was good I'd go to heaven. Heaven was like walking around on clouds all day and it was there that you were reunited with the ones you loved.
That if I was bad, I'd burn eternally in the fires of hell. That in hell, I would be consumed in despair and pain from the moment of my death until the end of all time.
That I was a sinner.
That willing the death of his son on the cross was God's proof of his love for me.
THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I WONDERED:
If having Jesus die on the cross wasn't a little extreme.
How - if Jews and Muslims and other groups believe in their faith as strongly as we Christians believe in ours - how we know we're right.
Why God lets bad things happen. Like droughts and cancer.
If the Bible suggests that God used to talk directly to people - like with a voice and not just signs - why did he suddenly stop?
If heaven reunites us with loved ones, what is the reunification protocol for people who have been been married more than once?
Why, at communion, the blood of Christ tasted like wine instead of, well, blood.
About the inherent conflict between God's unconditional love and the relegation of "lost" souls to an eternity of physical torture.
FOR ME THE TRUTH IS NOW FOUND:
In the validity of theories yielded by centuries of scientific curiosity and study for the origins of the world, the universe, maybe even the multiverse.
In nuance and relativism.
In recognizing the adherence of the gospels and other religious narratives to The Hero's Journey.
In the law of the Conservation of Energy, which plays a part in my hunch that when we die, we die...but that the energy that sustained our lives simply changes form - - that we don't go up to heaven or down to hell, but simply "out" into the world again. It is what leads me to believe that any life after death is not conscious, but energetic. And that's beautiful to me.
In the idea that that which is before me is already holy.
In nature's brutal and elegant design.
In the beauty of all ways of believing that promote peace and understanding, and do not espouse hate, violence, or discrimination.
In letting go of the need to know anything for sure.
In doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.