We all know that religion is a touchy subject and that it generally makes people uncomfortable when talked about. Personally, I felt that myself all throughout high school. I never wanted to talk about my deep love for Jesus Christ and church because I feared being made fun of by my peers. I guess I’ve always been seen as the goody two-shoes of my peer group, but only in the way that I like to do the right thing and please others. I feared that this would just give people more ammunition to hurt me in the long run. But I was forgetting the big idea that my faith system is based on: If Jesus is for you who can be against you?

I’ve attended church since elementary school, and I currently attend a Christian college. I can honestly say that my life would not be as full as it is without this. Here are some of the ways that my life has been impacted by it:

A Second Family

As many of you may know, a huge aspect of religion is having a community of people to fellowship with. Personally, one of the biggest blessings for me is having a church that is loving and kind, more so than I could have ever imagined possible. I think that you share a different bond with your church family, than that which you share with those you don't share a religious connection with. The bond you share is a bond of the heart. My church family has invested themselves in my life, and they genuinely love me. How could that not make you feel wonderful?

Ways to Serve

Another great aspect of being a Christian and attending church is that there are plenty of ways to get involved and lend a helping hand. There are two things I’ve been involved in that have had the greatest impact on me. The first was being able to help prepare and serve a meal to the homeless. It was such an eye-opening experience. It truly allowed me to reflect on how many blessings are in my life and that there are so many people that need love and prayers. I also had the opportunity to spend my senior year volunteering in my church’s kindergarten and first grade Sunday School class. Not only was it beneficial for me as an education major, but I was able to use my talents and abilities to help better the lives of others.

A Sense of Comfort

I will be the first to admit that I like having control of things and am anxious about the future, even though I have faith in Christ. However, it should be, and is, comforting that God is with us even when we may not think so. I feel His presence in the warmth of the sun, the rush of the ocean waves and in the stillness of the night. I think it’s important that we really try to notice the little things and appreciate the world around us. How could you not feel comforted knowing that there is an all-powerful, mighty, and loving God protecting us who knows the exact plan of our lives? When the world seems to be falling apart, we can have hope because of our faith and our trust that His will is done.

A Sense of Purpose

Our identity is one of the most important things we have, and what we allow to define our identity has a huge impact on our outlook of life. Identifying ourselves based on things like grades, social status, how much money we have, or the way we look can really lead us astray from what truly matters. However, making Christ the main part of our identity will be fulfilling in the end. Our life is purposeful when we do things that truly matter. That means doing things like helping others and doing the work of Christ. Praising God, trusting Him and helping others has given me great joy. For me, personally, having Christ as a foundation has been more fulfilling than any material item or other fleeting thing like status and approval. Being a Christian shouldn’t feel like a chore, but rather a huge blessing that will change your life forever.