Going To College Brought Me Back To Christianity

Going To College Brought Me Back To Christianity

I was slowly losing who I was, and as ironic as it may sound, going to college is what brought me back to my faith.
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Religion - it's a huge part of many peoples lives. Being raised as a Greek Orthodox Christian, the memories of being an altar boy on Sunday's are some of my favorite memories growing up. I remember the sense of pride that I felt being at the altar, and how I felt so close to God. As the years went on, and I stopped going to church, I began to drift away, it wasn't that I didn't believe, it was just that I didn't feel a connection to my religion anymore.

As the years went on, my mental state became worse and worse, I wasn't dealing with issues in my life in a healthy way, and I was slowly losing who I was. And as ironic as it may sound, going to college is what brought me back to my faith.

Now the last place you would think someone would find religion would be in college. College is the place where cases of Busch Light and Tinder reigns supreme. And when I got there, I had my fun. However, I noticed that I was using other things to cope with the stress and anxiety that most people experience their first year. In a previous article, I mentioned how all this stress exploded at the end of my first semester, and how I basically fell apart and unloaded everything out to my mom. But what I didn't mention is what happened when I hung up the phone. I sat in my room, in tears, feeling absolutely lost. I looked up at my wall and saw my icons hanging on my wall, and the only thing I could say was "help me".

This article is not a religious rant about how Christianity is the only way to deal with your problems, I'm just saying that it was a way to help me. I talked with my grandmother a lot over that Winter Break about religion and how I was feeling. We went to the Christmas service at her church, and it was the first time in months that I genuinely felt at peace.

The hymns were sung by the choir and the gospel readings from the priest brought me back to my childhood, and I remember taking a deep breath, and not feeling like there was a 500-pound boulder on my chest.

The world is made up of 7.6 billion people. There are many different religions and there is a wide range of diverse people who practice those religions. And there are also many people who don't have any religious beliefs, and that's OK. To me, Christianity is about acceptance and love for your fellow man.

As I've read bible passages, the stories about Jesus Christ gave me a sense of peace inside. There is one story in particular that inspires me every day. Luke 18:9-14 tells the story of a tax collector and a Pharisee. The ending of the story reads "For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted".

Don't be afraid to confront your problems, and never be afraid to look for ways to cope with your feelings.

Cover Image Credit: Dan Kiefer

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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We Have Chains, But Jesus Can Break Them

Jesus came to call and love the sinners, not the righteous.

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After viewing the music video "Chain Breaker" by Zach Williams yesterday, I began to think about the meaning behind the words being sung. I suppose we all do that subconsciously, for when we like the message of a song, then we can fully appreciate the song in its entirety. We hear a song, we like it and we find our identity behind a song. In the music video, Zach Williams is playing "Chain Breaker" to a whole room full of prison inmates.

Seeing Zach play to this room of inmates made me have a deeper meaning with our faith in God.

No, we are not convicted felons, but each and every person has their struggles, their "chains" so to speak. These chains can be different things like depression or even drug and alcohol addiction.

Because we have these chains, we are as bound and hopeless like people who are in prison, unless we turn to God for hope and strength.

While I have never been to prison, I know people who are or were in prison. They have described it to be a terrible place. Things happen in prison that are hard to take in, like "shivving" (stabbing someone with a shiv, a knife made from things like toothbrushes), solitary confinement (being thrown into a dark padded room for days and weeks at a time, with no one to talk to) and sometimes even group fights (people taking turns beating you up).

Prison inmates need God's love and mercy like we need it.

No sin is too severe for the Lord to forgive. In God's eyes, we are no better than people who are in prison. God loves us all the same. In the music video, I saw prison inmates shouting and worshipping the Lord, hands extended up in the air in worship.

In the Bible, Jesus Christ Our Lord called Matthew to be a disciple of Him. When the Pharisees (people who were steadfast and unwavering in the Mosaic law) saw that Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector (tax collectors were highly despised at the time and was known to forcibly take money from people) and was accepting of Matthew eating with Him, they criticized Jesus for it. Jesus heard this and replied "Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17)

Jesus came to heal and love the broken, the people without hope, the people who were looked down upon by the Pharisees.

Reading about Jesus healing and loving people who were sinners (like prostitutes) gives me hope that He can love me. I view myself as no better than people who are in prison or people who like to do evil. We all are sinners. We all will have to answer to God for what we have done in this life. My answer will be "I entrust my heart and my soul to Jesus Christ, My Lord."

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