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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Don't Forget That Your Voice Matters

Once you find your voice, don't loose it!

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We all want to feel a sense of belonging, and that is why we have friends and family to surround ourselves with. However, sometimes we form our own opinion on a topic or we believe in something that not everyone else might agree with, which is completely normal to do. That is what makes us all different and perfect in the image of God. In the past year I have started to find what my voice is about and what my passion is about.

Growing up I was always the quiet soft spoken one in the classroom. At home I was raised to be obedient to my parents and so I did what I was told. Growing up, I was a people pleaser in my friend group, and I still struggle with that today because I didn't like to have the opinion that caused disruption within my friend group. I don't really get involved with the politics and the conversations that come with it because my parents never really pushed their beliefs on me growing up. When other people hear that I don't really have a strong stance they think it is wrong and that I should have a firm stance on what I agree with on how the government runs in my country.

Being involved in Cru, the campus ministry on my campus, has taught me so much about my faith and has even taught me how to share the Gospel with anyone including non believers of Christianity, which is important to me. Being able to grow in my faith over the past year and a half, God has shown me what He can do when I live confidently in him and what miraculous things He can do when He is glorified. He can use anything and turn it into something incredible. I have witnessed it and it has opened my eyes to what I am passionate about and that is sharing the word of God.

God gives those who believe in Him and in his son Jesus a spirit of God to be within us here on Earth. I believe that God does everything for a reason and He placed the people in my life that were involved with Cru last year and even now for a reason because I have been able to grow in sharing what I have a passion for and that voice in me is all in the glorification of God. I know that college students won't always agree with me if I share with them what I believe and tell them about the work that God has done in me and continues to do in my life, but He can use that in their life to hopefully change their story. I know that I have grown so much in voicing what matters to me and I give all my praise to my Heavenly Father.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:3 it talks about what the spirit of God is and why God gave that to us. This is just one piece of scripture that touches on the Holy Spirit, but I pray that God will use what you are passionate about to do that in the glorification of Him because He gave that to you. If you haven't found your voice yet that is OK too, and I pray that He will reveal that to you.

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