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.