Finding And Keeping Faith In College

Finding And Keeping Faith In College

Find a group of friends who encourage, and help you grow not only as a person but as a Christian.
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"You may go through seasons of sun wind and rain. You may tread the desert and in and out of pain. You may run through years wondering if you're good enough. But you will never run too far that you're outside of His love" -Morgan Harper-Nichols

Before I started college, I had a routine of just going to church on Sundays. I rarely read my bible, and I was not really pursuing a relationship with God. Thinking back on it, I never really did much to strengthen my relationship with Him. I knew that I believed in God, I just did not do much to live in that. It wasn't until college when I really grew in my relationship with God.

I remember moving to college, not really knowing if I was going to be able to keep my faith strong. You hear stories about college, that sometimes lead to doubt. Thankfully, I had a roommate who was a Christian and who was attending the church down the street from my university. One day I decided to go with her, just to check it out. It was different than what I was used to, but I liked it. I soon started to attend a college ministry, and I joined a small group. When I joined my small group, that is when I really saw my faith in God grow. Reading His word each week, and talking about it with other girls was the highlight of my weeks. I met one of my good friends in my small group. Long story short, she came into my dorm one night because I was having a hard time with something, and we started talking. We talked long into the night. I knew that God sent Olivia to my dorm that night. There is no other valid reason why she would have come. We barely knew each other. I believe that God places certain people in our lives for certain seasons that we walk through. I thanked God that night for putting her in my life. I still thank Him, even after knowing her for a year now. We started going to Ignite and Church together, and growing in our relationship with God together. It is so nice to have a friend to hold me accountable and to help me grow in relationship with God. We grew as friends through the months, and she was and is the one person I still turn to when I am struggling with anything.

I am currently a sophomore, and I have grown so much closer to God in this year. I have realized how important it is to have a relationship with God. One thing that has really helped my relationship with God was going to fall retreat and being surrounded by other believers. I went to the beach one weekend with my college ministry and a group of my friends. It was a hard weekend, but it was then when I really felt closest to God. I could feel His presence in my life during that weekend, and ever since, I have felt so much peace in my day to day life. I have learned that it isn't impossible to keep a strong faith in college. There will be days where it is hard, but it is always possible. I have faced a lot of hardship keeping my relationship with God strong this semester. I love being a part of a community group because being able to openly talk about Jesus, life, and struggles is really important. Having people there to keep me accountable helps abundantly.

I also recently just became a part of Delight ministries, which is a woman's ministry. I had heard a lot about it before I decided to go to a meeting. I was a little nervous to start going but I am so glad I did. One of my friends invited my roommate and I. We went on a random Wednesday evening, and I was blown away. I felt like God had placed me there for a reason. The evening that we went they were talking about grief, and how to find God in the midst of it. It was everything that I needed to hear. Right now I am facing a lot of pain from grief because of the holidays coming up. I gained such a great friend from this group, as well. I heard her story on the night that we went, and it was so inspiring. I remembering meeting up with her for coffee a few days later and sharing a little bit of my story with her. Being able to have friends who understand what I am going through is a blessing. It is amazing to be able to keep growing in faith alongside my roommate and new friends. I have been able to find the support I need to get through this month, in this group of ladies.

Find a group of friends who encourage, and help you grow not only as a person but as a Christian.

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Markee

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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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finding healing in the ultimate healer

Leaning on God and not myself.

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I started pulling out of my driveway on Monday. It seemed like a normal Monday and I was rushing to work (as usual). I then found out about a close family friend's death as I tried to get out of my driveway blocked by police cars. I got past them and finally reached the end of the driveway.

Then it struck me.

I stopped breathing. I became light-headed. I felt as if I could not go on. Why would all this hurt happen to me?

I had lost four people in five weeks and I was hurting more than ever before.

Why God? I shouted this question in my car on the way to and from work. I cried and cried and cried.

God does not always give us a why. But He does give us a promise. A promise to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I began searching for solutions to my hurt... guys, friends, sports, busyness. I could not escape this hurt because I was missing out on the One who is the Ultimate Healer and the Ultimate Void Filler.

I decided to open my heart to those in my Christian community and I found these amazing lyrics from the son, "Though You Slay Me," by Shane & Shane:

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still, I will worship
Sing a song to the one
who's all I need

Our hurt is never an excuse to ignore God. It is an opportunity to pursue God.

I do not need other things in this world to fill voids, I need God. I need Him every single second of the day. He is teaching me a lot during this season of hurt in my life: I should be thanking Him for the growth that I am experiencing in my life and thanking Him for the opportunity to love others hurting well.

If you are feeling the way I have been lately, I urge you to rest in the truth that you are by no means alone in your struggles. You must reach out to people in the church and ask for prayer and help. You must focus on what God is doing in your life as a result of the hurt you are feeling. I believe that God uses the people who feel most unusable to transform lives. God uses our hurt for His glory because He is a God who deserves all glory. How can you bring God glory in your life?

I wanted to conclude with this challenge: let your "whys" turn into your "thank yous" and your emptiness turn into the fullness that can only be found in God.

Cover Image Credit:

Anna Schoeck

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