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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11 Struggles Of Being An Indian Muslim, As Told By Spongebob

Yes, I am Indian. No, I’m not polytheistic. And so what?
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Disclaimer: The YouTuber pictured in the cover photo, known as Superwoman, is not a Muslim.

Most people I've encountered are extremely accepting, but this is for that other 1 percent. Whether it's dealing with the occasional misguided individual or having to wear atrocious swimsuits, here are 11 struggles of being an Indian Muslim.


1. Thinking that being Indian and being a Muslim are mutually exclusive.

Being Indian is a race, people. Islam is a religion. It is possible to be both.

2. Getting hit with #AlternativeFacts.

Did you know that every single Muslim in India left during the Indo-Pak split resulted in all "Indian" Muslims actually hailing from Pakistan or Bangladesh? Neither did I.

3. “You’re probably North Indian then, right? There are more Muslims there.”

Nope. I’m about as South Indian as it gets. #represent

4. Automatically assuming I'm a Hindu because of my skin tone.

No, I want to check if there’s pork in this sausage, not beef.

5. Judgmental Parents

“My parents hate most Muslims but I’m sure they’ll love you!

"I would love to meet your parents!"

6. Islamophobic statements people make in front of me because they assume I’m not a Muslim

Friend: Lol my parents said I can date anyone I want except Muslims because they’re evil — I’m sure you can relate.

Me: …

Me: No, can’t relate.

*Cue the awkward silence*

7. People constantly offering me water when I’m fasting

Their reactions when I tell them why I can't accept it are worth every drop they offered.

8. “Aren’t you hot in those long pants?”

Yes, I am, thanks for asking.

9. "Happy Diwali! Wait, you do know what that is, right?"

While I am a Muslim, I'm not ignorant. So, Happy Diwali to you too, friend. I'd rather you wish me for Eid though.

10. "Why don't you take that cardigan off?"

Because this shirt is sleeveless, but it was cute, and I didn't expect it to be this hot. Bad life decisions, I know.

11. Swimsuits.

No bikinis or tankinis or any kind of -inis for this girl. While everyone else is chilling in the sun, I'm hiding in the bathroom making sure that the morphsuit I have on doesn't see the light of day. At least it guarantees I don't tan :')

Cover Image Credit: YouTube / Superwoman

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Awake! Speak Life — Day 11 Update

Prayer and devotional.
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Today, April 12, 2018, was day 11 of the 21-day journey that includes 15 minutes of prayer and strategically implementing tasks found in “Awake! Speak Life 21 Day Devotional.” As explained last week, we meet every day at 6:45 a.m. There are two ways to join our group. You can listen to live audio on the Facebook page of Nichole Freeman and conference call number: 712-775-7270 code 989416.

The call opens with a prayer and closes with prayer. A recap of the previous calls is provided as a reminder and to update new callers. All participants are required to complete the assignments in each chapter. Tasks include scripture and affirmation memorization. This process was described in last week’s update. Our goal is to change the words we say to ourselves by developing a habit that is a rebuttal to negative thoughts. We are choosing to use the power of our tongues to speak life.

Chapters one through three are complete. After eleven days of successfully starting my day speaking life, I can honestly say that I feel a peace and calmness that surrounds me. My highlights or takeaways from the Awake lessons are as follows. First, as I focus on God and intentionally seek Him, He embraces me with open arms. Secondly, praying improves my communication with God. Therefore, we should continuously pray. Third, we should pray for one another. There is a great strength in our prays. And finally, when we think of a negative we should deny the negative by countering it with an affirmation. We are implementing steps that are becoming a habit.

I am excited and looking forward to providing next week's update.

Books are available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle. You can also purchase on the author's website: Nichole Shirell Enterprises

New: Book of Poetry: Love Layers: The Love Chapbook

Cover Image Credit: NSE

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