"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.