Finding My Faith
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Finding My Faith

For those of you who know me, please imagine me reading this to you, as hearing this in my voice will improve your reading experience dramatically.

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Finding My Faith
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In my developmental psychology class, we recently learned about the four stages of identity achievement. One of the stages is called Identity Foreclosure. In this stage, the person conforms to expectations of others in regards to their future and don't explore any other options. Until now, I never really thought about my values and beliefs and how I acquired them. Yes, I have the same set of values as my family, but what really caught my attention was religion and why I decided on sticking with my Catholic roots. I was raised Catholic and I won't deny that growing up in a Catholic household influenced my choice to keep that particular faith, but I have struggled with it, and I am now 100 percent committed to the Catholic faith, and proud of it. I had faith, lost it, and found it again.

I always believed in God and I never questioned His existence. I went to church every Sunday, attended religious formation classes, and have received four of the seven sacraments. It wasn't until my father died that I began to struggle with my faith. When he died, I had just turned 13 and was about to enter the eighth grade. If you've ever lost someone that close to you, you know that you feel everything all at once, and then nothing all at once. Grief has a funny way of expressing itself. In all honesty, I can't remember a lot of what happened immediately following my father's death, but I do remember that being the first time I questioned my faith. I was angry with God for making my dad sick, and then letting him die. I was relieved because He ended his suffering which, in turn, ended some of the pain that came with my father being so sick. I was sad because, well, I'd never see my dad again. Except in Heaven, but I was questioning the existence of God (how could he have let this happen to us?), so I was questioning all parts of my faith including Heaven. Of course, I continued to go to church but my heart wasn't fully in it.

My sophomore year, I decided to join the adult choir at my church with a couple of friends. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I could ever make for myself. My church is blessed with an amazing choir and two amazing music directors. When I joined the choir, I felt at home with them almost immediately. Joining them in songs of praise brings me so much joy. Being a part of the music ministry allows me to share my talent and give back to both my parish and God, which further strengthens my relationship with Him.

Just before my junior year began, my life was finally feeling like it was heading in the direction I wanted it to be, and I finally felt like I maybe knew who I was. Apparently, God had other plans. I ended up in the hospital with kidney failure and days later, I was diagnosed with Lupus. (For your sake, I'm going to skip the lengthy explanation of what that is, but click on the link to learn all about it). Long story short, I have a chronic autoimmune disease that affects my entire body. #Blessed. I took my diagnosis quite well at first and tried to be positive. Internally, I was kind of furious at God. Seriously? No, it's fine, really, God, I needed a good reason to drink more water anyways and I always knew I should eat less sodium. Anyway, my faith was thrown off again, but not for as long as the first time I wrestled with it. While I was struggling with my faith again, I was also being shown what faith in God can bring you. I had my entire choir family praying for me, I had support from family, friends, teachers and classmates. I was given two amazing doctors, and while I was in the hospital, amazing nurses. I realized that, while my diagnosis comes with downsides, there are so many positives to balance those out. I was so lucky to find out that I have Lupus early in life, because now I know how to take care of myself. I've met people I never would have met without this, I've learned what it feels like to be in the hands of God, fighting to get better, and I know how it feels to come out on the other side. I am happy, and grateful that I have the life I do. My faith will continue to be a major part of that life.

This is much longer than I intended it to be, but I wrote this as much for myself to remind me of what faith in God's goodness has gotten me through as I did to share with you how I found it. When I think I have nothing to hold onto, I really do. Faith is love, and if you're surrounded by those you love and who love you, you can't go wrong.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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