Losing My Faith Made Me A Better Christian

Losing My Faith Made Me A Better Christian

Finding my way back to God was hard, but worth it.

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I was raised in a household on Southern Baptists who went to church every Sunday. I participated in vacation bible school every summer and went to Sunday school each week. Despite this, I was never baptized or even asked if I wanted to be baptized. I never thought it was a big deal until middle school. I went to a Catholic High School, not because anyone in my family was Catholic, but because it was the best school in town. In my religion classes, we were basically taught that people who aren't baptized won't get to Heaven as easily. I couldn't understand this. I was a good person who made good decisions, so why couldn't I go to Heaven when I died? This was where I started questioning my faith in God.

After I transferred school and moved to a different town, I tried out new churches with my boyfriend. He was also raised in a Southern Baptist family, so we automatically went to the local Baptist church. I went with him every Sunday, not for myself, but for him. I didn't want him to know I was questioning everything, or that I didn't feel like I fit in at any church. Eventually, I broke down and told him how I felt. He respected my feelings and continued going to church without me. I stopped trying to force myself into churches and focused on learning more about different religions. I struggled to find one that I identified with. At that point, I didn't even know if I believed there was a god or higher power. I also started struggling with depression and anxiety around this time. I felt like my life was falling apart.

Fast forward to my first year in college, when my boyfriend and I had our first big falling out. I hadn't made any friends yet, and I felt like I didn't have anyone to turn to. One night, after we got into a huge fight, I sat on my bed and prayed for the first time in years. It wasn't a prayer like I was used to. There was no structure, no "Dear Heavenly Father" or memorized words. I prayed unlike I had ever prayed before, like I was talking to a friend. I told God about my struggles and begged for a solution, then told Him about my lack of faith and asked for a sign.

I don't know exactly what I expected to happen. Maybe I wanted to hear God tell me everything would be okay. Maybe I wanted an immediate sign from Him. I was frustrated that I didn't get these things. The next time I felt alone, I prayed again in the same way I had before, but this time I didn't ask for a quick fix or a sign. I asked for guidance and patience. This is when I truly found out how amazing God is. Suddenly, I felt at peace. I had a feeling inside of me that everything would work itself out. I reevaluating the way I viewed God and prayer. I learned that He isn't going to magically make all of your troubles go away, but He will guide you through it. After I changed my point of view on everything, I was exposed to a breathtaking relationship with God.

No, I still don't go to church every Sunday. No, I don't follow every rule in the Bible. Despite this, I feel closer to God and closer to my faith knowing that I found my way to Him on my own. He showed me love and forgiveness after I came back, begging for help. I'm still on my journey to becoming a better Christian, a better friend, and a better daughter, but I know that He is there for me, no matter what.

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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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Dear Christians, Think Twice Before You Invite A Non-Christian To Your Church

It's important to be sensitive to the many faiths people around you adhere to.

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Christians,

I understand you preaching me verses from the Bible comes from good intentions.

I understand you explaining to me the teachings of Jesus comes from good intentions.

I understand you inviting me to your church comes from good intentions.

The issue is that not everybody is as tolerant of your evangelical mission. In fact, many may see it as outright offensive.

"How dare you try to push your religious beliefs on me?"

"I don't appreciate your attempts to convert me."

"I'm satisfied with my own religion, thanks."

The above are just some responses you might unfortunately get, but it is important to understand why that's the case.

Christianity is, by all means, the most popular religion on the planet with followers from all corners of the globe.

With your faith having such a large following, people may see your mission to spread God's word as rather selfish — an attack, even, to not consider their faith.

Receiving this kind of response from someone when you meant only the best for them can occur with even the simplest actions — you can try inviting someone to your church and still end up offending them.

I can admit there was one point in time I was in such a situation where my neighbor asked me to attend her church for Easter when she knew I was a Hindu. I was taken aback by her invitation. Religion was not something I considered to be a "show and tell" where you share it with others without them asking. I am glad to educate people about Hinduism, but only if they ask and are genuinely interested, otherwise I don't try and bring it up and teach it to others in case they become uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, Hinduism is one of the most liberal and tolerant religions out there. Hindus are allowed to visit other houses of worship, accept beliefs from other religions, and accept the fact that there are multiple supreme beings; there is no limit to how Hindus reach salvation.

I wasn't offended by her Christianity, but rather her disregard of how someone from a different faith may interpret her invitation.

I politely declined her invitation because at the time it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't understand her intentions. I have had moments in my life where I was encouraged to convert to Christianity, even offered money, which made me wary of the intentions of Christians around me who were very open about their religion.

Today, as a Hindu attending a private Christian university, I have had the opportunity to interact with Christians and understand why they like to promote their faith. It took quite some time and experience to educate myself about this, and I better understand where Christians come from when they talk about religion, but not everybody is so accommodating.

It is very important to understand that your beliefs are just that — beliefs. Beliefs are subjective and not everybody is going to agree with them or respect them.

You may have been taught to "go make disciples of all the nations," and you don't get to pick and choose which teachings of Jesus to follow, but understand that you assuming you're helping someone follow "the right path" may actually be pushing them away.

We appreciate your genuine care for us and your good intentions behind promoting your faith, but please be sensitive to how you talk about religion — even if it is inviting someone to your church.

Sincerely,

Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Atheists, and other non-Christian belief systems.

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