Growing up Seventh Day Adventist

Growing up Seventh Day Adventist

“Sorry guys, I can’t make it. I have to respect my religion."
Nyssa
Nyssa
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“Sorry guys, I can’t make it. I have to respect my religion”.

These were the words I found myself repeating every Friday night sunset to Saturday night sunset throughout my youth. I said the words with a drag and resented each one because I had no value for the religion in which I was brought up. To simply put it, it prevented me from doing the things that I wanted to do.

In a nutshell, Seventh Day Adventist is a denomination of the Christian religion that believes the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is the Sabbath. Being that Saturday is the Sabbath, it’s treated as a holy day used only to promote Christianity, and spread the word of God from sunrise to sunset. This meant shopping, sporting events, movies and things in the realm of fun were off limits.

Growing up as a Seventh Day Adventist was difficult. It seemed to me that the rest of the world had their fun on Saturdays. I can’t even begin to recall the number of birthday parties, class trips, barbecues, and fun Friday nights out I missed because of it. I literally couldn’t even buy something as simple as coffee unless it was made by Jesus himself. On these days, I felt like an outcast.

While everyone was out carrying on about their business, I was in church with my head tucked between my knees in the prayer position, otherwise known as sleeping. The mornings before church, I would lay in bed dreading what was to come because I knew I would have to decline all of my friend’s offers of fun activities.

It wasn't until I got to college and landed a job that I realized Saturdays weren't all that bad. I had felt like I was missing out on everything until working a 9 to 5 made me miss my peace of mind a little bit more. As it turns out, keeping the Sabbath holy has a number of benefits.

The number one benefit is rest. I never knew how much I enjoyed rest until I got to college. By the time I was finished with this chemistry paper and that English assignment, I was beat. Mondays, I hit the ground running to get everything done and by the end of each week, I’d run out of steam falling face flat into Saturday. I was looking forward to encouraging words from my pastor as well as a little me time to reflect on my week.

Second, all the plans I had to cancel when I was younger because of my religion were now being cancelled because I wanted to respect my religion and keep it holy. As I read the Bible and talked more with my friends at church, I started to have a new found appreciation of Christ’s love and will for us to recuperate on Saturdays. I started to think maybe people aren't meant to be on the go all the time.

With each passing Sabbath, I stopped feeling like I was missing out on the things my friends were doing and started feeling like I was learning to give myself a break in Christ. Keeping the Sabbath allows me to take time to give God praise for bringing me through another week. I have the chance to catch up on some reading, enjoy nature and rest.

For me, Sabbath is my day of rest. For others, it’s a hike or a day shopping. Whatever way you find your rest, be sure to give yourself a break each week. We work hard. Relax.

Cover Image Credit: Paragon 360

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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To The Christian Girl Against Feminism, Religion Isn't An Excuse Not To Fight For Equality

Religion is not an excuse to not fight for feminism.

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When I first read the article "I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist..." I thought it had to be a joke. Unfortunately, it was a sad reality.

I am a privileged white female. I came from a middle-class family with a law-enforcement father. I still am smart enough to realize we NEED intersectional, no strings attached, unconditional feminism. Anyone who disagrees is just wrong. In this case, the author is trying to base her outdated sexist beliefs on the Bible, and I am appalled.

At first, I thought it was a joke, I genuinely read the title out loud to my father and even he said it had to be a man pretending to be a woman. As I read the article I realized that sadly this is a girl who has had religion corrupt her life.

Religion can be a beautiful thing, it can change lives and give people hope that they need. I have heard countless stories about how finding a god has made people better, and that is incredible. However, using religion to say women don't deserve the same as men is absolutely absurd.

Part of me wants to scream in her face that she can't be ok with being a victim, another part of me wants to throw my hands up and give up on her and like-minded individuals. However, in a time like ours where women are coming so close to being equals, I can't sit down or act irrationally.

So here are the facts:

1. Women who work fulltime only make 77% of men's salaries on average. African American women only make 64 cents per dollar and Latina women only make 56 cents per dollar. Imagine being just as capable and trained just as well but a guy makes more money than you because he has a penis.

2. One in three women around the globe has experienced sexual violence. ONE IN EVERY THREE. YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY SURVIVORS. If women were considered equals that would not be the case.

3. Only 24% of high-level management positions are held by women. That's worldwide. 195 countries. Let that sink in. This isn't because women aren't smart either, 60% of all United States college degrees are awarded to women.

4. Women are not allowed to vote in many places, like Saudi Arabia or the Vatican. Imagine not having the right to vote! YOU GET NO SAY IN ANYTHING.

You can thank women for your right to work, vote, get an education, practice a religion that you chose, a range of professions, windshield wipers, bras, dishwashers, diapers, need I go on?

Women are strong as hell and your misinterpretation of an outdated book does not dimish all of the amazing things women have accomplished and will continue to accomplish.

To quote one bad bitch, "Power's not given to you. You have to take it." — Beyoncé Knowles Carter.

Now ladies let's get into our feminist formation and fight for our rights!

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