My Journey To God

My Journey To God

"I refuse to kneel or pray, I won't remember you that way"
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I didn't find God the way most children find God. I didn't grow up being woken up on Sunday mornings, dressing up and sleepily going to mass. I didn't even grow up in a house where church was attended on the major holidays, where mass was long and hot and everyone is dressed up. I grew up in a household where religion was decided upon individually, rather than being forced. The relationship I found with God came through struggle, loss and, surprisingly, music.

In July of 2015, I lost my Nani. My Nani was my great-grandmother on my father's side, and she was the light of everyone's life. She was the smallest person I have ever met, but she had a big personality. She sat upon her throne in the living room, alternating between telling my mom and me about every aspect of her day that week and ordering us around as she "made us dinner." Making us dinner usually either meant us doing all the work or my Uncle Rick coming over with many pizzas. She was incredibly religious. She used to make me yearn for some form of religion in my life. My Nani was incredible, an Italian immigrant who was so forward thinking and strong that she was far ahead of her time.

In August of 2015, as we drove down to her services, The Wonder Years' song from their newest album came on. The Wonder Years had been there for me since middle school. Those lyrics weren't a quiet conversation about feeling depression bury itself in your bones, but they were realistic beyond belief. The song that came on, as we drove down to her services? "Cigarettes and Saints." I have never before felt tears well up in my eyes before the song even started.

"And I refuse to kneel or pray, I won't remember you that way." [...] "I'm sure there ain't a heaven, but that don't mean I don't like to picture you there. I bet you're bumming cigarettes off saints. And I'm sure you're still singing, but I'll bet that you're still just a bit out of key. That crooked smile pushing words across your teeth."

I spent most of the funeral service not praising God but instead cursing him. Why would a God who was supposed to be merciful take away the most incredible woman I ever had the pleasure to know? To love?

But what I learned was the important thing. After I healed, my grief subsiding, I realized that everyone needs something to believe in. It took the loss of someone so close to me to realize that as angry as I was, as hopeless and empty as I felt, all I needed was God. If for no other reason (and there were a lot of reasons for me to seek God), the most important was that every time I step into a church, I feel my Nani. I feel her love, her warm smile, and her spirit next to me every time I close my eyes to pray. Finding God kept me connected to my Nani, making it so I never had to say goodbye to someone who was so important in my life.

And so, here I am. This September I will continue to make my Nani proud beyond the grave by going through RCIA, and by next Easter I will be a confirmed Catholic. I'll never have to let go of my Nani.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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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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To My Future Husband, I May Not Know You Yet, But I Have Prayed For You

I love you!

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Dear future husband,

Right now, I have no clue who you are or if I have even met you yet. I don't know what you look like but, I know that when I meet you that I will think that you are the most handsome man on this planet. I don't know if you are an Alabama fan or Auburn fan. You might not be into football or you might not like any sports. But, I do know one thing and that is that I have been praying for you since I was a little girl.

I have prayed that God helps you with anything that you might have been going through. I have also prayed and asked God to mold you into the man that will be an amazing spouse for me. I have also prayed that God mold me into the wife that you deserve. I have prayed for your well being and I have also prayed for your family. I can't wait for the moment when we can pray together.

I just want you to know that I am more than just a handful and that's why you have to hands. I can be emotional which you will get used too. I can't help it, I'm just a girl. There are some days that I will tell you to just leave me alone and here's a little hint, don't do that. I will want you to hug me and tell me that you love me. Also there will be times when I say that I want a date night and then I don't get up and get ready. That's your time to suggest a movie night and take out. I might also burn a meal or 2 then I will cry and order pizza, don't get mad.

I also love dogs and we will have 4 dogs. If you don't want for dogs then we will comprise and get 4 dogs. That's a joke because I can't take of 4 dogs but, we will have a dog. Life will be tiring and some days we will fight but, just know that I will never give up on us. I will also want us to win in the end.

I have loved you since the day that I wanted to get married and honestly that day was when I was 4 years old. I have always dreamed you and some of those times, I thought you would be a prince and come to my door on a white horse and take me away. Now I know that you are just a normal man that I has fallen in love with just a normal girl. I want you to know that you will make me the happiest girl in the world.

I can't wait to meet you and I hope that is one day soon.

Love,

Your Future Wife

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