I Needed To Leave the Church to Be Called Back to It

I Needed To Leave the Church to Be Called Back to It

"I was raised Catholic, so I'm an atheist now" -John Mulaney

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If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "Well, I was raised Catholic, so I'm an atheist now," I could probably pay off my student loans. If I had a dollar for every time I said it I wouldn't be eating PB&J; for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I was raised Catholic and like many other millenial Catholics, once I left for college I also left my religion. Catholicism became so synonymous to me with hatred, bigotry, and homophobia that I couldn't take it anymore. The love I held in my heart for people of all types of lifestyles was larger than my love for God.

As the world quickly changes, the Christian church has been slow to change with it. We use the bible to justify our politics. We use the scripture to judge others. We falsely believe that having a relationship with God makes us an expert on how others should look, feel, and act.

I have always had a relationship with God but not always with the Church. But the problem wasn't the Church, but the people that were within it. Never once during mass did I ever hear a homily or scripture about judging people for who they love or the color of their skin. We have always been taught the opposite.

I began to avoid God because I wanted to avoid my parents and their friends who spouted racist and homophobic thoughts out of ignorance. It was easier for me to remove myself than to try to argue with them about judging others. I stopped going to church and discussing my feelings with them because I would only be told I was wrong.

I couldn't continue calling myself a Catholic because I had begun to believe that being Catholic meant that we had to reject people who weren't like us. AKA white, straight people.

The farther away I moved from my hometown the closer I got with God and being Catholic. I was able to find different resources and hear different voices about what it means to be Christian. I learned that above all else, God tells us to love and respect our neighbors. We are born perfect because God created humanity in his own image.

I had always felt this in my heart but I was alienated by ignorance and politics that truly weren't in line with God's word.

I had to mend my relationship with Him before I could try to mend my relationships with everyone else. I still struggle with dealing with conflicts caused by differences in my beliefs with other Catholics. I hope by reading this, these people will understand why it was easier for me to shut down rather than explaining how I felt.

Many Millenials have left the church for the same reasons I did, but our passion to make our world a better place couldn't be more in line with God's word. Jesus broke bread with lepers and sex workers, so why can't us Catholics learn to love people who live differently than us?

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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."

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Don't Forget That Your Voice Matters

Once you find your voice, don't loose it!

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We all want to feel a sense of belonging, and that is why we have friends and family to surround ourselves with. However, sometimes we form our own opinion on a topic or we believe in something that not everyone else might agree with, which is completely normal to do. That is what makes us all different and perfect in the image of God. In the past year I have started to find what my voice is about and what my passion is about.

Growing up I was always the quiet soft spoken one in the classroom. At home I was raised to be obedient to my parents and so I did what I was told. Growing up, I was a people pleaser in my friend group, and I still struggle with that today because I didn't like to have the opinion that caused disruption within my friend group. I don't really get involved with the politics and the conversations that come with it because my parents never really pushed their beliefs on me growing up. When other people hear that I don't really have a strong stance they think it is wrong and that I should have a firm stance on what I agree with on how the government runs in my country.

Being involved in Cru, the campus ministry on my campus, has taught me so much about my faith and has even taught me how to share the Gospel with anyone including non believers of Christianity, which is important to me. Being able to grow in my faith over the past year and a half, God has shown me what He can do when I live confidently in him and what miraculous things He can do when He is glorified. He can use anything and turn it into something incredible. I have witnessed it and it has opened my eyes to what I am passionate about and that is sharing the word of God.

God gives those who believe in Him and in his son Jesus a spirit of God to be within us here on Earth. I believe that God does everything for a reason and He placed the people in my life that were involved with Cru last year and even now for a reason because I have been able to grow in sharing what I have a passion for and that voice in me is all in the glorification of God. I know that college students won't always agree with me if I share with them what I believe and tell them about the work that God has done in me and continues to do in my life, but He can use that in their life to hopefully change their story. I know that I have grown so much in voicing what matters to me and I give all my praise to my Heavenly Father.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:3 it talks about what the spirit of God is and why God gave that to us. This is just one piece of scripture that touches on the Holy Spirit, but I pray that God will use what you are passionate about to do that in the glorification of Him because He gave that to you. If you haven't found your voice yet that is OK too, and I pray that He will reveal that to you.

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