My View On Religion Changed When I Got Closer To God

My View On Religion Changed When I Got Closer To God

Understanding that God loves me and protects me has encouraged me to be honest with myself and the choices I make.

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I was not raised Christian or any religion of any sort, but since I was in elementary school I always wondered what religion meant and why people practiced it. The problem is people are so verbal about stereotypes that all Christians are homophobic or believe that women should not have the right to abortions. These are both common beliefs practiced in Christianity, but it does not mean that all Christians think this way. Hearing those things that went against my beliefs scared me away from practicing any type of religion.

When I entered my junior year one of my friends said that the church she goes to, "Journey Of Faith" is welcoming of all people no matter what their race, gender, and sexuality was. I decided to try it out and I felt so welcomed and taken care of. I started to realize that the whole point of going to church is to worship God and nurture your relationship with him.

The pastor explained how God created everyone and that God loves all of his sons and daughters no matter what. That comment meant a lot to me and it still sticks with me today. Being a good Christian is loving and forgiving people no matter what because that is what God does. When people are hateful towards people who are part of the LGTBQ+ that just means that they are ignorant and intolerant, they are not preaching God's words because God is loving.

I loved the bible verses I would hear in church. I felt so uplifted after each service and applied the sermons I learned to my daily life. I learned the importance of loving others and yourself. I was taught to always go with my gut and to challenge myself. It just felt so relieving to know that God will always be here for me and have my back no matter what I was going through.

I always believed that things happen for a reason and I realized that is God. I feel like ever since I have gone to church I have a better understanding of life and what things mean. Since I am such a curious person always looking for answers, I felt that I was able to find some of those answers in the Holy Bible.

My journey of faith was confusing and a lot of people would make fun of me for going to church and still do, but I don't let it get to me. I have been a much happier person and have been able to set and accomplish more goals for myself it doesn't matter what people say about my faith. Church and just reading bible quotes is my therapy.

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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The Notre Dame Cathedral–Such A Loss Of History And Beauty, But What A Gift It Was To Experience It

Reid shares her story as she is saddened for Paris and the church.

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After the massive fire that devastated large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the 850-year-old cathedral's spire fell. French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to share in the nation's sorrow but gave hope for the future. This includes the rebuilding of the cathedral together and making it more beautiful than ever. "The fire of Notre Dame reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched," Macron said.

Tyler Reid

Among many others, Tyler Reid is saddened for Paris and the church. Although, she counts herself blessed to have seen it such a short time before it was destroyed. Reid, who was lucky enough to visit the amazing structure this past spring break, remarked:

My trip was filled with so many wonderful sites. Although, because Notre Dame carries the title of most-visited monument in Europe, my expectations were high. When I first walked up, there isn't one specific feeling I got; instead, it was more of a million thoughts running though my head. Once inside, looking at the massive stained glass windows combined with all the details in every crevice, it was hard for me to imagine people actually building this without the technology we have today. This hand crafted masterpiece really is so influential considering people still went there to worship, even after so much time has past and so many other cathedrals had been built. This proves how special the Notre Dame Cathedral really is. Due to my experience here, hearing about the fire hurt my heart, especially thinking about how some of the irreplaceable artworks and all of this history may be gone. This place truly influenced people, including me, and for it to be gone is a true tragedy.

Like Macron, Reid shares in the sorrow; although, for her, it was just from one visit. This proves the amazing impact the Notre Dame Cathedral had and hopefully will continue to have even after this devastation.

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