Religion Or Rollercoaster?

Religion Or Rollercoaster?

No matter what, God will love me.
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When I was a baby I was baptized into the Catholic church. To my parents it was important for their daughters to be Catholic, so that was what I grew up knowing. I followed His footsteps through my first communion a few years later.

At 7 years-old I was still unsure as to what was really going on. My family never attended Sunday mass at our church nor really talked about God in our home. I got one weekly God session at CCD on Wednesday nights. I knew who He was and who His son was, but I still was not understanding why I had to learn about them. I also did not understand why all of my friends went to the Christian church on Wednesdays instead.

As a kid I HATED those CCD classes, always asking if I could skip that week. If it was a mass night, I knew the yawning was going to begin. Something about the smell of incense in a church makes me yawn uncontrollably (which I constantly got in trouble for).

But week by week, through my freshman year of high school, I went to those classes at the church. Until finally I was ready to make my confirmation. I had heard that the confirmation classes were different and more empowering, and I was actually excited for them because I thought that would be my time with God.

Those classes were different and they were better. I met new peers from different schools and eventually, we became a little family. We volunteered at the Salvation Army at Christmas for our volunteer project and it was eye-opening. Sadly we only had a few sessions following that day, and we made our confirmations only to never hear from one another again. It was not yet my time.

After all that time, baptism to confirmation, I never felt close to God. It was not until the summer following my confirmation that I felt and saw His grace.

That summer I was offered an opportunity to work as a servant leader for a Christian church camp. It was a camp that was owned and run by my next door neighbors that I barely knew.

At that point in my life I felt as if I had nothing else to lose, my parents were divorcing and the relationship I was in ended, so I went off to the camp for a week with zero expectations.

I was beyond nervous to go, I thought people would judge me for being Catholic and for not being "good" at religion. But I was wrong.

My neighbors and the rest of the staff welcomed me with open arms. That week I learned a lot about myself and what God meant to me. I cried when the week was up because I did not want to leave that beautiful place. I tried to keep up with my devotions after camp but life got in the way and it fell by the wayside.

A year later I found myself back at camp for not one, but two weeks. I was determined to do better. I learned more, cried more, and opened up more. Once again after camp, it did not continue like I wanted. However, I now had my neighbors as a part of my life, they helped me see my journey. Seeing the love they had for one another and for their individual relationships with God, made me want to be better.

After everything, I was left with confusion, I learned more about God as a person than I had in 17 years of being a Catholic. Did I want to give it all up to become a Christian?

I still do not really know. I did not become better, I slacked and let life get in the way, again. I know I love God and everything He does, which still makes me want to be better. I know my journey with Him is not over because it has not even begun, but I am ready to see where He takes me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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God's Letter To The Struggling College Christian

Don't give up on me because I haven't given up on you
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Dear Struggling College Christian,

Life can be tough, especially in college; you're at that age where you're not exactly an adult but also no longer a child.

You're somewhere in between, possessing just enough freedom to do what you want while still being held responsible for the decisions you make about your future. You're always stressed out. You're going to get hurt, you're going to feel like dropping out or changing your mind, and you're even going to want to turn your back on me, your God, but I want to tell you this: your suffering is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: I Am Christian Millennial And I Do Not Hate You

I want you to know that everything you are going through is a lesson. It's all building you into a better person, a better you. The things you've asked of me, the things you've told me you wanted – those are things you have to be prepared for and you still need a bit of tweaking.

The future, though bright, isn't all sunshine and roses.

The path has twists and turns, cracks are in it, fallen logs in your way, and most of the time you're not going to be able to see straight ahead of you. The weather is going to be unpredictable. The hailstorm is going to knock you off your feet and the twisters are going to send you spinning into confusion, exhaustion, and doubt.

But with the strength that I am trying to build up in you, you'll find that you know exactly where to find shelter when the storms break down your door.

You'll find that the lessons you learn from trying times are exactly what you need to fulfill my plans for you. You've read Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 hundreds of times, but there is a verse in the Bible that you may have never paid attention to.

Ephesians 2:10. It reads: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The most important part of this verse is one simple word: beforehand. So while you're crying and stressing about what job you're going to land after you graduate, if you're going to marry that person you've been with for years, or if you even want to be majoring in what you're currently majoring in, I already have a plan laid out specifically for you. You are my child, my creation and you have a purpose.

However, while knowing these things is great, it is all pointless if you don't do. So here's what I want you to do: do not give up. Have faith in me. You believe in me, so why not believe in me in your darkest moments? That's the reason you became a Christian, right?

Because I'm the one person you know that won't forsake you. You know that I love you, and you know that I'm here for you, so prove it. I know it can be hard when you're pulled in a lot of different directions by your social life, your academic life and your extracurricular activities not to mention your family life and your own personal sanity, but take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to talk to me.

Tell me your fears and your desires. Remember that you can ask me for and about anything. I'm always going to give you an answer, whether it's a yes, no, or not right now. After that, I want you to stop worrying and fight on through the darkness. You are stronger than you think.

My Child, enjoy yourself while you are young: don't stress over the things that you can't see. Don't give in to the depression, the anxiety, or the stress; things that are not of me. Don't let yourself forget about me or believe that I'm not there when I am and know that my plan is set in place for you.

All you have to do is walk in it. Trust that this is all for your good. But most importantly, remember that I love you unconditionally–at your worst and your best. Life can be tough, but you are tougher simply because you are mine.

I've got you,

God

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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11 Verses To Help In Times Of Trouble

These verses have helped me when I was lost and I hope they help you to.

hannahd
hannahd
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The bible has always been something I could turn to in my times of trouble and confusion. God really does have so many answers for the millions of questions I have for him. The verses I have below are only a few of the ones I can count on I guess you could say. I know that God is always there even when I have self-doubt about it and think I am all alone in the world.

He might not answer right away but he always answers even with the little things that come along in my life.

1. John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

In this verse, it would help if you are ever upset because God is letting you know that he will always have a place for you, that you will not be alone.

2. Psalm 18:6 " In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears."

If you are ever weak or frustrated because you are lost, God will always here you cry out for him and he might not always answer right away but he hears you and will help

3. Psalm 23:1-4 "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

You might be feeling alone like nobody is there for you, but God is always there and will guide you through the tough times you are facing.

4. Matthew 8:26 "He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm."

Self-doubt or worried and you are scared of what might or even can happen and things will happen and you get overwhelmed, but God will calm everything around you.

5. Philippians 4:8-9 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Being anxious about things and working through them too fast and you can be messing up and get upset about it. God tells you to slow down and practice the things he has taught you and they will work out.

6. Joshua 1:5-6 "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them."

Needing courage because something just happened and you have lost your way. God is saying that you need to hold your ground and stick up for yourself, on your good and bad days the devil will try and test you but God will be with you always.

7.  Psalm 73:23-34 "Yet I am always with you;you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, you will take me into glory."

You have lost direction and don't know what to do, the lord will be right by your side, guiding you through life. He is there to listen to you and help you find your way back to the right path.

8. Psalm 27:6 " Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord."

Feeling alone, depressed and you have lost all hope in everything God is telling you he will lift your head above everyone who has doubted you or made you feel less, he will pull you out and you will succeed above everyone else.

9. Colossians 3:12-24  "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

God is telling you to humble yourself and have certain traits you need to hold. If you are unhappy with someone, forgive one another because the Lord forgives you for what you have done and he sees you doing all.

10. Psalm 51:1-2 "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin."

This is more of a straight forward verse in saying that if you have sinned, you are asking God to forgive you of your sins and to help you not do them again

11. Psalm 91:3-5 "Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will no fear the terror of night, or the arrow that flies by day."

Being worried or in danger or scared of something God will save you. If you are in trouble God will find a way to get you out of that situation, he will protect you and get you out.

I hope you can turn to at least one of these in times of trouble or confusion or lost. I have been so lost on where I should be or what I should be doing with life and these have helped me a lot.

hannahd
hannahd

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