On the surface, I may appear to be a good, practicing Christian. I attend Mass as often as possible (work prevents me from going), I'm currently trying to join the Knights of Columbus, I pray often. As I said, superficial. However, for a long time, I have struggled with my faith immensely at times, even going as far as to have doubted His existence at points. I'm very much the Doubting Thomas of the Gospel at times.

Why have I struggled? A few things. One is the immense amount of pain and suffering we see around us in the world. How could this continue to occur as often as it has? The shootings. The conflicts. The attacks on civilians. So senseless and depraved that it seems... random. Not divine. It's difficult. Another big reason for my struggles involves my sister. No matter how hard I had prayed and pleaded with Him, it seemed to all be futile. She passed, and all of my begging was apparently useless. It shook my faith to my core.

One other main issue is that I find myself partaking in the same sinful acts over and over again. Now, I will not list them here. The fact of the matter is that I strain my relationship with God and continue to make that divide larger at times, as well as prolonging the time I spend away from Him. Sometimes, it makes me feel as if God is just farther and farther away from a speck called the globe, rather than being actively involved with me. It feels... empty. Not enjoyable. Whatever word you could use to describe it.

I do not know exactly how I managed to bounce back and resume believing as I have. Maybe it was hoping to see my family that had passed before me like my sister. Maybe I found it to be intellectually satisfying. Maybe it was the church. Maybe it began with me reading the Bible more. All I know is it changed. I had attended church for awhile, but that was more due to my mom taking me. However, something clicked; I read the Bible far more often, I prayed, I began to actively participate in the church in some form. I enjoyed it as well. Some switch from before, when I could barely muster up the desire to go.

Today, I still practice my faith, albeit with the acknowledgment of those same struggles. I still have my questions regarding God. I still have my issues with my faith at times. However, my faith lies deep inside, hopefully, unaffected by other issues plaguing the world or my personal life. Though I may at times find myself beset by doubts regarding Christianity, I still maintain my belief in the eternal somehow. And that is enough for me at the end of the day.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."