What I Mean When I Talk About Faith

What I Mean When I Talk About Faith

No one should have to defend their faith to you.

I am not here to instruct you on how to conduct your most meaningful or rewarding life. I am also not here to tell you that it will always be easy to have faith. However, what I can promise you is that my relationship with God gives me more strength than I can express in words and I wasn’t always able to see that.

For a long time, I questioned my faith, I wrestled with it, denied it and ran away entirely from it. I closed my mind to what faith could bring into my life and how it could impact the way that I acted with others. We could discuss the politics of religion, the corruption of some churches and the flaws that exist in every religion. I am not going to pretend that these are not real issues. However, I believe that too many of us have stepped away from our faith entirely because of the flaws of organized religions or belief systems. You are allowed to accept certain parts of a religion and to disagree with others.

Your moral code and relationship with whatever higher power you believe in is designed by you.

Faith and how each person decides to practice is incredibly personal. I believe that you can be a spiritual person whether you attend church or not, so long as you practice your faith in prayer and act with good intentions toward others. Ultimately, from where I see it at least, the basis of all faith lies in love. If we can practice love with our whole hearts and commit ourselves to serving those around us and improving the world that we all live in, we are boundless and full of grace.

No person should be afraid to identify themselves in their faith, to talk about their faith or to be proud of their faith. To have such a personal and meaningful aspect of one’s identity be up for scrutiny, questioning or shame speaks volumes about the person who is passing such judgement.

This piece is not to condemn those who do not believe, but it is to invite back into faith those who left because of fear, confusion or whatever else. Sometimes we leave our God(s)/Ultimate Power when we need them most and we resort to unhealthy or unproductive coping mechanisms. Our hardship does not define us and our past traumas can be overcome so long as we do not look to unhealthy behaviors to numb our pain.

Do not run from faith, let it hold you when you fall, motivate you in times of hardship and bring light into your darkest corners. I pray multiple times a day and I remind myself that I am here for a reason. Faith brings me comfort, hope and resilience. Through God, I know that I can do all things that I work hard at. I am no longer afraid to speak up about my faith and I hope that you aren’t either.

Cover Image Credit: Vicstyles

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12 Things You Only Understand If You Grew Up Going To Church Camp

"You had to be there."

If you grew up going to a church camp you can totally relate to these 12 things that no one else will understand:

1. Bandanas- Need I say more?

You had a bandana for every outfit of the week!

2. You probably dressed up in some pretty interesting outfits.

No matter what you wore (as long as it was dress code appropriate) it was accepted as normal.

3. Camp games were the best games!

You can always count on getting down and dirty. Camp brings the competitiveness out in everyone!

4. Everyone had a camp crush they will always remember!

Some even get lucky and find "the one!"

5. You made friends that will last a lifetime.

You meet people from all over and when you see each other the next year you can pick up right where you left off.

6. You master taking 5 minute or less showers!

You WILL get dirty and it's always a race to the showers.

7. You were a master at coming up with skits and chants for your team!

Having so much team spirit you would go home with no voice.

8. Every worship song seems to be 10 times better at camp!

Worship was your favorite part of the day!

9. You had a crush on someone in the band.

The band members are the camp celebrities all the girls have crushes on.

10. You always packed way more then you need.

But somehow you always end up going home with way less stuff than you brought.

11. You can try to tell someone about camp but no one else will understand.

All the "You had to be there..." moments are endless.

12. You start your countdown for camp next year the day you leave.

It's the highlight of the summer and it can't come soon enough.

If you've been to church camp you will never forget the memories and the friends you've made. It's something no one will understand which makes it that more special.

Cover Image Credit: Ohio Youth Ministries//Facebook

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!


I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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