"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed." — Romans 6:17
I grew up in a Christian household. I was taught at a very young age that Sundays are for church, you're supposed to love everyone and saying the Lord's name in vain was the one thing you never did. I was taught that alcohol is for adults, sex was for marriage and swearing wasn't tolerated. I was taught that the only man worth your time was your father and the Lord, you were to never lie and don't even think about being anything but modest. For 17 years I grew up this way, sheltered from the real world of drugs, alcohol, sex and deceivers who only care for themselves. Growing up, I lived and loved my faith, never did I think my faith in God was a burden or a job to maintain. However, the sad truth is I was never taught how to hold my faith in college, surrounded by all the things I was once told were not in the glory of God. So I fell. I fell away from Christianity.
Freshman year was a reality check for me; maybe I didn't know all about the world like I thought I did. I was infatuated by all the people, places and things that were going on. I saw coke for the first time; I walked in on people having sex; I witnessed a group of girls egging on their wasted friend to take off her top and flash the boys. It was all so new to me, in high school, sure I experimented in things, everyone does, but not like this. I was not dressed like these women, I was not getting as drunk as these people and I wasn't as free as they were, and right there, in that very second, standing in that crammped apartment, filled with hundreds of people, I, for the first time in my life, was ashamed of being a Christian, so I ran from my faith.
You get caught up, you want to drink everything you can because you have no one telling you to stop. You wear skimpier clothes because you want all the girls to wish they were you, and all the boys to wish they could get it. Parties become your only focus, and who can black out the hardest becomes the greatest concern, because hey, it's college. But what about the Christian student who was never taught how to live out their faith in a little world such as college?
Now I'm a sophomore, and I realized how much I needed God in my life to get through the hardships of college. After being beat down, intoxicated for the good part of freshman year, making stupid choices and falling to my knees begging for forgiveness, I learned that I can't get through it without my faith. It's not easy to be blunt; it's not easy living out college devoting your life to your faith. You have to make sacrifices; you have to learn to say no and really stand by your choices. I learned personally that perhaps being true to your faith among all the chaos and choices of college might just be the hardest but more rewarding thing you will do.
Everyone's going out; everyone's having sex and doing drugs; everyone lies more, deceives more and lives differently than you. So you get confused, and you get jealous that you can't do those things, so you want to run. You realize being a Christian in college is not for you, so you put God on the back burner, and you live your life the way you want to without any care in the world. You think your life will be more fulfilling drinking and partying than living your life for the Lord, and that is OK. Surprised right? It's OK.
My name is MacKenzie Nicole, and I ran from God. I ran so far into the dark my freshman year that I never thought I would escape from it. I got thrown into the world of all the things I was brought up avoiding. I lost my faith in God and was ashamed to admit I had fallen into the clutches of the darkness. But today, I am writing as a different woman. I found my faith and a relationship, a family of girls who support me, a life worth living again. I found love in my Lord, my boyfriend, my family and my sisters. I am a proud sorority girl, girlfriend, sister and Christian. By no means am I saying I still don't struggle; every day I face struggles that test my faith, but it's whom you surround yourself with that are your supports. There are many trials in college as a Christian, but hold on darlings; God has an incredible plan for all of us.