You Don't Have To Believe in God
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You Don't Have To Believe in God

What I've learned about myself as a believer.

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You Don't Have To Believe in God
Abby Singleton

Self-discovery is a huge part of college. People can discover their truest friends, their study habits, their passions, their niches; you name it. I've discovered a whole lot about myself, and there's even more to be discovered, I'm sure. Something that I've definitely discovered about myself in particular is that I don't tend to follow social norms, especially when it comes to religion.

I chose my school because I loved the atmosphere and the opportunities it provided me right off the bat. I was looking for the best place for me, and the place I knew I'd be able to call home. My college search didn't take long; I was lucky enough to find my home on the very first tour.

Something I didn't consider until after the fact, however, is that my school I wanted to call home was religiously affiliated. As a non-believer, it worried me a bit, but I knew this was going to be my home regardless, so I went for it.

Going to a Lutheran-affiliated school as a non-believer definitely scared me at first. Would I be shut out? Would I be judged from the moment I said "I'm an atheist" out loud? Would people look at me differently? Would I be forced into participating in religious ceremonies I didn't want to be a part of?

Sadly, the answer to most of these questions was yes.

Being confident in my beliefs was hard for awhile; it took a lot of work to defend myself. There's no book more credible than the Bible, right? I knew what I believed in, but it was so hard to get people to simply listen, rather than listen with a mindset of "she's totally wrong." After a long conversation after our required religion class one day, someone asked me: "You have to believe in SOMETHING, right?"

I sat in silence. Of course I do.

That day changed how I looked at the word "believe." I learned one of the most important lessons of my college career that day:

You don't have to believe in God, but you definitely have to believe in something.

I believe in life.
I believe in happiness.
I believe in helping others.
I believe in friendship.
I believe in music.
I believe in education.
I believe in family.
I believe in travel.
I believe in love.
I believe in the Earth.
I believe in seeing good in every person.
I believe in laughter.
I believe in books.
I believe in simplicity.
I believe in flowers and trees.
I believe in myself.
I believe in other people.
I believe in so much more.

I believe.

Folks, believing is more. Believing brings hope to the darkest of days. It can change your life, it can change other lives. It's so important to believe in something. Whatever you believe in, believe in it wholeheartedly. Don't ever let someone tear you down or tell you that what you believe in is wrong. It's none of their business anyways.

Believe, you guys. It's so important.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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