So here’s the T,
One of the things that helped me push through the end of 2016, along with a great support system of family and friends, was growing in my faith and spirituality. People have varying degrees of how close their relationship with God is, so I definitely understand that faith isn’t something that everyone can strongly relate to. Some people go to church every single Sunday without fail and have an extremely close relationship with God; others don’t really have any relationship with God at all and some people, like myself, fall somewhere in the middle.
Growing up, I was raised Roman Catholic, following after the example of my mom and her side of my family. My dad isn’t religious and I’m not even sure what his opinions are about faith and believing in God because he doesn’t talk about it much, so all of my experiences with religion as a child were based on Catholic traditions and practices. I went through all the holy sacraments, went to Catholic Sunday school as a kid and I even attended Catholic school from the 5th grade all the way through high school. Despite growing up in a predominantly Catholic environment for most of my life, I just didn’t feel connected to it. I felt like I was going through the motions, believing because I had to. Being the naturally curious person that I was, and still am today, I started to have so many doubts when it came to religion. There were so many questions that didn’t have simple and concrete answers and I had issues with blindly believing in something without being able to fully understand it.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college when I decided that I wanted to strengthen my faith in God again. At a time in my life with so much growth and change, there were so many times where I felt lost, and leaning on friends and family wasn’t enough. I started by going to a Catholic church down the road from my dorm and I had the same experience with religion that I’ve always had. I didn’t feel connected to it. I was just going through the motions. It wasn’t until the next year that I went to a Baptist church a few times with some of my friends, that I really felt a strong connection to my faith again. This isn’t to say that one practice is better than the other, but it’s important to try out new things find where you feel the most comfortable and in what types of environment allow you to truly strengthen your relationship with God. Personally, I found that within a Baptist church. I felt like I was finally connecting with my faith and learning something whenever I went.
I’m still growing and still learning more about myself and God, and I like to take everyday as a new opportunity to become closer to God. As a soon to be college graduate, I have a lot of anxiety about graduating and looking for jobs, possibly applying to grad school and I don’t feel ready for any of it. One of my biggest weaknesses is my fear of the unknown and not allowing myself to live in the moment. I’m always trying to plan everything out so that there’s no uncertainty because I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t. That’s where having faith comes in. God won’t bring you to something if he can’t bring you through it and while it’s not an easy lesson to learn, I think it’s an important one. Being able to trust that God has a plan for me and that I’ll be okay in the long run really helps me to put things in my life into perspective and be brave enough to take more chances without being afraid of what’s to come in my future.