As I mentioned yesterday, since I’m blogging every day this month, I want to share some more personal posts. This post is very personal and definitely goes into more about me as a person.
Today’s post is about my relationship with God. This is not something that I normally talk about with other people, I hold this relationship very close to the heart. I am not here to tell you what you should believe in or not believe in. I’m here to share my experiences and story with you.
Yes, I grew up in a Christian household. I celebrate Easter, Christmas, and all the other traditional Christian holidays. We prayed before the big holiday meals at my grandparents’ houses and at a family reunions. We did not go to church. My great grandmother, Grana, was possibly the Godliest woman I’ve ever known, and will probably ever know. She was a saint and when I think about being a Christian, she is what I think about. I am well aware that I can never be her; however, she literally set the perfect example (if there is such a thing). One example of her belief was when Grana was in her later 90s she opened up her home to a missionary from Ethiopia, and she just said it was what God would want her to do. She was a saint, y’all.
Anyway, growing up in a drastically different household where we didn’t go to church…ever. This gave me the unique opportunity to find God and find what I believe on my own.
I did go to two different Christian preschools (one was Presbyterian and the other Baptist). I don’t really remember if they even taught us anything about religion.
Then, I went to public school, and any sort of religion wasn’t taught besides what different holidays were.
This continued on like this for years. The entire time I considered myself a Christian, but never fully practiced.
Then, my sophomore year of high school the unthinkable happened. My best friend committed suicide. We had an argument and her boyfriend at the time was the center of her world, so we weren’t super close at the time of her passing; however, it still rocked me. I found out the day it happened, and I will never forget that Labor Day Weekend. At the time, I definitely held on better than I think anyone expected me to, including myself. I’m grateful that I had supportive parents, and I could throw myself into school, field hockey, and horseback riding.
Later in high school, probably my junior year, I took Journalism and met a new friend. We had actually known each other from years ago, but this was the first time we had ever had a class together. She is the person who invited me to go to church with her, and then a youth retreat. I decided to go ahead and go to the youth retreat. I knew several of the other girls who would be there and thought it would be a good way to meet some new people. Plus, it would be a good time to center myself with God after everything that had been going on in my life.
I packed up my sleeping bag, clothes, and headed to the church to meet everyone for the weekend. The camp we were going to is in the south end of the county, near the James River and has so many cool things you can do in the summer time. Unfortunately, this was in the fall/winter (I didn’t have field hockey at this point of the year), and I remember wearing sweatshirts and long pants the entire time we were there. We all hung out, did dinner, fellowship, get to know you activities (there were multiple guests, not just me), etc. We headed off to bed. The next morning, we did worship, fellowship, and games all day. After dinner that night, we had a huge bonfire. This bonfire was definitely the turning point of the weekend and my path with God. The youth pastor at the time lead worship around the bonfire, we made smores, we sang songs, and then things got a little more serious. This is when I accepted God more formally.
When I went to CNU, I ended up joining InterVarsity (IV). I attended pretty much every Thursday (minus one semester when I had a late Thursday night class). I definitely made friends at IV and had more God centered conversations and relationships. Religion is also a point of my sorority, it was actually founded by 6 women, 5 of which were daughters of ministers. We always had a someone who we could talk to in regards to religion, and many sisters went to church together. My roommate in college was Catholic, and I did go to mass with her once or twice.
I’ll be honest, when I say I am a Christian, I mean that in the true sense of I do not belong to a denomination of Christianity. I do not foresee myself picking a denomination, either. I believe there is God, and Jesus, and Jesus died for us on the cross. I believe that our sins are forgiven. I pray more now and listen to worship music weekly. We still only pray out loud before large family meals during the holidays (family reunions have fallen by the wayside since Grana passed). I pray over my meals myself and have a nightly prayer. I consider my nightly prayer more of a conversation with God. I know all too often we call on God only when we need something (or think we need something). This is not something that I believe in. I believe in having constant communication so that we are always on the same page. Now, I definitely do not believe that we get everything we ask for. I do believe that God knows what is best and the best will come in time and we might not know what it is yet.
My story might be similar to others you’ve heard before; however, I feel like it is important that you know what I believe and why I believe it. If you want to chat, feel free to feel out the form on the contact me page.