I grew up in a catholic household.
Though this fact didn’t mean that my parents were strict by any means. What my faith meant to me was that my family prayed before meals and that I knew that Sundays I would spend the majority of my time at the church.
This was until a sudden collapse in my family, we were unable to make masses and we rarely talked about faith in the house. My mom only spoke about God during harder times as a way to see the light in the darkness.
I lost my connection to God.
Going to public school, many of my friends were not religious, we never spoke on the topic because it was deemed inappropriate and I always felt like my views would hurt others’ feelings. I felt my heart play tug of war for what I was raised on and my current conflicting thoughts. All of this thinking and nervousness made me want to take my faith and ball it up in a corner and forget about it.
Then I came to Grand View.
Suddenly everyone laid their views out in the open and God was a topic of everyday conversation. They had this special connection with God, they almost spoke of him as a friend or family member….it was natural for them. This transition confused me, I’ve never been in an environment outside of my church where people talked so openly about faith…..and felt a familiar feeling of nervousness.
I became friends with many people of faith and I felt constantly on edge.
If they ask me about my views…..what do I say?
Will they judge me if I have no clue what they are talking about?
Can we still be friends if my faith isn’t the same as theirs?
All of these thoughts were buzzing through my head with every interaction I had. But I wanted to learn more, I wanted to understand where they were coming from….but I was scared. I continued shadowing my friends at their get togethers or contemporary worship services to get some sort of understanding about their views as I tried to figure out my own.
I found out that people…..are so very understanding.
Our campus has an amazing campus pastor and he has lead many different sessions on campus directed to people like me…people who aren’t quite sure of their faith. My anxious thoughts figuring out my relationship with God right away were slowly fading away. He would constantly urge people to ask him questions and talk to him when necessary. Though I haven’t talked to him, just the idea that he was there and open to everyone’s thoughts brought a sense of comfort.
I may not understand my true relationship with God quite yet but my heart has settled immensely. When people find out that I go to a Lutheran school, they often ask if I run into “crazy religious people” or if I feel out of place on campus. The truth is, they couldn’t be more wrong. Just because some of my friends are Christians and some of my friends aren’t and I have no idea where I stand on the spectrum does not mean that anyone tries to define my feelings.
Christians are regular people.
My friends treat me with the utmost respect and if they do ask me questions about my faith and I tell them that i’m still figuring that out…they understand my situation. Not once have I had a friend who pushed their views upon me, made me do anything that I didn’t want to religiously or judged me on my lack of faith knowledge.
For all of this, I am forever grateful. As I travel through this journey I couldn’t be happier with the people that stay with me. Religious, non-religious and everything in between.