Me and G.O.D

There's a part of me and my life that I keep pretty quiet, especially around people I don't know. And that is my strong belief in God and everything else that entails.

Last night I was in a conversation with some people, whom I have only known for about 3 months or so. The topic somehow got to spirituality and religion. Everyone knows you don't talk about politics and religion, which I kind of think is bullshit and the reason why everyone is always angry at each other. Lack of interest in other people's beliefs or opinions along with not having the desire to listen openly is causing a lot of tension between people in this world. I shared with these people my (very different compared to theirs) belief. I shared that I was raised Catholic, going to church weekly, having my First Communion in the second grade and confirmation in high school. I briefly mentioned some church retreats and youth rallies I have attended. I didn't tell them how much I enjoyed those events but always denied that because the people I was with didn't want to be there at all, let alone have fun while they were there. I hid that part of me for many years, for fear of being subjected to harsh judgment and criticism. I feel like there are a lot of teenagers out there who are doing the same thing as they trudge through the part of life that is middle school and high school. At some point in the last few years I started speaking up about being a Christian, which I think is actually less popular now than it was 15ish years ago. I do not go to church weekly, I do not even "belong" to a church down here in Austin, but that's okay. For me going to church every week does not make me more of less of a Christian than the people who go religiously (ha....I'm funny) The older I get the more I understand how different "church" can look. It can mean going to a traditional mass at a beautiful Cathedral or Catholic Church. I can be going to a non-denominational place of worship. Maybe it's an organized service with a little bit of structure that includes some contemporary Christian music, testimonies, casual sermons and Bible readings. Perhaps it is a family who rarely sees each other gathering together to spend time catching up on the rat race of life. Or, maybe, it's spending time by yourself with God. Most often, I do the latter. It's not that I am against organized church services by any means, hell I could recite an entire mass on my own if I really wanted to (which I don't). My lack of "being a member" of a church here has more to do with the overwhelming amount of churches to chose from, and not wanting to deal with the anxiety of it all; at least not right now. I do realize finding and joining a church would open up more opportunities for me including friends.

I think there is so much for each person in this world to be thankful for but there are barriers to them actually seeing it. It could be things like death, trauma, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, etc. I know I've been in some very dark and scary places in life where I failed to see the good. I was so focused on the bad or negative things happening that I couldn't possible see, let alone acknowledge, the good things God was putting in front of me. In my world, my life, my experience, things such as opportunities (missed or otherwise), "failures", loss, change, etc., those have all be good things God has presented if I am willing to look at them in a positive light. Believe me it is not always easy. I am guilty of believing God doesn't love me, or is out to hurt me, or gives me much more than I could possibly handle; but I'm getting better. Better at noticing the little things. Noticing small favors, or signs, or circumstances are actually God telling me that He's there, He hasn't left, and He isn't going to no matter how many times I turn my back or yell at Him.  I don't need a physical piece of evidence to know that there is a God working FOR ME, and not AGAINST me. While I have gotten better at spending time with God, I still have a long ways to go. I fall away from the path and get discouraged just as much as the next person, but the energy, effort, motivation, and time it takes me to re correct and get back on track is less each time it happens. I get really focused on reading daily devotions, bible verses, and a variety of other uplifting and inspirational text for periods of time. And then I go weeks without giving it any thought. I try to keep track of these patterns and see if there is any correlation between my "venturing off the path" and times of high anxiety and low depression. You know what's great about this? HE doesn't care If I stray, because He knows how to bring me back. Nobody else in this life will let you hurt them over and over and continue to have (and show) an infinite amount of love for you anyway. I fail pretty miserably at tracking things, my brain just doesn't have the capacity to keep track of that for long periods of time. My journaling habit is also something that fluctuates so I can't incorporate that into something I already do. Maybe someday I won't feel like it's such a heavy task.

My point of this post may have gotten lost. What I wanted to say is that I am a child of God. I am a believer in Heaven and Hell, good and evil. I am a Christian, and even if you aren't I don't want to feel like I am crazy for not sharing your point of view (but I will be more than happy to listen to your story!) I know God is for me, if I just allow Him to be. I know that being a believer in God isn't the most popular; and maybe one day I will be brave enough to write about my experience that sealed the deal on how I know I was saved.

                                  Jesus STILL loves you!! No matter what you have done! He STILL loves you! Give your heart to the one who died for you! He will never forsake you. <3:


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