Monday, August 13, 2012

The Faith Journey

What is a Christian...

I've struggled with this question almost forever.  Not so much the definition but more so if I was able to fit into the category.  I knew from a young age that something didn't completely make sense to me.  I had too many questions that the people at church never wanted to answer, so I just stopped asking them.  I also stopped going to church in high school and college altogether.  My spiritual life was pretty much nonexistent.  I believed in God, but I hadn't yet felt a presence.  I guess you could say I started searching for faith all on my own.  I wanted it to be genuine and I knew that I would never be able to truly believe in something unless I could really feel it. 

Growing in faith...

About five years when I felt the most alone in the world, I started to turn my life over to God through prayer and meditation.  Almost three year ago is when I felt a presence so strong that I finally "heard God speaking to me" (oh and it was kind of amazing) Did you notice the two year gap? I'm not sure if God was testing my patience or if I had not yet fully given myself over to him to actually hear what he was trying to say to me.  I'm pretty sure it was the latter.  And now here I am feeling closer to God than I felt last month.

Personal relationship with God....

For so long I believed that to be a Christian and believe in God meant that I had to obey a set of rules and/or believe that all other religions or beliefs were false.  This is why I struggled internally with who or what I was when it came to faith.  When I realized that my personal relationship with God was my own, it changed my whole world.  Instead of focusing on all the sinful (bad) things that I needed to change in my life, I started working on the good things I could do to reflect God's love. My primary goal was learning on how I could get even closer to Him. Reading articles, books, the Bible, and all things spiritual became a hobby. I started talking to God more and talking about Him all the time with others.  And then I realized, I wasn't even sinning as much anymore.  It's kind of crazy how that all worked out.  Certain aspects of my life had completely changed without even really trying and I didn't even feel a great temptation or want for those things any longer.  I still sin just like everybody else, but I truly feel like God is totally proud of me right now.  The closer I get to God, the less I want to do anything that could contaminate or hurt the relationship. I only want to use my life to live for Him and share His love with others.  (I never really thought I'd be the girl that says these things)

Sharing faith with others...

I'm still not really sure if I can call myself a Christian or not.  I'm not so much into organized religion.  I kind of feel as though religion and denominations divide us and I don't think that was ever God's intention.  You could say that I believe in world peace, love, and living a life that reflects that of Christ.  Embracing different religious beliefs and respecting others for what they believe in is important to me.  Sharing with others what I believe and learning about what they believe is a great way to feed my soul and grow spiritually. 

If you are reading this and have been battling with your faith lately, I encourage you to feed your soul a little bit today.  Sometimes all it takes is a small act of kindness or a short prayer.  Whatever your faith may be, peace, love, and just being a better person are a few ways you can improve your spiritual life. 


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