Challenge Day 4: Your views on religion
It's important to have faith in something bigger than ourselves. Whether that be faith in God or another higher power, it's up to the individual.
My faith is in God and my journey with Him has been an interesting one. As a child, I regularly attended Catholic church with my family for Sunday School. I attended also attended Communion classes, however, I never ended up taking Confirmation classes. When my friends were taking it, I found myself very busy with school and extracurricular activities, I didn't want to make the time commitment. Sounds kind of bad, I know.
I can't really remember when my family stopped going to church regularly. My brother and I got super busy on Saturday evenings with band and colorguard competitions once we were in jr. high and high school, so we were always super tired on Sunday mornings. We still do attend the same Catholic church on major holidays like Christmas and Easter. In fact, we've been going to Midnight Mass the past few years. I love it :)
Even though I was fairly involved at my Catholic church when I was little, I didn't develop a strong relationship with God until college. Towards the beginning of my third year of college, I suddenly decided to visit a non-denominational Christian church that my some of my friends attended. I'm pretty sure God spoke to me in that moment, without me realizing it. I attended that Sunday, and oh boy...the church was SO different from the Catholic church back home. People gathered in an industrial building, when I was so used to attending church in a place that "looked" like a church. Everyone carried their own Bible. The worship music was so modern, compared to what I heard at my Catholic church. The music was always so moving....it always seemed to make me tear up. This was also the first time I witnessed a different type of worship. Here, people raised their hands in praise. If you've ever attended a Catholic church service before, you never see anyone raise their hands. The only time you raise your hands is when everyone is holding hands together, and a prayer is being said. It's definitely more ritualistic, and I find less meaning attached to it for that reason. Overall, I very moved after my first service at this church and I became quite involved in a college church group. I developed a very deep relationship with God, and I even got baptized for the 2nd time (I was baptized when I was little too).
My regular attendance at that church has ended since then (June 2010), and I can't really explain why. For one thing, I moved back home and the church isn't as close as it used to be. Also, many of the people I attended church with went their own ways, like myself. However, I do still find myself listening to a CD created by the worship band at the church. Normally, it's in my car when I'm by myself. I consider it my time when I can speak with God about what's going on and simply be in in his presence. Another way in which I spend time with Him is through journaling. Actually...I just looked through my journal and I found a verse I copied in January of 2010, which sums up my feelings about God perfectly.
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an unexpressible and glorious joy."
1 Peter 1:8
Based off of my personal experiences with religion, I don't view it necessary to be a regular-church goer. You may have a different opinion about that, and I completely respect you for that. I've known people who talk about being regular "church-goers", and they never showed Christian values. I may not attend church every Sunday, but I have a love and respect for God that stands strong. I do my best to live a life He would be proud of. In the future, when I do have kids, I would love for them to have a similar journey with God. I want them to learn who God is during their childhood and maybe even develop a meaningful relationship with Him. At the same time, I have to keep in mind that my relationship with Him didn't truly begin until college. I realize we change as we grow, and when they're older it will ultimately be their choice how their journey with God will continue.