Wrapping up the “Faith Series,” let’s talk about how faith relates to school. Since we live in a time where religion is no longer welcome in school, how can we still incorporate our faith into our education?
I cannot speak to the circumstances of public grade school in the past 4 years, but I do remember being so excited to be the student in 5th grade that had the privilege to say the pledge of allegiance over the intercom, and I volunteered on multiple occasions. Today there is no pledge of allegiance, the words “One Nation Under God” cannot be said in public schools.
Fast forward 8 years: I would begin college, little to my knowledge faith would play a bigger role in my life, more than it had ever played.
Not one year of my undergraduate career would I consider in the least bit easy, but the first two, oh man, were they difficult. I allowed myself to believe that I could handle it. I could handle the boy, the work, the “freshman fifteen,” there was nothing to worry about if I could make it through the first week. And… I was wrong.
Church, God, and faith have always been in my life but for 2 long years, I put it on the back burner. I wasn’t in church every week, people had walked out of my life, people that I thought I could depend on, and a new environment made me question my decision to be on my own at 18 years old. After struggling for these long years doing it on my own, dealing with bouts of depression, and anxiety that caused me to faint, someone who would become on of my very best friends reached out to me and invited me to join her student group, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Not to her knowledge, but just weeks before I called my mama to say that I would not be returning, that I didn’t have it in me to do the work, that I would never be good enough to stay and graduate. I believe many college students go through a similar experience of being overwhelmed by stress, emotions, and life that is quickly thrown at you and approaching in the future. But no one understands the saving grace of God until you’ve felt it. My friend’s faith, my faith in her, and returning my faith in God pulled me through that spring semester. My faith has taught me not to lean on my own understanding, especially in a place where my opinion, values, and beliefs seem to be the minority in the population.
It’s extremely difficult to be at a liberal arts university and feel comfortable in who you are as a Christian, but I found a group of people who helped me make it through. After four years of emotions from the very bottom to the very top, I can honestly say that it is my faith in God that brought me through. It can’t just be my faith alone though, it is the combination of my faith and the faith, support, and strength of those in which I surrounded myself. My junior and senior years helped me grow and see how much more faith needed to take reign in my life.
I read once in an article that God doesn’t test us because he needs to learn about us, he tests us so that we learn about us. College is just one big test; one you can ace if you stick to your faith and find the right people you need at that point in your life.