Where Was God?

For those of you who don’t know, I lost one of my very best friends in a motorcycle accident last Friday morning, one week ago exactly.  Even though we hadn’t gotten close until this past summer, Tyler changed my life. … Continue reading

Internal Struggle: What It Was Like Dating An Atheist

{I wrote this post in late August/early September last year, we aren’t dating anymore, but I wanted to share what I felt at the time. I should have known then this would be the reason things changed.}

He looked over and told me the three words that completely changed me: “I’m an atheist.” My world went into slow motion as I tried to comprehend what I just heard. God is the most important person, concept, believe, everything in my life; how was I supposed to accept the fact that one of the people I’m closest to doesn’t even believe that He exists? Thousands of questions and comments filled my head….How do you explain babies? What happens when you die? What’s the point of life? How do you explain the beauty in the sky right this very second? You don’t have God moments every single day? I wanted to ask them. Every single one of them. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t open my judgement, I couldn’t scare him away from opening up to me for the first time ever. Other than the repeated “wow” as I thought, the one solid phrase I knew was true was that I was so sorry. I didn’t know how to respond to anything, but I knew I was sorry. Sorry that he doesn’t feel like he is loved SO MUCH by God every single day. Sorry that he doesn’t know that God grants even his littlest desires – like the surprise tomatoes in his garden that satisfied the craving he didn’t even know was there. I am sorry that he didn’t have something he could really believe in, someone to comfort him when no one else could. I am sorry that he didn’t think life really had a purpose and that it just seemed so sad.
He feels like his questions don’t have answers that can be explained. He doesn’t think people have souls. He thinks that when you die, the world goes black and it’s all over, there’s no point in anything. You were dead before you were born, and you are dead afterwards. Emotions are just different nerves and chemicals inside of your body and the colors in the sunset are just gases and pollution in the sky. It just sounds like an awful way to view the world, and it’s so hard to try to see his perspective on things.

Everyday is a battle for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to argue until her point is proven, but I know I can’t do that with him. I’m not sure why, but there is a reason this is all happening. I struggle to avoid topics I know will make me upset and I try to not come off as too strong in my faith. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days where I find myself deep in thought about him and struggle not to cry while thinking about it all. I just wish he could see. I wish he didn’t think that his doubts about some things completely shut him off from everything else.

Occasionally, he goes to church with me on Sundays. He’ll ask questions and really challenge me in my faith. I know that I’m the only really religious person he has in his life right now, but I can only do so much. I never want to force him into doing something he doesn’t want to do, but I wish that I could at least plant the seed. Sometimes people can’t physically do anything to help others, but I’m slowly learning that prayer is so powerful. This is a constant burden on my heart, but I do know that God is looking out for me.

Prayers are always appreciated.
~E

Do You Know How Much You Are Loved?

Yesterday I realized that I probably tell my roommate I love her more times a day than I tell my own mother. Love is a word that’s just thrown around now, but at the same time, it’s just so powerful. Sure, I love Katie and would do anything for her. And yes, I’m going to tell her that even if I’m leaving the room for .4 seconds to go and pee and come back. My point is, we typically let the people who mean the most to us know that they do.
But I have a question: Most people don’t “see” God everyday and don’t always feel like He is there with them in their struggles, so how should we always know that He is? God’s love for us is hard to understand. We’re all taught that He loved us so much that He sent His only son to die for us. Yes, I can spit that back out at you any time of any day, but how well does that transfer over to life outside of mass? Can you just walk outside and smile because you just know God loves you so so so much? Or when the sun hits your face do you take a second to thank God for His love? On sunny days I try to, but over the past few days it’s been raining and storming. How do I know God is there for me during those storms?
Once upon a time someone told me something that really made me realize His love for me . . . do you know the feeling you get when your favorite song comes on the radio? That new one that’s hardly ever played? The dance party you throw for yourself in your car because of it? The happiness it gives you? Yeah, God’s love for you is greater than that. Take that in . . . isn’t it crazy?
Last night I was in tears watching videos of Taylor Swift’s fans meeting her in the 1989 Secret Sessions she’s been hosting. Each fan was hand picked and invited to her house for cookies and a preview the new album. As they entered her house one by one, she knew each one by name even though she’s never actually met any of them. I cried and cried watching these fans because I was just. that. happy. And you want to know what’s insane? What made me cry even more? Knowing that the love I felt for each of those people, a love so strong it came in tears of happiness, the complete love I felt for each of those strangers, was nothing compared to God’s love for me. That’s so crazy. No matter what, God loves you that much. You can turn your back and deny Him, but He’s always waiting to bring you back home, because that’s what love is, forever.
~E

Thought I’d Share……

Just scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a few moments ago I decided to click on an article Project Inspired put on their page today. I couldn’t get through this video without knowing that I really needed to share it.

http://www.projectinspired.com/girl-to-girl-talk-i-will-wait-for-you-spoken-word-future-husband-qualities/

Have a great Wednesday!!
~E

What It Feels Like When I’m Ignored

Growing up, I was the listener in my friend group. I was the one everyone turned to for advice and emotional support. I was the one everyone trusted with secrets and the one who knew what everyone else was going through. This gave me a purpose, it helped me feel wanted and needed. However, because I was the listener, I couldn’t ever talk. I didn’t have someone that I could confide in and share details about my own life. I bottled everything up inside and locked myself up. And you know what? That’s so, so unhealthy.
Even though I’m in college now, this still happens. Just last night we had a group of friends gathered in my dorm room. As everyone would share details about their weekend, the group would comment on it and give a little positive or negative feedback about what was said….but when I talked about what I did over the weekend, it would grow silent. No one knew what to say or felt the need to say anything. I feel like sometimes I’m looked at as the one friend who’s still a little too sheltered. That person you don’t want to repeat a perverted joke to because I won’t understand it. I feel like I’m the person people look at and think that I have my morals straight and life put together, and that I don’t need to complain because I have no reason to. But that’s wrong. So, so, so wrong.
I struggle daily. I still deal with my parents’ divorce. I don’t like the school I go to anymore. I may have to drop a class this semester. My boyfriend is an atheist. School is starting to really overwhelm me. I’m learning that I really only have two or three friends. I’m so confused every day. I don’t ever feel like I fit in. I worry about absolutely everything.
I have a lot on my plate, just like everyone else. And when I finally feel like I can open up and complain to someone about it all, I do. I trust them completely. But when they leave in the middle of the conversation we’re having, and don’t reply to my texts for hours, it really makes me doubt myself. I open up, and then I’m shut out. It hurts. I understand that people are busy, but if I’m trusting my thoughts and worries with you, I think you should at least tell me that you care, but you’re busy at the moment and will call me when you can….and then do it. Because if you forget to, it makes it really hard for me to open up again, and just causes me more stress and worry about our relationship. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it’s an uphill battle you have to work with. But when I look at the big picture, I know I’ll always have at least one person on my side, and guess what? Today’s His momma’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Blessed Virgin Mary!

~E

Receiving The Eucharist

Having someone in your life who almost knows you better than you know yourself can be both a good and a bad thing. When you’re trying to keep a secret, it can be pretty bad. When you think you’ve completely run out of ideas for blog posts, however, having that one person can be so, so good. When I asked Rico what I should blog about last night, he gave me two really good, really deep answers. And I’m going to blog about them both; today and tomorrow.
The first thing he told me I should describe was a little action that changes my day, like my walk from my dorm room to the chapel for mass on Sundays (look at how well he knows me hehehe). Even though that walk makes me really happy, I would rather describe my walk up to the alter during mass to receive the Eucharist. I may or may not have said this before, but I’m a recent convert. I was brought into full communion with the Catholic Church on Easter in 2013. Before this actually happened, I attended a Catholic Mass twice a week for three and a half years because of the high school I happened to go to. Every week I would watch each person walk up and receive the body and blood of Christ, and I wanted so badly to do the same. When I would watch everyone else, I noticed that not everyone appreciated it as much as they should have. They were able to receive Jesus every week, and completely took that for granted. Because I had not gone through the process of really understanding the entire wholeness of mass (aka classes required), I was not allowed to get my first communion yet and to say it as it was, I was jealous. I wanted what they didn’t even seem thankful for.
Now, however, I am completely Catholic. I’ve gone through the classes and have had quite a few….um, eventful communion experiences. But as I walk towards the alter, waiting in line for my turn, I go back to the very first night where I received the Body and Blood. Hearing the hymns, seeing the candles light up the darkened church, listening to the church grow quiet with anticipation as our group walked up together, waiting to finally experience the sacrament. Each and every time since the first that night, I walk towards the alter to receive the Eucharist and I do get emotional. I’m so happy I am finally able to participate fully in mass and always try to remind myself not to take it for granted. I don’t deserve to receive Jesus, but he loves me enough to allow me, and that’s such a beautiful, powerful thing. Walking to mass may make me happy, but walking up in the communion line absolutely fills me with joy.
Please don’t ever take being a Cradle Catholic for granted. Be thankful you grew up with roots strong in the faith. Never forget to see how blessed you are!

Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!
~E

Lent Letters

“Dear ________,

This year for Lent I’ve decided that instead of giving up something like food or apps on my phone, I’ve decided to give up my time. I’m writing 40 letters to 40 different people who have influenced my life in a positive way, and you’re one of them! I just wanted to say thank you for…..”

This is how each one typically starts, an explanation as to why they received a random letter from me in their mail that day.  Some people I’ve sent them to have been completely overjoyed, contacting me back and thanking me for making their day.  Others, however, ignore my note and never get back to me.  Writing letters to tell people how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate everything that they’ve done for you is actually way stranger than I thought it would be.  When I have to hand deliver a letter to someone who had smiled at me on campus and made my day, it’s actually kind of awkward if you’ve never really talked to them.  But for some reason, this is my favorite thing that I’ve ever done for lent.  You would think it would be pretty easy because it can take as little as five minutes a day (I usually take about 30 minutes most days though) but it’s actually not!  I really don’t have that many close friends who I feel comfortable writing my feelings to, so finding a new person to write to everyday is actually pretty challenging.  Surprisingly, every single letter I’ve written has been different.  Not only differently written, but a different message.  Before writing a letter, I typically pray and ask God to tell me who to write to that day, and pray that He speaks through me to tell whoever I’m writing to what they need to hear from Him.  I think that this part has been extremely beneficial for me.  Not only have a prayed more, but I feel like I’m putting more of an effort towards listening to God.  Writing these letters has also helped me appreciate each person in my life.  I’ve never realized that so many people have done so much for me, and I typically don’t tell them that I am truly thankful for them.  Today is day 31, so I was really excited that I only had 9 more letters to write, but it turns out I actually have 14 because I’m writing on Sundays too! I’m so excited to see how God continues to use me to do His will!

~Elizabeth

God’s Not Dead: Official Trailer

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday! As my first official post I thought I’d start with thoughts about a movie I recently saw with my little Bible study group. It’s a new movie called God’s Not Dead (I’ve attached a trailer for it) and it basically summed up everything I believe in. The entire movie was just a roller coaster of emotion and it just kind of hits you all at once. It’s filmed in a way so that you get four or five different plot lines and you don’t get to see how they are all related until the end, but when you do, it’s sooooo good! It truly shows how God has the perfect timing for absolutely everything. You may not think that you’re where you’re supposed to be, but God has you exactly where He wants you. One of the biggest examples of this was when ***spoiler!*** Professor Radisson was hit by a car and dying. Reverend Dave just happened (oh look at that, God’s timing…) to be at the same exact spot and was able to convert him to Jesus. Professor Radisson argued that Jesus did not exist because he was just hit and was now dying and a true God wouldn’t put him through that, but Reverend Dave said something that just really made me think: if there wasn’t a God, you would have died on the spot, but because Jesus loves you, he is giving you one last opportunity to repent to him, all sins forgiven. This just blew me away. How true is that? How AMAZING is that? God has a specific plan for each of us, and even if you think that you’ve stepped off of his path for you, He’s still got you exactly where He wants you! And if you’re doubting it, you should go watch this movie as a reminder, because it is great.

~Elizabeth