I was 19 years old when I turned my back on God. To this day, I have no idea how it all happened, how I turned my back on someone that I've always had faith in, how my depression led me to do something so drastic.
I grew up in a very conservative family that would casually drop Bible verses to back up a statement. I grew up going to church regularly and there was a time when I even dreamt of becoming a nun. I used to pray the rosary every night when I was younger but gradually, I got rid of this habit. But still, through my teenage years, I held on to my faith even when I felt like my world was falling apart.
So what exactly happened?
College taught me that there's more to life than the little bubble I lived in and that Bible verses could not save some people from depression. I became friends with people who have more stories to share, more tears to shed, and more anger to suppress. Some of them were agnostics, some were atheists, and some were fighting to keep a hold of their faith. But their beliefs did not affect or influence mine, rather, it opened my eyes to a bigger world that my conservative environment kept me away from.
Their beliefs did not affect or influence mine, rather, it opened my eyes to a bigger world that my conservative environment kept me away from.
One day, I just woke up knowing that I lost faith in Him, that I have turned my back on Him, that I could not face Him anymore. I still regularly went to church, barely hiding my contempt every time the priest delivered the homily; I went for the sake of shutting my family up. I could not help but roll my eyes every time my sister or mother mentions God or a Bible verse while commenting on political or social issues. I could not stand their hypocrisy; I could not understand how they could mention a Bible verse while judging others. It's not just them; every time I'm on Facebook, I would read self-righteous comments from religious people. Everything made me sick and I was suffocated. I could not handle all those fake people who would dare mention God to justify a wrong act.
It went on like this for at least nine months. I pretended to be faithful to God in front of my family and hid my disgust for the hypocrite religious people.
I was 20 years old when I found God once again.
Just like how I lost faith in Him, I have no idea how I started believing in Him again. I'm not sure at which point I decided to trust in Him and why. I think of it as a miracle. I was in church, about to doze off as I listened to the homily when I looked up and met the eyes of Jesus. I know it was just a statue behind the priest but I felt like he was looking straight at me, right through my soul, and I was deeply moved. I could not explain what I felt that moment. I just felt like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt at peace as I breathed a sigh of relief. Some people may not believe this but it was the first time in nine months that I was finally able to smile inside the church and not disagree with the homily.
Today, I have been encountering difficulties that come with being a 20-year-old girl. There are times that I break down because of stress and frustration. There are times that I question the things happening around me but I know every thing is going to be alright now. I know that I could rely on God and even though I lost Him, He found me. He always will.