In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Saturday, June 11, 2011

There was evening and there was morning- the first day.

I suppose this post is a Genesis of sorts. There's so much I want to address that I'm not exactly sure where to start. I guess an introduction from the editor is appropriate...

Name: Emily
Age: 19
Occupation: Student at UGA majoring in Math Education and minoring in Spanish
Religion: Christian (Methodist growing up but leaning toward Baptist lately)
Pets: Midnight, my sweet, old, rather portly cat
Favorite quote: Yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow only a vision, but today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. ~Sanskrit

My biggest weakness is also my greatest strength: my huge heart.

My mother instilled in me an open mind, unwavering faith in the power of prayer, the belief that angels are always watching over us, a love for the mountains and oceans, and the ability to cry tears of joy at the smallest thing.

My dad gave me his fighting spirit, protective instincts, belief in human rights and in holding others accountable, his sensitivity, loyalty to family, and strong work ethic.

But I guess my faith is the most logical focus for this post.

I grew up south of Atlanta and attended the same Methodist church until I was in Middle School. I wouldn't say I got an intense education in Bible stories and priciples, but I got the basics: God is almighty, omnipresent, omnipotent, and forgiving; Jesus was born by Virgin Mary and was the son of God, he came to Earth to teach us about the Father, and he died on the cross and ascended to forgive us of our sins (although for the life of me I could not understand why dying on a cross took away our sins). For a few years we didn't go to church except for Chistmas and Easter, and when I got to high school I started going to a youth group on my own to try to figure out... Well... Everything really. I wanted to fill the void I felt, learn what exactly Jesus preached, and what He wanted me to do.

Like most college students, I've discovered that college is a time when I discover who I am, what I believe, and how I can grow to become a better version of myself. The most important facet of my life has become my faith, though I wish it had always been my first priority. I met my boyfriend the very fist day of college, and he taught me so much about what it really means to be a Christian... And actually how to practice what He preached. It may surprise you that we don't even frequently have long, serious discussions about the Lord. It just goes to show how much all the little things can add up how much impact one small gesture has. Kindness and the smallest actions really do have a domino effect.. But the good kind! His parents are probably my greatest role models when it comes to faith and I've learned so much from them that I bet they don't realize. Their family sort of became my jumping off point for figuring things out for myself. As my Christian faith has developed, I have had so many lightbulbs flip on, and come across countless resources that have opened my eyes to new ideas. Sometimes I'll read a tweet or an article online, hear a song on the radio, or find a piece of scripture and just want to share with everyone. And now I've got my outlet! I'm creating this blog as my little way to shout from the mountaintop, and I hope you return the favor. I want my readers to become active members here; we can all learn from each other but only if we share our insight! As Christians, we never stop growing, and there's always more to learn, and I hope "Confessions of a College Christian" can help you in your never ending journey to know, understand, and love Christ.

I've also come to realize that every Christian has moments of weakness, daunting challenges (some temporary and others never-ending), questions that never seem to have a concrete correct answer, and stages of doubt when we need others to listen and lift us up. I want this blog to be a place where we can all share our inspirations and questions, as well as find support and security. I also want this to be an open forum free of ridicule and scorn, which can be tricky with religion. But that's exactly where the beauty lies in Christianity: we may not always agree with each other or get everything "right" but the body of Christ is strong, He is within each of us, and we can be forgiven of all our wrongs and transgressions.

I'm just going to ask 2 things of my readers
1. Give only constructive advice, answers, and responses.
2. Share whatever inspiring things you come across. We will all be better for it!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and come back frequently! Introduce yourself, post a random quote or link, and share the love.

I hope this can become your schedule-free small group where the doors are always open!

May God Bless You All,
Emily Gray

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