Finding My Faith at FSU

What I love about religion is how different it is for everyone. No one has had the same journey in religion nor has the same relationship with it. The fluidity and freedom of religion is such a great concept because it allows for exploration and self-discovery. Learning about people’s religions and lack of religion is so intriguing because I love seeing how everyone is different and how we can all love one another because of those differences. I didn’t realize how crucial my religious journey was to myself until August when I started attending the Wesley Foundation at FSU. It was there that I was welcomed with open arms into a diverse, open-minded, LGBTQ+ friendly campus ministry that doesn’t turn away or judge people based on the level of their faith. When I first started attending Wesley, I wasn’t exactly sure where I stood with Christianity. I kind of knew I believed in God by the end of senior year but I never went to church all that much and I had a very turbulent relationship with God in middle school and the first two or so years of high school. Nevertheless, the Wesley community embraced that and allowed me to explore my faith with them in a way that I could do so at my own pace.

Being a gay Christian can sometimes sound like an oxymoron, but there’s an abundant community of us that have found unconditional love in the church, specifically the Wesley Foundation. At Wesley, not only am I surrounded by amazing allies, but also so many fellow LGBTQ+ members. It’s so enriching and heartwarming to share a space with people who have experienced similar things and can bond over them. Just finding a community that loves one another despite their walks of life has made my journey in faith so much better and easier.

There were some dark times before finding Wesley where I didn’t know what I wanted out of religion or if I even wanted to practice a religion. I felt alone and when I was going through hard times I felt abandoned even by God. But going to worship services taught me that he wasn’t gone, he was just teaching me things because, after my darkest times, I came out a better version of myself with new lessons and a new mindset.

The last thing I learned about faith in college is that the campus ministry I’m a part of is welcoming but also doesn’t cram religion down anyone’s throats. No matter how deeply involved or not someone is, they check in on you and make sure you’re comfortable wherever you are in your journey. Everyone comes to understand that Wesley is a safe space almost immediately because of how warm and inviting it is. And what I’ve loved the most about my experience here so far is the lasting friendships I’ve made with the people I’ve spent almost every Sunday and Wednesday with for the past six months. No one slips through the cracks because we have intentional relationships with each other.

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