Going to a Christian university has its advantages: smaller classes, cheaper tuition, and more opportunity for scholarships and grants. However, whether you came to the university as a Christian or an atheist, the faith aspect of college is almost unavoidable. Christian universities supply students with a multitude of thoughts, questions, and sometimes even doubts about their faith. Here at Grand Canyon University, one of the first things a student experiences is a worship service called, “Ignite.” This occurs during welcome week in the GCU Arena and almost everyone attends, so one can assume that it is packed with hands in the air, sing along, Jesus loving, Christians. As someone who comes into college questioning their faith, this ceremony can be extremely overwhelming. As you look around, everyone seems to be smiling, everyone seems to know the words, and everyone seems to be completely without doubt of who their God is. Before you know it, tears are streaming down your face and you can’t help but look up to the ceiling and ask “Are you really there, God?” It’s hard to know for sure, to trust in something you can’t see or hear, to put all your life into something that feels like magic.
There are multiple reasons for why people question their faith. Maybe a tragedy happened to you or a loved one and you can’t believe that this loving God above would let something like that happen. Maybe your core values don’t match the ones you grew up being taught through your religion. Maybe you simply just don’t feel the presence of God in your life anymore. Whatever it may be, its okay and it happens to almost everyone at some point in their life. It’s okay to not be sure, to hold back, to feel uncertain about something you once used to be confident in. It can be difficult at a Christian university when most everyone around you in attending Bible studies, going to Chapel, or going to The Gathering. You may feel like an outcast as you have different beliefs, but it is important to know that you are still loved by those around you and with time and an open mind, the answers will come.
Continue to search, to question, and to find your faith. Continue to be the best person you can by being kind, humble, and always giving to others. Explore the things that interest you and challenge the things that don’t. Go where your heart is called and listen to life around you. Whether it is God, Earth, or love, let life call your name and embrace it with open arms. Don’t feel the pressure to fit in because the time to question is now, the time to doubt is now, and the time to find your path is now. Reach out and try new things, pray with others, listen to their stories, and carry your head high with the pride that is you. While sometimes you wish everything could be figured out, know somebody loves you, somebody is watching over you, and you will find your faith soon.