Always have faith.

Transition is never easy because transition means change. By nature, I have never been open to change. I am only human and we as humans, more often than not, are creatures of habit. Fortunately, college has “changed” my mindset on change and transition. I credit college for humbling me and forcing me outside my comfort zone. Although I still resist change at times, I am open to new things, new people, new places and new adventures. My point in all of this is that today I took a leap outside my comfort zone.

I attended a wonderful church this morning, Riverbend Community Church in Lexington, South Carolina with two of my friends from my graduate program. Now, you’re probably wondering why I said that today was a leap outside my comfort zone, so let me explain. I wasn’t raised in a family that went to church. Granted, I was raised Christian, but I didn’t grow up in a church community. In high school, I explored my faith and would attend church with friends every so often, but I never got that feeling of belonging. Plus, it was difficult not getting to share those experiences with my family. Furthermore, when I moved to Tampa, I had a difficult transition with friends and involvement in a toxic relationship. I always say that first year in college was my “all time low”, but those moments of weakness teach us more about ourselves than our moments of strength. I learned a lot about myself that year, including a lot about my faith. The following years as an undergrad, I took up an interfaith initiative at my university and attended a First Presbyterian church downtown. I usually went to church solo because that was most comfortable for me. I didn’t get too invovled in the First Presbyterian church other than attending Sunday worship services, and I was very non-social with members of the church community.

When I moved to Columbia this summer, I made a promise to myself to explore different church communities in town and to socialize with its members. Today, I did just that! Not only did I go to church with friends, but I socialized with members of the church. I met so many wonderful people. Like I said, the church itself was wonderful. It’s a non-denominational evangelical church committed to leadership in the church, a better sense of community through interpersonal relationships and outreach locally, regionally and globally. I truly felt a connection with the people, the church and with God. The message really spoke to me and the music gave me a deeper sense of connection. I am thankful for my experience today with Riverbend, and am appreciative of the kind and welcoming people of the community. I will most definitely be returning.

Anyways, I don’t mean to go on and on about my experiences. I just hope that for my readers you are able to experience that same kind of awakening. I hope that you maintain hope in finding your church home, or place that you can build a stronger relationship with your God. My advice to my readers, follow your heart. Your heart translates what is being said in your soul, and your soul is a direct connection with God. So just listen and follow. **And for crying our loud, don’t be afraid to socialize. People want to get to know you, they want to be resourceful to you and most importantly, they want to support you!**

“If you desire intimacy with God, go to Him in prayer. He is waiting. He will rejoice, and He will treat you with tenderness and compassion.” (Isa 40:11)

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