A ‘Sort-Of’ Christian Girl’s View of Faith
How I developed my own definition of faith
Kari Pedersen, Publishing Editor
I was raised Catholic, baptized, received Holy Communion and was confirmed all by age 12. I always believed that being Catholic was just a part of who I was, as in my mom taught me I was Catholic, so I was Catholic. I didn’t really ask questions, I just lived my life as religious as I could.
Around the age of 14 I did start to ask questions, things in the Catholic church just weren’t really adding up to me. Nothing significant ever happened, I just started to wonder if everything I had drilled into my brain was real, or if it was all just a bunch of stories put together to make me act a certain way.
I remember going to my Grandma one day and saying to her, “Grandma, I don’t believe in God, I think it’s all stupid.” Now this may not seem like a big deal, but to my Grandmother who was raised in a convent and probably the most religious woman you could meet, this was definitely not something to be taken lightly, but she responded to me in the most eloquent way, and her words have stuck with me for the past decade.
My Grandma looked me in the eyes and said, “That’s okay, because even when you don’t believe in God, he believes in you.”
At 14 I kind of brushed this off, but at 18 when I was going through a difficult time her words came back to me, and I thought maybe I would give God a second chance. I started going to Young Adults night at my local church, and I loved it, for a while.
Eventually the newness of the hip music and the fun of conversing with new people wore off, and I was back at square one. I moved on with my life for about another year, that’s when I took my definition of faith into my own hands.
I started praying in my own way, and reading my Bible. But this time there was no pressure, I did everything on my own, and I loved it. I started to find my own connection with God, and I talked to him about everything, I still do in fact. For me, there is something so serene about being able to just get everything off your chest. Sure, I may be “talking to myself” but in my opinion, I have faced too many challenges and overcome too many roadblocks to feel as though I am talking to myself.
After about three years of this new form of Christianity I got a tattoo in memory of my Grandma, and in recognition of my new faith. I have a cross and the word “believe” written in French on my wrist, and I get asked all of the time, “Oh is that because you’re Christian?” And my response is always the same, “No, it’s because I have a relationship with God.” That tattoo has more to do with the words my Grandma spoke to me than any type of belief I have in God.
When I think back to the words my Grandma said 10 years ago, it makes me somewhat envious of her unwavering belief, but before she passed away, I realized that what she left me with when she said those words was the opportunity to find that unwavering belief, and a sense of comfort I have always relied on, knowing that there is always something out there that believes in me, and that comfort is unwavering.
So if you are confused about your own faith, don’t let society or what you grew up knowing define it for you. Define your faith on your own, build your own spiritual relationships, because as we know with our tangible relationships, every single one is different for every single person. So embrace those differences when it comes to faith, and find your own meaning behind the word.