I realize it's not really cool to be a believer anymore. I get it. I really do.
Perhaps it's the fact that there are a million religions preaching about love, kindness, tolerance, understanding, etc. that confuse non-believers. Perhaps it's because even though millions of people preach great things, we, as a collective society, often fail to put them in daily practice. Perhaps it's science--with all its hypotheses, theories and facts, which I actually agree with most of the time that trip up the non-believers. Or perhaps it's the general feeling of apathy plaguing the world when it comes to doing anything.
I can't really pinpoint the reason people are choosing not to believe, but so many people I know and continue to meet tell me their reasons for leaving faith behind them, and while I understand it and respect their different paths, let me admit something that is evidently not cool at the moment--I am a believer.
I believe in a higher power. I believe very much that that higher power is a loving Father in heaven. I believe He knows me. I believe He listens to my daily running ramblings and quiet afternoon pleadings. I believe He loves me. No...I know He loves me.
This week I taught the girls from the Bible. We studied the final week of Christ's life, reading from different sections of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Today we discussed the final hours of Christ's life leading up to his resurrection, and a verse we read has stood out to me all afternoon: "He is not here, he is risen."
I think the older I get and the more experiences I gain, the more I realize how great an act it was for our Father in heaven to send His son to earth for us. It is an act of pure love. I felt very close to Heavenly Father today. I felt very connected to Him through Jesus Christ. You cannot know how much I want to improve who I am just to become a little more like Him. It is on my mind every single day.
I know it's not cool, but I don't really care about "cool" things. I care about real things. Real people. Real stories. Real improvements. Real change. I care about how much light I feel in my life as I learn about Jesus Christ. I have said it before, and I believe I will continue to say it my whole life, everything we do should be because of Him.
So many of my friends are struggling with organized religion, and I totally get it. I've been there. Sometimes I'm still there. But the thought that gets me through those confusing days is that He is more than religion. He is truth. He is the way. He is the vine. Everything else we learn is an appendage to that. I choose daily to follow Him and be like Him.
And I am grateful for a beautiful warm day like today that reminded me that no matter how dark and cold and confusing the winter may feel, spring will always come.