Disclaimer: I never want to push religion on anything of the sort on my followers and I am super open to beliefs or non beliefs. I’m writing this post about my journey with religion as a request of a close follower to my blog 🙂
I was never religious. If you want more background information on that check out my blog post Temporary Pleasure: My Sunday
Long story short, I identified with no religion. So how did I get here? How did I get to the point where I annotate a bible, attend service, and pray to God daily? A lot of practice, time, and self discipline.
It took some sort of epiphany to realize I needed a higher power in my life. I was struggling with anxiety and depression and felt that I had nowhere to turn to. I knew my mom was super religious and had always tried to get me to go to church with her, but I hated every second of it. Traditional Catholic masses made me scream. As a kid with ADHD, anxiety, and a constant need to be moving, these masses didn’t click right with me. I started hating religion and never went. There were a couple of years where I only went to service on holidays, If that. 2 years ago all of that changed.
I found a chapel that I really loved. They had service, singing, and relatable sermons with humor even! I began to go by myself to service, but not tell anyone about it. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to believe in something higher than myself… now thats embarrassing. No matter what you follow or how you look at life, I truly believe there is a higher power or energy surrounding us that we will never understand. I have talked about my experience with paranormal, energy, and all of the sort, and I still am confident that we are not alone here.
I started attending chapel services more regularly, alone and quiet. Everyone was so welcoming and happy that I was there, it was incredible. There was such good and positive energy in this place. I even began learning the songs, downloading them, and finding myself being more open with praising during service. Eventually, my mom and stepdad started attending the same chapel and now I try to go with them when I can.
And THERE is key point number 1.
You have to want to do it.
As with everything, being forced to do anything is extremely unbearable. Once I started wanting to learn more and attend services regularly, I fell more into my faith. My biggest advice is to do it on your own time. This isn’t a thing that happens over night! It took me years on years to finally realize that this is what I wanted to do and follow. As I said before, I hated religion because I was forced to be there!
I started off on this journey by starting to go to service. After I got more “into” being apart of something bigger, I began to do my research.
I came across “Bible journaling”. I was absolutely fascinated by the artwork that people dedicated to their bible and how they expressed their faith by creativity. As terrible of an artist as I am, I tried it too! I purchased a Bible journal, some pens, and started with my favorite verses.
I started journaling with a verse I loved and have always loved.
Jeremiah 29:11 :
“For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord”
This was always a comforting verse for me, and no shame here, I found it on Pinterest! Pinterest has been such a huge jumpstart to my faith and I highly recommend it. This is where I found my inspiration to journal in my bible, and find all my favorite verses. Go on Pinterest and find a favorite verse and start there. Although small, I do have a Pinterest board dedicated to my journey with my faith. If any of you want to take a look, here it is.
I started off journaling graphics in my bible and slowly progressed to annotating chapters.
But where do you begin? The bible is HUGE.
This was something I struggled with forever as well. I researched, asked for advice from my peers, and finally settled. I started off with 1 Corinthians. I decided to start here because this is where all the “laws” to follow are laid out. Honestly, I never truly knew them so I figured I’d start there. Currently, I am reading the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). I’m reading this to try and understand Jesus’ life and get a better understanding of who he is. I don’t have much knowledge about Jesus so starting with the Gospels was recommended to me by a friend! Either of those options are where I would recommend starting your bible reading.
But what do you do when you read?
THIS my friends, is where the SOAP method comes in.
I never understood the SOAP method, let alone knew what it stood for. I turned to Youtube to find out and luckily one of my favorite Youtubers had recently uploaded a video. (A little sign eh?) I watched this video through and learned about devotion and how to annotate and read my bible.
Heres the video : My Morning Devotion Routine
This video helped me breakdown a lot and turned me to a method I use now.
A: application to life
Another huge recommendation I have is to annotate during service! Bring your bible, download an app, or just bring a notebook and take notes of what your pastor or whoever is saying and talking about. Doing this allows me to actually focus on what he / she is saying and not just pretending I am. I advise against the bible app on your phone only because you will probably get distracted and find yourself doing other things.
Heres an example of some of my annotations from service:
For all of you thinking this is a lot of work I have good news for you.
Theres a way to do it ALL online!
Most churches, chapels, etc, usually have a website where they post their service online! You don’t even have to get out of your bed. So next time your excuse for missing service is the Sunday Scaries, pop into bed and watch your mass live.
There are so many options and ways to educate yourself about religion and what you want to do about it. I have found multiple podcasts including:
- Churchome with Judah Smith
- The Chapel Audio
- The Porch
- Zoe LA
Another thing I want to throw in there is to be open to all religions and beliefs. No belief is right or wrong! Or at least thats why I believe. I have explained how I believe in the principals of the Buddha and I agree and respect multiple other principals of other practices. Having an open mind is key to embarking on this journey of finding yourself and finding your faith. Another point I’d like to make is nobody is perfect! I personally do not follow the bible word by word. I do my best to live my life how I believe God would want me to, but we all have slip ups. Opening up to the idea of letting God or any other faith into your life is enough alone. Don’t be so hard on yourself through this journey or through ANY journey in life.
If you have any interest in Christian music heres a link to a cool playlist 😉
Always know you’re loved.