Crying out to you

Today, the police released the video that showed a police officer shooting  Laquan McDonald on October of 2014. Like some writers, I refuse to say the police officer’s name because I find it unfair to give them fame for something that should not have occured. This particular police officer shot and killed McDonald with 16 gun shots. This isn’t the first video in recent news showcasing police officers’ injustices towards the African American community.  Beyond police brutality, my African American brothers and sisters are fighting all along college campuses for a voice: a voice of reason, inclusion, and safety. I’m referring to Mizzou, to Dominican, to U of I, to Yale, and to many many more. These are students that are fighting for justice.

Today, we live in a world that does not know how to be inclusive to people with a different ethnicity, a world that does not know how to treat people with the same respect. We are not living in a community. And this is NOT what God had envisioned for the world when he created us.

Who am I to be speaking on this topic? I am not an African-American. But I stand in solidarity with them. As I mentioned before, we have a new vision of what the church looks like. The new church includes people of color, people with different perspectives standing side by side to worship His holy name.

I stand in solidarity to my fellow community members. But I am waiting for the rest of the world to acknowledge the importance and beauty of difference. God is not solely calling myself, He is calling all of us to support our community members, to educate ourselves in their struggles to be respected. To have equality among people is not a goal for the next ten years, this is a necessity for today.

Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2, NIV

 

Lord,

I pray for my African American brothers and sisters. As a part of a bigger community, we cry out to you as we stand to witness the injustices done to our community. I pray that we may continue to seek you during these hardships and that we, as people, learn to stand together in an inclusive community and in solidarity.

Amen.

 

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Never will you nor I be alone

When I had the idea of first refocusing my blog, I was very excited to start writing. But it really never occurred to me how difficult it would be to write creatively. I’ve written several drafts of posts I wanted to publish, saved some, and discarded many. But just as I had written in the last post, my only intention is to write truth.

This blog isn’t a “How to survive life” blog. In fact it is opposite of that. I’m not telling you guys how to live your life and avoid the heartaches. I want you guys to go through these heartaches so that you may learn from them just as I am learning to overcome them. With this blog, I’m telling a story, my story, to anyone that is willing to listen. The purpose behind telling my story is in hopes that you will not feel alone.

The scariest part in life is believing that we are walking in this Earth alone. I struggle with understanding it. With the feeling of solitude, I become desperate for attention. I get physically and emotionally sick when thoughts like this seep into my mind. At some point in my life, I picked up the Bible and began to read the book of Genesis. A verse in particular stuck out in a moment of disparity and has thus helped me in times when I feel most alone.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 1:18 (NIV)

God never intended for us to live alone. He wanted us to be in communion with one another. With this intention, He created woman after man. God had provided knowing that we could not live life alone. He gave us friends, leaders, and family. God even sent His own son to live among us, to know us, and to be us. He was 100% human as He is 100% God. With people in our lives, they make us into better and healthier human beings. Because they challenge us and keeps us accountable to the promises, hopes and dreams that we have.

This verse was just the beginning to the new world that I was being exposed to through God. . I began to understand that there are people like me and people like you going through the same situations. And maybe our reactions to these situations are different but it still does not veer away from what we felt, are feeling and are bound to feel. I found a place where I was no longer and will never be alone.

Writing Truth

An English teacher once taught me that if I ever wanted to be a writer and be read, I must be able to expose myself and write with my emotions. Only that way will the audience truly know that what I write is truth. It took me a while to comprehend this. For a long time I had thought I was writing truth. Until now.

As I was in the backseat of my mom’s minivan, coming back from the mall, I had an idea. I decided to refocus my blog. At first, it was a blog for my Journalism class. I wrote about issues in the school and its effect on the students. I wrote news. And although I wrote with enjoyment, I wrote the requirement. And now that it is no longer the case, I’d love to talk about my passion.

The name of my refocused blog will be Seeking God in a sinful world. The focus of this new rewritten blog will center on finding God in challenges throughout our lives. Most of these problems will be issues that we as human beings face. Let it be a breakup, peer pressure, family issues, or anything. If you guys have any suggestions, I’d love for you guys to comment and I will try my best to write a blog that will help you in the time of need.

If I am being completely honest, I am scared to be presenting this new idea. It will be the first time that I am publicly expressing my faith and love for God. I’m afraid of the critics that I will gain and of the friends and followers that I may lose. But knowing that I have people supporting me in this decision and teaching me to be in close relations with God is enough for my finger to press “publish”.

I am very excited to be sharing this with you because it will not only benefit me in finding God’s beauty in this world full of hate, sorrow and sin, but I hope that this blog will benefit others in finding a sparkle of hope or a flicker of light in the darkest of times.

This is the beginning to my new adventure.

Finding a religious community where I belong

My family is catholic. When I was younger, I remember dressing up each Sunday in preparation for mass. Once I grew old enough, I started attending CCD, or Sunday church school as I described it. When I reached middle school until the beginning of my high school career, I became one of the first girl alter servers in the church. By my actions, I always appeared to be concrete in my religious faith. But I did not feel as certain in my faith as other people thought I was.

As a kid, I could not remember much about what the priest said. Mass, for me, was a time where I can catch a nap. When I began CCD, it was just another class that I needed to exceed in. And when I became an alter server, I could only think about the service hours I would earn.  It wasn’t until I began to attend high school and stopped serving during mass that I understood the importance of religion.

By the end of my freshmen year in high school, I became a part of YoungLife, a non Christian youth group lead by Christians. They taught me the importance of being loved by a greater being despite the wrong paths that I walked on. Once I became a member of YoungLife, I was no longer satisfied with Catholicism. I sought more beyond what my catholic church had to offer. There is nothing wrong with being catholic, but as I progressed through high school, my interests became different. I wanted a place that did not judge me for my wrong doing.

I became eager to join a bigger community that felt the same as I. I attended the church that hosted YoungLife’s bible study. I attended a baptist church near north side. I attended another church near south side. Then finally I attended a church, that I did not now existed, ten minutes away from my house, and I felt at home.

That sense of belonging is so difficult to find. Mostly walking into the church feeling as an outsider, feeling alone. Sitting down, I tried to busy myself on my phone. But within minutes, people poured into the church and welcomed me greatly. I shook hands with what seemed like many and conversed with them until the beginning of service. As the service went on, I had quickly felt in community with them.

After what seemed like a long time searching, I had found the place that I had dreamed about. Building relationships with people that I would become friends with. Finding a religious community where I belong.