I have never known anything other than Christianity. Since the day I was born, attending church every Friday has been a constant part of my life. If we missed Friday church, we would go on Sunday night, and during COVID, we turned to online services. Growing up, my parents made it a priority for us to have Christian values and, above all else, a personal relationship with God. Today, I want to write about this because it holds great importance for me—it is the most significant aspect of my life.
Yes, I have known religion throughout my life, but there is a remarkable difference when you actively seek it for yourself, rather than simply following what you have always known. I have experienced the goodness that comes with knowing God and feeling secure in His presence. Since moving to Melbourne, my brother and I have continued to attend church every Sunday, exploring various congregations until we found one that felt like home. Ultimately, it didn't matter which church we attended, as we believed that being in God's house was what truly mattered. However, it was when we started putting down roots in a specific church that my relationship with God transformed.
We found ourselves at Hillsong, a welcoming place that brings me immense joy and peace. We started forming connections with others, attended consistently, and built meaningful relationships within the community. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. Leaving church, I never feel sad; instead, I am filled with readiness for the week ahead and a deep sense of gratitude for life.
My intention in writing this is not to impose my religion on others but to share the incredible positivity it has brought into my life. My journey in faith and my relationship with God have always been significant to me, but they have grown even stronger as I've matured. I want to highlight the beauty of being part of a community—a place where you can build relationships and find answers to life's profound questions.
While I never leave church feeling sad, it doesn't mean I've never arrived there feeling down. There have been numerous times when I was going through challenges, struggling to see the light, feeling anxious and depressed. In those moments, I became adept at concealing my struggles, believing I had to show no weakness. It was only when I engaged with sermons, built connections with others, and fully immersed myself in the church community that my perspective on life began to shift.
I want to emphasize the importance of getting connected. Having faith in something greater and following a belief system helps me navigate my day-to-day life. I understand that there is often negativity associated with religion and faith, but for me, it comes down to God's principle of loving one another as brothers and sisters—a principle I wholeheartedly embrace. My faith drives me to genuinely love and care for people, seeking the best in them and looking beyond their exterior façades. All I am today stems from the values instilled in me by my parents and the strength derived from my faith.
I encourage people to explore religion and faith. There are always answers to life's questions if you are open to seeking them. So, I want to reiterate: I never leave church feeling sad. And my hope for you is that you won't either.