The feeling of being alone doesn’t have to be permanent.
Growing up in a christian family set my life up with nothing but opportunity. I was raised in a positive environment that I flourished in. As a child I would look forward to every Sunday and Wednesday because it meant I would get to see my best friends and listen to stories from the Bible. There was nothing more exciting than getting on the church bus after a much anticipated wait. The community I was surrounded with encouraged me to do great things, to be the best person I could possibly be. These people gave me the confidence to tackle some of my worst insecurities. These insecurities ranged from singing publicly, to believing I had true worth in this world. They showed me how deep God’s love ran, and how every talent I’d been given should be used in his name. This community would go on to be one of the biggest impacts of my life, but I had to move on to the next chapter.
The transition to college wasn’t easy. I was launched from my family and home into a world of independence. School consumed the majority of my time. I battled with homesickness. There were many sleepless nights where I questioned if I was in the right place. Was I where God wanted me? The answer drifted further away as the semester dragged on. I felt trapped. I became the person younger me used to criticize. There were nights I would crawl back into bed after going out and just cry. How could I be this person? There was a creeping monotony that lingered.
While these events may have seemed obvious to others around me, no one suspected my internal chaos. That’s not to say that my life wasn’t valuable during this period. I joined a sorority and met some of the most inspirational women. I met people who shared the same passions and similar humor. I led a healthy and privileged life, gave my time to volunteerism and joined campus clubs. At the end of the day I never really felt whole. I remember calling my mom and telling her I didn’t have many friends. That I was worried sick I was never going to find any. I was tired of being alone. That’s when I found the Wesley Foundation.
I was welcomed into the church with open arms, like an old friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. Warm smiles met my own by people I would get to know all too well. They listened intently to the things I had to say, even if it wasn’t the most intriguing; they listened and it mattered. My peers accepted my faults with no judgement and no questions, just guidance. The service offered a free meal, worship and a gateway. It was up to me to put my full faith into those doors. At first, I was reluctant to come, but when I started connecting with people it drove me to put my heart into the group. So, as fate would have it, I opened the gates.
This decision completely shifted my college experience. I went from watching myself live, to actually experiencing life. I did things I never thought I would do. I was taught how to play bass guitar (super fun). I went to a Super Smash Bros tournament nearly every Saturday and realized Kirby was my secret weapon. I attended trivia nights at restaurants and actually answered correctly. I plugged into local mission with the church. I found myself around these positive people instead of sitting at home. I found myself going out less and praying more. I found my community, and I found myself again. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my friends, and they’ve made it clear that the feeling is mutual. They’re the reason I came back to God, the reason I became a whole person again.
When I go back home to see my family I’m always ready to tell them about a new Wesley experience I’ve had, or new people I’ve met. The church community I grew up in likes to keep tabs on me to make sure I’m doing alright. My favorite thing to do is surprise them by singing in the offertory; something I couldn’t have done without their cultivated confidence within me. The unconditional love shown in these communities is enough to tell me I cant live without it. I’m excited to see how Wesley will use me this year, and how I will grow. I’m ready to live, are you?
U of A Wesley Student
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