Why I'm Not Afraid to Talk About God
By Elizabeth Barrera
This tends to be a sensitive topic, mainly because not everyone agrees with it, and that’s okay. I’m not here to change a non-believer’s mind at all, but I am here to say why I am not afraid to talk about God.
I’m not afraid to talk about God in the same way that people aren’t afraid to talk about other things they believe in. For example, some people are huge believers in horoscopes or big fans of athletes and celebrities and even go to the extent to create groupie pages and follow their every move. They know everything from what their average score per game is to what they did on Thanksgiving and who they spent it with. Basically, they believe in something bigger than them, whether it be materialistic things or someone of high authority. Whatever they want to call it, higher power, authority figure, power, etc., they all tend to fulfill us in similar ways. I believe in God similarly to how they believe and are faithful to those athletes and celebrities. Here’s why.
I believe in God because He’s helped me hold onto hope in moments when I’ve thought I’m lost. When I was in college, I went through a rebellious stage. I was raised in a small town that most of California has never heard of (you need to zoom in about three times on the map just to see the name pop up). This small town is pretty closed-minded and raises pretty closed-minded people, for the most part. When I moved out to the Bay Area for college, I was hit with so many things at once. I saw people of the same sex holding hands in public, there was a skunky scent in the air rather often, and people of different colors roamed the streets. It was no longer just boy with girl, clean air, and white or brown.
So much hit me at once that I started opening my eyes and began disagreeing with every single thing my church had taught me to believe in. I started rebelling, and what I mean by this is that I decided to stop going to church every Sunday, I started doing things not-too-accepted by the church, and to solidify my decision, I refused to talk about God altogether.
Differences in culture and sexual orientation became less of a problem to me. Refusing to speak with my parents about God and always avoiding the subject became my new problem. I felt angry. With the church, with my beliefs, with my parents, with every believer. Me not going to church was basically my way of saying, “hey, if you’re not going to care about gay people’s rights, for example, then I won’t care about the church’s beliefs either.”
This went on for about six months until I fell in love and hit rock bottom. I got off my high horse, sat my ass back down, and realized it’s okay to disagree and believe. Even though it was for selfish reasons that I was brought back to my beliefs, I was able to get closer to my faith through prayer.
And thanks to my prayers, I healed. I started going to church every Sunday and used that as a method of healing on my own, like a type of therapy. Sure, I could’ve sought psychological help, or repeated the same stories over and over again to my friends, but I knew in my heart that it was time for me to pray. Because of this, I decided to place my trust in a higher power, on someone who is with me and sees me everyday, but most importantly, I decided to place my trust and faith in someone who knows me.
I choose to believe in God, to pray and converse with someone invisible, because I know I’ll still be heard. I choose to believe that prayer will help someone make it through a rough moment. I believe that prayer helps people heal, and I believe that God doesn’t give us difficult situations in our lives just to see us suffer. I believe we’re placed in difficult situations (that many times are self-created) so we can be built into stronger people. Perhaps we are meant to learn in more difficult ways than others are.
I’m not afraid to talk about God because I’ve been blessed time and time again, even when I refused to mention His name or pay Him a visit. He was there. When my mom was an a car accident that threatened her spinal cord, when my brother fully recovered after psychological trauma. Every single time I’m about to fall, He’s there to pick me up.
I’m not afraid to speak about God because of all the blessings I’ve received in my life. Because every time I thought hope was lost, I had constant reminders of why everything will be okay, of why I should keep trying, of why I shouldn’t give up. Because even in the darkest days, I can feel him and I can sense him. And because every time I think of a bad thought or a bad action, I’m reminded of who I am, what I’m doing and what I’m meant to do and be.
So yes, I choose to believe in God. I choose to be inspired by Him. And I choose to be blessed by Him.