I was never a churchgoer.
I was the child that prayed every once in a blue moon. When people asked about my beliefs, I responded “Catholic,” not truly knowing what that meant.
My view on religion and my participation in it changed drastically in college.
Towards the end of my senior year, I suffered from anxiety attacks. They happened sporadically about three times a month. My mom told me I needed to stop being such a worrier. I was stuck in a continuous cycle of worry. From school to my family that lived over 1000 miles away, I worried about little, meaningless things. Insignificant problems occupied my thoughts. I couldn’t fix these problems, and they didn’t even concern me.
Attending church service became a routine in the summer before college. My boyfriend and his family attend service every Sunday, so when we started dating, my mom and I joined them.
At first it seemed a little boring because the services were in Spanish. Even though I can speak and understand the language pretty well, I caught myself daydreaming in some moment because I couldn’t understand what the priest said. But I committed myself because I wanted his family to like me. I figured I would catch on as time went on.
Once I started college, my boyfriend and I started going to the 11 a.m. mass on Sunday. The priests caught my attention immediately. They made their homilies relatable to college students. It also helps that the masses were in English so I understood the service. Understanding what the priests said encouraged me to keep going to mass every Sunday.
I don’t remember exactly when, but there came a time when I started praying subconsciously. I started giving more of my worry and doubts over to my faith. Slowly, I let go of the unexpected future and things I couldn’t control.
Whenever I catch myself in the process that leads me to an anxiety attack, I remind myself that I have no control over it and do what I can. I leave the uncertainties up to God and what he has in store for me.
I try my hardest in all of my endeavors, making sure that I won’t have any regrets. For example, when I’m working on a scholarship, I put in all of my efforts into my application. However, once I submit it, I try not to worry about it or dwell on whether my essays were good enough. Whether I get it or not isn’t up to me, and I’ve come to terms with that.
Another one of my problems was that I didn’t trust others enough when they offered their help. I thought that I knew what was best for my future.
Religion helped me find my faith in others and accept their help. I still hold many reservations when putting my trust in others. But my faith has given my the opportunity to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Having faith in my daily life gives me a sense of peace me with myself and with those around me.