What It’s Like to Be Me: Young and Openly Christian

Vivian Chan, Staff Writer

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In a generation that is increasingly more non-religious than the previous, it is rare to find someone who is deeply invested in their religion, but that’s who sophomore Abigail Feng is. For her, it’s a relationship, not a religion.

“My faith is very important. It has given me comfort that there is a greater power that is always in control of my life and the world around me,” stated Feng. “If I was not a Christian I would not see the purpose of following rules made by imperfect people, and most importantly, I would not have the true happiness of being with God.”

Though of course, Feng was not born with such a mindset. She shared about how she wasn’t very open about her faith until she entered high school and decided to attend a TLC meeting. TLC is a Christian student organization at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. She stated that she was shocked to see how many people were there and how energized they were to learn more about God and to grow their faith.

“I could not believe that so many people would proclaim that they had a faith in God and come back week after week.”    

Feng explained that what she saw in TLC motivated her to pursue her faith more and take it more seriously in her life. She shared how she began to pray more often and studied more about her God, and how it began to give her more peace and purpose in life.

Feng also shared how for her, faith did not stop at how she felt inwardly, but extended to her behavior and actions in her everyday life.

“My faith influences how I speak and act. It has taught me to reflect love and be patient with others.” Feng continued, “I find myself regularly questioning if what I am doing aligns with what the Bible teaches me. When I need to make decisions I often think of what choice would align with the Bible more.”

Though in her journey of faith, Feng stated how she initially struggled to be open as “choosing to make [herself] vulnerable in a public place was very scary.” However, after realizing that the views people might have about her and her faith do not dictate her life, she expressed that she felt more bold in being open about being a Christian and in sharing her faith with others. Having a like-minded friend that was also in TLC and was open about their faith helped, stated Feng.

“Each day before I eat lunch, I pray. I have been questioned by peers about why I was closing my eyes and waiting for a little before eating every day. This has given me the opportunity to share my faith with others and the significance of prayer.”

As for what it is like to be a serious Christian in today’s religious climate, Feng shared that while “claiming to be Christian is not frowned upon in this day and age,” she’s seen that many people tend to have a “joking” attitude towards Christianity, as well as a stigma that Christians are strict and conservative people who are not opening and loving to all people.

Feng expressed that it is a viewpoint that saddens her because that is not how she sees it.

“I wish people thought of Christians as loving people that want to talk to you about your views in life and help you through the struggles you go through.” Because for her, Feng stated, that’s what she has experienced and seen.

While her faith has been making an impact on her outside world, Feng also described how her daily life and place as a student has affected her faith, and how it influences her emotionally.

“Usually, when I am too absorbed in school or other activities and push God to a corner I start feeling empty, powerless and overwhelmed by life. But each time that I fall, God sends motivation to turn to him.”

When asked to explain what it’s like to be a Christian to those that don’t know or understand, Feng replied, “Being a Christian may sound like unnecessary restrictions to daily life and extra work, but the reward is great. Personally, Christianity has taught me to stand up for what I believe and connect with others.” 

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