“The Graduate Adventures” has been around for nearly seven months now, and my faith has been briefly mentioned in some posts.

Although the focus of this blog is not to highlight my beliefs, my beliefs are who I am. Hence, I not only have a passion to share my faith with you, I also feel I owe it to my readers to be vulnerable about who I am.

I am a Christian.

I grew up in the Catholic Church and discovered I could have a relationship with God when I moved to college at the age of 18.

I remember leaving South Dakota with a longing in my heart for the Lord. I felt like something was missing, and for some reason, I knew it was a closeness with God. I signed up for three Bible studies at the University Welcome Fair, and the first week of school I went to the church my roommate decided to try out.

The church was like nothing I had seen before. I was used to silence, to a priest in professional priesthood attire, and organ music. This church was filled with younger people who sang to loud music being performed on stage, they took notes, and here is the real catch: the “mass” took place in a school. It wasn’t even in a church.

I left feeling like I had gone to a concert and wondered if I had been betraying my Catholic faith by attending something so different.

I didn’t go back to that church, but I did become a member at another nondenominational church. It was there that I was inspired to read the Bible, to research my faith, and to finally accept the opportunity for a relationship with my Creator. I learned that Christianity isn’t only about belief but also knowing the Lord. I learned that prayer can be talking to God rather than memorization and that worship doesn’t have to only be singing hymns.

Over the years my discomfort with a new church atmosphere has transformed into a passion for God. I have grown through faith, not religion and tradition.

So why write about this now? What motivated me to share this with you?

On Sunday, I heard a sermon on the differences between the Catholic church and the church I currently attend. To me, it all made so much sense.

Catholicism is not wrong. Neither is loud music, funny videos, and reading directly from the Bible. I have no dislike for the Catholic church, but I am so thankful that I discovered something different–something that taught me God is my whole life, not just a Sunday event.

I encourage you to listen to the sermon online through this link (http://media.parkviewchurch.com/454/6140/26321). It may spark questions, or it may just inform you of the differences. Either way, you will learn that God does not discriminate. He does not care what “flavor” or denomination you claim to be. He just wants you to love Him with your whole heart and to believe in His Son.

This truth changed my life, and maybe, just maybe, it will change yours too.

Two summers ago I was baptized in Lake Michigan. I had received an infant baptism previously, but I gained a desire to use baptism as an outward way of expressing my heart change. See the differences in baptismal beliefs in the sermon mentioned above.