The Cost Of Finding God
I had a close friend in college who was an absolute blast. She was the type of person who’d go with you anywhere, to do anything, no matter how mundane, and she’d make it fun. She was loud, she sang constantly (and extremely well), and she was so passionate about life. You couldn’t help but love her and want to be around her. I don’t think I can accurately describe what an incredibly fun, warm and caring person she is. I can still hear her laughter whenever I see a picture of her.
We lived in the same dorm for 3 years, and became close friends over that time. But somewhere between sophomore and junior year, she found God.
I hate that term—“found God”—but it’s really the best way to put it in this case. All of a sudden, she came back to school and she always had her Bible with her, and talked constantly about praying for God to provide what she needed, or help her grow, or something. She read her Bible so much that her schoolwork started to suffer. Which, I guess in the grand scheme of things for her was not a big deal, but it always bothered me anyway. It’s really none of my business, I guess.
She was still vibrant and fun and warm and caring, but there was something different about her. She was apart from the rest of us in some fundamental but invisible way. She tried her hardest to get me involved in church- and campus ministry-related things she was doing, but I just never felt connected. And as she grew into her faith, our friendship grew apart.
I ask myself all the time why this happened. Does she make me uncomfortable? Do I feel that she’s judging me? Honestly, no. I’ve genuinely felt that she only wants me to be a part of her faith because it makes her so incredibly happy, and she just wants that for me. I go to church sometimes, but I feel like I don’t belong. I’ve found fulfillment in other ways, for better or worse.
I guess I don’t understand her anymore. The person I knew is someone entirely different now. Her religion or faith or whatever you want to call it is not the sum total of her person, but it’s literally all she talks about, ever. I still read her blog sometimes, and every post is about the ways in which she’s growing in her faith, how God provided for her or challenged her today, and a whole host of things to which I simply can’t relate. Part of me wishes I could; I’m not sure if it’s because I think I should be able to relate, or if it’s just because I miss my friend.
Today I saw a post on her blog that started out, “Interesting fact: Local health departments don’t treat virgins.” What does that even mean? What the hell is she talking about? Who the hell is this person, and what did she do with my friend?
Today my grandfather called me to congratulate me on landing a job, and he said, “Is there a chapel on campus?” I told him I didn’t know, but that there is a Cathedral near my house. “Tomorrow, go into the church and just stay for 5 minutes and say thanks to God. This is all because of him.” I want to believe that. In some ways, I do, especially since this job just landed in my lap. But I’ll never believe it to the degree my friend does, and I’m afraid that’s always going to keep us apart.