I was afraid on my first day of college.  I was not nervous about finding my friends, grades, or getting lost.  I was nervous about the things I would be taught.  See, a lot of people told me that my faith would be challenged in college.  I had heard the statistics about Christian college students turning away from their faith, I was aware of the fact that many students and faculty did not share my belief in Christ, and I knew that the things I would be taught may not line up with the way I was raised.  So, I was very nervous when I entered my first class on my first day.

Now, three years later, I can honestly say that all the things I feared about my faith being challenged came true.  But, instead of letting those things get in the way of my relationship with God, I used them to strengthen it.  In my Psychology classes especially, I came to appreciate God’s design more than ever before. 


Neurons in the brain (Image property of Gustavus Adolphus College)

One of those moments was in Cognitive Development last semester, when we watched a film about the development of the prenatal brain.  Although there are 100 billion neurons in the brain, each neuron has a specific area and a specific function, and that is where it always ends up.  It was as though it is programmed, and it was truly amazing.

I have learned so much about just how incredibly brilliant God is, and I have found more and more that science does point to a design.  But, mostly, I have learned that challenges to faith are not a bad thing, because they sharpen and refine just what it is that you believe.  Challenges force you to take a critical look at the God you worship.  And, that’s not bad.  I think that some of the best growth comes from doubt and struggle.  When it happened for me, I found a God who is loving, and beautiful, and so incredibly intelligent and powerful.  I used the challenges to my beliefs to strengthen them, and I am a better follower of Christ for it.