I started college at a Christian private school. It was easy to be Christian there. Though we all didn't agree on everything, no teacher or student was attacking being Christian and it was easily accepted what you believe. There was no person attacking you or making you really think about what you believe.
Then I went to a community college where basically the idea was the professors didn't care what you learned, as long as you got through the class. I got a small taste of anti-Christian ideas in the astronomy class I took when the professor said anyone who believed that a Higher Being created everything was just stupid. I had respectively, privately told him that I believed that God made everything, and that I disagree. When the semester started I had emailed him and told him where I stood, respectively. He was respectful, and nothing major happened.
But now I am at USF. Don't get me wrong, I love USF, and I love the classes I am taking. I am really enjoying the classes I am taking, especially the two history classes I also an really enjoying the professor who is teaching both history classes. He is a great teacher, and really makes you think.
This is the first time, however, that being a Christian has been very openly attacked, and mocked. Sometimes its someone saying something very negative against Christians, and sometimes its an undertone, which is much harder to respond to.
I am naturally not the person who stands up and disagrees with the professor or says something in class about what I believe. I don't try to hide, but I also personally don't just stand up and do something. I am not saying people who do that are wrong, its just not me. I am willing to say this is how I feel personally to someone, or talk to a professor.
These classes are making me take a stand and say, "I am a Christian and I don't agree with that." It is so hard. I honestly get scared of what people will say, or that my professor will hurt my grade. I feel like God is letting me get my feet wet with these classes, in a professor who is open to hearing others opinions and won't persecute me for being a Christian, but it could be much worse.
I am having to say I am different, but am having to balance being willing to stand up as a Christian with also being approachable. I don't want people to feel like I"m so abrasive of a Christian that they don't want to talk to me, because then what has my witness done? Its a thin line between standing up for the faith and making yourself so harsh and unapproachable that people do not want to be around you, and then what kind of witness do you have?
I know that other people would respond in other ways, and I honestly feel like God has gifted them with different ways to witness. I would much rather witness to someone through a relationship with them, and by letting them see how I am different, and bring Christ into what we are doing than stand on a street corner and preach. I am not saying that street preachers are bad, its just not how God gifted me to reach people. I also don't want to shy away from being willing to stand up and use that as a crutch.
Its hard to balance everything. I am honestly not good at it, and still not sure how to balance standing up for my beliefs, and also being open and loving towards people. Its been rough feeling like such a minority, and such a different person, from dressing modestly in skirts etc to praying before I eat to just not agreeing with the idea that Christians are wrong. But I know that God is using all this to teach me and to make me a better Christian.