On my relationship with God, on being first gen, on depression in college

The first time I stepped into a church in adulthood that really spoke to me, I was at Alethia. I was in my first year at Smith, and going through a lot of suffering and pain.

Being a first generation college student is so difficult.

Being in the church gave me a warm presence of God. It was present everywhere. It was present in the way people talked. It was present in the way people walked. It was present in my friend bringing me, and seeing people that we had met at the MIT program I went to before.

It was located in Cambridge, the first place I ever been on the East Coast. Without my family, I attended a program at MIT called E2@MIT, Engineering Experience. It changed my life. It brought me my friend, and so many others.

There has to be some sort of significance of Boston for me, as it was the first place I really experienced truly on my own.

Back to God.

God is ever present in my life. I have explored spirituality in other ways — Buddhism, Secular Buddhism, but things never really clicked for me. I think I got more depressed.

I would meditate every day in my worst and longest depressive episode, when I was a senior and I had just lost a best friend and subsequently all my social circle except 1 best friend who wasn’t always available. I had just broken up with someone that I thought was a really great friend as well. And I had no support from my major to feel fulfilled, excited, or happy. On top of that, my family was financially struggling to keep me there. The guilt was eating me alive. The shame was overtaking my body, and I couldn’t get out of bed any days. It was a really difficult time.

I turned to the Helen Hills Chapel at Smith College to help me.

Thankfully, I spent many afternoons just on my own, surrounded in an old room full of old books, ancient texts from when the last Smithies came to worship. I spent afternoons sitting in the meditation room before I could get outside again. It was so much to bear.

After all of that, I found Matilda, and thank God for her, because she saved me. She helped me feel connected, joy, and seen and heard. She led the interfaith lunches, where I met friends of a sort, and was isolated in a place where I could listen and just be present.

Granted, I didn’t feel like I was learning more about God, but I felt like I had a place.

Little did I know, God must have been protecting me this whole time — giving me hope and strength to persevere.

I couldn’t understand why it was all happening to me — everything was falling apart. In times like those, I’ve found myself leaning more and more towards God.

I read Life of Pi. It helped me keep going. It helped me realize that religion was something very valid for me, and that I could study whatever I wished.

I started with Buddhism, because my favorite author, Ruth Ozeki, and tried things, but it wasn’t working for me.

God in a Christian sense always was here and there for me — but I never leaned on God during that depressive episode. I only felt better when I finally graduated and left the school. The place symbolized the birth and death of many joys to me.

When I was a child, I went to Cumberland Presbyterian Church and really enjoyed it. It was the first time I watched Veggie Tales, and I was curious in my head who this Jesus guy was. I would sing along, feel comforted, but deny my faith when I got home, where it wasn’t talked about.

My mom is a breast cancer survivor and she leaned into God when she was going through it. She has gone through a lot of pain and suffering too, and her friends at church helped her pull out of depression and existential dread. My mom is happy now. She is thriving on the mercy and kindness of God.

We are the only ones in our immediate family who believe in God, but that’s okay.




tech ramblings and thought pieces. i write about things i do at work, and tell stories from my eyes. i believe we are always becoming.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Danger of Gender Alteration

Just The FAQs, Ma’am

Are Humans Here in Search of a Corporeal or Spiritual Experience?

Healing From The Inside Out Principle #7: Walk In Gratitude

Changes and Challenges Ahead (a message from spirit)

Can Astrology Be A Substitute For Religion?

God’s Friend And Family — Part Two.

The Garden: A Cemetery for Seeds

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Miche Wong

Miche Wong

tech ramblings and thought pieces. i write about things i do at work, and tell stories from my eyes. i believe we are always becoming.

More from Medium

Sarah Jessica Parker on “Painful” Kim Cattrall Rift: “There Just Isn’t Anyone Else Who’s Ever…

Kids Get It: Diversity Is a Good Thing (duh!)

Taking the mystery out of scope

Straight out of Chi-Town