Finding the light through religion

Religion changed my life, and I hope I can reach others.

Ball State student Rayanna Herron holds up the Bible while posing for a photo March 1 at the Arts and Journalism Building. Mya Cataline, DN
Ball State student Rayanna Herron holds up the Bible while posing for a photo March 1 at the Arts and Journalism Building. Mya Cataline, DN

Rayanna Herron is a third-year media major and writes “The Thought Bubble” for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. 

I have been a Christian for eight years and got baptized when I was 13 years old. I have had a lot of struggles in my life. I decided to get saved because I felt miserable, got bullied a lot in middle school and didn’t have many friends. I was bullied often in school for being “different.” But what they didn’t know was that I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 2 years old. 

College is when I decided to be all out for Jesus. I was scared to share the gospel with others when I first became a Christian. I was afraid of what other people would think of me and their reaction. We are all different. Something that works for one person, may not work for another. But I now have the confidence to share my love and devotion with others.

“I think that many people need to hear the gospel, but they don’t want to hear it.”

When I started college, I had the plan to share Jesus with others without being ashamed. But when I started to share the gospel with others, I lost a lot of people who were close to me. After praying, I realized this occurrence wasn’t bringing me closer to God but was a stumbling block in my relationship with Jesus. It’s hard to lose friends, but I began to get closer to God and started to mature spiritually. I had to accept that things happen for a reason. I also learned that it’s okay to choose yourself and what you believe in — that it’s okay to be different or stray from the status quo. And as of recently, I have been blessed with meeting Christian friends who encourage me in my walk with God. 

“There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to Autism…Music is a way that I cope with my Autism.”

There are a lot of Christian music artists out there that inspire me. Zauntee, Hulvey, Wande, Lecrae and Forrest Frank are all Christian artists who have helped me see through some trying times. Their music inspires me to keep achieving my dreams and keep a close relationship with God. I really recommend that others check them out.

Songs I listen to that encourage me:

  • “God Had Other Plans” by Zauntee
  • “Holy Spirit” by Hulvey
  • “No Longer Bound” by Forrest Frank & Hulvey 
  • “Walk” by Hulvey & Lecrae
  • “Hard Work God First” by Zauntee 
  • “Closer” by Hulvey & Torey D’Shaun
  • “Used By You” by Hulvey 
  • “Jesus Called My Name” Zauntee

“Creating a sense of belonging”

Religion can promote a sense of understanding, a feeling of belonging. That’s something I and many others experience. Religion can give people something to believe in, and it “provides a sense of structure and typically offers a group of people to connect with over similar beliefs,” according to an article by Darlington Mind on religion and mental health. 

Religion made me feel less alone in this world, especially as someone who felt disconnected due to Autism. It allowed me to embrace individuality but also made me feel more unified with those around me who were also spiritual, such as my mom. It’s given me peace of mind and even boosted my mental well-being.

Religion offers individuals “something to believe in, provides a sense of structure and typically offers a group of people to connect with over similar beliefs,” according to the National Alliance of Mental Illnesses. Further research was done on this idea amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s said that religious faith was actually strengthened by the pandemic, according to Pew Research Center. Nearly 3 in 10 Americans (28 percent) reported stronger personal faith because of the pandemic and think the “religious faith of Americans overall has strengthened,” according to the survey of 14 economically developed countries. 

Trying times often cause people to turn to religion. We should fall back on God and our beliefs to look for solace. But sharing that growth in faith with others is even more important. At Ball State, I’ve made it a point to join organizations that not only build my faith but give me a space to share it with others.

Some campus Christian organizations I recommend: 

I also want to share some ways to connect with others and share the good word through Christ. I find it important that we create a dialogue on religion and our spiritual beliefs. It’s what allows us to be a more open and understanding society.

How to share and live through Christ every day:

  • Share the gospel
  • Love others
  • Compliment someone
  • Listen to someone who needs it
  • Pray for someone
  • Share a Bible verse with someone (I love John 3:16)
  • Share a worship song with someone 
  • Give someone a church recommendation
  • Help someone when they're in need
  • Come out of your comfort zone
  • Stand up for what’s right even if others don’t agree with you
  • Make a difference in someone’s life 
  • Forgive others who have hurt you

I hope that I reach someone, anyone, by writing about this. I stumbled across religion and accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, and it changed my life. I hope I can do that for others. 

Contact Rayanna Herron via email at or on X @HerronRayanna.


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