Hey, guys! I haven’t posted anything in while, so I thought that I might as well blog now. This school year has been pretty good so far. I’ve had a lot more homework than I expected, but I’ve been able to get it all done. Near the end of the summer, I started having some doubts. At first, I just wasn’t feeling God’s presence, but then it got worse.
In the beginning of the school year, I was trying to pretend like nothing had happened. I was trying to live like everything was normal so that no one knew anything was wrong. I didn’t want to admit it, because that would make it real. For me, telling someone didn’t seem like an option.
Then, it got pretty bad. I was upset and confused because I had no idea what God was doing. I didn’t feel like he was real. That was REALLY scary for me because I had only doubted God once before, and that doubt dissolved within a few days. I was scared because I had always felt God was right there beside me. I felt alone like I never had been before.
At my school, I’m the Community Service Prefect. The people on the Prefect Board are known for being Christian role models and kids that “have it all together”. I felt like since I didn’t know what I was doing, faith wise, I wasn’t suited to be in a leadership position at school. I was afraid of what people were going to think, because the prefects are supposed to encourage people in their faith and help them out.
Also, I was taking a class called Bible Discipleship, which is a class for disciples of Jesus that want to learn how to live and love like Jesus did. At that point, I felt really empty, and not at all like a disciple of God. I decided to talk to one of my best friends about it. Even though I didn’t feel God, I kept praying. I tried to be patient, but it was really hard. My friend helped me feel a little bit better, but the connection I used to have with God still wasn’t there.
My school’s spiritual life retreat could not have come at a better time. That whole week, I was fervently praying for God to come back. I know he would never leave me, but at the time, I didn’t feel him. We looked at the stars and just listened to the sounds of nature one night. That week, I started to gain my faith back, and was almost restored to the way I was. However, I still didn’t feel God’s presence. It’s hard to be a Christian when you don’t feel like God is there with you.
On the last night, we do something we dubbed “Cry Night”, as mentioned in How_He_Loves. I wish I could say that I felt God place it on my heart, but I wasn’t feeling God at that time. I just kind of decided that I would share what was going on in my spiritual life at the time. I was really nervous, but I felt like I had to share. I think a lot of people were surprised by what was going on in my life. I was just honest in saying that at the beginning of the week, I didn’t really feel God. I went on to say that everyone doubts, including parents and teachers. I told them that going on the retreat had helped me a little bit. I ended by saying that when you doubt, you can’t give up, because God will never give up on you.
When I got back, a few people asked me about it. Out of the blue, a guy asked me if I was an Atheist. I was completely taken aback. To be honest, I got a little scared! I said, “No, why?” He told me that he thought so because of what I said at the retreat. Then I remembered! “No, no, I’m not.” A little later, some things happened. I always find myself going to God when trials surface. I spent a lot of time praying, and, gradually, I started to feel better. I would read a Bible verse and be like, “God, that’s exactly what I needed to read!” I knew he was there with me, and it felt like he was holding my hand again.
Last week, the quarter ended. So many storms occurred in the first quarter of the year. Spiritually, it was the most difficult time in my life. During the first quarter, I learned that being open and honest about your problems is the best thing to do. I learned to trust God in the hard times, and to know that He will never leave your side. For 1st quarter, a song and a verse have really applied to my life. They’re what has helped me to get through the quarter, in fact.
When most people think Jeremiah, they think of Jeremiah 29:11. Unknown, at least to me, was a verse really close to that one. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And you shall seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” I was searching so intensely, and God revealed himself to me. I put my whole heart into it, and he appeared to me.
The song “Oceans” by Hillsong spoke to me and to what I was going through. More specifically, two parts felt like exactly what I was going through. The first is “And I will call upon your name. And keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise My soul will rest in your embrace. For I am yours and you are mine.” When I started to feel like I was drowning, I would just sing that to God. Also, one of the verses near the end applied to me whenever I felt like God was asking me to do something I didn’t want to do. “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”
I’m somewhat hesitant to post this, as almost none of you knew this about me. It’s like I’m sharing a part of my soul with you.
I hope this encourages you guys to keep your eyes above the waves and trust God!