For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, my love won’t walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won’t be removed. The God who loves you says so.
Isaiah 54:10 The Message
I grew up in a Christian household with parents who took time to make sure I knew who Christ is. I was so blessed in that way. One of the greatest blessings has been attending and now working at Laity Lodge Youth Camp for the past twelve summers. I vividly remember the summer after my fifth grade year when I accepted Christ entirely on my own at LLYC.
Middle school brought a lot of challenges, as it does for everyone. I found myself in the midst of unusually traumatic circumstances, however, and started heading down a path that I am thankful I did not travel any further on. I struggled with tons of anxiety and self esteem issues and was in counseling for several years. While my heart and mind strayed, I am so glad I knew Christ before those years began because He was central to my healing.
I really tuned a new page when I started at an entirely new school with entirely new people my Sophomore year of high school in the Fall of 2010. That’s also when I began this blog. The rest of my high school years are years that I hold dear and throughout those years I continued growing steadily in my faith.
I stopped writing on this blog several months after I started it. Looking back, I think I had a very limited understanding on how God was supposed to fit into my every day life and needed to focus solely on that before also learning how to communicate that knowledge to other people via blogging.
In the Fall of 2013, I began college at Southern Methodist Universityqq. I have LOVED SMU. Looking back on who I was in eighth grade and where I am now, I am so blessed that God provided me with the resources and people to get me where I am today. My time at SMU has caused tremendous growth in my faith. My biggest goal as a first-year was to find Christian community and I quickly found that in the SMU Wesley foundation. The Wesley Foundation has provided me with so many role models that really got me thinking about what it meant to be a Christian.
This past summer, the summer of 2014, I made a decision that would ultimately allow me to center my life completely on Christ. It was a very hard decision. It has not been easy, but God has blessed me one hundred fold with a peace that passes understanding. I have finally arrived at a place where I first find my identity in Christ. In the past few months, God’s voice and presence have been so evident in my life, sometimes frighteningly so, and prayers have been answered like never before. I have arrived at a place where my faith in God is a very deliberate decision and while the sacrifice has been great the reward has already been so much greater.
While going through this most recent transformation I would write posts as if they were for this blog and then never post them. It is honestly very scary to put some of your most personal thoughts out there for anyone to read and criticize. I realized though that these words, which often were accompanied by some spiritual epiphany, were not my own but God’s. In December of 2014 I decided to begin posting again starting with my post “Concentration on Christmas Eve”.
The role that my Christian peers and role models have played in leading me to where I am today has been crucial. I realize I have been very lucky, and some of my friends have never encountered people like them. They haven’t been able to see what being a Christian looks like on a day-to-day basis. There are people in my life I pray for daily, people whom I want to experience the peace and joy I have found in Christ so badly I could cry every time I think about it. I hope that they and others like them find the faith in my post that has been readily displayed to me by peers and leaders throughout my own life. For those readers who already believe, I know the way my heart leaps when I find another believer or hear Christ brought up in a normal conversation. I hope this blog provides you with that encouragement and excitement and also provides both you and me with a challenge as we continue to learn what it means to be a disciple of our God. Whoever you are and wherever you are in your walk with God, thank you so much for reading. I pray that God is evident in your life and that you find eternal joy in Him.