I recently turned the big one-eight. Looking back on this past year, I know that God got me through many tough moments,and through them, I learned one really important TRUTH: The only way that we’re going to survive is if Christ is at the center of our lives. This means:
- Trusting him every second of every day
- Giving him EVERYTHING
- Letting HIM be in control
“If Christ is not all to you, He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Savior of men. If He be something, He must be everything, and if He be not everything, He is nothing to you.” – Charles H. Spurgeon
It may seem harsh, but Christianity sure is not a half-in, half-out faith-we’re either all in or all out. Of course God will always love and support us no matter where we are in our walk with Christ. Perhaps you’ve never been to church or maybe you go to Confession every weekend. What I’m saying is that sometimes our faith is easy: like when we are with thousands of other teens at a retreat conference singing “10,000 Reasons” and linking arms. However, sometimes our faith is really hard.
I’m almost done reading, “It is Well” by Chris Faddis. This is probably one of the most profound books that I have ever read. Chris Faddis tells of the battle he and his family went through in dealing with his wife’s cancer and journey from Earth and into heaven. I strongly encourage you to buy a copy, because it has honestly completely changed the way that I view my faith. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but for the sake of this article, he talks about “Life in the Storm”, and how no matter who we are, at some point in our life, we will all be caught in a storm. Nonetheless, as Angela, her husband, and her kids show through their lives, we must trust and have faith in God no matter what.
So what have my tough moments been this year: moments when I have had to have faith even though I’m sure where God is leading me? This past fall, I missed about two days of school from what I believe to be some kind of an anxiety attack. I just felt very detached those few days, but I had no idea why I was experiencing these strange feelings. For awhile, I had a difficult time shaking this feeling, and to make matters worse, I began struggling with even more anxieties: about past worries, about college decisions, about the future, and even my faith itself. I wrestled with these anxieties for awhile, and though I have certainly been able to manage it better, this is something that I still struggle with today.
Often I wonder why did this happen? I felt fine in the beginning of the school year. I’ve had worries sort of like this in the past, but nothing that I honestly trapped me as much as these anxieties did. After praying and reflecting on this question a great deal, I strongly believe that this was God’s way of telling me to wake up. Before, I had trouble making God a priority in my life and never, and yet wanted a relationship with God so badly. Throughout this past winter, I have literally given everything (well, almost everything!) to God: in praying the prayers that I did to get me through the tough days and in relying on the support of my family when I was really struggling. Do I think that God wants me to be anxious all the time? Of course not-God never chooses to inflict suffering on us. But what I do know is that God helped me use this experience-this cross-to grow closer to Him, to show me his love, and to show me what it means to have true, blind faith.
Maybe you are going through something real tough right now, or maybe you need that extra faith to ease your anxieties about that college decision or math test tomorrow. Remember this:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”