- One thing you want to be remembered for when you leave this earth?
- Share your story
Growing up, religion wasn’t a big part of my family. Sure, we showed up to Church on Easter Sunday and when a baby in the family was baptised, but that was pretty much it. I guess you could say I never really knew Jesus until Young Life, and for that reason I am extremely thankful for the presence of Young Life at my high school. I went to Young Life and fell in love with the idea of Christ and walking with God, but I still didn’t understand. I heard people tell stories of God speaking to them and showing them signs. I didn’t have a crazy testimony. I didn’t have an aha! moment when I became best friends with Jesus. It seemed like everybody else did. I was frustrated and the concept of faith and the idea of a relationship with someone I couldn’t physically see was so hard for me to grasp. When I went to summer camp, during our quiet time after club, I would sit in the dark under the stars and pick at the grass next to my feet. I wondered what I was supposed to say to God and when I did speak up and pray or talk to him, I never heard back.
Until sophomore year of college (a year ago), I didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian. In the beginning of that year, I went through a breakup that was very challenging. I had felt so vulnerable, so confused, and so alone. One night, I was awake in my bed, unable to sleep, and I just prayed. This reminded me of the book, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” because I was stuttering and stumbling over my words, nervous to speak, but I pushed through and just confided in Him. I spoke about what I was feeling in my heart and my frustration towards being a Christian. I prayed that He would give me strength and peace to work through the hurt and I asked for help with healing. When I woke up the next morning, it was like a light switch went off. I felt so calm and so at rest knowing that I had talked to God. I started looking up devotions and reading verses and more than ever I felt God speak to me.
Last summer, I went to Tanzania. I first stayed in a Maasai village then climbed the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was God who got me to the top of that mountain. It was God who showed me the magic of a country and culture so unlike my own. My experience on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro was something I will never forget, no matter how foggy and miserable some nights were. At the top of that mountain, I will never forget how it felt to be finished. And to have truly accomplished something so rare. I will never forget how vulnerable the experience made me feel, and how much I clung to my family and life back home in times of trouble. I learned that it’s okay to cling to them when I’m at home, too. I will never forget feeling the Lord move and work through me.
I’ve made it a priority to live out God’s word, spreading love and finding beauty wherever I go. The budding of this relationship has been such a blessing to me. Over the last couple of years, I’ve found a lot of peace and strength in knowing that through trials and struggles, God is putting me where He wants me to be and He has a plan for all of it. I might not know what’s going on right now or why He’s pushing me in this way - in a way that is so out of my comfort zone and in a way that leaves me so fragile - but I’m excited to get to the point where I can say, “Ohhhh, THIS is what He was talking about!”