As we near the end of the year, and finals approach quickly, I find myself on a roller coaster of emotions. Whether your own life is riddled with family complications, friend drama, overbearing professors or disappointment at every turn, I hope this article acts as a road map to understanding and healing. I pray that every single one of you can find your heart at peace, if even just for a moment. Sometimes the smallest moments of peacefulness can reignite the flame within your heart.
When you’re feeling lonely
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
He will not leave you nor forsake you. This is something I often find myself forgetting. It’s so easy to forget, but the Bible always has a deeper meaning. Heck, Jesus didn’t tell parables to educate us on the tendencies of sheep. He told us parables because they hold a meaning that is deeper than just the words on a page. God is constantly around you. Whether that be through prayer, your best friend, your worst enemy, your roommate, your RA or even the professor who drives you crazy. It seems so cliche and overstated, but it’s worth saying. You can find God everywhere you look. Sometimes we see God without even realizing it. He is with you in everyone and everything you encounter. Where do you see Him?
When you’re disappointed
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
OK, so you got back that test, and you didn’t get the best grade. Maybe you know you could have studied harder. Immediately you put up walls. The class is too hard, everyone failed, the professor is a jerk. You build these walls to protect you because really you’re disappointed in yourself. Or maybe you did your best, so you build different kinds of walls. Walls that prevent you from succeeding. I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough, I will never be enough. We build these walls and expect things of this world to tear them down. But no amount of Instagram likes, empty compliments or Greek letters can break down the walls we build. By prayer and supplication. We search for peace in the people around us or the things of this world, but we can only get so close. We feel dejected and ask for validation from the people around us. But the peace of God surpasses all! Only God can break down these walls we build around our heart. He wants to break down these walls, but you have to allow Him in -- through prayer.
When you feel like turning to drinking or drugs
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
So you’ve decided to go out this weekend. The week has been way too rough. It’s like all of your professors got together and planned to hit you with five tests in the same week. Oh, and don’t forget the paper you have due on Monday that you won’t start until Sunday night. You feel like there’s no way you can make it through another week without getting drunk. See, God says that we shouldn't put our lives on the line like this because Jesus did that for us. He died so we could live, not be sacrificed at the hand of an empty bottle, or a drunk driving accident. We are so insanely loved by God that He gave his pride and joy to die. It almost seems too easy to throw that all away on one night out. Instead put your faith in the strength the Holy Spirit can give you.
When you need to forgive
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
I, personally, am very good at playing the game called, “let’s see how long I can hold a grudge." It’s hard -- it really is -- to let someone back in again after they’ve hurt you. But think of all the times you’ve hurt God. You turned away from Him, denied Him, cut Him out of your life. God’s mercy, of course, is endless. He will always forgive you, if your heart is pure in its asking for mercy. If God, who does no bad, can forgive us of our transgressions, who are we to withhold it from others. Who are we to play an all powerful and merciless god? Forgiveness is a gift not only from God to us, but from us to the ones around us. Humans are notorious for messing up, none of us are strangers to that, so none of us should be a stranger to giving the gift of forgiveness.
When You Need Self-Confidence
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
We seek for the answers to our low self-esteem in social media and selfies. We gauge our beauty and popularity on thumbs, hearts and followers. None of that really matters. When we feel down and unimportant, we must turn to Christ. He thought we were worth dying for. He suffocated and bled for us on the cross. He believes we are enough, so we know we could strive to be enough. He laid down his life that we may live, and that is the biggest self confidence booster I could ever think of.