Faith has always been a part of my life in one-way or another. Yet it has ebbed and flowed over the past two years more than ever. People ask me how I can believe in a God that lets such horrible things happen. How I can believe in a God that didn’t spare me from pain. And this is my answer: without my painful moments, I wouldn’t be who I am right in this moment as I type this today.

Yeah, it sounds clique. But it’s the full truth. I wouldn’t know how to love endlessly if I didn’t have people abandon me. I wouldn’t know how to speak truth into the lives of others if I didn’t seek it in my own suffering. I wouldn’t be able to love on girls who have struggled with self-harm or abuse effectively. I wouldn’t know what to say, what to do, or where to even start. If I didn’t hurt, I wouldn’t know how to love. If I didn’t struggle with suicide, I wouldn’t be grateful for life in the same way I am today. These are all struggles that I wish upon no one, but they plague many. They either make us or break us, and we have the power to choose what we do with it. Pain is a building block for growth, when we face it head on.

I consistently pray for God’s will in my life and in the lives of my friends. Sometimes His will does not feel wonderful, but it is the best thing we can be walking in. So I will take His will over how I feel. These weak moments allow me to be strong in Christ, and in return, Christ makes me stronger altogether.

So my peace is simply Jesus.

I put my hope in a God who is ever-chasing.

Who pursues me endlessly.

Who heals me when I’m broken.

Who calls me redeemed and beautiful, even though my past is ugly.

Who extends grace to make me new each morning.

Who sustains me when my heartache is unbearable,

Who gives me strength when I have none left.

A God who never leaves me,

Who fulfills me,

Who brings me peace beyond all my understanding.

This is a building block I can build all of my life off of, a block that will never be moved. Through the abuse, the breakups, the failures, the tragedies…. His promise still remains. And in this I find my worth. I find my hope for tomorrow, I find my motivation for healing.