Before I Knew It
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Before I Knew It

He takes, not so we are without, but to show us what we're missing.

Before I Knew It

If there is anything I've realized during quarantine 2020 it's that I have put Jesus on the back burner within the last year or so. Sometimes God isolates us to get our attention; He takes, not so we are without, but to show us what we are missing.

If you are a social introvert like me, you need moments to recharge in isolation, however your emotional health is VERY dependent on social interactions. To be completely transparent, I found myself in a state of anxiety and panic whenever I realized social distancing and quarantine were about to become a reality in the proceeding weeks. I was not scared of the virus, but I was scared to be alone with my thoughts for so long. To be without the worldly distractions that so often give me a false sense of purpose and reason.

I made the decision to go home to my parent's house for the quarantine because I knew it would be better for my mental health to be surrounded by loved one's if the quarantine lasted as long as social media was predicting. As I looked around my room in BG deciding what to pack with tears in my eyes, I noticed a pile of books in the corner of my bedroom. One of which was Fearless by Sadie Robertson (Go read it now if you struggle with fear and anxiety like me!). In that moment I felt such a conviction. I have all these books and my Bible on display in my room, all of which relating to a relationship with Christ, but I hardly pick them up. Instead, when I come home from class or work with the anxieties of life on my shoulders I pick up my phone, remote, or computer. What does that say about my relationship with Christ?

The bible is very clear in regards to where we should turn in times of anxiety and tribulation. Psalms 94:19 reads

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

I was tired or hurting. Tired of being anxious. Tired of feeling like something was missing. Tired of giving so much power to my insecurities. I needed consolation.

I love Jesus. He's my personal savior and I'm proud to say that. I absolutely love my church family, and I'm so thankful to be involved with the youth and my small group. However, I've found that I am really good at going through the motions. I hadn't allowed myself to take a step back and say "what does my personal relationship with Christ look like?"

After arriving at my parents, a sense of peace immediately came over me. Sometimes it's just nice to come home, especially when you've been gone for so long. I stay so busy with school and friends there are times I only make it home once or twice a semester (terrible I know). Without even asking, my dad came outside to greet me and help me pack my luggage inside. He always greats me with a super big hug and says something like "love you buddy".

After getting settled in, I decided to sit on the front porch swing and enjoy the mild weather and just listen to the trees in the wind, However the wind wasn't the only thing I heard. Sometimes in the quietest moments God is the loudest. My life is so fast pace that I hadn't taken the time to just listen in so long. What I heard through listening, prayer, and reading was this: God missed me. That's right. The one who holds the stars longs for us. Tears filled my eyes as I realized how distant my heart had wandered from him without even realizing it.

Reading my bible was replaced with reading my chemistry book, my quiet time was replaced with Netflix, and my thoughts were consumed with a relationship, college, career, and the future. None of these things are inherently bad or sinful, however anything that is distracting your heart from its creator is. Matthew 6:33 reads

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

I spend so much time trying to write my own story. I envision a future that fits what I want instead of what HE wants. I constantly seek to understand, but I tend to do so through the world's eyes. I only pray when I'm hurting, and I tend to neglect my bible reading. I let sin infiltrate my life, and I did all of this without even realizing it for over a year. Before I knew it, I was in a place of spiritual hurt. But I have good news…

Despite how far we run, how long it's been, or what we've done, God is there with open arms. He's there when we find ourselves so hurt and broken we have no choice but to run home to him. He's there without us having to ask. Like a father, he meets us where we are, helps us with our luggage, and says "love you buddy".

God works in mysterious ways. I expected coming home for quarantine to feel really lonely. I knew I'd miss my church and friends back in BG. I'd miss being on campus, studying in Starbucks, and being in a group larger than 10 (lol). But instead I feel peace. I finished all my books, had quiet times with God, and allowed myself to just be raw in his presence. I know life will precede again, and we will all return to school and work. Distractions will come back and mistakes will be made, but I do know that Jesus will be there and his purpose for you and I is beautifully and meticulously written.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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