More Than Conquerors

More Than Conquerors

"Oh, you of little faith."
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Life is hard.

College is hard. In high school, I got upset with myself for making a 92... now, I find myself rejoicing in making an 85. I'm starting to have anxiety over my grades and schoolwork, something I have never struggled with before.

Being single is hard. All of my friends are getting boyfriends. Meanwhile, the last date I went on was with Ben and Jerry.

Being away from home is hard. I don't mean to sound like a wimp, but I miss my parents' hugs and laughing with my sisters and sleeping in my bed.

Being cool while making good grades and having enough quiet time but also having enough time to do fun things is hard. I constantly feel like I'm missing something or am a step behind everyone else.

And in this season of difficulty, I have started to lean on my own understanding. I've started to rely on myself to fix everything, which leads to even more anxiety and stress and frustration. I've put all the weight on my shoulders, and when I don't feel like I'm measuring up, I beat myself up about it. When your mom isn't there to hug you and your teacher isn't being helpful and you feel like everyone is moving at a speed 10 times faster than you are, who do you turn to?

In Matthew 8, the disciples encounter a storm while out at sea with Jesus. They are literally "swamped by the waves," drowning in a raging sea. And through all of this, Jesus is sleeping.

Doesn't it feel that way at times? When all is going wrong and everything seems to be falling apart, don't you sometimes feel like the Lord is sleeping on you? That for some reason, He decided to overlook your current situation and move on with His business? In this overwhelmingly stressful time in my life, I feel like maybe, just maybe, He's forgotten about me. And you know what He thinks of that?

"Oh, you of little faith."

He is planning on calming the waves. He is planning on bringing you out of the darkness and frustration and despair and into the light and peace. In the beginning of the chapter, a leper approaches Jesus, asking Him to heal him because the Leper KNOWS of His goodness. A centurion comes to the Lord with the knowledge that He can heal one of the centurion's servants. They had no doubt in their mind that Jesus could make all things right, yet here I am, sitting in the boat and feeling like I have to try to fix everything because I doubt that He will.

He is good. His plans for me are good. His love for me is bigger and stronger and sweeter than I know. And while it's easy to say, it's really hard to believe.

I've decided that it's time to have faith. It's time to stop doubting that He'll calm the waves and settle the storm that's going on in my life. It's time for me to stop trying to fix it all on my own and to start leaning on Him to bring me through the hard times. And it's time for you, too, to start trusting His goodness. Life is hard, my friends, but it's even harder when you have no one to calm the waves for you. How lucky we are to have a Savior who wants to make everything right for us.

Be confident in who He is. Be confident in his power and abilities. Be confident in His goodness. Romans 8 says that we are "More than conquerors through Him who loved us." Don't be known as someone with "little faith;" it may seem like He's sleeping on you, but I promise that He will rescue you from the storm and bring you out of the crashing waves.

Cover Image Credit: me

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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