I Took A Month Off Of My Life To Work On My Relationship With God

I Took A Month Off Of My Life To Work On My Relationship With God

I went AWOL for a month and it was the best decision of my life.

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When winter break rolled around, I kept feeling this odd, lonely sensation surrounding me. I didn't feel like anyone back in my college circle cared about my wellbeing. I was falling pretty deep into my depression and it was getting to a point where I felt like I had my head just barely above water. I knew there was a part of me that felt lost so I set out to find that missing piece within myself.

One day, my parents and I went to our regular church and the message seemed so catered to me that I ended up sobbing during it. Our pastor talked about the effects life has on us when we don't fill that missing piece of us with God. If we don't fill our hearts with God, we will never feel complete in our lives. That's how many people get into the world of drugs, casual sex, and alcohol so easily anymore because they are trying to fill a void inside of them with temporary pleasures rather than the lifelong lasting love of God. Not to get all "preachy" on you but it's true.

This day and age, we tend to give into the materialistic pleasures life has to offer, but those only fill us for a short amount of time before we start to feel that void sinking in all over again inside of us. When we fill ourselves with something more meaningful, we stop looking for those ordinary pleasures because we have something extraordinary to fulfill us instead.

When I heard all of this, as I mentioned before, I was sobbing. I felt like God was speaking directly to me in my time of need and I took it all to heart. That day on for the next month, I decided to cut off most of my social media accounts (some I had to keep for school reasons only, didn't use them for recreational use) and said goodbye to my phone in hopes of pursuing the love God has for me within myself.

Reflecting on that decision over a month later, I have never been more proud of myself for making such a bold decision. This is the first time in my life I have really started to advocate for my own needs and let myself be happy without the help of someone else being by my side. I finally feel free enough to say what's on my mind, speak the truth about what my life has been like without fear, and above all, I finally feel whole again in my life. I finally feel like I am my own person and that no one can ever take that away from me. I don't feel like I need any sort of temporary pleasures to fulfill me like most college students do because I have something greater inside of me, eternal, everlasting love.

If you're ever in a spot of your life where you feel lost or inadequate, remember, fulfill yourself with something meaningful, not something temporary. :)

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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