To The One Fighting Through The Storm

To The One Fighting Through The Storm

Your greatest test is when you are able to bless someone else while you are going through your own storm.

Hurricane Matthew is hitting the coast of my state this week. Although this is a physical storm, are there not emotional storms we face in our lifetime? Though they may not cause physical damage like that of a category 5 hurricane, they certainly can tear down walls in our lives and hearts. Wherever you are in your life right now, chances are you have gone through some sort of storm. Whether it be those mid-semester blues, homesickness, the realization that you are failing all your classes, a breakup, the loss of a close friend, anything. Whatever it is, I promise you that you will get through this.

Growing up I always heard the story of how Jesus walked on the water to the boat to meet his cool fishermen friends. I never read through the whole story, so I wanted to hear more about what really went down that night. In Matthew 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56, and John 6:16-24, the Bible tells us basically that Jesus was chilling with his disciples after healing some people and performing some miracles. Jesus told his disciples to head on out on the boat, he would catch up with them later. He was going to go spend some time praying on some mountain. A little later that night, a storm showed up. Jesus realized his friends were probably having a hard time holding up on their little fishing boat against the heavy winds, so he decided to go help them. But of course he's Jesus, so he didn't just swim out to them or meet them in another boat. Nope, he walked right out to them. Literally walked on the water. Needless to say, his disciples were kind of freaked out. He told them to calm down and then Peter was like wait a second, if you're really Jesus tell me to walk out to you! Peter, you idiot. So Jesus of course said come on out! Then Peter stepped out and started walking on the water just like Jesus, when all of a sudden the storm came on stronger and he couldn't take it anymore. He was afraid he wouldn't make it. He began to sink and asked for help. Jesus reached out to help him up and was like "Dude. Why did you doubt?"

How easy is it to relate to Peter in this situation? Whether or not you read the Bible or believe in God, how often do you find yourself jumping in to something and going all out for it in full confidence just to snap when things start to get tough? The good news is, storms won't last forever. Until the storm passes, however, do not just stay hidden away pretending it isn't happening. Don't bottle up the feelings and feel sorry for yourself because you had a bad day because everyone else had a good day. In the end, it's not what happens to you that defines you, but rather how you respond to these things. A great teacher of mine in high school posted an interesting thought on Facebook a few days ago. The quote read something like "Wake up and say I am not a victim, I am a victor!"

In the middle of this storm, open your eyes to the beauty of the gray skies. Understand that this hard time you are going through will shape you and test you and ultimately better equip you to handle future storms.

Put on your rain boots and jump right into the puddle. Push through the harsh winds and past the clouds. Don't hide underneath an umbrella of fear, but do look for Jesus. He's standing right there beside you in this torrential downpour. Grab a hold of some faith and run through this storm. You'll come out better than before.

Who knows, maybe one day you'll be able to help someone else run through their storm, too.

"And the God of all grace,...after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." 2 Peter 5:10

Cover Image Credit: We Know Your Dreams

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.


Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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I've Never Been to Church, but I Believe in a Greater Being

Written during an existential crisis


I was raised without religion - not necessarily as an atheist but just had never been involved with a church or any church's teachings. This wasn't particularly any decision on my own part, just how life unfolded from my background. An issue that I've constantly struggled with, as early as when I was in first grade, is how life came to be. Quite often, I've had strong, mentally burdening existential crises land on me - possibly because of the lack of religion in my life. When these crises happen, I think often of religion, and in the possibility of a greater being.

Though I've never spent a day in my life at Church, I've developed my own beliefs in a greater being over the years.

The main reason for this is the irrationality of life. There is no proven explanation for how we came to be. Though we can trace back to a certain point - such as how our person, continent, world, planet, solar system was created, there comes a point when we can't explain any further. Everything comes from something. The first cell split into two cells, which continued to split. But what could have caused the first cell? What could possibly have caused something to come from nothing? There are theories that attempt to explain this, such as a disturbance in the blank universe which created the first cells. But, what caused this disturbance? This is something that I'll never be able to prove or even to wrap my head around.

Beyond this, there are so many other parts in our existence that don't make sense or can't be explained. For instance, in quantum physics, particles will split apart for no apparent reason, but when you put a camera up to watch the particles up close (all factors remaining the same), the particles no longer split. Also, there have been proven variations in the most basic physics laws, such as gravity. But no explanation to explain these small 'mistakes'.

For me, I've considered religion to explain these, and I've also considered conspiracy theories such as the simulation theory. The simulation theory and religion share the idea of a greater being - of a creator. Though I haven't had much experience with religion, I can explain the idea of a creator through the simulation theory. In a nutshell, the simulation theory argues that we are in a simulation - the being simulating our world could be in a completely different universe - perhaps different dimensions, different rules of physics, etc. Whatever their world is, it could be something that we can't even fathom - and it could also be a universe that does make perfect sense. Our universe is riddled with mystery and confusion - what if the greater being's world is one that isn't? To think of this, imagine how in a 2D world, the people living in it would never be able to fathom what it's like to live in a 3D world - what we take for granted. In the same way, we may not fathom what it's like to live in an elevated life. If it's likely that we'll ever be able to simulate life, then we ourselves could be living in simulated life (since that technology can exist). This could offer an explanation for our existence, but we would never know. A similar explanation could also be made with religion.

I read an amazing metaphor for believing in a greater being. Imagine when you were first conceived, and living in the belly of your mother for months. At this point (assuming hypothetically that you're conscious), you would have no idea what's to come next. You may believe that birth is death - it's bringing you into something you've never experienced, and you may think this means disappearing. However, you take a leap of faith and you soon find that birth, in fact, leads you to a new chapter of a life. But of course, you would never have known when you were in the womb, where all you knew was what you were experiencing.

It never hurts to have faith. It grounds you and can help you through rough existential crises. Whatever for the reason for our existence, we most likely will never actually find out - possibly in the afterlife, but no one has lived to tell the tale.

Thanks for reading my thoughts, and musing with me during this existential crises.

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