God is always faithful. Even when you’re at your worst and you feel like the world has no regard for your one life, God will renew you and console you.
After everything that went on with EngageNU, and the whole week before, I was just feeling so….dejected? so hurt? and just…i don’t even know. at a loss in all things.
But I know that during that time, not once did I ever doubt that God was by my side. Not once did I doubt that these things that I was feeling were lies. Not once did I ever doubt that God would bring me through this.
And to think, that when I felt at my worst back before I became a Christian, i still knew this somehow, that God was listening. I can’t remember if I was that sure of his presence in my life, if I knew that he was beside me through the thick and thin, but I knew that he was there for me, out of all the people in my life, he was the one I knew I could turn to and depend upon.
And even now, a mere 7 years later (has it really only been that short??), I am still so sure of God’s faithfulness and God’s assurance. There is nothing that can snatch me away from God’s love. I know that I have a friend in him, one that cares.
And out of all of this…after talking with people more and more…I’ve come to realize just how lonely it is without God. Friends fail you. Even your closest, dearest, best friends will fail you. Fang doesn’t even feel that Sam,Sophi, or Alex truly care about him. Not even his friends from home care about him. They just send him generic letters asking for money, and he begrudgingly gives it, which is how I estimate the rest of their relationship goes as well.
I wondered to myself–how can these people be your friends, and yet, at the heart of it all, you feel that they don’t care about you? What kind of sick and twisted world do we live in that such a paradox can exist? And I tried to share my testimony with Fang, about how I felt like that before I chose Christ, and it fell flat. He asked me “is this your testimony?” and yeah, it was. But i really…how can he just take this lying down??
What are the fundamentals of friendship?
-you care for one another and your wellbeing
isn’t that it? i guess that’s a lot to ask of anyone, but isn’t that why we’re not friends with everyone, but with a select few?
They’re all intertwined as well, you can’t have mutual trust without respect, you can’t care about one another without respect or trust, and you can’t respect one another if you don’t actually care about them.
But somehow, in this world, even in the Christian communities, we’re falling short. Even Maya and Eugene, as a girl who gets along with everyone and a guy who prays to God with such…passion, they dont’ even have the first one going. Or the third one. And if you don’t have them all…what kind of relationship is that?
What is going on here? I hate to be cliche, but “where is the love?”
I’m the only one who listened to Fang, who asked about him, and I can’t even take credit for that because I only texted him, and he was the one who called me.
Normally, when I struggle with hard times, it sounds like many people turn inward, keep their problems to themselves, and don’t rely on anyone else to help them through. Even I do that–last quarter and last year, I just sat in my room, and cried out to God through my tears. But this time, when I was in such a dark pit, God really told me to reach outward, to share my burdens and my struggles. And while no one really had any definitive answers or definitive consolation…At least they listened. At least they called me, they talked with me, they listened to me, they texted me, and most important, they prayed for me. I have no way of knowing if their prayers were short mumbled phrases sent up when they remembered, or only when they read the email and nothing else, but at the very least I know that some prayer was sent up to God on my behalf to help me through my struggle. That alone means the world to me.
I knew I could count on these people, regardless of how often we talk, of how often we see each other, etc. I knew that they had my back. And even if people didn’t truly understand the depths of my pain and sorrow, they prayed. And the Spirit prays, with groans too deep to understand. How beautiful is that? How amazing is it that even when we can’t utter a word, or even when we do, the Spirit intercedes for us, with a heart that God understands, with God’s own heart? And not only that, but the stupid things we pray for that we don’t need, that aren’t good for us, those never get uttered by the Spirit. The Spirit only sends up the purest prayers that ask for nothing but the best, that groan for nothing other than what is God’s will.
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I mean, really this was suppposed to be a testament to God’s complete faithfulness, and I guess it still is.
But I really wanted to share just how much he uses other people. The things that I worried about…at least with my ministry in MEIV, nearly all of those fears and worries have been assuaged verbally by someone whose opinion is of great value to me.
Talking with Eddy, and even the night of our event, right afterwards, Andy Bilhorn gave me a huge hug and told me how proud of me he was, and how thankful he was that we hae been able to pull this off. And he told me that it was the best outreach event that he had ever seen in his 5 years at Northwestern. I couldn’t even begin to tell him how much that meant to me. And he kept thanking me, and I kept thanking him, and oh, God, it was just….I knew that it was like Andy was an angel that God had sent down just to affirm me, just to tell me through Andy that God loved me, that God had faith in me, that I was doing his work, and in a good way that meant something to eternity.
And last week, I got a letter from Andy that he wrote while he was at Cedar, and he just wanted to thank me again. And having that letter of affirmation, I will truly keep that for decades to come. Just as a testament of how faithful God is.
I know I still have a ways to go with Josh, I know that it’s going to be hard since we’re so different…but I have faith that God will grow us both and that our SGLS will have a God’s hand by our side…because I know we can’t do this on our own limited human understanding and human compassion. And isn’t that what it’s all about? God calls those of us who can’t do it on our own–we’re not superstars in our own right, but God calls us anyway so that we can lean on him and rely on him through thick and thin. In the end, all the glory points to Him, and that is all anyone could ever hope for. 🙂