This is the year I start applying to universities. Goodness! One of these universities required an essay that basically describes my life and how my relationship with the Lord has grown these past three years. I thought that I would use that essay I wrote for today’s post! I hope it blesses you and reminds you how much God loves you and how faithful our King is!!
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:23 boldly proclaims. I accepted God’s gift of salvation and eternal life when I was four years old, and I’ve been growing in “the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) ever since.
I’ve grown up in a stable, active Christian home all my life, so Christianity has always been an integrated aspect of my life and schedule. For a long time, I viewed church as more of a social group and less of a place to deepen my understanding of my Lord. When I was about thirteen, my family began attending a new church. I went to a winter camp, and my view of church started to shift from a social group to a place of community and growth in understanding of my Savior and King.
Philippians 1:6 exhorts that God, “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I am incredibly grateful for this because I have so much to grow in and learn! It greatly cheers me to remember that God is faithful and constant (Hebrews 13:8) in his nature and in his work to make me more like the girl he dreams of me becoming.
The past three years have been crucial in my walk with Christ. I can look back now and see God’s hand at work, transforming me more and more into his likeness. Looking back also humbles me and reminds me how dependent I am on God, and how much more my faith and grasp of who God is needs to grow.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress and comparison these last three years. I look at social media and feel like everyone else is perfect and their lives are exciting and fun. I worry that I’m not “enough”—that I don’t know enough, serve enough, or do enough. I fret that maybe I’m simply not interesting enough or beautiful enough to measure up to the Pinterest perfect society surrounding me. Recently, God began the process of teaching my heart that he is so much more than enough, and when I hide myself in him, I am covered with his enough-ness. He’s teaching me to focus on “the race marked out for [me]” (Hebrews 12:1b) and to let go of comparing my race to the races he’s given others. To be honest, God certainly isn’t done teaching me these truths. Each day I have to be reminded of these concepts. I’m so thankful that the Lord does not leave his children in stagnant ruts. God will continue to change me with his powerful spirit (Romans 8:11); I just have to let Abba in and allow his peace to teach and comfort me.
Isaiah 26:3-4 closely links peace in God to trust in God. God has been teaching me that before I experience peace, I must trust him and trust his sovereignty over each area of my life. Peace cannot come before grace (Philippians 1:2), so I must allow God’s grace to cover and wash over me. God is using my stress to teach me about trusting him, receiving his grace, and enjoying his abounding peace moment by moment.
When I compare myself to everyone around me, I feel inferior and shut down. God is showing me that his joy is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and that I can use that strength to fight against comparison. God reminds me that he has a plan (and a good one at that!) for my life (Romans 8:28), and that he is for me (Romans 8:31). The more I grasp these beautiful truths—that God equips me with his joy to strengthen me, that God has a plan which he’s working out for his glory and for my good, and that the King of the universe is for me—the more I release any need to compare, because I’m secure in the Lord. When I’m secure in my identity in Christ (Colossians 3:1-4), my thoughts are “set on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
These last three years have been monumental in my growth in and knowledge of God. They’ve also taught me that I have a whole lot more to learn about who God is, who I am, and this amazing world he created. I am very excited to see where God leads me these next years as I finish up high school and begin college. I am so thankful that he is “the LORD [my] God who takes hold of [my] right hand and says to [me], Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).